21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Don't Miss This
, 9 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Tapiola, Karelia suite, Finlandia, The Bard (Audio CD)
Rob Cowan rates Jean Sibelius as "the greatest symphonist of the 20th century" and this reviewer agrees with him. Sibelius is completely lacking in self-indulgence and conductors do better when they are the same. In spite of the many fine Sibelius symphony cycles by such noted figures as Maazel, Ashkenazy and Davis, this is the one to which I can return again and again.
These recordings have languished in the EMI vaults for far too long. They were re-issued by a bargain label, Royal Classics, in 1998 and that was welcome by those of us brought up on the vinyl releases of the 1970s. Possibly the recent death of Paavo Berglund has reminded music lovers what a great and inspiring conductor he was. There can be no better tribute than these landmark recordings, where a provincial symphony orchestra, led by a little-known conductor, surpassed itself and set a standard by which others can still be judged.
These analogue recordings have been freshly remastered for this release and comparing them against the 1998 issues demonstrates the improvement in digital mastering techniques in the past few years, ironically when the CD format is in rapid decline.
Such are the straights in which the classical recording industry find itself that these marvellous recordings, and many more beside, can be issued at prices that are just such amazing bargains. Don't hesitate - such opportunities will not recur.
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