Thursday, 26 January 2012

Paavo Berglund has died

Kapellimestari Paavo Berglund on kuollut - headlines in Finland.  Paavo Berglund has died, 25/1/12, aged 82. Berglund was an extremely important figure in modern Sibelius performance practice. Indeed, I'd suggest, one of the seminal Sibelius conductors of our time. Not comfortable, not romantic, Berglund's Sibelius was elemental and uncompormising. If Adorno had heard Berglund, he might have been converted. Nor was Berglund a man to take things for granted. His second recording of Kullervo, made several years after the score was rediscovered, shows even deeper penetration into the wildness of the piece. Perhaps one of the reasons it was quietly put aside in the first place was because it was so savage, but it held a place in Sibelius's heart. Below, a clip from Berglund's legendary Bournemouth years:

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