Leevi Madetoja's symphonies have been relatively well served on disc, but even if you have the Chandos ones you might very well want to consider this on as well, given the modest asking price (I haven't heard Volmer's account on Alba). Like most of his contemporaries, Madetoja never really escaped the long shadow of Sibelius, even if he stylistically tried rather hard - the second symphony, for instance, is `officially' more inspired by Tchaikovsky, but obviously breathes the same air as his older compatriot, with the same kind of chilly landscape painting and ebb and flow that Sibelius's symphonies are full of. It isn't without personal touches, however, and it is certainly superbly crafted and skillfully scored.
The recordings are reissues from the Finlandia catalogue and do to a certain extent show their age (1978 and 1985), but the symphony is still more atmospheric and evocative in this performance than in any alternative I've heard. The opening is enchantingly atmospheric, warm and lush and leading into a pretty remarkable first theme which is subsequently treated with care and imagination. The Tampere PO under Rautio seem to have a perfect grasp of the music's moves and manage to let it breathe without losing the forward momentum. Apart from the first movement the much darker and threatening finale is probably the strongest, but inspiration seems never to fail Madetoja in the symphony, with many evocative touches, strong themes and masterly execution throughout.
The Comedy Overture is classically elegant in construction and melody without being strikingly memorable. The performances are lithe and blithe but do perhaps lack some energy here. The relatively early Kullervo is more overtly Sibelian but not really worse for that; effective and exciting and performed with flair. Overall, this is an eminently recommendable disc and probably the one I would recommend to newcomers to the composer.