I was heavily into the "Karajan-cult" in the late 1960s/70s,and have only just starting searching out his recordings again. I know many devotees of classical music find the BPO sound under Karajan's control to be too seamless. But here we have a superb set of recordings. Karajan's credentials as an interpreter of Sibelius's music were first-rate. Listen to these and realise why. The 4th receives a strong, at times magical, touch. This performance of the 5th is the best I have heard, possesssing an indefinable 'something' which lifts it above other, more pedestrian, recordings I have. The 'Swan-Hymn' is wonderfully conveyed, and the end of the last movement becomes one of the most life-affirming pieces of music in the canon. Those who typify Karajan as a 'cold' conductor need to experience this overwhelming climax to a great symphony. The same holds true with the 6th; the whole is beautifully conceived, and the 4th movement, in particular, is almost unbearably emotional, especially the last few bars.(One of Sibelius's marks of greatness, I feel, was his genius for finding fresh solutions and responses to the symphonic form.) The 6th is often overlooked; this recording helps establish it as one of the gems in Sibelius's ouevre. The 7th feels a little restrained compared to the other performances in this double-disc set, but nonetheless here receives a strong, satisfying interpretation. Rounded off with Tapiola and The Swan of Tuonela, this set is such a bargain...and what a feast of music lies within. Highly recommended.