- Peer Gynt Suite for orchestra (or piano or piano, 4 hands) No. 1, Op. 46
- Peer Gynt Suite for orchestra (or piano or piano, 4 hands) No. 2, Op. 55
- Fra Holbergs tid (From Holberg’s Time), for string orchestra ("Holberg Suite"), Op. 40
- Valse Triste, for orchestra (from Kuolema), Op. 44/1
- The Swan of Tuonela, tone poem for orchestra (Lemminkäinen Suite No. 3), Op. 22/3: No.3, The Swan of Tuonela
- Finlandia, tone poem for orchestra, Op. 26
Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic give poised and polished performances of the most popular pieces by Scandinavia's two most famous composers. Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg's music for Ibsen's play "Peer Gynt" is wondrously evocative -- from the sweet, refreshing breeze of "Morning Mood" (used in countless television commercials) to the grisly excitement of "In the Hall of the Mountain King." The "Holberg Suite," for string orchestra, harks back to the elegant lyricism of the baroque. Jan Sibelius's tone-poem "Finlandia" is a rousing expression of the composer's passionate patriotism. But surely the disc's highlight is "The Swan of Tuonela," Sibelius's musical interpretation of a Finnish myth in which a swan swims on the sad, serene waters that surround Tuonela, the land of death. The sorrowful song of the English horn floats on a cushion of strings, performed with breathtaking delicacy and concentration by von Karajan and his magnificent orchestra.