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Symphonies 1 - 7 (Bernstein) Box set

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 May 2003)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B00008PW43
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 527,793 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Sibelius' fans will have their own favourites among the numerous sets of his symphonies on the market.I personally enjoy Rattle's recordings,tho'they somehow lack a "nordic"feel to them.Ashkenazy comes second.I am not a fan of Colin Davis and I find Paavo Berglund's set on E.M.I somewhat anemic.But Bernstein is a joy!He returns the music to Scandinavia, giving it a feel of granite, rough hewn under polar skies.The romantic grandeur of the music has never been better expressed.The New York Philharmonic is in great form,and the sony engineers have surpassed themseves with the digital transfer.There is a slight background noise and one or two clicks,thats all!This is Sibelius -and Bernstein-at their best.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had to get this set. I borrowed Sibelius' Fifth Symphony (Leonard Bernstein & NYPO) in 1975 and bought it a year later in LP form. The LP got scratched to bits, too much playing, but I still played it, I've still got it, now unplayable. I cannot get this version of the Fifth Symphony anywhere else apart from in this collection. I have heard other versions by the top notch conductors and orchestras but they do not meet Bernstein's exacting requirements. It maybe the New York Philharmonic, but this recording really takes you to the heart of Sibelius' music, Shimmering Lakes and Woodland. Although it is recorded before all the digital know-how, the musicianship and conducting speak for themselves. In my opinion, these performances cannot be repeated, they are musical treasures.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x90ed578c) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90df999c) out of 5 stars Amazing Sibelius Symphonies!! 2 Jan. 2005
By Louie Bourland - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"The Complete Symphonies" captures definitive interpretations of the seven symphonies by the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius conducted by the late maestro Leonard Bernstein.

Each symphony in this 4-disc set is presented in amazing remastered sound quality displaying full dynamic range and sharpness. The beauty of this music is definitely readily apparent from the opening notes through the very end.

In addition, the CD booklet includes a brief but highly informative essay in which the history behind each symphony is explained in just enough detail to understand its genesis.

All in all, this is a fantastic set of Sibelius's masterful symphonies wonderfully executed by the baton of Mr. Bernstein. Applause also must be given to Sony Music for compiling these symphonies into one complete set. Bravo.

It doesn't get much better than this.

Highly recommended!!
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91e39f84) out of 5 stars A Sibelius Cycle To Consider 4 Oct. 2009
By Transfigured Knight - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bernstein is often praised for his Tchaikovsky and Mahler recordings, but what many people seem to forget is how great a conductor he was of Sibelius' music. He keeps this music aggressively afloat and avoids the meandering trappings that lesser conductors take to make up for their lack of power and control on the podium. Rest assured, these symphonies are given the Bernstein workout. One passionate note at a time, which for me, works for Sibelius' music. Too often you have a conductor like Barbirolli or Davis who sleepwalks through these symphonies. I have heard almost every modern Sibelius symphony cycle on the market. The ones I keep coming back to are Segerstam/Ondine, Berglund/EMI, Vanska/BIS, and this Bernstein cycle.

The highlights for me are his readings of symphonies 1-3 and 6, "Pohjola's Daughter," and "Luonnotar." These performances alone are worth the price of the whole set. The NY Philharmonic Orchestra are just outstanding. They give intense performances that are memorable. The audio quality is also excellent.

You simply can't go wrong with these recordings. If you love Sibelius and like Bernstein, then I see no reason why you shouldn't acquire this cycle. 4 1/2 stars
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91e39e88) out of 5 stars A sincere tribute! 8 July 2004
By Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This set has peak and lows. The second symphony has a hyper romantic approach ; that's its weak point. The third symphony is well built, besides it lacks the nature blow with its wildful force. The first symphony has always been a hazardous for many conductors. It has too much influence from Tchaikovsky ; and Bernstein knows it ; he avoids it , even the reading is warmth.
The best achievements in the set are the four and the sixth . I've never heard a sixth so well made ; the woodwinds , the strings give that atmosphere that demands this complex work. The fourth is unforgettable , but there's a performance of Beecham in the fifties with the Royal Philarmonic literally unique. The seventh is OK, but there are other options.
The fifth is weak , and my favorite versiona are two: Segerstam and Koussevitzki.
Anyway I bought this set eight years ago under The Royal Edition. I recommend you this set , Maazel Vienna , Segerstam and all you can get from Koussevitski.
If you request me by Anthony Collins - London Symphony (out of stock in the most of stores) I must confess, Collins has no equals in the Second .
The best first to me is Victor de Sabata (New York Philarmonic)(See my review about De Sabata)
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90d9a558) out of 5 stars Maybe not my Favorite, but Much Favored 22 Nov. 2012
By J. R. Trtek - Published on
Format: Audio CD
As at least one other reviewer has noted, Bernstein has been much praised for his Mahler -- and I would add Haydn -- but isn't associated that much with Sibelius. I think he deserves to be, certainly on the strength of this full symphonic cycle from his New York Philharmonic days. (His later go round on the Deutsche Grammophon label was incomplete and also very much uneven, in my view.) I can't say that any of these NYPO performances are my favorite for any single symphony, and for a full integral cycle I still swear by Colin Davis' set with the Boston Symphony. Still, I think this is a lovely set, and Bernstein's rendition of Pohjola's Daughter may actually be my favorite performance of that particular work. My only complaint would be the ridiculous prices being asked for this out of print release. If these recordings ever come back in print, grab them up. They are truly fine.
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