"An electrifying triumph"

"A milestone in modern Sibelius interpretation", "an incredible cycle", "an electrifying triumph." These are some of the descriptions of the Oslo Philharmonic and Klaus Mäkelä's new Sibelius album. Read from the reviews here!

Klaus Mäkelä. chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic.

Photo Marco Borggreve

Many reviews have been published of the Oslo Philharmonic and Klaus Mäkelä's album with Sibelius symphonies since it was released from Decca Classics this spring.

Here are excerpts from and links to some of the reviews:

David Nice in BBC Music Magazine writes:

"Mäkelä's Sibelius is an electrifying triumph ... Most Finnish greats have recorded cycles of Sibelius symphonies at least once ... Who'd have predicted that this latest, from Klaus Mäkelä at the helm of the Oslo Philharmonic, one of the two orchestras who adore their principal conductor, would be the most electrifying and often revelatory of them all?"

Greg Keane in Limelight writes:

"New conductor takes his place in the Pantheon of Sibelius interpreters ... This set, in terms of conducting, playing and recording, is a milestone in modern Sibelius interpretation."

Emily McGregor in BBC Radio 3:

"This is an incredible cycle. lt's fiery and at times introspective and I think that where it really succeeds is in creating the sense that the landscape of all seven of Sibelius' symphonies is one unified terrain, across which Mäkelä is able to send different emotional psychological weather patterns - but he keeps the sense of one unified terra in at the heart of it ... An amazing debut ... very special indeed."

Edward Seckerson in Gramophone writes:

"So much of the musical energy of these symphonies stems from rhythm and articulation, from a propulsive sense of inevitability, and that’s something that Mäkelä has mastered to a fault. He also has a theatrical nose for atmosphere, which is apparent from the moment that desolate solo clarinet at the start of the First Symphony surveys the landscape that will become Sibelius’s enduring musical canvas."

Read more: Sibelius Complete Symphonies

Geoff Brown in The Times writes:

"Right from the start with the lonely clarinet's solo in Symphony No. 1, you feel the music's vivid emotions and colouring, soon complemented by singing strings and a body of brass powerful enough to be blasting out Wagner or Bruckner. By the end of this proudly nationalistic symphony, as with Mäkelä's reading of the Second, the more modernist Fourth, and the one-movement triumph of the Seventh, I sat back pretty much exhausted with joy."

Read more: Klaus Makela, the Finnish wunderkind conducts thrilling Sibelius

Listen to the album: Sibelius (Spotify)

Buy the album: Sibelius (4CD)