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Offered a grant in 1930 to broaden international interest in Finnish music through recordings made in London, Jean Sibelius did not hesitate in his choice of a conductor, writing that “there are none who have gone deeper and given [my symphonies] more feeling and beauty than Robert Kajanus”. These thrilling recordings remain a critical reference today, with Kajanus seen as “Sibelius’s most eloquent and perceptive champion… listening to the Second Symphony one senses the extraordinary feeling Kajanus had for the organic nature of Sibelius’s symphonic thought” (The Gramophone). Including the exotic and enticing Belshazzar’s Feast and patriotic Karelia suites, this is the second of three volumes containing Robert Kajanus’s complete Sibelius recordings.
Mark Obert-Thorn, producer and audio restoration engineer
Jean Sibelius: Belshazzar's Feast Suite, Op. 51
I. Oriental Procession
IV. Khadra's Dance
Jean Sibelius: Karelia Suite, Op. 11
I. Intermezzo: Moderato
III. Alla marcia: Moderato
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43
II. Tempo andante, ma rubato
IV. Finale: Allegro moderato
“Real magic, from Sibelius's friend and rival Kajanus in well-transferred 1930s mono sound. The performances are fast, perhaps to fit 78rpm discs, yet rich and spirited.”
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