on 20 September 2013
Colin Davis and the LSO giving us the complete Sibelius symphonies at this price? A no-brainer.
Should you need my personal reasons for this comment, read on......
Symphony No. 1. My main reason for buying this set. Davis captures the beauty of this early symphony, whilst showing us the grandeur that is to come in later works. The best performance of this symphony I have heard.
Symphony No 2. Stiff competition here. I still prefer - just - Jarvi with the Gothenberg SO, but Davis runs them close. You won't be disappointed.
Symphony No. 3. Another superb version. Nothing more to add.
Symphony No. 4. OK, for me, Vanska and the Lahti SO win here, but again the Davis/LSO version will not disappoint.
Symphony No 5. I still think that this Davis/LSO combination is the best on disc. As with No. 1, a key reason for buying this set, not least because my vinyl version is worn out.
Symphony No. 6. I know it is not fashionable, but I still have a soft spot for the early Beecham/RPO version. When the sound quality of the older version gets too off-putting, I turn to Davis.
Symphony No. 7. As in some of the earlier symphonies, Vanska and the Lahti SO offer stiff competition, and as before Davis and the LSO step up to the plate.
I have only covered the symphonies here, as I think they will be the main reason for considering this set.but they only take up half of the seven discs. The remainder is several of the tone poems, other orchestral works and "Kullervo"; all of which get a very satisfying treatment.
If you are looking for the complete set of the Sibelius symphonies, this must be a strong contender, to be considered seriously with Davis' cycle with the Boston SO, and the Vanska/Lahti SO set. Or if, like me, you are Sibelius nut, why not get all three?