I've got to admit, one of the main reasons I moved to Cincinnati (professional reasons aside), was to attend the Cincinnati Symphony under Paavo Jarvi's direction. Jarvi (like his father), is an impeccable musician, deeply sensitive to the finest nuances of a piece, yet always able to communicate its drama to even the most indifferent audience. I had the rare treat this weekend to watch him conduct Sibelius's Legends. Though you might have missed that performance, his unmistakable way with Sibelius is completely evident on this disc. I have three recordings of the 2nd, but I now consider this THE recording. The drama is unceasing, perfectly judged and full of the deepest commitment. From the unmistakable opening bars to the expanding, sublime climax, it was one of those rare times when you remember the first time you heard the piece...and remembered falling in love with it.
Tubin's 5th, which I had never heard before (though I do know his music), is similarly dramatic and spellbinding. Jarvi seems to have lived and experienced this music, and the CSO plays with tremendous understanding. I have never heard a disc that so accurately captured an orchestra's live performance, but this comes mighty close. I treasure this disc and look forward to hearing Jarvi's interpretation of both works in the future. If you don't live in Cincinnati, this disc is your best bet...and a powerful incentive to buy a plane ticket. Enjoy.