Jean Sibelius: Luonnotar, Tapiola, Pelleas och Melisande, etc.

An absolutely unmissable disc!

“… Edward Gardner’s Bergen Philharmonic Tapiola is excellent: expansive and atmospheric … Gardener does bring out the harmonic boldness and sheer strangeness of the work… Luonnotar is wonderfully sung here by Lise Davidsen, her stratospheric soft high notes immaculate. Follow with the text, and you’ll shiver at her “Oh Ukko, supreme god!/Come hither, hear my call,” over Sibelius’s rocking accompaniment. As in Tapiola, Gardner and his players know exactly when to let rip. If you don’t know either piece well, start here. There’s plenty more. It’s good to hear the full Pelléas och Mélisande suite … Spectacular Chandos sound is another bonus …” Graham Rickson – – 11 September 2021
“…An absolutely unmissable disc.”
Barry Forshaw – – 12 December 2021

“… Gardner is one of the most perceptive interpreters of Sibelius of his or any generation. Each work receives an interpretation that ranks among the best available… Here [Luonnotar] the soloist is the up-and-coming Norwegian soprano, Lise Davidsen, who is in resplendent voice, achieving both strength of toe and an awesome range of power. Gardner guides his players through some gear changes that seem natural and inevitable. Tapiola grips our attention from the very first bar and Gardner’s attention to the strangeness of both the sound and form … is unrelenting. This is a superb performance… The playing throughout is authentic in sound and style; Gardner chooses tempi that suit the individual personality of each work…” *****

Edward Clark – Musical Opinion Quarterly – July/September 2021

“For Davidsen at full throttle, you’re better off listening to her tackling the challenging vocal line in Luonnotar, the big attraction in a superbly played Sibelius selection from Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic … it’s Luonnotar that makes this an essential purchase.”

Geoff Brown - The Times - 16 July 202