Alpha begins a complete cycle of the symphonies by Sibelius alongside some of his symphonic poems with Gothenburg Symphony and its new chief conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali.

In the great tradition of Finnish conductors, Santtu-Matias Rouvali is known for his extremely physical and organic interpretations: ‘Music unmistakeably flows from him,’ commented The Sunday Times.  This was evident when, at a very young age, he stepped in to conduct a concert with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra which began the journey to his first tenure as Chief Conductor with the Tampere Philharmonic; a meteoric rise to a career working at the highest musical level internationally; and a third post as Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. 

When Bachtrack asked him how he shapes the orchestral sound, he replied: ‘I sing it, I move my hands the way I want it (…) the conductor should be able to show tempo somewhere in the body (…) I was also a drum kit player, so my feet and hands can do different things at the same time. When you read the score, you sing it in your head (…) I think it’s the sense of inside groove that you get from playing percussion which is very important in Sibelius’s music .’

In the Gothenburg Symphony he finds a prestigious cohort of musicians with an impressive discography, and joins a line of their illustrious musical directors, notably Neeme Järvi, the orchestra’s principal conductor from 1982 to 2004, but also Gustavo Dudamel, who is honorary conductor. From season 2019-2020 Barbara Hannigan and Christoph Eschenbach have been nominated first guest conductors.

Preis der Deutschen Schallplatten Kritik award ffff Télérama award GRAMOPHONE Editor's Choice award Le choix de France Musique award Choc Classica award Diapason Découverte award

"This is a terrific disc."
Gramophone
"Rouvali’s inspired baton triggers unrelenting storms, white-hot or icy blasts of air, breathless expectations... giving the Sibelian fresco a rarely heard sense of urgency and tragic intensity."
Le Monde
"Santtu-Matias Rouvali and his famous musicians have made a strong statement at the beginning of their complete Sibelius recording: Sibelius under high tension, fine-nerved, electrifying. Can I have some more, please!"
BR Klassik