This is music that these Finnish musicians will have played countless times, yet under the baton of Susanna Mälkki, who became the orchestra’s chief conductor only last year, they brought a freshness and enlightenment – it’s one of those rare pieces that seems to invite new insight with every performance."


Matthew Rye

So continuous is its progression and musical development that Sibelius leaves no holes open for the unwary conductor, but the tempo relationships are crucial to make it all flow, and here Mälkki was in total control, revealing also how, despite changes of inner momentum and note length, the pulse remains remarkably stable from beginning to end. She took a more interventionist approach to textural detail than some conductors, an example being the way the violas held back on vibrato in their first main melody, with warmth and sheen being gradually added as the theme built up through the whole string section. And the horn whoop that introduces the string coda was given rare prominence, making the final arrival at the long withheld tonic note more inevitable than usual.