Sibelius: Finlandia; Valse triste; The Swan of Tuonela; Festivo; Karelia Suite; Tapiola

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Sibelius
LABELS: DG Originals
WORKS: Finlandia; Valse triste; The Swan of Tuonela; Festivo; Karelia Suite; Tapiola
PERFORMER: Berlin PO/Hans Rosbaud
CATALOGUE NO: 447 453-2 ADD mono (1955/58)
Despite forty years of persistent advocacy, the Austrian Hans Rosbaud (1895-1962) doesn’t readily spring to mind as a Sibelian: his reputation was as a champion of far more radical music (from premiering Schoenberg and Bartók and Stockhausen). These mono recordings from late in his career are variable. The most involving, undoubtedly, is Tapiola, a reading with all the status of a classic darkly tuned to the ‘ancient, mysterious, brooding savage dreams’ of the composer’s programme. But Karelia – a heavy-handed account damagingly misjudged in tempo – is disappointing. Strange how the inconsequences of this piece so often unsettle even the best conductors. Ates Orga

Advertisement