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Jens F. Laurson, April 2018

What a terrifyingly dark, threatening Finlandia! The Bavarian orchestra takes an animalistic brassy bite out of the music and reveals an interpretation stamped with personality. It is rare goose-bump stuff—much like Jansons shows in Shostakovich always. The Karelia Suite, plangent rather than exuberant, detailed and deliberate, more powerful than dancing, is fascinating, too.

The Second Symphony, finally, is sympathetic and finely chiseled with a touch of conventionality that concurs with the nature of the composition. …Jansons isn’t as fitful and dark as Barbirolli with the Royal Philharmonic, nor as sumptuous as Segerstam in Helsinki and not quite as lively and brook-of-glacial-water-like as Berglund with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, but he manages to be just hands-off enough to allow for that essential flow and he is aided by the terrific playing: The timpani-and-walking-bass opening of the second movement, for example, is stunning in its clarity and vividness, despite being a live recording. © 2018 Read complete review

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, November 2016

Each new Jansons release with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra strengthens my conviction that the orchestra is not only one of Germany’s finest ensembles but one of the best on the European continent…

I was not surprised, therefore, to find this an exceptionally well-played Sibelius Second, with deep, lustrous cellos and basses; creamy and, where called for, brilliant violins; powerful brass and percussion; and highly responsive woodwinds. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, August 2016

Mariss Jansons, chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks) leads that famed ensemble in stirring performances of three favorite works by Jean Sibelius. With the big, robust sound he draws from the orchestra, particularly the dark-sounding cellos and basses and the double-sized percussion battery, the first thing you will notice is the very full sound of this performance and recording. It may, in fact, sound like an exercise in the Art of Coarse Conducting until you take a closer look at the details, and then you realize how seamless, and how passionate, Jansons’ vision of Sibelius really is. © 2016 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review

Review Corner, July 2016

…conductor Mariss Jansons leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for impact rather than subtlety, which is easier to achieve in the studio than live. …the live performance giving the music life. © 2016 Review Corner Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, July 2016

The second to me is Sibelius’ first really original, his first great symphony. [It] gives us the blossoming of that incredibly lyrical melodicism and beautifully orchestrated way, plus that rather difficult-to-put-in-words “x” factor that marks him as special.

Mariss Janssons gives us perhaps a more Beethovenesque, more robust version…and I’ll admit I had to listen several times before I got used to it. But the wonderful audio quality and the sparkling performance of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in the end won the day for me. © 2016 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, July 2016

Splendidly controlled and executed with impeccable shape and momentum in the inspiring Finlandia and Karelia Suite, Jansons’s readings draw playing of an elevated quality from the assured Bavarian players. I love the way Jansons unites the orchestra sections to reveal a compelling and stirring outpouring of what can easily be acknowledged as Finnish nationalistic fervour. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, June 2016

Mariss Jansons’s Sibelius performances are dramatic and benefit from the terrific playing by the Bavarian Radio Symphony. © 2016 Pizzicato

Hank Zauderer
My Classical Notes, June 2016

The Symphony No. 2, op 43, the best-known and most popular of the composer’s seven completed symphonies, premiered in 1902. With this work Sibelius moved from being a national Finnish composer to becoming an international one. © 2016 My Classical Notes Read complete review

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