Notes & Reviews:
Philips Classics. 2004.
The perspectives are close, but thrillingly so, revealing every iota of color and textural interest. Just listen to the detail that Davis conjures in the big central development of Pohjola's Daughter, solo winds and harp especially, or to the menacing brass crescendos in En Saga (with the bass drum effectively but naturally in balance). These are magnificent performances all, the conductor and players totally inside the composer's special idiom. Even the relaxed but buoyant Karelia Suite has a very special "fairy tale" atmosphere that's entirely appropriate, full of freshness and innocent fun. In short, what you have here are Sibelius' three greatest tone poems (En Saga, Pohjola's Daughter, and Tapiola) in outstanding interpretations and great sound, along with two popular favorites done every bit as well. Need I say more.