Previous releases in this series have consisted of Sibelius’s youth production from the years 1885-1889. Volumes 1 and 2 were both received with great interest by the critics. They were awarded 5 star reviews in BBC Music Magazine, while The Gramophone described the interpretations as 'committed readings that admirably capture the youthful appeal of this music.'
With the present disc we are crossing the threshold to Sibelius's career as a composer. Some of the works will be familiar to the general public, although maybe not in this form: the programme includes Sibelius’s own transcriptions from the Karelia Suite and The Wood-Nymph. But no less than 11 of the pieces are world première recordings, and several – including Marche Triste – have only come to light after the cataloguing of a donation of manuscripts to Helsinki University.
Folke Gräsbeck is an expert on the piano music and chamber works by Sibelius, and as such well represented in the BIS catalogue. In his exhaustive liner notes he places the present works within the context of Sibelius’s entire production during the years 1891-1903. Highly enjoyable in its own right, this programme provides invaluable insights to the Finnish master’s creative genius.