Musical America’s Thomas May offers an insightful, in-depth review of the Seattle Symphony and Thomas Dausgaard’s Sibelius Festival closing programme, featuring the composer’s 5th, 6th and 7th symphonies.

May writes, “With a program all to themselves, these final three symphonies resembled an enormous triptych in sound more than a linear sequence of evolving refinement… Consistently striving for textural clarity, Dausgaard guided us along in that effort by focusing attention on Sibelian thumbprints: the pairings of woodwinds taking flight, the quasi-sculptural use of brass and timpani that gives certain moments an impression of immense sonic depth, and most thrillingly of all, the manner of presenting musical ideas not as flat-out statements but as painstakingly prepared revelations.”

He continues:

“The final pages of the Fifth’s outer movements stood out as highlights, impelled forward with almost orgasmic excitement. That sense of energy is central to Dausgaard’s vision of Sibelius. Even the most foreboding passages of the Sixth Symphony, for example, were more like shifting weather patterns than occasions for rueful brooding.”

Click here to read the full review (login may be required)