SIBELIUS Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6, The Swan of Tuonela. London Philharmonic Orchestra / Paavo Berglund. London Philharmonic Orchestra

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Sibelius Symphonies Nos 5 6 Paavo Berglund London Philharmonic Orchestra

JEAN SIBELIUS (1865–1957)

Symphony No. 5

Symphony No. 6

The Swan of Tuonela

London Philharmonic Orchestra / Paavo Berglund

Finnish conductor Paavo Berglund, who passed away in January 2012, was one of the last remaining conductors with a direct personal connection to Sibelius. With the Second and Seventh Symphonies already released on the LPO Label, Berglund’s Sibelius legacy is further cemented in these live concert recordings with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, in which he vividly captures the natural flight of the Fifth Symphony and the freefall journey of the Sixth.

The affinity Berglund felt with the music of Jean Sibelius went beyond shared nationality and personal acquaintance. Berglund revealed a rare physicality in Sibelius’s scores. It was there in his three recorded symphony cycles, but in these late London performances it emerged in a different, darker light. Berglund wasn’t as meticulous about observing marked tempi as some of his younger compatriots are. Instead he was impulsive, rugged and heartfelt. But his instincts always seemed to serve the musical architecture, the curious symphonic meta-flow unique to Sibelius. His death in January 2012 was talked of as a goodbye to one of the last conductors of the ‘old school’.

“Berglund inspired the characterful winds and assertive strings of the London Philharmonic to give their best, making for a warm and spacious performance that caught the passion of this Kalevala-inspired tone poem.” The Sunday Telegraph on The Swan of Tuonela, 2006

London Philharmonic Orchestra LPO0065

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