[6 Albums]
Parallel to his great sequence of symphonic masterpieces and
tone poems, Jean Sibelius wrote a significant body of music for
the theatre. It was with King Christian II and Kuolema that he
established his fame throughout Europe whilst some of his
most hauntingly beautiful writing for the stage can be found
in Belshazzar’s Feast. The tragic pantomime
Scaramouche is Sibelius’s only continuous dramatic
score and Pelléas et Mélisande one of his most
accomplished whilst the rarely performed
Jedermann is recognised as a hidden masterpiece.
Gramophone wrote of these performances:
‘Leif Segerstam masterminds a
characteristically unhurried, atmospheric
display. What an absorbing journey of
discovery this series has proved to be;
congratulations to everyone involved.’
Leif SegerstamTurku Philharmonic Orchestra
Leif Segerstam
© Seilo Ristimäki
'I have been very inspired by [these works], because I recognize parts or excerpts or quotations, or, how would you say quasi-citations à la Schnittke f other works by him. And this makes it very exciting, and I think that all of Sibelius’s followers will have the same kind of special look, or ear, into these clés-notes – very precious gems of Jean Sibelius’s œuvres.'

– Leif Segerstam
About Leif Segerstam
Leif Segerstam is a conductor, composer, violinist and pianist with a prominent international career. Segerstam has held top conducting positions to some of the best orchestras and opera houses in the world including the Finnish National Opera and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is also the Chief Conductor Emeritus of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 2012 he has been Chief Conductor of Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. He was winner of the 1999 Nordic Council Music
Prize for his work “as a tireless champion of Scandinavian music” and of the Swedish Cultural Foundation’s Prize for Music in 2003. In 2004 Leif Segerstam was awarded the annual Finnish State Prize for Music and in 2005 the highly esteemed Sibelius Medal. He has gained wide acclaim throughout his multiple recordings with
different orchestras.
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
© Seilo Ristimäki
About Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
The Turku Philharmonic Orchestra is the oldest orchestra in Finland. Leif Segerstam has been their Chief Conductor since 2012. Among their Naxos recordings include works by Swedish composer Einar Englund (8.553758), Finnish composer Uuno Klami (8.553757) and Sibelius’s symphonic poem Kullervo, Op. 7 (8.553756).
Album 1
Kuolema, JS113 • King Christian, Op. 27 • Overture in A minor, JS144
Two Songs from Twelfth Night, Op. 60

“Segerstam directs with his customary big heart and acute sensitivity for texture and mood.” – Gramophone

“Leif Segerstam may have his own and sometimes very particular views of Sibelius’s music, yet he never loses sight of what serves the atmosphere of the various pieces.” – Pizzicato ★★★★★

Album 2
Belshazzar’s Feast, JS48 • Overture in E major, JS145 • Scène de Ballet, JS163
The Language of the Birds: Wedding March, JS62 • Cortège, JS54
Menuetto, JS127 • Processional, Op. 113, No. 6

“The performance and sound on this disc are outstanding, done in Turku’s Concert Hall in January 2014.” – Audiophile Audition ★★★★★

“Segerstam plays all of the music with evident care and invests it with plenty of character.” – ClassicsToday.com

Album 3
Pelléas et Mélisande, JS147 • Musik zu einer Szene • Valse lyrique, Op. 96a
Autrefois – Scène pastorale, Op. 96b • Valse chevaleresque, Op. 96c
Morceau romantique sur un motif de Monsieur Jakob von Julin, JS 135/a

“Clean, idiomatic performances that cover a side of the composer substantially lighter than that shown by his weighty symphonies.” – AllMusic.com ★★★★

“The Turku Philharmonic plays extremely well for a provincial Finnish orchestra, and Naxos’s sound is admirably lifelike.” – Fanfare

Album 4
Jedermann (Jokamies), Op. 83 • Two Serious Melodies, Op. 77
In memoriam, Op. 59

“The valuable Naxos series devoted to Jean Sibelius’ lesser-known theater music and orchestral pieces reaches a high-water mark with this fine performance.”
Chicago Tribune (The Best Classical Recordings of 2015)

“Under the baton of conductor Leif Segerstam, the players of the Turku Philharmonic manage to animate a lifeless score with the vitality of their performance.” – Scene Magazine

Album 5
Svanevit (Swanwhite), JS189 • Ödlan (The Lizard), Op. 8
Ett ensamt skidspår (A Lonely Ski Trail), JS77b
Grevinnans konterfej (The Countess’ Portrait), JS88

“Atmospheric performances of two lesser-known pieces of incidental music by Jean Sibelius take profit from Leif Segerstam’s inspired conducting and the Turku Philharmonic’s gorgeous playing.” – Pizzicato ★★★★

“Segerstam conducts with the measured, grave pace and detail that characterises the rest of this series, enhanced by the Turku players.”
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★

Album 6
Scaramouche, Op. 71

“The playing is responsive to these slowish tempi chosen by Leif Segerstam and the whole enterprise is further affirmation of Naxos’s desire to bring forth ambitious full scores of Sibelius’s often magical music for the theatre in this well-crafted series from Turku.” – Musical Opinion ★★★★★

“Leif Segerstam (a dedicated Sibelian) and the Turku Philharmonic are poised and lively advocates for this fascinating off-shoot of Sibelius’s capabilities… The recording is beautifully clear and airy.” – ClassicalSource.com ★★★★

SIBELIUS, J.: Kuolema / King Kristian II / Overture in A Minor
SIBELIUS, J.: Belshazzar's Feast / Overture in E Major / Scène de ballet / Cortège / Menuetto
SIBELIUS, J.: Pelleas and Melisande / Musik zu einer Szene / Autrefois / Valse Chevaleresque
SIBELIUS, J.: Jokamies (Jedermann) / 2 Pieces, Op. 77 / In Memoriam
SIBELIUS, J.: Swanwhite / The Lizard / A Lonely Ski Trail / The Countess's Portrait
SIBELIUS, J.: Scaramouche [Ballet]