Sibelius, Jean, Sibelius: Symphonies No. 1 & 4 [Osmo Vänskä, Minnesota Orchestra] [BIS: BIS1996],
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Symphonies Nos. 1
are poles apart in their musical style and make a highly interesting pairing for this new release. Symphony No. 1
is rooted in the symphonic tradition and has a particular tunefulness reminiscent of Tchaikovsky, whereas Symphony No. 4
is highly original and introverted, often being seen as modern and 'cubist' by listeners in the 1890s.
The Minnesota Orchestra
and its music director Osmo Vänskä
were highly praised for their previous release of Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5 (BISSACD1986), being called 'a fine start to what may be the benchmark cycle for the 21st century' by Gramophone, and nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance.
Vänskä has really enhanced the quality of the Minnesota Orchestra since he took the position of musical director in 2003. He has since had his tenure extended many times and continues to carve an international reputation for the ensemble.