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on 31 January 2015
Great recording
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on 30 October 2013
This CD represents very good value, for the performance it delivers. The structure of the Orchestra gives a 'lighter' sound to the music of Sibelius; not as rich and lush as many. The musicians are, of course, very competent and make a very enjoyable sound.
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VINE VOICEon 7 September 2007
This is a great value CD, though you may not want to listen to all seventy-six minutes of it in one sitting; it's a bit spare and samey for that. Being by Sibelius, it tends towards the melancholy, though there are moments of light relief, particularly in the Romance and Suite Champetre. I can't fault the recording or the playing by the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, though if you like your works for string orchestra to be warm and lush, this might not be what you're looking for. With the exception of Andante Festivo (as you might expect with a name like that) these pieces are all rather spartan. I like them, but then I'm a long time Sibelius fan; he can't do much wrong by me.

One or two individual pieces need comment. The first two: Ett Ensamt Skidspar and Grevinnans Konterfej are for recitation and string orchestra. In the first one we hear a man's voice over the orchestra, in the second one a woman's. The voices are mellow and musical, and not at all intrusive, but what are they saying? Would it have been too much to include translations in the sleeve notes? And as for Rakastava, why is it received wisdom that this is Sibelius' best work for string orchestra, almost on a par with his symphonies and tone poems? On this CD it does not stand out as particularly better than or different from many of the others.

You may or may not like this CD, but if you like Sibelius, and if you like works for string orchestra, then at this price it is surely worth the gamble.
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