Thomas Sondergard - Sibelius: Symphonies 2 & 7 - Scene Magazine
The immersive Nordic soundscapes of Jean Sibelius' aural world are immaculately rendered on this release from Linn Records. It's nearly impossible to separate the opening Allegretto of Symphony No. 2 in D Major from the patriotic expectations associated with the composer's prior work, including the popular ‘Finlandia', which was composed in protest against Russian censorship of the day. But as a piece of music, Symphony No. 2 is ingenious - a compromise between traditional approaches and the organic compositional style Sibelius would develop in his later works. This method had matured by the time the seventh symphony was completed, a piece once described as the composer's "most remarkable achievement". Appropriate to the demands of the material, the instrumental performances heard here are top notch.