This is truly a top-notch collection of the complete symphonies of Jean Sibelius out there....Jarvi, long-steeped in this music, certainly is one of the TWO best interpreters of these works. The other, of course, is Osmo Vanska, that set, also highly recommended Sibelius: The Complete Symphonies.
Neeme Jarvi knows these works inside-out, and together with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra present truly in-depth performances of these Scandanavian monolithic works. DG gives us great demonstration quality sound, strings with a beautiful sheen, and brass with true bite, paced majestically by the inimitable Jarvi, one of the finest conductors/interpreters to come our way.
I honestly find no weak links here to speak of, but wish for a less introspective Fourth that carries more involvement, more bite if you will. This is not a complaint, really, as the work still holds together.
The other works, filling up the discs, are all first rate, and I must say that I am most pleased to have here included the wonderful "Nightride and Sunrise" op. 55, not usually a presented work, and truly worthy of disc space and certainly your time!
What could I wish for? Well, I wish I had realized that this set was also available in SACD format before ordering it, for only a very few dollars more! What a bargain this set is in SACD...I would urge you to go for that one for the small price difference.
The complaint(s) about no documentation are truly minimalistic here, I believe. These recordings are all first-rate, they are presented at a bargain price, etc., and while I usually do complain about no documentation, in this case, DG is forgiven because of what they are giving us at such a great price. Listen, folks, if you need more information regarding these works and Sibelius, it is easily and readily available on line...take this bargain, and spend a little time looking up what you need to know!
This set is exemplary....you're in for a real treat, believe me!