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A virtual primer of modern Finnish choral music, sweetened with a lovely version of Finlandia right at the close. Sibelius’s vocal music is still less valued than his great symphonies, but it reveals another side to his sometimes monolithic temperament, and this cue has been taken up by a number of his successors, including the internationalist Saariaho, who’s represented here by the stunning Nuits adieux, which brings a strong French sensibility to bear on an almost folkish Baltic sound. The SWR ensemble is always impeccably judged, delivering performances with weight and presence but also a great deal of individual detail.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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