The Finnish maestro discusses the joys of Sibelius’s symphonies and thoughts on his second cycle.
Your previous series of the Sibelius Symphonies with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra was greatly praised. What inspired you to re-record the works?
The request came from BIS, and I didn’t realize how many years ago those Lahti recording were completed. Time flies and I am not the same person as I was during my years in Lahti, so hopefully my musical ideas have been growing as well.
Are there any particular qualities that your Minnesota recordings bring out that were fresh revelations for you?
The Minnesota Orchestra has had a great history since 1903 with many top conductors and recordings too, so it was a very interesting chance for me to start working with such a glorious orchestra.
Every Sibelius symphony seems to have something very different to say. The final volume here covers Nos 3, 6 and 7. What are their essential qualities from your perspective?
These three symphonies are all very demanding to work with, in some ways more than the others. The hardest issues are all of the tempo changes of the last movement of the 3rd, the very long...