BachTrack’s Thomas May weighs in on Thomas and the Seattle Symphony’s acclaimed Luminous Landscapes Sibelius festival. In his 4 Star review he writes,

“The brass snarls beginning Finlandia sounded the opening salvo of an approach determined to give voice to the full spectrum of Sibelian affects, including his capacity to shock and terrify. Dausgaard underscored moments of surging momentum, and he seemed to signal a particular interest in tracing the stations of Sibelius’ evolution throughout the arc of the three concerts: thus there was no embarrassment in the bombastic scoring of the middle section, only the fiery ardour of youthful inspiration.”

“Here and throughout the program, the players responded keenly to Dausgaard’s deeply engaged conducting (he led without score)… the conductor had clearly persuaded the players of his vision. One unmissable signature is a fondness for the theatricality of Sibelius’ sudden juxtapositions. In the “Quasi una fantasia” finale of the First, Dausgaard pointed up contrasts, but kept them from sounding like non-sequiturs. He also accentuated the rhythmic drive of the music, whether in larger architectonic sections or in the rambunctious seven-note Scherzo theme pounded out by the timpani (played by the aptly named Matt Drumm).”