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Sibelius: Symphonies [John Storgards, BBC Philharmonic] [Chandos: CHAN 10809(3)] [Box set]

BBC Philharmonic , Jean Sibelius , John Storgards Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: £19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Sibelius: Symphonies [John Storgards, BBC Philharmonic] [Chandos: CHAN 10809(3)] + Dvorak: Cello Concerto + Walton: Symphony No. 1 | Violin Concerto
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Product details

  • Conductor: John Storgards
  • Composer: Jean Sibelius
  • Audio CD (31 Mar 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B00IO56TPS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,771 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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 Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 39: I. Andante, ma non troppo - Allegro energico11:22Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 39: II. Andante (ma non troppo lento) 9:25Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 39: III. Scherzo: Allegro 5:07£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 39: IV. Finale (quasi una Fantasia): Andante - Allegro molto12:51Album Only
Listen  5. Symphony No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 63: I. Tempo molto moderato, quasi adagio 9:22Album Only
Listen  6. Symphony No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 63: II. Allegro molto vivace 5:04£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Symphony No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 63: III. Il tempo largo10:57Album Only
Listen  8. Symphony No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 63: IV. Allegro 9:34Album Only
Listen  9. Orchestral Fragments: HUL 1325 1:09£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Orchestral Fragments: HUL 1326/90:15£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Orchestral Fragments: HUL 1327/2. Allegro moderato 1:15£0.59  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43: I. Allegretto10:15Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43: II. Tempo andante, ma rubato15:11Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43: III. Vivacissimo - 6:06£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43: IV. Finale: Allegro moderato14:25Album Only
Listen  5. Symphony No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 82: I. Tempo molto moderato - Allegro moderato14:10Album Only
Listen  6. Symphony No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 82: II. Andante mosso, quasi allegretto 8:44Album Only
Listen  7. Symphony No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 82: III. Allegro molto - Largamente assai 9:42Album Only


Disc 3:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 3 in C Major, Op. 52: I. Allegro moderato10:23Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 3 in C Major, Op. 52: II. Andantino con moto, quasi allegretto 9:53Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 3 in C Major, Op. 52: III. Moderato - Allegro (ma non tanto) 8:52Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 6 in D Minor, Op. 104: I. Allegro molto moderato 8:53Album Only
Listen  5. Symphony No. 6 in D Minor, Op. 104: II. Allegretto moderato 5:29£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Symphony No. 6 in D Minor, Op. 104: III. Poco vivace - 3:45£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Symphony No. 6 in D Minor, Op. 104: IV. Allegro molto10:13Album Only
Listen  8. Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 105: Adagio - 9:40Album Only
Listen  9. Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 105: Vivacissimo - Adagio - 2:52£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 105: Allegro molto moderato - Allegro moderato - 4:03£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 105: Vivace - Presto - Adagio - Largamente molto - Affettuoso 5:37£0.59  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Product Description

The Finnish maestro John Storgårds, Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, presents his first recording on Chandos, a complete symphonic cycle of his nation's greatest musical export, Jean Sibelius.

The triumphant premieres of Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2, with their big tunes and great romantic sweep, established the international reputation of Sibelius as a symphonist, some audiences even considering him Beethoven's natural successor. The symphonies that followed chart Sibelius's development as one of the most individual composers of the early twentieth century. Each symphony has its unique approach, whether it be the classicism of the Third, the brooding modernism of the Fourth, or the icy stillness of the Sixth, so evocative of the Finnish landscape. The Symphony No. 7 in C major represents Sibelius's greatest achievement in the symphonic form. In it he compresses the grand emotional sweep of a symphony into one startlingly original movement lasting little over twenty minutes.

Illness prevented Sibelius from completing any major works in the last thirty years of his life. Manuscripts show, however, that he never stopped composing. Recorded here are three orchestral fragments prepared by Timo Virtanen from late sketches thought to be for Sibelius's legendary 'lost' 8th Symphony, destroyed by the composer in 1945. They offer a fascinating glimpse into the composer's creative imagination during a time when impaired health inhibited Sibelius from realising his rich musical visions.

Product Description

Outer case, booklet and all three CD's in as new condition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful Sibelius... 7 April 2014
By Mr. Robert D. Roy TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I have to admit to being a little bit disappointed when I listened to the fifth symphony after opening this box set. It's always been my favourite of the cycle. I've many recordings of it and I'm aware that the transitions of tempi in the first movement are notoriously difficult for conductors to gauge convincingly. Here, I was aware of rather clunky 'gear changes' which lacked the subtlety of a Karajan, Gibson or Colin Davis to name but three of this composers finest exponents.

And yet, as I continued my exploration of the set I found that Storgards seemed to be taking a more forensic approach to this music, an approach I'd not encountered before. When writing these reviews I always ask one question -does buying (yet another!) recording add anything to what I've heard before? This time, each occasion has revealed aspects of these scores I've not noticed. The strongest example, for me, being the bass lines are given greater prominence as if the dark sounds are leading the interpretation. The brass writing is revealed as being revolutionary and I'm sure other, later, composers must have copied (or been 'inspired' by) Sibelius's writing.

So often, the Sibelius symphonies are treated as an extension of Tchaikovsky, that is to say they have to be taken by the throat and have all their emotion wrung out of them whether they like it or not! In fact, listening to these fresh interpretations has made me realise what can be missing in others. To underline this, the BBC Philharmonic play extremely well for Stogards and whilst the recording quality isn't up to Chandos's best it's still very good.

The three 'fragments' are very short indeed and are a tantalising glimpse into a harmonic language that Sibelius might have developed in his Eighth symphony. Alas, we'll probably never know.

Recommended!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine cycle beautifully played 11 April 2014
Format:Audio CD
This is a very distinguished cycle from one of the most thoughtful of the great crop of Finnish conductors active at the moment. Storgaards readings of the Sixth and Seventh Symphonies are particularly fine, radiant and noble and, I think one of the really finest views of the tricky Sixth. All are fine however and it is marvellous to hear the three tantalising fragments within the context of the full cycle.

Quite different from Vanska, for instance, Storgaards cycle seems to me the one which follows most closely in the tradition of Paavo Berglund.

Tremendous playing from the BBC Philharmonic with fine recording and if there is a minor quibble on the balance, the string could perhaps have been given a little more weight. The plus side, though, is beautifully transparent textures which reveal the often obscured inner workings of these amazing works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Sibelius Satisfaction 16 Aug 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As a professional musician of nearly half a century, I am not going to get involved in the purely personal viewpoint of relating and grading thoughts on assorted speeds of individual movements through this cycle. What does Sibelius mean to you? If you want noble power, a sense of thoughtful majesty combined with musical architecture, and moments of heart touching emotion, this is the set for you. It does not provide any gimmicks, and although I have owned many top rated sets of these works from the past decades, none have left me feeling quite so satisfied and fulfilled at the end of the day as these performances. You may quibble with the odd tiny matter of interpretation, but to me, there is a sense of rightness, and Storgards' set captures the pure and yet so elusive spirit of Sibelius. I shall ignore a friend who said "but it is only a BBC orchestra" - believe me, the Philharmonic here can hold their heads high in any comparison with any orchestra, from anywhere in the world.
Chandos's sound captures the instrumental timbres very well, and the dynamic range and quality is first rate. However, in the climaxes, the brass balance finds an acoustic resonance that is at odds with the overall recording clarity. It is a small fault in a set that must surely stand the test of time very well indeed.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sibelius cycle for our age 29 April 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The line of interpreters of Sibelius symphonies on record goes back to Robert Kajanus who was Sibelius' chosen one in the 1930s and produced several recordings on 78s for the HMV Sibelius Society. Further Finnish distinguished conductors include Paavo Berglund (who recorded them at least 3 times) and Okko Kamu amongst others. John Storgards is the latest conductor to set down a new cycle. Mention of the Finnish line of succession is only a small part of the large number of other conductors of all nationalities who have set down cycles (or part cycles) of these ever fascinating masterpieces ranging from our own Thomas Beecham and Malcolm Sargent to Herbert von Karajan and Lorin Maazel to name but a few.
To be granted a complete cycle performed by the BBC Philharmonic and recorded by Chandos is no mean achievement. The first point to mention is that the sound (using 24 bit 96hz) is the finest of any cycle and has remarkable presence and detail. That being so, the balance is not perfect - there are a number of odd moments when the wind and brass dominate the strings - but overall the new recordings are pretty impressive. There are at least two cycles which are better balanced - Vanska for BIS and best of all Ashkenazy (Decca at its finest - set down as long ago as 1983 )
Storgards is an eminently sound interpreter but his recordings are not particularly distinctive. There are some oddities which might prove a little irksome on repitition. No reservations should be had about no 1- just listen to that marvellous clarinet solo at the beginning. The opening of the second movement of Symphony no.2 is rather deliberate and requires a rapid shift of gear as the tempo picks up.
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