Thomas Sondergard - Sibelius: Symphonies 2 & 7 - Herald Scotland

Excuse the cliched introduction, but I am overwhelmed by what I've been listening to this past week.

I can only welcome, with fast-beating heart, one of the great new Sibelian teams into the record business with the debut recording on Linn Records of Sibelius's Second and Seventh Symphonies by Thomas Sondergard and his BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Here is an important new series that neither rivals nor displaces any of the greats - Segerstam, Vanska, Barbirolli or whoever - but joins them in that premier league of conductors who really understand what makes this music tick. Sondergard's Sibelius Two is breathtaking in its speedy pacing, lightness of foot, and command of the internal fluctuations of pace, mood and momentum that make this most organic masterpiece so natural in its growth. The playing of BBC NOW, in line with its conductor's evident vision, is astonishing in its sophistication. Their flawless performance of the Seventh Symphony, if you love this music, will break your heart.

Herald Scotland
29 March 2015