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Robert McColley
Fanfare, June 2003

"The Finnish conductor Petri Sakari and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra present here a feast of five superb tone poems on this typically generous and inexpensive Naxos disc. The performances are excellent, especially if one favors a muscular, dramatic approach to these scores. This is not to suggest anything coarse or roughshod-quite the opposite. The layout of each piece has obviously been scouted thoroughly, the alert players well rehearsed, and a game plan executed to bring out the quite distinctive impressions that each piece ought to convey...The verdict then: You cannot go wrong with this Naxos disc."

Robert Layton
BBC Music Magazine, April 2003

"These are very musicianly and unaffected readings, decently played and with a recording that has a lifelike, well-judged perspective, range and body."

Jeff Simon
The Buffalo News, February 2003

"There have been, by conservative estimate, hundreds of records and discs over the decades devoted to the great tone poems of Finnish master Jan Sibelius. What distinguishes this one are 1) an unusually full 70-minute program of them, including the lesser-known The Bard along with such well-known works as Pohjola's Daughter and En Saga; 2) a budget price; and 3) performances by the Icelanders that, for all their infrequently ragged ensembles, are about as sumptuously Nordic as they come."

Sound and Vision Magazine, February 2003

"This threshold to end-point selection of Sibelius's tone poems from the Icelanders under Petri Sakari can stand comparison with the very best. A primary recommendation for any collector lacking these marvelous works."

Kevin Sutton
MusicWeb International

"We have here a first-rate performance of these magnificent scores. The Iceland Symphony Orchestra is truly world class, and conductor Petri Sakari leads thrilling performances. This is an orchestra with as wide a palette of musical hues as any fine painter­Ýs. Their string tone is lush and rich, winds are clear and articulate, brasses are vibrant and powerful without ever overwhelming the overall texture of the music.

Every note of these performances is a thrill and an adventure. Naxos have produced yet another fine feat of engineering, with balances near perfection and rise and fall of the dynamic range right on the money. Keith Anderson­Ýs program notes are superb. Without fail, add this fine disc to your collection."

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