The Norwegian pianist Håvard Gimse here includes two important sets of the piano pieces, Opp. 34 and 40, and the 6 Finnish Folk Songs, fifth of which, Fratricide, is slightly Bartókian. Sibelius’s contemporary and countryman Selim Palmgren put it perfectly when he wrote that ‘even in what for him were alien regions, [Sibelius] moves with an unfailing responsiveness to tone colour’, and Gimse brings finesse and distinction to this repertoire. This and the companion disc are first recommendations.
"This release offers Kyllikki and two important sets of the piano pieces, Opp. 34 & 40, as well as the Six Finnish Folk Songs, the fifth of which, 'Fratricide', is slightly Bartokian. As in his earlier disc, the Norwegian pianist Havaard Gimse brings imagination and finesse to this repertoire, and throughout his playing is touched by distinction."