And the next Sibelius cycle is coming from …

And the next Sibelius cycle is coming from …


norman lebrecht

December 14, 2018

Santtu-Matias Rouvali will start 2019 with a recording of Sibelius Symphony No.1 and En Saga with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the first of a projected Sibelius cycle for Alpha Classics.

They will be playing the Berlin Philharmonie in February.

Rouvali is 32. There’s a new generation coming on.




  • RW2013 says:

    circus act conductor.

    • MSC says:

      Certainly he’s a bit flamboyant, but no worse than half a dozen other established conductors I could name. To judge from the GSO site and concerts carried by the BBC, he seems to produce pretty good results.
      But we definitely don’t need another Sibelius cycle (unless, of course, it turns out brilliantly). If a Finnish conductor with a Swedish orchestra has to record Scandinavian or Finnish music, there are so many undeservedly neglected masters. We need a lot more Merikanto, Madetoja, and Klami, to stick with the Finns….

  • The View from America says:

    … undoubtedly with fresh new musical insights we’ve never heard from the dozen+ other Sibelius symphony cycles recorded over the years.

    • Rgiarola says:

      Will it? Hope so, but with the never so huge hype around any younger newcomer that after some years showed to be nothing besides hype, I can understand the never so huger skepticism around.
      At the least Gothemburg knows this music by heart, it will be difficult to make to much mess even in worst case.

  • Paul Carlile says:

    I’m not too hopeful, having witnessed this “conductor’s” antics in a programme of Prokofiev, Sibelius & Rach (“Bells”); where only the professionalism of the Orchestra kept proceedings vaguely together. Admittedly it was in 2014, so one hopes progress may have been made, but i’ve rarely heard such disorganised confusion, lack of musical purpose and blithe disregard for fellow-musicians. I’m really surprised he’s still on the circuit, but…..image, youth, marketing…

    • RW2013 says:

      Nothing much has changed. These comments are from SD in 2017.
      “right hand – figure of eight (the horizontal type), left hand – early Parkinson’s, walks in circles around the podium (and fell off it the last time I saw him), keeps his rhythm by bending his knees,
      an optical distraction, and all of this, all the time, no matter what the dynamic or tempo.
      But it’s all about the young, exxxxciting energy, isn’t it?”

  • MacroV says:

    Yes, he bears some resemblance to the young Yahoo Serious, but I was really impressed with Rouvali (whom I’d never heard of before) and the Gothenberg SO when I heard them in Stockholm last March. No Sibelius on that program, but I’m sure they’ll do fine.

  • fflambeau says:

    At least it’s Sibelius and not another Beethoven cycle. It seems every NY Phil conductor seems compelled to start one (at least) of those, despite Beethoven being recorded by just about everyone. Much of this, of course, is also on the recording “industry” because they need profits and once they see what Osmo and others have achieved they want to copy cat. It also happens in movies with sequels.