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Koussevitzky Conducts Sibelius

Jean Sibelius Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 52.16
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Disc: 1
1. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43: 1. Allegretto
2. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43: 2. Tempo andante, ma rubato
3. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43: 3. Vivacissimo
4. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43: 4. Finale (Allegro moderato)
5. Swanwhite, suite for orchestra, Op. 54: 3. The Maidens With Roses
6. Tapiola, tone poem for orchestra, Op. 112
Disc: 2
1. Pohjola's Daughter (Pohjolan tytär), symphonic fantasy for orchestra, Op. 49
2. Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82: 1. Allegro moderato
3. Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82: 2. Andantino con moto, quasi allegretto
4. Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82: 3. Moderato
5. Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Although dated in sound, these performances clearly reveal the Boston Symphony and their legendary conductor, Serge Koussevitsky, in stellar form. The interpretation of the Sibelius Second has few rivals, and the Fifth is also an eye opener. Likewise, the Seventh with the BBC Symphony is stunning in it's depth and intensity. Yes, there is some surface noise, and the sound is not the best. But for all it's dated recording flaws, the interpretations are among the very finest available anywhere. The other Sibelius "bon-bon's" on this recording only add to it's enjoyment. If you want to hear revalatory Sibelius, this set is well worth having. (The "velvet gloved fingers of steel" is a reference to the Koussevitsky/BSO's string section, quoted from Harry Elis Dickson's book on Koussevitsky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra entitled, "Gentlemen, More Dolce, Please!")
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sibelius from the "Velvet Gloved Fingers of Steel" Aug. 7 2000
By AES ;:-) - Published on Amazon.com
Although dated in sound, these performances clearly reveal the Boston Symphony and their legendary conductor, Serge Koussevitsky, in stellar form. The interpretation of the Sibelius Second has few rivals, and the Fifth is also an eye opener. Likewise, the Seventh with the BBC Symphony is stunning in it's depth and intensity. Yes, there is some surface noise, and the sound is not the best. But for all it's dated recording flaws, the interpretations are among the very finest available anywhere. The other Sibelius "bon-bon's" on this recording only add to it's enjoyment. If you want to hear revalatory Sibelius, this set is well worth having. (The "velvet gloved fingers of steel" is a reference to the Koussevitsky/BSO's string section, quoted from Harry Elis Dickson's book on Koussevitsky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra entitled, "Gentlemen, More Dolce, Please!")
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A master champion in Sibelius! May 5 2006
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
The performance of the Seventh Symphony took place on May 15 1933 with the BBC symphony. Such electrifying achievement and highly energetic charge has never been equaled and committed to disc before or late. Perhaps at a very close range I should mention the colossal version of Tomas Beecham in the middle Fifties. But the inner tension, mercurial intensity and febrile concentration you will never find in any other recording.

As I have remarked previously (see my review) my favorite performance of the Second Symphony is the currently unavailable CD of Anthony Collins and the London Symphony. As wisely Robert Layton affirms: "The second symphony possesses a combination of Italian warmth and Nordic intensity." In this case the version of Koussevitzky still remains among the most treasured performances ever recorded. It is loaded of an autumnal noblesse and nostalgic reflections. But you additionally should add the following recommendations: the legendary first commercial version of Kajanus of 1930, Segerstam. Thomas Schippers and the NYC and an almost forgotten performance of Sir John Barbirolli of the Fifties.

The Fifth Symphony has a vertiginous cosmic flight, in its own nature it has that visible elusiveness so typical of a vanishing Farewell. This is one of the top five achievements of this celebrated and beloved work but I must recognize Segerstam `s performance still remains as the supreme hitherto of this Opus.

Tapiola finds in Hans Rosbaud the maximum exponent and Pohjola ?s daughter is an incandescent performance.

In resume, this is a fundamental musical treasure which will preserve the musical memory of this hyper talented conductor.

Go for this double pack.
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