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This eagerly awaited recording is the second in Thomas Søndergård’s Sibelius series with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Their recording debut, Symphonies 2 & 7, revealed Søndergård to have a profound understanding of the great Finnish composer. Sibelius has been a major feature of Søndergård’s relationship with the BBC NOW since their debut eight years ago; their widely acclaimed Proms performance of the symphonies was a highlight. Symphony No. 1 combines the best of Russian romantic orchestration and melodic magic with a distinctive Nordic character and wonderful contrasts of texture and colour. In the Sixth, Søndergård’s detailed reading highlights the many felicitous touches in Sibelius’ writing and conjures heavenly tones from the strings in the closing bars. This recording will cement their partnership as one of the great new Sibelius teams.

Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård is Principal Conductor of BBC NOW and Principal Guest Conductor of Royal Scottish National Orchestra; a rare honour to hold titled positions with two major British orchestras. In recent years he has made successful debuts with the Gothenburg, Atlanta, Brussels, Oslo and Luxembourg Philharmonic and the Seattle and Houston and Symphony Orchestras. Søndergård is also an experienced opera conductor and has appeared at the Royal Danish and Royal Swedish Operas and the Stuttgart Staatsoper. The BBC NOW presents an annual season at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, where it is Orchestra-in-Residence, as well as concerts in venues across Wales; including annual performances at the BBC Proms and biannually at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.

Supersonic PIZZICATO award

"[The] Danish conductor confirms his ability to dig deep into Sibelius with a passionate pairing of the First and Sixth symphonies."
The Guardian
"I can only welcome, with fast-beating heart, one of the great new Sibelian teams into the record business..."
The Herald
"A fantastic recording...one of the best of this piece I've ever come across."
Opera Lounge
"...an important voice of Sibelius..."
HiFi+
"...this is a Sibelian for with a keen ear for texture and balance."
BBC Radio 3 ‘Record Review
"...very dean-cut, finely detailed playing, reflected in a vividly immediate recording...there's plenty to enjoy here..."
BBC Music Magazine
"...this pairing of Sibelius’s First and Sixth symphonies stands out well in an overcrowded market."
The Observer
"Overall, this is a pretty successful pairing of two very different Sibelius symphonies. Throughout the disc the playing of the BBCNOW is excellent."
MusicWeb International, 15 September 2017
"Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård gives us illuminating performances in what is shaping up as an outstanding Sibelius cycle."
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, 25 July 2017
"Album of the Week: His attention to detail, the atmospheres of the pieces have all been beautifully crafted."
BBC Radio Scotland 'Classics Unwrapped', 23 July 2017
"4* - Arresting touches, sparky incident and ear-pricking details are legion."
Classical Ear, 10 July 2017
"...they strike a balance between external reserve and the deeply human heart of these symphonies."
CPR, 1 July 2017
"5* - ...revealed Søndergård to have a profound understanding of the great Finnish composer."
WFMT (Chicago), 7 June 2017