In my soul, the ideal Sibelius concert does not resemble an interpretation or even a particular point of view. I want it to be like ice breaking in spring on a northern river: intense, beautiful, terrifying and inevitable. I am not sure that anyone is capable of achieving such a thing, but one can always try.—Esa-Pekka Salonen
Esa-Pekka Salonen meets the challenge and delivers a remarkable Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony. Salonen also conducts the orchestra in one of his own works, L.A. Variations. Premiered in 1996 and commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in composing this fifteen-minute-long work Salonen highlighted the virtuosity and power of the American orchestra. This makes the work a real challenge for the Verbier Festival Orchestra, but the musicians prove themselves more than equal to it.