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Sibelius: The Complete Symphonies Hybrid SACD, SACD, Box set

2 customer reviews

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1 new from £260.53 5 used from £59.74

Product details

  • Audio CD (29 July 2005)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD, Box set
  • Label: Universal Classics
  • ASIN: B0009YVC4K
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,992 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. 1. Andante, ma non troppo - Allegro energico - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Neeme Järvi, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
2. 2. Andante (ma non troppo lento) - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
3. 3. Scherzo (Allegro) - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
4. 4. Finale (Quasi una fantasia) - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
5. Adagio - - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. 1. Allegretto - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
2. 2. Tempo andante, ma rubato - Andante sostenuto - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
3. 3. Vivacissimo - Lento e suave - Largamente - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
4. 4. Finale (Allegro moderato) - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
5. 1. Allegretto - Göteborgs Symfoniker, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Neeme Järvi, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. 1. Allegro moderato - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
2. 2. Andantino con moto, quasi allegretto - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
3. 3. Moderato - Allegro (ma non tanto) - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
4. 1. Tempo molto moderato, quasi adagio - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Neeme Järvi, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Tomas Ferngren, Jean Sibelius
5. 2. Allegro molto vivace - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Neeme Järvi, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Tomas Ferngren, Jean Sibelius
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. 1. Tempo molto moderato - Allegretto - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
2. 2. Andante mosso, quasi allegretto - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
3. 3. Allegro molto - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
4. 1. Allegro molto moderato - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
5. 2. Allegretto moderato - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Sid McLauchlan, Lennart Dehn, Michael Bergek, Torbjoern Samuelsson, Jean Sibelius
See all 21 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Leach VINE VOICE on 6 Aug. 2005
An opportunity to hear the seven Sibelius symponies in multi-channel SACD sounds too good to miss as they are favourite works of mine and I know them pretty well. I had great hopes, although I was really buying this set 'blind' (or deaf?), as I had read no reviews. The recordings were made between November 2001 and March 2005 - the first two symphonies are live. They are 48kHz/24 bit PCM recordings, the multi-channel layers are all 5.0, i.e. without a LFE channel. The set comes on 4 SACDs in card sleeves in a rigid hinged box.
Interpretatively these are fine readings - tempo-wise Jarvi is uncontroversial though the Sixth symphony is slightly long at 31'19 while the Seventh is the longest I've heard at 24'37.
I started with the first two symphonies, in multi-channel - my first mental note was whether there was any sonic difference detween the live recordings and the last five symphonies made in the same hall but without an audience. This work started out very well : there is a very clean but warm sound and a wide soundstage, all in a good acoustic. At first I thought the strings were a tad too refined. As the work progresses they 'dig in' more and play with more sweep, though I felt that in the first movement Jarvi was perhaps using a palette more suitable for the Fourth symphony for the more Tchaikovskian First - Leonard Bernstein in his VPO recording on DG gets a more appropriate sound here. I'm wondering if the engineers made the sonic picture more 'present' either during the performance or later as one feels the orchestra sounds slightly more vivid after the first movement - though maybe Jarvi's view of the opening Andante - Moderato is that it should have an other-worldly feel.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Iradj Moeini on 8 Sept. 2010
If you are new to Sibelius's symphonies, full cycles of his symphonies are so widely available these days that you might as well want to go for one, rather than try one symphony to see if you are interested. More experienced Sibelius listeners might also have their own reasons why to invest in a full circle: having them all in one series, dissatisfaction with what they already have etc. In any case choosing one set can be a difficult decision to make. Although I have nothing particular for or against these performances, to me what makes this set special is its high-definition surround sound. Although many DG recordings including their SACDs do not enjoy the best sound quality around, I found myself immersed in this music like never before, and for all Järvi's artistry, I think the sound quality had an important role to play in this. OK, it did not, with the exception of No.3, change my view as to which of his symphonies I consider as better ones, but it certainly boosted my whole perception of Sibelius's symphonies. So, if you have the gear to listen to surround SACDs, do not hesitate to try this. Otherwise there are plenty more to consider.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
"Spirit of the Pine Tree and the Wind" 3 Jan. 2006
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
This is a splendid new Sibelius cycle from Neeme Jarvi, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (the National Orchestra of Sweden), and the art department of Deutsche Grammophon. Symphonies No. 1 and 2 are recorded live, and the SACD hybrid sound is superb. The four discs are enclosed in a box, and the box and sleeves feature beatiful photos by Olaf Otto Becker.

The GSO's Sibelius tradition began in 1907, and Sibelius conducted the orchestra in 1911, 1915 and 1923. The Sixth Symphony is dedicated to Wilhelm Stenhammar, who was the GSO conductor at the time. Neeme Jarvi has conducted the GSO performing the Second Symphony, its "signature tune," more than 70 times (!), and several complete symphonic cycles, and so there is a deep rapport. I am hearing the Second with new ears, and my favorites, the Third, Fifth and Sixth, sound wonderful.

I make no claim that this is the best Sibelius cycle -- the cycle by Davis and Boston on Philips is still hard to beat -- but as with any of the greats, it's nice to have alternative interpretations to compare. This is a fine new cycle in state-of-the-art sound. (The quote I used for a title is a label Sibelius attached to a theme from the finale of the Sixth Symphony, but it could well describe much of the music of Sibelius.)
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
If Robert Frost's Poems Could Sing... 12 Jan. 2008
By MinnesotaMind - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
they would sound like these Sibelius symphonies. I already own the Colin Davis set on Philips and the Maazel set on Decca, but a friend of mine told me that Jarvi does a wonderful job here. I've listened to the set two times over and I'm quite glad a spent the money on a third. First of all, the symphonies SOUND the best on this set. That doesn't mean that I like every interpretation better than, say, Davis, but the music is crisp and clean, and it seems to me like Sibelius himself would have been pleased to have his compositions sound so organic.

The symphonies themselves, if you don't know them, are a must. When I first started listening to classical music a few years ago, I got quite caught up in Mahler mania. No one, at the time, told me much about Sibelius; while I like Mahler a lot, I absolutely LOVE Sibelius. The main difference between them, as captured in a conversation they had once, is that Mahler conceived of the symphony as a "universe in itself." His symphonies are sprawling (some say self-indulgent), some lasting over an hour and a half (I believe the 3rd is two hours). Sibelius believed that symphonies should reach toward formal and tonal concision. Like a good poet, he tries to get the most out of the least. But the other reason I love these symophonies is that they are so evocative. Like the title of the last reviewer's review, these symphonies are lush, melodic, glimpses at/from the earth...The photos inside match the music beautifully.

I believe Jarvi does an amazing job with symphonies 7, 2, 1, and 5. The rest are certainly very good.

Buy this set and enjoy, you won't be disappointed, though I'd also recommend Davis's set with the Boston on Philips. It's the first Sibelius I heard and it still defines HOW these symphonies should be played (this set defines how they should SOUND--and be packaged!).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
you can still get this 18 Jan. 2014
By Wyote - Published on Amazon.com
The third-party sellers are currently asking over $1,700 for this set new. You'd like to think that there's been a typo somewhere, but it is what it is, and you see that all over. Well, this is a great set of Sibelius symphonies - perhaps even the best one - and the good news is that you can get these exact four disks as part of the box set of Jarvi doing both the symphonies and the tone poems. So that's that! Enjoy!
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Agreeable, fairly plain performances of no real distinciton 21 Feb. 2008
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
This is middle-of-the-pack Sibelius, joining at least eight current choices for coplete sets. As the other reviewers comment, it is very cleanly recorded (I listened in two-channel stereo, not SACD), which is in keeping with Jarvi's brisk, spirited approach to the music. He doesn't search for profound depth, and to some listeners that may come as a relief. For example, Jarvi's Symn. #1 casts aside any overblown comparison with Tchaikovsky; it proceeds quckly and alertly on its mission, at the opposite from Bernstein in his second recording with the Vienna Phil. (DG). The Gothenburg musicians play as if to the manner born, and their sound is lean and a bit sparse in the strings.

My reservations occur with Jarvi himself, a much recorded conductor who has never attracted my attention. He seems workmanlike, fairly energized but sometimes crude, and neer inspired. This Sibleius cycle does nothing to change my opinion. To qualify as a great performance, a reading must have ideas, personality, deep feeling. I hear all those things in Sibelius from Bernstein (his NY Phil. cycle on Sony), Karajan, Barbirolli, Beecham, and Segerstam. All of them make me believe in Sibelius's greatness. Jarvi aims for a more superficial effect, which is enjoyable so far as it goes.

Sometimes he falls below his own set standards. Sym. 7 is shockingly bland and unintresting. The slow movement in Sym. 1 is prosaic. I followed Sym. 2 without losing interest, but nothing special was happening. In sum, if you want a leaner, lighter approach to Sibelius, try Osmo vanska or Paavo Berglund with the Chamber Orch. of Europe. I'll stick with the tried and true greats from the past.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Sibelius set with a difference 8 Sept. 2010
By Iradj Moeini - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
If you are new to Sibelius's symphonies, full cycles of his symphonies are so widely available these days that you might as well want to go for one, rather than try one symphony to see if you are interested. More experienced Sibelius listeners might also have their own reasons why to invest in a full circle: having them all in one series, dissatisfaction with what they already have etc. In any case choosing one set can be a difficult decision to make. Although I have nothing particular for or against these performances, to me what makes this set special is its high-definition surround sound. Although many DG recordings including their SACDs do not enjoy the best sound quality around, I found myself immersed in this music like never before, and for all Järvi's artistry, I think the sound quality had an important role to play in this. OK, it did not, with the exception of No.3, change my view as to which of his symphonies I consider as better ones, but it certainly boosted my whole perception of Sibelius's symphonies. So, if you have the gear to listen to surround SACDs, do not hesitate to try this. Otherwise there are plenty more to consider.
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