This is Sibelius' most enigmatic work. My favorite Sibelius is the seventh but this symphony holds a special place in the chronological podium of his works.
There is always a sense of desolation that comes to mind when listening to the Fourth.
The opening strains on the double basses and the statement by the cello shows us that we are alone and lonely. Sibelius grabs you by the throat. Even the pizzicatos form a dark tonal picture.
I am thoroughly impressed by this reading of Osmo Vanska with the London players and am close to rating it as the definitive version. The other three readings that have made an impact on me are Karajan, Maazel and Colin Davis.
This symphony makes me quiet and reflective.