Sibelius: Kullervo Symphony

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WORKS: Kullervo Symphony
PERFORMER: Eeva-Lilsa Saarinen (mezzo-soprano), Jorma Hynninen (baritone)Estonian State Academic Men’s Chorus, Helsinki University Men’s Chorus, Helsinki PO/Paavo Berglund
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 65080 2 ADD (1985)
Although repudiated by the composer during his lifetime, Kullervo remains one of Sibelius’s most important early works. More a symphonic poem than a conventional symphony, it offers a tantalising glimpse of the direction Sibelius might have taken had he not reacted so strongly against the extremes of late-Romanticism. Paavo Berglund has long been a staunch advocate of the work, and his second recording, now restored onto one CD, offers a compelling interpretation much enhanced by outstanding choral singing and the gripping contribution from baritone Jorma Hynninen as Kullervo. Erik Levi