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.
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.
Jansons embraces Rachmaninoff’s riveting, turbulent Second Symphony in this sympathetic interpretation. Although written during the composer’s three-year stay in Germany, the symphony conjures the blustery winters and frenzied urban life of St. Petersburg, where it was premiered in 1908. Containing the charm and emotional depth of the composer’s finest large-scale movements, the “Allegro molto” sounds stunningly fresh, especially under the fingers of the exceptionally inspired, almost possessed, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The Adagio is ecstatically romantic, emblematic of Rachmaninoff’s profoundly saccharine style.
The Kammerakademie Potsdam and the conductor Antonello Manacorda have already been honoured with an ECHO Klassik as Ensemble of the Year for the recording of all Schubert symphonies.