As the present principal conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Sakari Oramo has chosen works by Edward Elgar, a composer whose music he has been a fervent advocate of since his tenure at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Oramo’s commitment to Elgar has been rewarded with a medal of honour from the British Elgar Society.
Marking their latest collaboration with their conductor laureate Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Philharmonia return to disc with a stellar live-performance of Rachmaninov’s ebullient Symphony No.2 in E Minor. This is the second release in a new series of Rachmaninov’s symphonies, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy in live performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra. The first release of Symphony No. 1 (SIGCD484) was met by critical acclaim.
In October 2016, to bring his acclaimed Mendelssohn symphonies cycle to a rousing conclusion, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the London Symphony Orchestra – accompanied by Lucy Crowe, Jurgita Adamonytė, Michael Spyres and the Monteverdi Choir – gave two performances of the composer’s symphony-cantata, ‘Lobgesang’. Also known as ‘Hymn of Praise’, it sits slightly uneasily with Mendelssohn’s four other symphonies, with its extended last movement involving soloists and chorus. However, the idea was not without precedent – the work has its roots in both Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (‘Choral’), and Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette.
This is one of the mere handful of great recordings of the Sibelius violin concerto. Not that there aren't many contestants in the field; in fact, it seems that almost every modern violin virtuoso wants to record the Sibelius, and perhaps this isn't surprising, since it's one of the Big Five (along with the Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Tchaikovsky) major violin concertos.