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Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 (Original 1915 Version); En Saga (Original 1892 Version) [Import]

Jean Sibelius , Osmo Vänskä , Lahti Symphony Orchestra Audio CD

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Product Details


1. I. Tempo Tranquillo Assai
2. II. Allegro Commodo
3. III. Andante Mosso
4. IV. Allegro Commodo-Largamente Molto
5. En Saga

Product Description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sibelius was right: the third try is the charm. Sept. 18 2005
By Christopher Garguilo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Many years ago the "PENGUIN GUIDE TO CLASSICAL MUSIC" wrote the the BIS label was going to produce the early version of Sibelius' 5th Symphony. I was always a great admirerer of this symphony. The first time I heard it was on WQXR FM in New York City. I was just a teenager and when I heard it, I said to myself, "This guy really has a different sound world, quite different from Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn and all the other Teutonic Composers. I want to learn more about him".

I couldn't get enough of this symphony. Then, when I found out there were other versions, I wanted to hear them as well. So I waited for this new recording of the older version from BIS, but it never came around.

So I faxed the offices of BIS (this was before the whole big Internet Explosion) and asked what's up with tne recording of the earlier version. They got back to me, said they really enjoyed my fax, but the heirs to Sibelius did not want the original score to be recorded because Jean did not want it to be heard.

Well, BIS must have persuaded them and they finally made the recording. I bought it as soon as it hit the classical music shelves. But I have to say that Sibelius was right. The third version is the most perfect version of the score. The first sounds like snippets of this final creation: thematic pieces here and there but not really working together. It reminded me of a soundtrack of a movie. Sometimes the thematic music or motifs only work if you see the action on the screen. That is what happens in this version. It is great music, but it doesn't fit all together.

But......if you a lover of Sibelius' music, as I am, it is a good study. It is interesting to see the development or evolution (or Creative Design) of a work that will become monumental. This is why I give it 5 stars.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original "En Saga" should not be overlooked! July 20 2007
By Douglas S. Halfen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
While the obvious centrepiece of this album is the original 5th symphony, I must admit that I now find myself listening quite often to this rendition of "En Saga" in its original form --- it sounds like one of Jerry Goldsmith's better action/adventure film scores! (Think "Masada" or "Wind & The Lion" or "13th Warrior"...) One forgets from where the classic film-scorers learned their craft... I also believe that Sibelius whacked a little too much material from the husk in revising the piece.

As for the 5th, the exact opposite is true, and I _wholly_ agree with the previous reviewer. Sibelius hadn't quite aligned the "mosaics" from "heaven's floor" in their celestial order yet, but one can clearly see (a) to where he was going with this creative endeavour and (b) why he was so dissatisfied with the half-baked (but potential-drenched!!!) results. I don't find myself listening to this original version frequently (in fact, more often by mistake!), but, when I do, I occasionally have to wake up and realize that it isn't the finished product --- and then, those godawful trumpets blast through the swan-hymn, and I go running to the final version! (And I must admit that I prefer the revised ending, though the original ending is a bit more "dramatic" in the traditional sense.)
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the Avid Sibelius Fan, and Probably No One Else June 18 2008
By Moldyoldie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
That I've recently been heavily into Sibelius, as well as harboring an aching curiosity, has lead me to finally hear these "world premiere" recordings released by Bis in the mid-'90s. If one knows and loves the "revised" Fifth Symphony of 1919, one listen to the 1915 original will come as both an ear-opener and a relief that Sibelius eventually thought better and went back to the drawing board (twice, as it were). The familiar tunes are still there, "pre-worked" into some fine and interesting progressions that lead to nowhere in particular. The biggest shock is probably the conclusion of the second movement (Sibelius fused and reworked the first two movements in the final revision) where the expected big build-up to an exciting crescendo ultimately peters, pukes, sputters, halts to the grossest, most egregious instance of musicus interruptus imaginable! (sigh) Otherwise, the finale actually sounds fairly cohesive and satisfyingly complete; in a couple spots there's a fascinating overlap of incongruent themes which will catch anyone's ear! It's something I could certainly live with as I never truly comprehended the need for the exaggeratedly spaced "hammerblows" which conclude the well-known final version.

I found the original En Saga to be as intriguing and dramatic as the revision, if perhaps not as refined and coherent. The variety of "feelings" conveyed as well as dynamic diversity (during an extended transitional phrase, we hear nothing but super-ppp strings...barely!) makes the listening an adventure and a treat, sort of like rough-hewn pieces of broken-off dark chocolate inundated with unknown goodies. The avid Sibelian would probably enjoy hearing this.
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