Thomas Sondergard - Sibelius: Symphonies 1 & 6 - Hi-Fi News
Sound Quality: 75%
Sibelius' First Symphony has long attracted hi-fi enthusiasts with landmark recordings by Collins, Maazel, and Vanska that showed off your system - not least in the exciting scherzo with its textural contrasts. The Sixth, by contrast, was his most austere symphony, described by the composer as offering 'pure cold spring water'. This new recording certainly fits that description with its clarity and judicious tempi. No 1 is even finer with a wonderful opening clarinet solo, pp, that raises great expectations for what follows - a peformance that's absorbing right through. This Dec '14 Cardiff pairing, from BBC Hoddinott Hall, is Sondergard's second coupling in Linn's cycle (we reviewed Nos 2 and 7 in HFN Aug '15). It's not the most sumptuous of orchestras but detail is explicit and the acoustic warm and generous.