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James Harling

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Sibelius: Symphonies [John Storgards, BBC Philharmonic] [Chandos: CHAN 10809(3)]
Sibelius: Symphonies [John Storgards, BBC Philharmonic] [Chandos: CHAN 10809(3)]
Price: 22.04

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine cycle beautifully played, 11 April 2014
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.


Icon - Paavo Berglund
Icon - Paavo Berglund
Price: 36.28

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy Tribute to a Great Conductor, 13 Jan 2014
This review is from: Icon - Paavo Berglund (Audio CD)
Completely agree with the other 5 star review. A really excellent set. Those who criticise the selection of recordings are missing the point. All Berglund's great Sibelius recordings have been available in a wide variety of reissues and including a lot of them here would diminish the attraction of the set. There are other orchestras here but the majority of the recordings celebrate his Bournemouth years and give a much richer picture of his achievements with fine recordings of Franck, Nielsen, Vaughan Williams and Shostakovitch, many of which have not been easy to access in recent years. Tremendous value and a great way to really get to know the work of this self effacing and profound musician.


Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (original 1830 orchestration on period instruments) /ORR  Gardiner
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (original 1830 orchestration on period instruments) /ORR Gardiner
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 16.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite Fanstastic, 25 Aug 2011
The idea behind this disc is excellent -aiming to get as close as possible to the first performance. However, this performance never really catches fire - it doesn't have the abandon of Gardiner's Harold in Italy - more of a well proportioned and neat performance. It surprisingly doesn't underline the sheer originality of the work. This may partly be due to the sound. Although it's nice to go back to the Ancien Conservatoire where it was premièred, the small space leads to a dry sound with little bloom. An interesting recording but not as successful as Davis, Markevitch, Martinon, or quite a few others.


Berlioz: Harold en Italie; Tristia
Berlioz: Harold en Italie; Tristia
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 15.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Berlioz, 25 Aug 2011
This is a wonderful disc where everything seems just right. Fine playing from soloist and orchestra in Harold and Italy - one of the best performances in the catalogue. The three movements of Tristia are magical and the performances are quite outstanding. With very fine sound, this is a gem for Berlioz enthusiasts


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