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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A seminal set, 21 Feb. 2013
By 
chris hall (Abergavenny, Wales) - See all my reviews
This is a seminal set of these works. If you want windswept forestscapes and lakes, then go for Berglund or Segerstam; high drama, Rozhdestvensky; mythic romantic narrative,Barbirolli, Ashkenazy or Ormandy; but if you want to reach deep into the dark heart of the Sibelian imagination, delved into and explored with utter intellectual rigour, uncompromising passionate engagement and a truly revelatory spiritual journey, then these have never been surpassed. Nor are they likely to be, even by Davis himself whose quest to perfect and refine his interpretaion has produced two further cycles with the LSO. Both are utterly superb cycles, but neither have the edge and improvisatory relish of this set, which has a sense of discovery and freshness that the later, perhaps wiser, but less spontaneous readings cannot replicate. Also, the LSO, though masterly, just can't match the fervour and aplomb of the Boston players with their scintillating strings, lucid woodwind and sonorous brass, underpinned by a percussion section whose dynamism is without parallel. As a result, the symphonies emerge with a cogency and compacted energy that even these terse works do not quite possess elsewhere, however idiomatic and exciting those performances may be. Indeed, I would suggest that whatever favourite readings you may possess (and I have many) it essential to supplement them with these truly historic accounts, which receive the best recording of any of the Davis versions.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection, 28 Jun. 2012
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This 5 cd set deserves its 5 stars - the performances from Sir Colin and the Boston SO are very good indeed. With all 7 symphonies getting superb playing ( I've yet to hear a more powerful final chord in the 7th) plus the best tone poems and a decent violin concerto from Accardo you can't go wrong. A fantastic set of Sibelius works.
The reviewer who gave it one star just because some humouresques are missing is mad - I've never heard them and don't miss them. No need to denigrate the whole set because of some minor inconsiquential omissions. Recommended!
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent set, 3 Nov. 2013
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This is one of the best Sibelius sets available even though many of the recordings were made some time ago.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is an excellent box set, 16 Jan. 2015
By 
Mr. S. M. Harris "Stormraven" (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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For me, this is an excellent box set! I hadn't knowingly heard any of his compositions before, so for the price it was hardly a gamble. Well worth the purchase!!
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7 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars missing now found, 14 April 2012
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D. J. Baker "djb" (england) - See all my reviews
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This set can now be enthusiastically recommended to anyone who has not the original set.
At least five of the symphony recordings (1,2,3,4 and 6) could be considered as the best ever recorded.
The recorded quality is also excellent in most of the symphonies and all the tone poems.

Unfortunately to get the complete Sibelius from Sir Colin Davis you have to also buy the set Salvatore Accardo in concert on Decca as that includes the missing Sibelius Humoresques that should have been included in the set under review.
At least they were not lost!
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Sibelius: Complete Symphonies; Tone Poems
Sibelius: Complete Symphonies; Tone Poems by Boston Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis
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