Sibelius

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RE: Sibelius

Bagis wrote:

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?

Bagis,

there is a terrific "live" Elektra floating around on Orfeo, with Astrid Varnay and Martha Modl. Another recording omission of a work he certainly performed is Britten's "War Requiem"!

RE: Sibelius

NikolausVogel,thanks for mentioning that.

Looked in at Amazon and there it was.Didn´t know of that recording.Still a pity he never made a modern studio recording.After all he was one of the greatest Strauss conductors ever. Am listening to Sawallisch´recording right now.

RE: Sibelius

Symphony No. 5 with Barbirolli. Don't forget his live recording from the Proms - even better (I was there!)

RE: Sibelius

Granted, I haven't even listened to all the recordings mentioned here, but I would like to mention Segerstam's Ondine recording of the 4th symphony (with the Helsinki Philharmonic). I liked it so much I haven't listened to other recordings of it since. I got that feeling - "this is the one".

Also, is the general consensus that the 3rd symphony is a lesser work? Why is that?

RE: Sibelius

Has anyone heard Sanderling's Sibelius with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra? It's gritty and well recorded.

LEPORELLO
RE: Sibelius

Rozhdestvensky's thrilling versions with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra on Melodiya have just come out and everyone should hear these bracing and uncompromising versions, which really show up the superficial Karajan performances for the bland travesties they are.

RE: Sibelius

A couple of leftfield proposals newly released in the last 24 months:

Thomas Zehetmair's recording of the Sixth with the glistening chamber-size Northern Sinfonia is pretty extraordinary - you might not like it but it certainly exposes the structure of the symphony like I've never heard before. Personally I like it very much.

Then there's Ashkenazy's recent cycle on Exton with the Royal Stockholm PO. On point of interest here is that it's the ONLY recording of the First symphony I've heard in which the rapid 'unfurling' motif in the violins is clearly articulated. For all his clarity, not even Vanska's recording does that.

RE: Sibelius

I should say - the rapidly unfurling motif early on in the first movement of the First symphony. If any other recordings clearly annunciate those quick passages, I'd love to hear of them...

RE: Sibelius

Re. Karajan’s Sibelius, the DGG recordings were received with reservations first time round – still are for that matter. People complain that edges had been too rounded-off. Trevor Harvey’s initial review of the 4th in the Gramophone was typically quixotic and unenlightening but one of the great Sibelius specialists of the time, Robert Layton, initially had misgivings too. He overcame them completely and in later reviews noted the Karajan 4th and 5th as perhaps the best ever recordings of these works.

 

It’s easy to see why people don’t care for them, Compared to most other interpretations Karajan’s strike you as rather triple-glazed at first hearing. Only when you become accustomed to the plushness of the sound does the power of his readings take hold of you. I’ve yet to hear a performance of either 4 or 5 that I prefer, and his last cycle, for EMI, certainly doesn’t equal them to my ears.

 

As for the “rapidly unfurling 1st violin theme in the 1st symphony, I’m wondering if you’re referring to the opening of the allegro energico after the clarinet intro, the kind of arabesque figure over tremolando strings (not unlike an upside-down variation of the first subject of Walton’s 1st symphony). Actually I believe the first statement is given to violas before we move to the second half of the theme in G major, taken by violins and cellos leading to the first big crescendo statement of the arabesque-y bit. The only recordings I know intimately are the Maazel and the Kamu and neither articulate it particularly clearly. Good readings of #1 aren’t thick on the ground and I’d be interested to hear the performance you recommend.

 

 

 

 

 

RE: Sibelius

Sorry...don't have a score but basically yes I mean the outward folding motifs that immediately precede that first climax - first there's a measured, staggered outward 'unfolding' of high vs. low strings in contrary motion which precedes four rapid contrary motion outward scales of a beat each in value - again high strings soaring upwards and low strings plunging downwards.

It seems perverse to cite this few bars' worth of material but I just can't fathom why it's only Ashkenazy who deems it necessary to articulate those passages.

I'm not so pernickerty as to preclude favouring a recording if it DOESN'T do so, but by the same token Tigali is absolutely right to say that the First suffers from a lack of quality recordings.

Perhaps it's something to do with the fact that many still insist the First is 'Tchaikovskian' - that's always seemed nonsense to me and Vanska said the same in a recent interview. All the distinctive Sibelian hallmarks are already emerging - hell, they've already emerged!

 

 

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