Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 1 April 2015
An excellent set of Sibelies symphonies at a bargain price. High quality, wonderful value
1111 Comments| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 20 July 2014
BEWARE. I have just purchased this 4CD pack which purports to be recorded by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paavo Berglund. Notwithstanding what is printed on the CD my computer revealed that the first disc is actually the Lahti Symphony Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vanska. Discs 2 and 3 are anonymous to my computer and it is only disc 4 that is actually confirmed to be what it says it is by the computer.
What is going on? This is the kind of thing that happens if you buy at a car boot sale. You expect better of Amazon.
55 Comments| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 7 January 2013
At last - a complete set of these wonderful works under the late, great Paavo Berglund. He brings granite like integrity to each symphony and the 'minor' pieces are quite thrilling. I do wish that the set had been furnished with Berglund and Ida Haendel's peerless recording of the violin concerto but perhaps that would be asking too much!

Each disc is very well filled and this is stunning value for money.

Do not hesitate!
55 Comments| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 October 2014
Having read the good reviews for this set I bought the mp3 download version. The set is indeed splendid but there is one blip which at least affects the mp3 version as I have it. The 3rd and 4th movements of the 2nd symphony should merge together in performance as the tremendous build up at the end of the 3rd movement is finally resolved in the stirring theme of the finale. In my mp3 version the two movements are separately tracked and this results in a gap in sound (for a fraction of a second) between the movements. At the first hearing I was shocked by the effect and thought it was a fault. It`s as if the tracking has been organised by someone who does not know the music - however unlikely that seems. I`m keen to know whether the cd set is affected in the same way( unlikely since none of the reviews mentions it) or whether anyone with the mp3 version has this same problem.
44 Comments| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 12 January 2013
It's great to see this fine set reissued - thanks to EMI. It is arguably the best of Berglund's three cycles recorded in studio. There are also live performances with the LPO and the Concertgebouw which are well worth hearing, though the latter comes in a large, expensive box. I was particularly struck by the sheer quality of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra's playing, the equal of any other band in these works, I suggest. A set to put alongside Sir Colin Davis on LSO live. Perhaps EMI will now consider issuing a box of the Shostakovich symphonies AND concertos which Berglund recorded in Bournemouth.
44 Comments| 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 10 October 2017
The following summary review provides an overview of the three versions of Berglund’s survey of the Sibelius symphonies and other works where included. They are all the latest masters at the time of the review (2017).


The Bournemouth set was the first and was originally recorded from 1972-1982 with most being in the late 1970’s. The Helsinki set followed recorded in 1984-87. The final set with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe was recorded from 1996-8 and is both the most expensive and supplied without fill-ups All three sets are expertly played by their respective orchestras and faithfully follow Berglund’s direction at that time. All three sets are well recorded so purchasers may choose any without regard to recorded quality which should give complete satisfaction.

There are clear differences of interpretational intent as Berglund developed his ideas over some 20 years. Essentially the Bournemouth set is consistently the slowest, the Helsinki set the fastest and the COE set somewhere in the middle. Conductors only revisit recordings if they feel that there is more to say or if they are otherwise dissatisfied with earlier attempts. Collectors have found much to praise in each of these sets all of which are impressive leaders in their field. Enthusiasts will find that the three sets are all worth purchasing as there is little interpretive duplication with only the 7th symphony being practically identical in each set. All the other works have different emphases to savour and consider. They all convince in different ways.

Broadly speaking the Bournemouth set gains from preponderantly slower tempi with its resultant breadth and weight accompanied by a clear feeling of both spontaneity AND joy clearly transmitted by the orchestra. The double climax in the Oceanides in Bournemouth is not matched in Helsinki for example where markedly faster tempi in that work, as in the symphonies and other works, leads to an increase of forward drive and drama but at the slight cost of the breadth and weight of Bournemouth. The drive towards drama negates the less pressed sense of joy found in Bournemouth. Both of these sets provide a full orchestral textural pallet and for this reason there are plenty of collectors who would choose either of these sets as being by very nature, more in line with the thought processes of the composer. The COE set is, for that reason, the most controversial of the three.

Thus, by way of contrast to the two previous sets of full orchestra recordings, Berglund continued with his quest for further clarity in his final set with the COE. This chamber ensemble however, is no ordinary chamber group having a reduced string section that SOUNDS much bigger than it is in reality. The rest of the players, woodwind, brass and percussion, remain the same in all orchestras. The result is undoubtedly one where listeners will hear more textural detail with much of the breadth of the Bournemouth set retained. Nevertheless despite the power of the strings there is still a change in the orchestral balance that allows more of the solo detail of the woodwind and brass to be heard – and Sibelius wrote much for solo woodwind especially and set this against the massed strings. There is even a return to the personal level of engagement so obvious in Bournemouth and missing in Helsinki. In many ways therefore, this could be considered the best of both opposite worlds. The bite of the chamber orchestra also challenges the drive of the Helsinki set. The significant problems for collectors are the cost, the lack of additional smaller works and the difficulty in obtaining the set.

This is therefore a case of ‘You pays your money and you takes your choice’ to quote a well-worn phrase. All three sets offer equal pegging in musical and recording values and a persuasive case can be made for owning all three as here! Collectors are really spoiled for ultimate choice between these three fine versions.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 30 December 2015
This remastered set by Berglund on the Warner Brothers label doesn't sound right to me. I don't know what the original 1970s tapes sound like but this 2013 reissue just doesn't cut it. I've listened to all the Discs on a high end Valve based speaker system plus through decent Sennheisers. Something isn't right with the production / balance / mastering ?. I own the following Sibelius sets, Barbirolli, Karajan 1950s, and 1975, Rattle, Maazel, Abravanel, and Jarvi. From an Audio point of view the best sounding Hi fidelity reproduction is as follow;- Barbirolli, Maazel, Karajan, Abravanel, Jarvi, and Rattle. I was previously critical of Rattles Beethoven cycle because " it didn't sound right" and I'm afraid that this Berglund is in a very similar category. Strange indeed because Barbirolli is also from the same company EMI and sounds superb ?? Who knows the answer ??.
The music it self is excellent and in my opinion first class but I cannot give the set more than 3 stars for the reasons stated.
22 Comments| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 January 2013
This cycle has been out of circulation for far too long, so thanks to E.M.I. for re-issuing them now and at a bargain price!
The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra play magnificently under Berglund and this ranks as one of the finest cycles of Sibelius's symphonies. I would have liked to have seen the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Berglund's wonderful interpretation of The Oceanides included (it was on the original vinyl release of the Seventh by E.M.I.), but that is by the by.
It would be worth the money just for the Seventh which is the finest reading of that symphony I have ever heard.
Buy it, you will not be disappointed!
33 Comments| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 19 July 2016
Paavo Berglund, who passed away in 2012, was widely known Sibelius conductor. He recorded the composer's symphonies three times. He was the first conductor who recorded the Kullervo Symphony Op. 7. And Wilhelm Hansen music publisher published his critical edition of Sibelius's 5th Symphony.
Berglund's two later cycles with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Europe are more known than this first one with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. It is interesting to know that Emi Classics recorded the whole set (except for Symphony No. 5 and Kullervo) with quadraphonic tapes. The recordings took place mostly in Guildhall, Southampton, which spacious acoustics was ideal for this surround technology. Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 were recorded in the Abbey Road Studio One, London, and the 6th Symphony was taped in the Kingsway Hall, London. These analogue recordings are digitally remasrered here and the results are nearly ideal. Unfortunately there are sometimes quite loud tape hiss. But mostly the sound is very pleasant: warm strings, clear brass and clean woodwinds. Perhaps the highest available sound quality, Direct Stream Digital (DSD), could have been a better choice. Now this 96-kHz/24-bit sound format works pretty nice but as I mentioned before there are signs of age.
The performances are as good as anyone could wish for. There is just one word: awesome. Awesome, awesome and awesome. Berglund had an incredibly ability to find the natural tone and balance of these masterworks. The music is there and he just left it alone. My personal favorites are 2, 4, 5 and 7. Berglund himself admired the 6th but the dry acoustics of the Kingsway Hall was a slight disappointment. If I have to choose just one symphony of this album it would be the Symphony No. 5. In the finale there are quite long pauses between the flashes. In my view Berglund wanted to beat them with maximum power and he therefore he needed those silences. In the first movement the wild coda was very attractive in its aggressiveness. And in the second movement the simple melody of the first flute touched the soul.
Highly recommended 4-disc set that should be part of every Sibelian's library! We can just hope that someday this will be available on SACD with 4.0 surround sound.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 March 2013
One of my favourite composers. A very good album.
I am 90 years old, and it is good to listen to such wonderful music.
33 Comments| 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Customers also viewed these items

Sibelius: Complete Symphonies; Tone Poems
Sibelius (The Best Of)
Sibelius: Finlandia; Luonnotar; Tapiola etc. (2 CDs)

Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)