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This CD release features the popular Symphonies Nos. 2 and 5 by Jean Sibelius as piano transcriptions, performed by Henri Sigfridsson on piano.
Ever since its triumphant premiere, the Second Symphony has been one of Sibelius’s most frequently performed works; of his symphonies, only the Fifth comes close in popularity. The works’ grandiose Romanticism is brought into sharp highlight in these transcriptions for piano solo.
Finnish pianist Henri Sigfridsson has used the Sibelius-sanctioned arrangement of the Fifth Symphony by Karl Ekman as a basis for his own adaptation of the Second Symphony. Following in the tradition of Liszt’s Beethoven transcriptions, these arrangements are faithful to the original yet exploit the potential of the piano in many ways.
Henri Sigfridsson has emerged as one of the major musical talents from Finland since he won, in 2005, the Beethoven International Piano Competition in Bonn. This is his first solo album for Ondine.
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43 (arr. H. Sigfridsson for piano)
II. Tempo andante, ma rubato
IV. Finale: Allegro moderato
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82 (arr. K. Ekman and H. Sigfridsson for piano)
I. Tempo molto moderato - Allegro moderato
II. Andante mosso, quasi allegretto
III. Allegro molto - Largamente assai
21st August 2011
“Not only Sibelius enthusiasts but any lover of piano music will be stimulated by these fascinating transcriptions, their Lisztian virtuosic demands prodigiously met by Sigfridsson...intense imagination is at work here. The combined first movement and scherzo of No 5 builds up a shattering power — it is like a gigantic single thought. No 2 is ravishing.”