Minnesota Orchestra's first album in Sibelius Symphonies cycle to be released January 13

Music Director Osmo Vänskä conducts Sibelius’ Second and Fifth Symphonies;
Album available January 13 in stores and at minnesotaorchestra.org

The Swedish label BIS Records is set to release the first recording of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sibelius symphonies series, featuring the Finnish composer’s stirring Second and Fifth Symphonies. Conducting the recording is Music Director Osmo Vänskä, whose Sibelius interpretations have earned international acclaim. The disc, the newest chapter of the highly-praised collaboration between BIS , Mr. Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra, is available starting January 13 through the Orchestra’s website, minnesotaorchestra.org. It will also be available in stores and as a download on major online music sites.

Mr. Vänskä and the Orchestra recorded the two symphonies at Minneapolis ’ Orchestra Hall in sessions during June 2011. The BIS team, led by producer Rob Suff, recorded the album as a Super Audio CD (SACD), using surround sound recording technology to reproduce the sound of the concert hall as faithfully as possible. BIS Hybrid SACDs are playable on all standard CD players.
Mr. Vänskä and the Orchestra have received high praise for their prior recording projects together, including a five-disc Beethoven symphony cycle with BIS that The New York Times wrote “may be the definitive [cycle] of our time”; the recordings earned honors including a Grammy nomination for the Ninth Symphony CD and a Classic FM Gramophone Award nomination for the disc of the Second and Seventh. The Orchestra is now recording the complete Beethoven piano concertos with soloist Yevgeny Sudbin, a series in which the first disc was released by BIS in December 2010.

The Orchestra will continue the Sibelius symphonies cycle in May and June 2012, when it will record the First and Fourth Symphonies in the final recording sessions at Orchestra Hall before the venue’s one-year closure for a major renovation. The complete cycle of the seven Sibelius symphonies will be recorded by 2015, coinciding with the sesquicentennial of the composer’s birth.

The Minnesota Orchestra, founded as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, issued its first recording in 1924 and has since recorded more than 450 works.

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