Sibelius: Symphony No.2, The Oceanides, Pohjola's Daughter
See larger image

Sibelius: Symphony No.2, The Oceanides, Pohjola's Daughter

6 May 2013

£4.49 (VAT included if applicable)
Song Title
Pohjola's Daughter, Op.49
The Oceanides, Op.73
Symphony No.2 in D Major, Op.43: I. Allegretto
Symphony No.2 in D Major, Op.43: II. Tempo andante, ma rubato
Symphony No.2 in D Major, Op.43: III. Vivacissimo -
Symphony No.2 in D Major, Op.43: IV. Finale: Allegro moderato

Product details

  • Original Release Date: 6 May 2013
  • Label: Halle Concerts Society
  • Copyright: (c) 2013 Halle Concerts Society
  • Total Length: 1:10:55
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00C3P6PHM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,954 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bridgewater Hall Recordings 10 May 2013
Format:Audio CD
In the more-than-capable hands of the Hallé Orchestra with their current music director, Sir Mark Elder, each recording they issue seems to show a closer collaboration than the last. As with many orchestras, the Hallé had a dip in popularity, but now they are riding very high indeed. The accoustic of their Bridgewater Hall 'home' helps no end too. Their latest CD, issued through Nimbus, is of music by Sibelius. He's one of those composers you tend to love or hate. You can't really mistake his music for anyone else's, either.

This CD begins with two recordings made in the hall six and seven years ago respectively and ends with one of the 'live' performance recordings, this one made in September 2012. People often debate whether having the public there makes the players sit that bit further forward on their chairs. No point in putting in my tuppence-worth on that score. I just urge you to listen to this interpretation of the second symphony. It positively crackles!

The two pieces at the start of the CD are the tone poems 'Pohjola's daughter' and 'The Oceanides'. For those unfamiliar with the great nordic sagas, the story concerning Pohjola's daughter features in the national epic 'Kalevala'. The other tone poem, Stephen Johnson describes in his CD booklet notes as being able to "make an impact out of all proportion to its length". It only lasts a little over ten minutes, but it's very hard to play well and is rarely performed in the concert hall. All the more reason to get it on CD!

Of the second symphony one can only say it's a definite Marmite work. I happen to love it. It was written at a very sad and worrying time for Sibelius, both within his family and also nationally, since the Russians were in the process of taking Finland over. You'd never guess the composer's troubled state of mind from the music, though. Sir Mark Elder brings all the massive themes joyfully to life. I commend this interpretation to you.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars danger of live recordings 26 May 2013
Format:Audio CD
I've been an enormously enthusiastic admirer of the Halle/Elder CDs that have been coming out over the last years. However, this isn't one that I can get so excited about. The two tone-poems - the relatively early Pohjola's Daughter and the later 'Oceanides' - are truly splendid versions., being studio recordings made some years back. they have the authentic Sibelian wildness in abundance. But the symphony is a different matter, and more than anything this is down to the recording. On the face of it, the sound is good; but as the music progresses, it becomes clear that a great deal of important detail is either inaudible or nearly covered by other elements. An early example comes about 2 mins 30 secs into the first movement (track 3), where Sibelius introduces an important new idea - one of his typical themes that starts with a sustained note, then breaks into a flurry of shorter notes. It is presented in high woodwind, but they disappear under the over-heavy string accompaniment. There are many such examples throughout the work.
Bad recording balance isn't the only problem; I don't believe Elder really has the pacing of this work sorted out. A glaring example is the exaggeratedly broad tempo for the oboe theme in the scherzo, just far too slow. Then the build-up to the finale struggles to achieve momentum, wih the result that, when the great 3/2 theme arrives, there is a calamitous sense of anti-climax. What was all the fuss-and-to-do about?, you feel like saying. The finale, having started so poorly, never gets off the ground.
So the whole performance hangs fire; there is some wonderful individual playing, but this performance represents neither conductor nor orchestra at their best. I hope Elder will consider recording it again in the studio at some point.
The CD is worth having, nonetheless, for the two wonderful tone-poem readings.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars I was there 15 Mar 2014
Format:Audio CD
Having heard Sir Mark and the Hallé play Sibelius many times, live, including the 2nd Symphony, I'm awestruck how well the concert has transferred for this release. The beautiful haunting interpretation by their ensemble always stays with you and this album is a fine example of their performances. Must have for Sibelius fans, and in fact for fans of any music.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was privileged to be present at one of the performances from which this Sibelius 2nd symphony is taken. It was part of what was by far the best concert of the 2012/13 season. I have heard this symphony played so often but never as thrillingly as this. The performance has transferred to disc well and as good as I remembered it. It will rank high amongst my favourite recordings for a long time.

However this disc will go down for me as the best ever recording of Pohjola's Daughter. I have a number of recordings but none with attack, brilliant playing and wonderful music making as this. For example, the beautiful harp playing after the vision of Pohjola's daughter, the tremendous brass playing throughout. A truly revelatory recording coupled with a great description of the music in the notes.

Great stuff from a great Orchestra conducted by a insightful conductor. A combination which continues to thrill both in the concert hall and on disc in Sibelius and much, much more
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars first class performances 25 July 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is the best performance of Pohjola's Daughter I have come across, and even The Oceanides has been made to sound convincing. The Second Symphony hasn't quite the tearaway enthusiasm of the old Beecham live recording, but it is a very polished performance, comparable with any I have heard, and beautifully engineered: every instrument can be heard clealy.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?

Look for similar items by category