Violinist Akiko Suwanai and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy bring their virtuosity and emotional intelligence to the most musically satisfying and deeply-felt of all violin concertos. While Finland is a subtle presence in the concerto, the earlierKareliaSuite evokes the rough-hewn folk-life of the Karelia region, then under Russian control.
The same love of country motivates Sibelius’ Symphony No.1. From its haunted beginning to a blazing conclusion, this is a young man’s symphony: fired with anger and hope. It is a premonition of how Sibelius would forever change the symphony, and of his role as the symbol of Finnish independence.