Although Sibelius wrote around a hundred songs over a period of more than thirty years – mainly settings of Swedish texts, with eight in German and only a handful in Finnish – they have suffered comparative neglect alongside his larger-scale orchestral and choral music. The best of the songs are essentially nature pieces, dark-hued, vividly characterized, intensely melancholic and vocally demanding. Sibelius considered them to represent his “innermost self”.
"...Naxos has released a first volume of Sibelius’ songs, performed by tenor Hannu Jurmu and piano accompanist Jouni Somero. There are 30 songs on the disc, most lasting between two and three minutes. The majority are in Swedish, with a few in German and even fewer in English. The singer has a wonderfully expressive voice, with strong technique and rich intonation. I’m sure that the many Swedish-speaking readers, especially those who partake in the Scandinavian choral tradition would enjoy the disc. For myself, I admire and respect the quality of the recording ..."