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Sibelius' Karelia Suite and Grieg's Peer Gynt: BBC Proms 10th August 2017

Although Sibelius’ Karelia Suite may not be his most technical composition, it is certainly one of the late Finnish composer’s most authentic and, therefore, publically beloved. With an underlying air of patriotism and conquest, the suite’s triumphant orchestration came to define the young composer as a prodigy of his time.

So it’s not surprising that, in a similar yet more affirmative comparison to Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, ‘you couldn’t hear a single note of the music’ as ‘everyone was up on their feet cheering and clapping’ when the piece débuted at Helsinki’s Imperial Alexander University.

Much the same can be said for last night’s recital at the Albert Hall as part of the BBC’s 2017 Prom series. With the auditorium suspended in perfect silence, it was only the last stroke of John Storgård’s baton that managed to slice through the tension and send the crowd into a rapture of praise and applause.

Following this was an astounding performance of Edvard Grieg’s renowned incidental music, Peer Gynt. Composed in 1875, the piece still holds the same prevalence today with its most famous movement, In the Hall of the Mountain King, being regularly referenced in popular culture.

In celebration of these masterpieces, Collins Classics is proud to present our historic recordings of Karelia Suite and Peer Gynt. Both products are available to be streamed or downloaded across all digital platforms now.

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