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Lemminkainen Suite (Luonnotar-Kringelborn, Jarvi)

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Paavo Järvi’s outstanding reputation makes him one of the most sought-after conductors on the international stage. Born in Tallinn, Estonia, he studied percussion and conducting at the Tallinn School of Music before moving to the USA in 1980, where he continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute with Leonard Bernstein.

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Nightride and Sunrise, Op.55Paavo Järvi/Stockholms Filharmoniska Orkester14:39Album Only
Listen  2. Luonnotar, Op.70Solveig Kringelborn/Paavo Järvi/Stockholms Filharmoniska Orkester 9:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Lemminkäinen Suite, Op.22: I. Lemminkäinen and the Maidens of the IslandPaavo Järvi/Stockholms Filharmoniska Orkester17:07Album Only
Listen  4. Lemminkäinen Suite, Op.22: II. The Swan of TuonelaPaavo Järvi/Jesper Harryson/Stockholms Filharmoniska Orkester 9:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Lemminkäinen Suite, Op.22: III. Lemminkäinen in TuonelaPaavo Järvi/Stockholms Filharmoniska Orkester15:54Album Only
Listen  6. Lemminkäinen Suite, Op.22: IV. Lemminkäinen's ReturnPaavo Järvi/Elemér Lavotha/Stockholms Filharmoniska Orkester 6:30£0.99  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Worth it for the Sunrise 11 Jan 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I found this to be a mixed bag -- the lesser known items from Lemminkainen are played with vim and vigor but that can only accomplish so much, and the central Swan of Tuonela is not on par with the best versions. Luonnotar is given a gripping performance, at a tempo moderately quicker than the elder Jarvi's recent DG version -- I found Paavo's approach more succesful, with a more blended vocal line. The highlight of the disc for me was Night Ride and Sunrise, given a emotionally powerful and communicative performance that leaves one wondering why it is not better known. Lastly, I disagree with our friend from Gramophone -- I can't imagine better sound. Worthwhile for all Sibelians, especially if your collection is without the first piece.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
...Finnish legend 19 April 2003
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I made the mistake of buying this disc without realizing that I had Lemminkainen Suite on another recording, Jukka-Pekka Saraste version. I could not distinguish any direct differences that I could make between the both...it was more or less hearing the same music. Of Course that is something I should expect. What stands out about this particular disc is the two lesser known works that are seldom covered.
Nightrise And Sunrise is simply wonderful. The origin is made by the suggestion that a average man (perhaps even Sibelius himself) finds himself riding solitary through the forest. What starts as a uneven ride with broken sleep turns towards the sun glimmering through the trees. His mind is overcome by relief, the sun is warm and secure, home is near.
Luonnotar is performed very rarely, most certainly because it's technical demading of the Finnish language, very few non Finnish singers have dared to take up the challenge.
In the past Lemminkainen as a whole was never represented in all four parts with only "The Swan Of Tuonela" being the stand out, the second of four legends. The Swan Of Tuonela, a lonely swan glides through the land of dead, represented orchestrally by wonderful solo parts for the cor anglais. Sibelius scene painting is nowhere more effective. According to the Kalevala legend, Lemminkainen had to kill the swan of Tuonela in order to make Pohjola's daughter his wife. However in doing so Lemminkainen himself would be killed and hacked to pieces. His mother would collect all the pieces and bring her son back to life. The Kalevala legend is a national symbol for most Finns and would be several inspirations to Sibeilus works.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Tepid readings, provincial orchestra, but wonderful music 21 Feb 2007
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There are budget reissues of this Virgin CD from Paavo Jarvi and the Royal Stockholm orchestra, and anyone who doesn't know Sibelius' great Four Legends might want to start with it. The recorded sound is warm and full, and the Royal Stockholm orchestra sounds reasonably good. As other reviewers note, the rarely heard vocal scene, Luonnotar, is the musical highlight here, perhaps along with the Night Ride and Sunrise tone poem. But Lemminkanen contains the greatest music, and here Jarvi is underhwelming. One only has to listen to his tepid Swan of Tuonela (the second Legend) to yearn for great readings from a host of conductors, including Stokowski, Bernstein, and Karajan. As for the Legends, the hard-to-find Moscow Phil. recording under Vassily Sinaisky bursts with life and passion--it will make a convert of anyone.
Good but not outstanding readings 18 Jan 2011
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Neeme Järvi's recording of Sibelius's Lemminkäinen Suite on BIS is one of the more satisfying accounts of this masterpiece in the catalogue. Paavo Järvi's version with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra is often not far behind - it might even be superior in some respects. It comes across as structurally tighter than most, and does deliver a sense of inevitability to the music - no meandering here, and every note is taken to be an indispensable contribution to the whole. The end result is sometimes thrilling, but perhaps a little too lean and underwhelming - one does wish for more fire and urgency, especially in the final movement (Lemminkäinen's homecoming); Järvi's approach is almost a little too nice here, powerful but in a controlled way rather than realizing the hell-for-leather quality this movement really calls for.

On the other hand, the Swan of Tuonela is superb (I see there is some disagreement about that, but it sounded superb to me); deep, dark, chilling and almost otherworldly atmospheric, and the longer first and third movements (Lemminkäinen and the Maidens of the Island, and Lemminkäinen in Tuonela) are generally satisfying in this well-paced performance - but again the conception is a little underwhelming; instead of being captivating (as the music is in, say, Neeme Järvi's BIS version), my response would usually be closer to a "whatever". The Stockholm players are generally marvelous, although the strings may lack the last ounce of luster.

As couplings we get a very fine account of the marvelous tone poem Nightride and Sunrise - again the performance is superbly paced and the playing convincing, and although one misses the breathtakingly ecstatic quality of the Sunrise part that you get with Rattle or Jochum (if you can accept the less than ideal mono sound quality of the latter) this is an account to rank with the best. Luonnotar is well done as well, and Solveig Kringelborn sounds almost ideal in the soprano part. In short, this is a recording worth acquiring (and it would probably be something of an ideal introduction to this music for those unfamiliar with it) - the performances are often close to the best and the recorded sound is pretty good if perhaps a little dry - but a first choice it is not.
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