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Sibelius - Kullervo etc [Original recording remastered]

Paavo Berglund Audio CD

Price: 13.89
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Sibelius: Kullervo Symphony, Op. 7: I. Introduction (Allegro Moderato)Kostia, Raili/Viitanen, Usko/Berglund, Paavo/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra13:55Album Only
Listen  2. Sibelius: Kullervo Symphony, Op. 7: II. Kullervo's Youth (Grave)Kostia, Raili/Viitanen, Usko/Berglund, Paavo/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra14:02Album Only
Listen  3. Sibelius: Kullervo Symphony, Op. 7: III. Kullervo And His Sister (Allegro Vivace)Kostia, Raili/Viitanen, Usko/Berglund, Paavo/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra24:55Album Only
Listen  4. Sibelius: Kullervo Symphony, Op. 7: IV. Kullervo Goes To Battle (Alla Marcia)Kostia, Raili/Viitanen, Usko/Berglund, Paavo/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra 8:520.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Sibelius: Kullervo Symphony, Op. 7: V. Kullervo's Death (Andante)Kostia, Raili/Viitanen, Usko/Berglund, Paavo/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra10:000.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Sibelius: The Oceanides, Op. 73Paavo Berglund/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra10:55Album Only
Listen  2. Sibelius: Karelia Suite, Op. 11: IntermezzoPaavo Berglund/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra 4:030.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Sibelius: Karelia Suite, Op. 11: Alla MarciaPaavo Berglund/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra 4:530.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Sibelius: Scenes Historiques - Suite No. 1, Op. 25Paavo Berglund/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra16:26Album Only
Listen  5. Sibelius: Tapiola, Op. 112Paavo Berglund/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra18:10Album Only
Listen  6. Sibelius: Finlandia, Op. 26Paavo Berglund/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra 8:050.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Sibelius: Serenade No. 1 In D, Op. 69aHaendel, Ida/Berglund, Paavo/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra 6:480.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Sibelius: Serenade No. 2 In G Minor, Op. 69bHaendel, Ida/Berglund, Paavo/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra 6:430.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

BBC Review

This was the very first recording of Kullervo, the symphonic poem-cum-symphony with which Sibelius made his breakthrough in Finland in 1892, but which was not heard again until the year after his death. Dedicated playing and good singers, too, though Berglund's later recording has the benefit of Jorma Hynninen. The remaining performances are very fine indeed - in particular The Oceanides and the poignant, incomprehensibly neglected and haunting Serenades, composed in 1913-14, at a time when Sibelius was making sketches for a second violin concerto. In these Ida Haendel plays with characteristic finesse and eloquence. The transfer is expert, though the chorus seems brighter and more forward than on the LP, and cellos and basses, while better defined, are slightly less weighty. But this is a minor quibble: the 1970s sound is eminently satisfying throughout and those wanting a bargain Kullervo need not hesitate especially as the rest of the programme is so good.

Performance ****
Sound ****

© BBC Music Magazine 2001


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overdue reissue -- poor presentation 24 April 2001
By R. Lane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Paavo Berglund made 2 recordings of Kullervo for EMI. This recording was the first, and was a breakthrough. It marked the first complete recording of the work. I'm not sure, but I don't even think excerpts were previously available. And it was quite a smash for Sibelius fans when it was released. The later digital recording may have some superior acoustic qualities (it is no longer available), but there is something of a sense of occassion about this rendition that makes it far more satisfying. I am reminded of many post-WWII recordings that exude a special sense of occassion that elevated the musicians to truly feel the music. This Kullervo will never let you down. I bought the CD, though, almost entirely for one track - the op. 25 Scenes Historiques. I've treasured this recording ever since I found it on Japanese vinyl about 12 years ago. Even Beecham couldn't make these neglected works sound so spectacular. There were actually 4 "Scenes". Sibelius reworked the 4th into what we know as Finlandia, probably his most famous work. One understands why Finlandia has gone on to become so well loved when you hear the other Scenes here. The sound is excellent throughout. No disappointment there. I withhold the 5th star, and give EMI a long hard stare , because of the terrible track numbering. Two pieces, Karelia and the Scenes Historiques, are mastered as single tracks. Karelia (Berglund only recorded 2 of the 3 parts) is a single track, and the 3 Scene Historiques are a single track. Thankfully my Sony CDP 707 has custom indexing, so I can give the individual parts my own access points. But woe to those without the ability to do so. This ranks second only to Decca's momumental blunder with the original release of Chartles Dutoit's Daphnis et Chloe for track numbering blunders (that CD was 55 minutes long and only 1 track!)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Sibelius collection begins here. 8 Feb 2002
By darragh o'donoghue - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is an essential 2CD introduction to Sibelius' most characteristic and famous work. CD 1 is given over entirely to the mammoth 'Kullervo' Symphony, a dramatisation from Lonnrot's 'Kalevala' collection of oral Finnish lays. The symphony seems to create for the listener an entire bygone world and worldview, despite its late Romantic spaciousness (the 'hero', for instance, is both a rapist and incestuous). Following the title character from birth to youth to death, the young Sibelius intensifies every resource at his disposal, from sublime nature writing to clanging battle music to romantic yearning to communal grief. The interplay between orchestra and choir/soloists, between individual emotion and collective expression, is unsurpassed. Within the limits of his Romantic form, Sibelius seems the most fluid, the most open of composers - his work seems to be about germination, evolution and process, rather than form and finish. And yet. Compared to Wagner's adaptations of sagas or medieval texts (such as 'Tannhauser' or 'Parsifal'), Sibelius seems restrained, even cautious. Because he dares not plumb the kitsch Wagner defied, he rarely reaches his sublime heights.
If 'Kullervo' sees the composer at his most expansively earnest, than CD2 might be termed 'Sibelius Pops'. It's not that there is no shade here - 'Finlandia' emerges from the primordial murk into the most stirring drama; 'Tapiola' is the nearest Sibelius ever got to modernism, with its long, brooding lines, and dislocated melodic and harmonic development. But other pieces see the Finn in unexpectedly sunny mode. 'The Oceanides' is as sprightly and elusive as the nymphs it celebrates, with its gloriously fragile descending melodies and playful winds; the 'Karelia Suite' is winning pomp; 'The 'Scenes Historiques' excerpts miraculously revivify antique flavour and atmosphere. But the two 'Serenades' for violin are downright eccentric, full of the weirdest sound effects, tempo changes and melodic shifts.
Most of the (early 1970s) recordings here are definitive, especially the 'Finlandia'; conductor Paavo Berglund matching intensity with wit, colour with pace, and, in particular, bringing out the vibrancy of Sibelius's writing for wind and strings.
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