Sibelius

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Sibelius

Leif Segerstams recording of the complete Sibelius symphonies with the  Danish National Symphony Orchestra on Brilliant is a real bargain.Wonderful,fresh performances.Highly recommended!

RE: Sibelius

 

I would be interested to know how these performances compare to Colin Davis' rendition on Philips or other complete cycles? Are these performances remastered or were they originally recorded digitally? I myself am awaiting the release of the complete symphonies on BIS's Sibelius Edition.

A music lover currently living in the middle of nowhere. 

RE: Sibelius

Very nice that you mention Colin Davis when it comes to the Sibelius symphonies as I regard him as one of the best conductors of Sibelius. Colin Davis is a very "classic" conductor whereas Segerstam is more romantic.The Segerstam recordings are DDD.Colin Davis´recordings are the one you never tire of,just because they are so "classic".I have only listened to his Philips set with Boston,but  will also buy at least one of his two sets with LSO.

I´ve been listening a lot to Bernsteins set of the symphonies with NYPO on Sony,and they are truly thrilling,very far from Colin Davis.You might say that Segerstam is somewhere in between those two,overall more romantic than Davis but not as subjective as Bernstein.

But don´t forget Maazel´s recordings with VPO on Decca,very good.And I also like Järvis recordings for BIS.There´s so much to choose from when it comes to recordings of Sibelis music!

RE: Home

 

I have some Vanska and Karajan recording Sibelius as well. I must listen more closely to their renditions as compared to Davis. I surmise that Karajan recorded the Sibelius symphonies several times on several labels including EMI and DG. Are there specific recordings of Karajan recording Sibelius that you recommend?

A music lover currently living in the middle of nowhere. 

RE: Home

For EMI Karajan starters, try Symphonies 2 & 5 with Philharmonia Orchestra (rec. 1960), and Symphonies 1, 4, 5, 6 with BPO (rec. 1976-81). Both single and double are available with very good ART remastering.

RE: Home

 

Thank you!

A music lover currently living in the middle of nowhere. 

RE: Sibelius

Vänskä, for my book, is unbeatable. For a start, the BIS recording, made in an all-wooden hall, is superlative for its warmth and depth. Vänskä gets some breathtaking 'pianissimi' from his orchestra (where appropriate) and I've never heard readings that are more evocative or more likely to convert a doubter to Sibelius. I'm hesitant about Colin Davis's 'LSO Live' series: I would like to get it but the acoustic of the barbican is so dry and boxy.

Adrian

RE: Sibelius

Karajan's BPO 4-7 took some getting used to when they first came out and consequently received mixed reviews, initially at least. Many negative reactions were later modified and certainly 4+5 are now considered classics. Orchestra, conductor and recording technicians at the top of their game although no cd version that I've heard quite matches the sound of the original lps. What were considered, at first, to be overly-plushy readings came to be acknowledged for their underlying power.

RE: Sibelius

I seem to be in a minority in finding Karajan's 2 and 5 painfully drawn out to the point of unlistenability. However, I think his other, later EMI recordings are excellent, much better than those on DG. The first symphony crushes like a velvet steamroller. I like to contrast it with the wickedly fast Collins recording, thus getting the best of both worlds. Collins is very reliable, but the sound is definitely old.

Of other cycles, I like Maazel, but think his 2 and 3 weak. Berglund on EMI is solidly good, especially in the early symphonies. Ashkenazy is somehow undone by his sound being TOO impressive, making it sound superficial. Barbirolli is rewarding, but you have to bear with some quirks in playing and recording.

'Art doesn't need philosophers. It just needs to communicate from soul to soul.' Alejandro Jodorowsky

RE: Sibelius

Yes it is very strange that he nerver recorded Sibelius 3.In an interview in Gramophone when he  had his 75th birthday,Karajan said he was not so fond of Sibelius 1-3.But when he recorded 1 and 2 he could as well have recorded 3.There are other strange omissions in the Karajan discography as Elektra,Dvorak 7,Brahms Piano concerto 1for instance.And why did he never record Carmina Burana which he premiered or Schoenbergs Gurre-Lieder?

 

RE: Sibelius

HvK probably wasn't too fond of 7, either. Though 3 & 7 are lesser Sibelius symphonic works, he should've recorded 3 and an entire cycle for atleast one of his labels. 

3 sure beats a lot of his choices. Most of his Mendelssohn symphonies wouldn't have been missed. Along with Rossini String Sonatas, most Baroque, and so many little diddies that I wouldn't describe as being much more than junk fillers.

HvK was so involved in mind and financial games and gains (pitting labels and orchestras against each other), and also recording several versions of many pieces, that it's understandable worthwhile things fell through the cracks.

 

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