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This CD features German star violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann as soloist in the virtuoso Sibelius Violin Concerto. The work remains one of the most popular late Romantic concertos in the catalogue.
Frank Peter Zimmermann’s hallmark on this recording is his electrifying approach to the dazzling finale; few performers reach Sibelius’s demanding tempo recommendation for this movement, which critics have described as an ‘invocation’ filled with ‘demonic passion’.
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under chief conductor John Storgårds also perform two powerful rarities by the same composer, the symphonic poems The Bard and The Wood Nymph.
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra has unique credentials in performing Sibelius’s music, having premiered these tone poems a century ago, conducted by Sibelius himself.
Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47
I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagio di molto
III. Allegro ma non tanto
Jean Sibelius: Barden (The Bard), Op. 64
Barden (The Bard), Op. 64
Jean Sibelius: The Wood Nymph, Op. 15
The Wood Nymph, Op. 15
17th September 2010
“Frank Peter Zimmermann matches intensity with passionate virtuosity in this performance of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, the Helsinki Philharmonic providing a backcloth of impressive detail, strength and incisiveness.”
“Zimmermann...commits to the music with a controlled emotion, delivering a certain coolness to the first movement which moderates slightly as the passion intensifies for the second...The orchestral playing is incisive, rich and powerful especially in the two tone poems”
“With his gorgeously ripe tone, easy swagger and intoxicating range of colour, Zimmermann is every inch the master. Storgårds, too, conducts with alert udnerstanding: those punchy tuttis in the first movement where Sibelius lets the orchestra off the leash are handled with watchful authority.”
“If there's a star on this disc it's Anni Kuusimäki, the harpist in the brief but weirdly touching tone-poem The Bard...Zimmermann is determined to peel off the mould of tradition and open up the work afresh...and accordingly gives us an urgent, powerfully driven view of this [first] movement.”