Sibelius - Finlandia; Karelia Suite CD
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Finlandia, op. 42 - Karelia, op. 10 - Suite Lemminkaïnen, op. 22 / Orchestre Symphonique d'Islande, dir. Petri Sakari
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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
I will be sending mine back, hoping for a refund.
The 1 star is reflective of the sound issue not the music.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Music tempo to fast, someting missing in the quality of this famous Sibelius suite . Karelia suite wrong tempo!! Finlandia not to my liking.Published on 8 Feb. 2013 by Dave Thompson