, 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.