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Paul Pelkonen
Superconductor, October 2011

The naturalistic rhythms of the symphony spring to life across the piano keyboard, as Mr. Sigfridsson plays the transcription with taut rhythms and attention to the key details in the score.

The Fifth Symphony is even more interesting, with the famous “ringing horns” of the last movement sounding forth in the bass notes of the piano, held down with careful use of the sustain pedal to recreate the original, antiphonal effect. Mr. Sigfridsson’s transcription addsa uniform, almost Bach-like effect, as the noble themes sound forth.

These Sibelius transcriptions exhibit a very different style than the flashy concert works of the 19th century. Great attention is paid to inflection of the notes, to replicate a wind instrument, a rampart of brass, or a conductor siezed in the orgiastic waves of sound used to depict the rising Finnish people or the frozen tundras of Lapland. The result is wonderfully refreshing to the ears: great music stripped down to its barest essence.

Dominy Clements
MusicWeb International, September 2011

…if you are a fan of Sibelius—I mean a real genuine warts-and-all fan—then this is a must-have recording which will only enhance your appreciation of the great composer’s genius. If you only like Finlandia and find some of the symphonies a bit heavy going then this is unlikely to convert you. This CD doesn’t challenge the best of orchestral recordings. These performances exist in a different sphere, and to make comparisons would be to miss the points already made. The recording is very good, but demands a quality system to make sense of the densest material. All in all, I have to say this is a magnificent success, which was by no means my assumption in advance.

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