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Sibelius: Symphonies Nos.1, 2, 5 & 7

Sibelius: Symphonies Nos.1, 2, 5 & 7

1 Jan 2011
4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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  • Sample this album
    Title by Artist
    0:00 / 0:00
1
11:56
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2
11:05
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3
5:30
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4
12:46
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5
9:39
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6
5:39
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7
10:04
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8
10:16
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Disc 2
1
10:55
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2
18:11
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3
6:24
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4
15:58
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5
8:19
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6
3:12
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7
2:27
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8
4:36
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9
6:18
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2011
  • Release Date: 10 Oct. 2011
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 2011 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 2:33:15
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B005N6KL7S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,795 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bernstein did not live to complete his VPO Sibelius cycle. Of the four symphonies recorded, I find the Tchaikovskian nos 1 & 2 to be absolutely admirable, being slow, epic, indulgently expressive performances in typical late Bernstein style.
Perhaps nos 3 & 6 which Bernstein did not manage to record were no great loss, for these neoclassical works don't fit in with Bernstein's late conducting style.
Of the remaining symphonies which Bernstein did record for DG, I find the 5th more memorable under Maazel with the same orchestra. Bernstein is expansive where Maazel is taut, with Maazel driving the VPO players relentlessly in the first movement, especially the quivering strings and the subsequent exhilarating release of energy in the transition to the scherzo/coda.
An important criterion by which the 7th stands or falls is the way the conductor shapes the three appearances of the great trombone theme. This theme should emerge from the orchestral texture and sink back into it seamlessly and yet retain its own distinctive contour. I don't find Bernstein's shaping of this passage totally convincing.
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By Bill Glen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 Feb. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
endorse the favourable comments of the previous reviewers...this is epic Sibelius conducting of vision. LB's first in these performances generally received great critical acclaim but the rest tended to gather less enthusiastic reviews from the professional music critics. however, I find it hard to believe the reviewers could have been listening to the same works. LB is emotional but the results are fascinating and I wish I had the privilege of sitting through those concerts...but I have the next best thing in these recordings which come off better than some of his other live DG recordings....I wouldn't want to be without the distinctive perspective they offer on these Sibelius masterpieces.
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Format: Audio CD
For me this is absolutely the wrong way to conduct Sibelius. Bernstein constantly tries to squeeze emotion out of the music, with bulges in the phrases and unwelcome emphases to try and force home a point. This just converts the symphonies into some kind of generic Euro-Kitsch. As Michael Rohan points out:
"After the Fourth, he famously remarked that while contemporary European composers were concocting multi-coloured cocktails, he offered a drink of pure spring water. In his later symphonies, the epic Fifth, pastoral Sixth and close-knit, classical Seventh, external influences have long since dissipated."
I admire Bernstein for composing West Side Story and a small number of other recordings, but he was the wrong guy for Sibelius. Many others do it better, and much more idiomatically.
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