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Sibelius - Finlandia; Karelia Suite CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Iceland Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Petri Sakari
  • Composer: Jean Sibelius
  • Audio CD (1 Oct. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00001NTM2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,905 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
1
30
8:11
Album Only
2
30
3:52
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3
30
7:36
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4
30
4:31
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5
30
16:47
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6
30
16:10
Album Only
7
30
9:12
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8
30
6:23
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Product Description

Product Description

Finlandia, op. 42 - Karelia, op. 10 - Suite Lemminkaïnen, op. 22 / Orchestre Symphonique d'Islande, dir. Petri Sakari

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Opening this concert is Sibelius' overture Finlandia, composed for a gala in Helsinki to support the right of free speech at a time when the nation was under Russian domination. The work became a symbol of Finland's struggle for independence, and virtually the country's unofficial national anthem. Instantly recognisable, it is the most famous Finish music ever composed. Apart from his seven symphonies, Sibelius' major legacy is the series of tone poems he was inspired to write by Finish history and legend. The Karelia Suite is his revision of music originally written for a sequence of tableaux portraying the history of Karelia. Drawing on folk influences, this is melodic, celebratory and most attractive music. The major work on the album, though, is the Lemminkäinen Suite. Lemminkäinen was described by Sibelius as "the Don Juan of Finnish mythology". Here the philanderer undergoes a series of adventures, including a bleak sojourn in the underworld, before the mystical melancholy of the most famous movement, "The Swan of Tuonela", and the heroism of " Lemminkäinen's Return". This is an intelligently compiled programme, superbly played and recorded. Petri Sakari and the Iceland SO have also recorded Sibelius' Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3, which are worthy of further exploration. --Gary S. Dalkin

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It's hard to go wrong with Naxos discs; quality recordings at excellent prices, and wonderful selections. For a middlebrow listener like myself who has never managed to get into the more demanding side of classical music but is a bit jaded by the oft-repeated selections that keep appearing on compilation albums, this disc must be hard to beat for an introduction to Sibelius, covering at it does a variety of moods, from the soaring and powerful Finlandia, through the lilting Karelia Suite intermezzo to the haunting 'Valse Triste' (used to great effect in Bruno Bozetto's animated film 'Allegro non Troppo'). The other longer tracks are a bit ponderous to my undereduacated ear but this is still good value even if you skip those.
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By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 April 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The sweeping compositions of Sibelius attain musical heights few other composers could reach. Finlandia is an all time favourite of mine, and stranded on a desert Island I would want it there alongside me with Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro". The music itself is not in doubt, but sadly the sound quality of this CD left a lot to be desired. I went to the cheap end which is not always wise, and Naxos is certainly the budget end. I find that I can switch it up to full volume and still not achieve the desired volume. Doing this of course leaves a nasty background noise. Sibelius is best appreciated to some volume! Very disappointing. Of course this could be a fault of my particular CD, but I feel I should give fair warning. Another review might dispel these concerns. I post this review as I look for another alternative. A man who is tired of Sibelius is tired of life!
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Format: Audio CD
Generally speaking the Naxos/Sakari Sibelius CDs are good, sometimes very good. I value this one particularly for the fine performance of the Lemiinkainen Legends (or Suite), which is full of atmosphere and very well played. Sibelius suppressed the first two after early performances ; they saw the light of day again when Kajanus died and they were found among his papers, and then Sibelius sanctioned them again. They are a good deal longer than The Swan of Tuonela and :Lemminkainen's Return, but full of interest musically. To have such a good presentation of them at such a low price is splendid. The much slighter Karelia Suite is well done and enjoyable, and so is Finlandia, though both are very well represented in the catalogue and some other performances have greater personality. For them it would be 4 stars, but Lemminkainen lifts this CD a notch higher, in my view. The recording has a very wide dynamic range - I did not find this a problem - but sounds well and the playing throughout is expert. Recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From music lessons at school, "Finlandia" has always been a favourite of mine for its passionate evocation of the Finnish country and people in a sweeping, dramatic and moving piece.
The "Karelia Suite" makes an excellent companion. Many people know the opening of the suite, the "Intermezzo", very well because it was used as the title theme for the long-running ITV current affairs programme "This Week".
Naxos is is an excellent publisher and its wide-ranging catalogue of cheaply available CDs makes much of classical music available to many who cannot afford the more expensive editions or do not wish to spend a great deal on CDs.
However, cheapness does not mean poor quality; they may not reach the standard of Deutsch Grammophon but they are excellent.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Finlandia by Sibelius is the epitome of this composers work has all the grandeur and deep brass of a robust work yet in the "Swan of Tunela" the gentleness of a small child. This suite is a must for all serious music lovers. For those of us old enough to remember, the "Intermezzo" from the Karelia Suite used to be the theme music for the ITV networks political programme "This Week".
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Format: Audio CD
People here don't need to read my review on this wonderful music but I would like to mention what another reviewer has about the sound quality. The actual performance is superb but the sound quality on the CD is quiet at best and even muffled during the famous Intermezzo section.

I will be sending mine back, hoping for a refund.
The 1 star is reflective of the sound issue not the music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Absolutely lovely. What else cn anyone say to bring it up to another eighteen words. We should be able to leave just one word!!!!!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Love this cd just a pleasure to listen to while relaxing has to be exerienced I would definitely recommend it
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