While there will undoubtedly be new recordings of his famous symphonies and violin concerto released this year, this celebration would best be used to discover his lesser-known works. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir has just released an album featuring the complete works for mixed choir by Sibelius. The compositions show a deft hand by the composer with subtle harmonies and engaging melodies.
Violinist Kathrin Ten Hagen is featured in a 2015 release of the almost completely unknown Suite for Violin and Strings in D minor, Op. 117. The work is one of Sibelius’s most light-hearted pieces and reveals many tendencies toward folk-like melodic lines.
Works for solo piano including transcriptions of Valse triste and Finlandia are included in a 2015 CD by pianist Cassandra Wyss. She also plays the six Impromptus, Op. 5 and the Romance Op. 24, No. 9.
Classical 90.5 will celebrate Sibelius’s birth anniversary all year with recordings of both the famous and little-heard compositions. In the meantime enjoy this performance of Op. 117 Suite by Jean Sibelius.