Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Jean Sibelius - Symphonies; Violin Concerto (Leif Segerstam)


Information

Composer: Jean Sibelius

CD1:
  • (01-04) Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39
  • (05) Finlandia, Op. 26
CD2:
  • (01-04) Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43
  • (05-08) Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Op. 104
CD3:
  • (01-03) Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52
  • (04-06) Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82
CD4:
  • (01-04) Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 63
  • (05-07) Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47

Pekka Kuusisto, violin (Op. 47)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Leif Segerstam, conductor

Date: 1996 (Op. 47), 2002-2003
Compilation: 2005
Label: Ondine
http://www.ondine.net/?lid=en&cid=2.2&oid=2864

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Review

ARTISTIC QUALITY: 9 / SOUND QUALITY: 9

This is as fine a Sibelius cycle as any available, and the performances of Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7, as well as the Violin Concerto, are uniformly top recommendations. All of the individual discs have been previously reviewed, and my only reservations (incidentally not shared by my colleague Victor Carr Jr, who covered the original release) concern Symphonies Nos. 2 and 6, particularly the latter, which strikes me as just a touch lacking in energy and directness. That doesn't mean the playing isn't very beautiful: indeed, it may be excessively so, and that takes some of the Sibelian edge off of the performance. Still, for the most part these are wonderful interpretations, and if you want a complete Sibelius cycle from top Finnish performers, then this set represents an obvious first choice, alongside Vänskä's very different and equally fine Lahti series on BIS. You simply can't go wrong either way.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

Individual reviews on ClassicsToday:
Symphonies Nos. 1 & 7 ARTISTIC QUALITY: 10 / SOUND QUALITY: 10
Symphonies Nos. 2 & 6 ARTISTIC QUALITY: 9 / SOUND QUALITY: 10
Symphonies Nos. 3 & 5 ARTISTIC QUALITY: 10 / SOUND QUALITY: 10
Symphony No. 4; Pohjola's Daughter; Finlandia ARTISTIC QUALITY: 10 / SOUND QUALITY: 10

More reviews:
http://www.allmusic.com/album/sibelius-complete-symphonies-violin-concerto-finlandia-mw0001850502
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Symphonies-J-Sibelius/dp/B000CQNVSU

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Jean Sibelius (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957) was a Finnish violinist and composer of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. His music contributed to the development of a feeling of national identity in Finland where he is now celebrated as the country's greatest composer. Sibelius is widely known for his seven symphonies, the violin concerto and the tone poems, especially Finlandia and the Karelia suite. Throughout his career, the composer found inspiration in nature and Nordic mythology. He almost completely stopped composing after 1920s and did not produce any large-scale works in his last thirty years.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Sibelius

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Leif Segerstam (born 2 March 1944 in Vaasa, Ostrobothnia, Finland) is a Finnish conductor, composer, violinist, violist and pianist, especially known for his 309 symphonies, along with his other works in his extensive œuvre. Segerstam has conducted in a variety of orchestras since 1963, mostly American, Australian and European orchestras. He is widely known through his recorded discography, which includes the complete symphonies of Blomdahl, Brahms, Mahler, Nielsen, and Sibelius, as well as many works by contemporary composer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leif_Segerstam

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4 comments :

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. One can't go wrong with this BIS issue. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Many thanks for this! I know Segerstam from his marvelous Pettersson recordings on BIS, so I look forward to listening to his Sibelius.

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