"I have long intended to write to you but there have been so many demands on my time that I have scarcely had a minute to myself ... Do you not think that it would be an excellent idea if you came to America? In view of the great sympathy that is felt for you here, you would be received with the greatest delight."
- Koussevitzky, letter to Sibelius, 1928
This week we bring you Serge Koussevitzky, conducting one of the composers with whom he has become most closely associated, Sibelius. The recordings here date from concerts given in 1945 and 1946 - the First, Second, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, plus the Valse Triste and The Swan of Tuonela - as well as a performance of Finlandia given in 1948 to mark the composer's 80th birthday, an occasion prefaced by the reading of a cable sent by Sibelius to Koussevitzky thanking him and the American people for their support of his music.
To this day there have been few finer exponents of Sibelius's orchestral music than Koussevitzky, and with his Boston Symphony Orchestra he never disappoints. This really is an excellent release!