Founder of the London Philharmonic Orchestra Sir Thomas Beecham began building the Orchestra’s long association with the music of Sibelius from the day it was born. Three quarters of a century later, the composer’s compatriot and champion Paavo Berglund extends his authoritative discography of Sibelius' music with the Second and Seventh Symphonies; the resulting performances on this release are full of arresting excitement, warmth and power.
Orchestra aside, Berglund is the most prominent modern-day conductor of Sibelius’ orchestral music. He conducted the first recording of the Kullervo Symphony and has three complete Sibelius symphony cycles under his belt.
Jukka-Pekka Saraste has said that 'living Sibelius began with Berglund.' "I have always admired Berglund's uncompromising approach," admits Osmo Vänskä.
Berglund on Sibelius 7th Symphony: "I conducted Sibelius' Seventh Symphony with the Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1956, but it didn't really work out. The next year, I conducted it with the Helsinki Philharmonic, and it went better. I noticed that the Philharmonic played from parts that Sibelius had corrected himself, while the Radio Symphony played from parts with the original printing errors. That is when I understood how important it was to make sure that the parts were up to date!" relates Berglund. In 1980 Berglund was commissioned by Hansen Edition for the critical edition of Symphony No.7 and as Berglund himself says, his recording here of Symphony No.7 is superior to any other recording he has made of the work.
What the Press said:
‘... this was [Sibelius 2] an interpretation of searing excitement and... overpowering force.' Tom Service, The Guardian, February 2005
'The strength of his [Berglund's] performance [Sibelius 7], its power and integrity, was humbling.' Rob Cowan, Independent, December 2003