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Sibelius Symphonies - Page 8

post #106 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Smile of contentment forms on Scott's face as he listens in amazement to the mighty Maazel renditions........his mouth is slighly ajar and he finds it hard to move from his seat and miss what may come next, OMG he thinks to himself that was so beautiful/spectacular, he he
Once again you were spot on here DA, I haven't listened to the whole set yet, but I have had it spinning all morning yet. Where the Karajan/Kamu set made me say "Oh, Sibelius." this set makes me say "OH! SIBELUS!!!" It grabbed me from when I started playing it this morning, well worth every penny I spent on it!

Thanks again,

Scott
post #107 of 233
Scott
How would you compare the sound quality of Maazel/London to other sets?

(I think it ranks very high and surpasses many newer sets)
post #108 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Scott
How would you compare the sound quality of Maazel/London to other sets?

(I think it ranks very high and surpasses many newer sets)
Other than the slight hiss that is present in just about all analog recordings this thing sounds top notch to me. It's aged well and been treated well in the transfer to digital, not all recordings can say that.

Scott
post #109 of 233
Loving the Maazel the more I hear it! I've really gotten to like the 4th, it just works for me, hardto describe.

Scott
post #110 of 233
You know, there's been some discussion here about the "bleakness" of Sibelius' later symphonies. But I was listening to the 6th this morning (Leaper conducting.), and honestly it doesn't sound bleak to me, except for the very introspective ending. I guess i need to get familiar with the entire cycle of works to put it all in perspective....
post #111 of 233
[QUOTE=danaa]Ormandy/Philadelphia Ormandy seems to really know his way around Sibelius. Both this and a disc of Sibelius orchestral works by Ormandy are both fantastic.

The LP edition of Ormandy's Sibelius 1 is worth having for the annotations alone. Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra were on tour in Europe in the late '50s or early '60s, and in between concerts he decided to take the entire orchestra to Sibelius's home as an act of homage. The reclusive composer declined at first to come out on his balcony and greet the orchestra, which had assembled on the grounds below. Ormandy became impatient and scolded Sibelius: these men have championed your works and spread your fame far and wide, and will you not come out and say a word to them? Sibelius gave in. The album cover is a photo of conductor and composer on the balcony, both wrapped in heavy coats against the winter cold.

It's an impassioned performance. The Philadelphia Sound works well in this symphony.
post #112 of 233
Amadeuswus,

That is simply a great story, especially how Ormandy stood up for the members of the orchestra.

He and the Philadelphia were excellent Sibelians.

Thanks for sharing.
post #113 of 233
amadeuswus,

That IS a great story. I wanted to see if I could find that image of Sibelius and Ormandy on the web. A little googling led me to

Jean Sibelius: A Remembrance

It is not a great quality image but it is worth checking out.

-Z
post #114 of 233
No Ormandy in my Sibelius collection..........I know that his version of 1st is supposed to be very good according to critics, but I have several excellent versions currently and would be surprised if Ormandy could surpass them.

I "suspect" Ormandy uses a smooth romantic lush view of 1st similar to Jarvi, anyone own the Ormandy 1st and can compare to one of the versions below?

Maazel/London
Jansons/EMI
Karajan/EMI 1980 (not DG version)
Kamu/DG
Gibson/Chandos

Ormandy/Sony 1st is pretty cheap to puchase new or used for those on budget.........perhaps I should just buy it and end the suspense
post #115 of 233
You knooooow you can't resist DA.

I am still loving the Maazel, haven't felt a need to look further.

Scott
post #116 of 233
I compared the Maazel (Decca) and Karajan (EMI) recordings of the First. For me, Maazel is forceful and direct, perhaps a bit too literal. (The recording quality matches his conception.) His principal winds sound like they are on a short leash. This conductor is known for subdividing all ritards, leaving nothing to chance; I don't know if he was already doing that in the early '60s.

Karajan and the BPO are more expansive and rhapsodic. Wind solos have more sense of fantasy (the marking for the last movement seems to have spread backward through the piece like an ink blot). Late Karajan often sound smoothed out and manicured; one hears that in places here, but the early digital recording may contribute to the effect. The notes claim that Sibelius thought Karajan his best interpreter, but that was decades before this recording was made!

Overall, I prefer the Karajan. I'll listen to the Ormandy again soon. (How do you guys have time to sit down and compare half a dozen versions?)

By the way, a friend of mine once played Mahler Five under Maazel. It was a youth orchestra at a festival; the group had been rehearsed by the resident conductor and turned over to Maazel for the last few rehearsals and the concert. Young string players often rush like there's no tomorrow, and in one rehearsal the violin section got way ahead of Maazel's beat. Maazel stopped the orchestra. Without uttering a word, he shook his head meaningfully at the violins. After that, no one rushed again. My friend remembers the concert as one of his greatest musical experiences.
post #117 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Should get my Bernstein/Sony set any day now.

But I just listened to Maazel/London set again and it is so good both performance and sound that I really must put it in another league from any other performance, a clear reference set which is rare to find with so much competition. If anyone is interested in Sibelius I insist you buy Maazel

Will have a couple more versions soon but I cannot see them eclipsing Maazel compared to my previous experience with various others......but will explore regardless.
Excellente! I was checking out a recording from our library for the Sibelius Violin Concerto and thought hey, here is an interesting looking set of the Sibelius symphonies. I also recalled this thread. After re-reading it I was ecstatic to see that DA's reference recommendation was sitting before me. Ah it was good day today.

dshea
post #118 of 233
I still have my Bernstein/NYP set on vinyl, but it was Ormandy (#2) and Barbirolli (#1) who first got me started on Sibelius.

Mostly, I'm longing for more from Mariss Jansons. I loved 1, 2, 3 & 5, but he doesn't seem to have a contract with anyone for new recordings. I believe if he released complete set, it could well be my favorite.

Another fine Sibelius conductor not often mentioned is Raymond Leppard.
post #119 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by dshea_32665
Excellente! I was checking out a recording from our library for the Sibelius Violin Concerto and thought hey, here is an interesting looking set of the Sibelius symphonies. I also recalled this thread. After re-reading it I was ecstatic to see that DA's reference recommendation was sitting before me. Ah it was good day today.
dshea
Great.........since you mentioned this you are of course obligated to report back to us your findings.
post #120 of 233

slightly off topic

Right now I'm listening to The Oceanides, Op. 73. Some of it is very modern sounding--even more than the later symphonies. Try it, you'll like it.
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