Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39 by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), conducted by Leonard Bernstein. With the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded at Vienna's Musikvereinssaal. In the words of a leading Austrian daily, Bernstein "painted a canvas of late-romantic splendor with the Philharmonic's sound - the incomparable brilliancy of the strings, the glowing intensity of the brass - in a way that only the greatest conductors can." Jean Sibelius was 34 years old when he undertook the composition of his First Symphony, which was actually his second: in 1892 he had written "Kullervo" for solo voices, male chorus and orchestra, but was dissatisfied with it and forbade its performance during his lifetime. In his Symphony No. 1, there are already flashes of his later style in the impetuous rhythms, romantic outbursts and abrupt changes of tone. The conductor led the premiere in Helsinki on 26 April 1899.


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Associated Collections

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Wiener Musikverein

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Myth of the Maestro

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Symphonic Beginnings

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Northern Composers

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Jean Sibelius