I may be in a minority, but I think Sibelius is a far more successful composer of program music than of so-called absolute music. In fact, his most successful symphony, No. 2, has a definite program, and his most successful symphonic movement, the marvelous finale of Symphony No. 5, is also pictorial, supposedly inspired by a flight of geese and the bell-like music that their calls made as they passed overhead. So I believe these generously filled discs in the Trio Series present some of the best of orchestral Sibelius, including "Pohjola's Daughter," "En Saga," "The Oceanides," and "Tapiola." There are other favorites as well, of course, including "Finlandia," "Valse Triste," and "The Swan of Tuonela" (part of the spacious "Four Legends"), as well as some lesser-known (to non-Sibelians, anyway) masterworks such as "Luonnotar" and "Night Ride and Sunrise," a quirky, more interesting incarnation of the binary form that Sibelius tried out in the finale of his Third Symphony.
There's still more and more, including some music (such as "King Christian" and "The Bard") that is rarely heard but well worth hearing. In fact, if there are any clunkers here, I don't know of them. Sibelius emerges as a composer who rarely failed when inspired by literature, especially his beloved Kalevala, or the purely pictorial. Neemi Jarvi, whose baton is sometimes too fleet and whose interpretations sometimes skate along the surface of the music, is here inspired to give some of his finest interpretations (and there are many, many on CD). The Goteborg Orchestra has this music in its blood and proves the perfect medium for the dark vision of "The Four Legends," for the shimmer and sheen of "The Oceanides," or for the easy folksiness of "Karelia" and "King Christian." Fine, wide-ranging sound from DG as well. It's up-front but not oppressive, allowing woodwind and percussion detail to emerge with real clarity. Try "Night Ride and Sunrise" as an example; it's rarely sounded this alive in recording.