Eminent and revered Swedish maestro Herbert Blomstedt conducts a pair of beloved second symphonies (in the same key) that differ dramatically from one another, resulting in an unexpected and richly rewarding symbiosis. Beethoven was often criticized by his contemporaries for valuing novelty over beauty. Several reviews said as much of his Second Symphony following its 1803 premiere. That symphony was mostly written during Beethoven's stay at Heiligenstadt in 1802, during a time when his deafness was becoming more pronounced and he began to realize that it might be incurable. Despite shocking his critics, the scherzo and finale of the piece are filled with Beethovenian musical jokes that are to be admired given the composer's personal tribulations. In contrast, Sibelius' Second Symphony was written as a tribute to the language and culture of a seafaring nation that at the time was subject to Russian rule. Hear both performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.