Have read some off putting reviews about some of this cycle especially of this particular pairing blaming the quirky views of the conductor. I found this disc to be subtly different to others in my collection (avid Sibelius fan) but just as viable as interpretations and certainly more exciting than most others. Segerstam knows what he is doing and of course the Helsinki PO have this music in their blood. Sibelius wrote a great deal of important timpani parts within his symphonies not just as general support but in their own right. If he took the trouble to write them surely we have a right to hear them. In several recordings of the second symphony in particular I have listened in vain to hear the timpani where I know they should be. They have either been lost through orchestral balance issues or just inadequate recording procedures but here they are heard in full splendour ~ not in an obtrusive way but there where they belong. The recording as you can imagine is spot on. If you know the fabulous Vanska/ Lahti recordings these Segerstam recordings make admirable foils.