Both conductors on this CD knew Sibelius and their interpretations (in each case the earliest recordings) are considered by many still to be definitive. Kajanus was engaged by The Gramophone Company (HMV) to produce their Sibelius Society sets; however after his death Schneevoigt was brought in to conduct the magnificent Sixth in 1934. The "Finnish National Orchestra" was not a regular ensemble but appears to have consisted of the Helsinki Philharmonic augmented by members of the Finnish Radio Orchestra.
“I cannot recommend this CD too highly. Few accounts of the fifth symphony are more dramatic…"
“...the performances [were] endorsed by Sibelius. Thus the recordings are considered by many as being definitive. This issue is of astonishingly high quality, with all trace of surface noise removed… This disc is of genuine historical importance. A fascinating release.”
“...these are important documents… Kajanus’s interpretation of the Fifth Symphony is an outstanding aceivement. The remastering is excellent”
"...extremely well scrubbed-up recordings... merits high praise. Highly listenable recordings. [the performances of the symphonies ] are unsentimental yet generate plenty of atmosphere... conspiratorial and sweetly pressured tension. Kajanus’s Tapiola is even more impressive"