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Sibelius: The Complete Symphonies - Karelia - Lemminkäinen - Violin Concerto

Sibelius: The Complete Symphonies - Karelia - Lemminkäinen - Violin Concerto

10 May 2011

£6.99 (VAT included if applicable)
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 10 May 2011
  • Label: Bis
  • Copyright: 2011 Bis
  • Total Length: 7:27:34
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B004Z4O440
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 930 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By T.J.Byford on 10 Jun 2011
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
You look at the price for this download and do a double take. £[] for all the 7 Symphonies, Violin Concerto, the complete Lemminkainen Suite, Karelia Suite, Finlandia, Valse Triste, En Saga, Snofrid, Tapiola and an Overture in E Major?

And then you think that there must be a catch? But, no, there isn't, and you really can get all these for just £][ and, what is more, these are the highly rated Vanska performances that have met critical acclaim as possibly the best overall SET of the Sibelius symphonies. I highlighted "SET" as many, as I, may have individual performances that they prefer, but as a set Vanska is close to the top of the tree, if not at the top.

The sound quality of the recordings is remarkably consistent from work to work and, as has already been mentioned in another review, the bitrate used by Amazon for the transfers is pretty good. The bitrates indicated in Windows Media player run from 204kbps to 337kbps, which indicates that Amazon use variable bitrate encoding using a lower rate in less demanding sections, where it won't be noticed, and increasing this to accommodate, usually, the loudest passages. And it shows in the sound here, which is clear and open with a well defined bass where necessary. The loudest passages are accommodated with ease.

All the performances are first rate, and so are the recordings, but I would draw attention to the balance of Kavakos in the Concerto, in case you are used to a soloist being projected in the foreground. He is placed within the orchestra, but from live concerts I've attended, this actually sounds more natural and, fortunately, he still comes through and is not lost within the orchestra.

All in all, a super bargain. Christmas has come early and I would recommend you download ASAP before Amazon realise their mistake!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By RR Waller TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Oct 2011
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At £5.99, if this download turned out to be inferior recordings with a less than good quality orchestra, it would still be worth listening just to discover different ways of playing Sibelius to help you appreciate better ways. I do not usually download, preferring to have the CDs as a fail safe and fall-back but I was looking for a Sibelius set and saw this. The later symphonies and "Finlandia" and the "Karelia Suite" (both of which I heard in school for the first time and have loved ever since) have been favourites for many years and I already had CDs, but I thought I would take the risk with the early symphonies.

It turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made looking for CDs. Osmo Vänskä and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra have produced a wonderful set which turned out to be more than "just" the symphonies. I did not know what to expect and bought this on trust - and a few reviews from Amazon!

Buy it quickly and, if you do not write reviews, start today to help other people.

Highly recommended
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. M. Campbell on 12 Jan 2013
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I downloaded this a few days ago and what I got was a selection of Movements from various symphonies, no violin concerto. I tried everything but when transferring to Windows media player half the items were missing. I went to Cloud player, still missing. I have spent two days off and on trying to sort this out, growing frustrated with myself and, dare it be said, with Amazon. I have been using Opera browser. Today in desperation I went back to Chrome, called up Cloud Player, and there it was, the complete works! Also everything I have previously downloaded from Amazon, and now Cloud Player actually plays. It's brilliant, and has prompted me to go back and sample tracks I haven't played for ages. So to anyone getting frustrated with Cloud Player, check that your browser is compatible, it seems that Opera isn't. The other advantage of Cloud Player is that it's going to save the time spent messing with Windows media player. So, eventually, well done Amazon.
Clearly I haven't had time to listen properly to the music, but Vanska in Sibelius is a safe bet. Not as exciting as Beecham, whose version of Lemminkainen's Return will have you out of your seat, also his 4th Symphony. And by the way, as has been noted above, this is an almost unbelievable bargain. When I was in my twenties, fifty years ago, an LP of 1 symphony cost almost a week's wages. Isn't Sibelius: The Complete Symphonies - Karelia - Lemminkäinen - Violin Concertomodern technology wonderful?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mondoro TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 July 2011
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Others have commented on the bargain that this represents: all the symphonies, plus the orginal version of the 5th, the Violin Concerto and a good selection of the tone poems, including a work new to me, Snofrid. And all for less than half the price of a normal BIS CD release. Moreover these have been recorded well within the last decade, and some - like the two versions of the 5th symphony - have been highly praised elsewhere. The Lahti Symphony Orchestra is less well-known than other leading Scandinavian ensembles, but under Osmo Vanska, a leading Sibelian, they have shown themselves to be no whit inferior. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jasongleefarr on 6 Dec 2012
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Prior to purchasing this collection of Sibelius,I had only previously heard Finlanda which I enjoyed so thought I would take a punt on hearing some more from this artist. I have listened to all of the songs several times and find them to be some of the most beautiful classical music that I have ever heard. Sibelius has become my most favourite of composers and the quality of the recordings and the beauty of the music is just stunning. For the outlay the music is just worth every single penny and then some not just a bargain but more a bargain of the century.

This album is a great introduction to the music of Sibelius and it will want to make you want to search out more of this composers amazing works. I just love it and have to play at least one cd's worth of his music every day because i find it so inspiring and uplifting. If your new to Sibelius or have listened to just one or two of his works take a punt on this glorious album you will not be disappointed.

Jason leefarr
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