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Sibelius Symphonies - Page 9

post #121 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottder
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
The hiss used to bother me about earlier recordings. I know this isn't the amp forum, but when I got my SR-71, the hiss went away on ALL these recordings. I hear no hiss on my Maazel recordings at all, just blackness and music. Same for my Szell recordings which was great since I have a lot of them.

dshea
post #122 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by dshea_32665
The hiss used to bother me about earlier recordings. I know this isn't the amp forum, but when I got my SR-71, the hiss went away on ALL these recordings. I hear no hiss on my Maazel recordings at all, just blackness and music. Same for my Szell recordings which was great since I have a lot of them.

dshea
One nice thing about my new cans (A900) is they don't emphasize his (like the etys do) as much.
post #123 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Great.........since you mentioned this you are of course obligated to report back to us your findings.
I have made it through the first five symphonies. I only have the Davis/LSO recordings of 1 and 4 to compare them to. I have 4-7 of Karajan/DGG but I haven't really had the time to get through those yet.

Impressions on Maazel:

The sound!! Wow. Decca really recorded these pieces well. I will be using these recordings as reference for audio equipment from here on out. You can hear everything so clearly. The colors are stunning and really makes my audio setup come alive, almost more than any classical recording I own, at least up there near the top.

I agree with one of the above comments that these recordings are rather germanic in their interpretation. They really work for me. The ideas are presented clearly without excess liberties taken. I agree with Tyson that they aren't as stark and cold as one might want their Sibelius. However, I really love how Maazel really brings the life out of these pieces. I haven't found myself this engaged with a recording in a long time. I really haven't spent much time with these works in the past except playing 1 and 2, but I find myself captivated. I think it is the sound and the interpretation that draws you in. It reminds me of the first time I heard Mahler way back when.

When comparing this recording to the Davis/LSO recording, I much prefer Maazel. The Davis recording is interpreted well, but the sound and playing is too pretty, smooth and the orchestra doesn't really seem to have the same vitality, precision and spark that the Vienna Philharmonic does under Maazel. From a player's perspective there is something that annoys me about one aspect of the orchestra, but it is really trivial and I don't want to mention it because if others aren't aware of it, why call attention to it. I just accept it and I forget about it as I get swept away by these pieces.

I would also just like to comment on Sibelius in general. I think since he isn't on the radar as much as others (i.e. Mahler, Bruckner and Strauss), but is still a major composer is intriguing. The content of his symphonies have a fairly decent wow factor, but unlike Mahler and others, I think you get to enjoy the act of discovery a bit more as to the content of his expression. It is the slight irregularities in composition that are worth a life time of contemplation. After all these years I am hearing so much in these pieces that I really am finding myself blown away by what I am hearing. Perhaps it is a refreshing break from the music I know inside and out. I feel the profound content, nuances of color, balance, and thematic construction are absolutely remarkeable.

DA, spend some more time with the later symphonies. I actually find them very thought provoking and charming, almost lighter in character than the earlier works. They are a bit different than the earlier works, but I find them very intriguing. Of course I am always a fan of composers' late works.

This set is remarkeable. Truly a reference quality set. Chalk up another for DA.

dshea
post #124 of 233
Dshea
Well put your Maazel impressions..........I had the Davis/BSO/Phillips Duo Sibelius symphony set but sold it after getting Maazel/London and a few other sets that take preference. The professional critics seem to like the Davis and Ashkenazy sets, but not in the same class for my tastes. The Ashkenazy has become a borderline sell for me now, but holding on for now.
post #125 of 233
Indeed, I still stand by my purchase of the Maazel (especially since I got them for a song used ). I haven't felt much need to look further for Sibelius.

Scott
post #126 of 233
I'm going to see Sibelius performed on the 15th, 4 & 5th, Levine conducting the BSO (also a Babbitt piece the BSO is premiering). My first classical concert, I can't wait!

Scott
post #127 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottder
I'm going to see Sibelius performed on the 15th, 4 & 5th, Levine conducting the BSO (also a Babbitt piece the BSO is premiering). My first classical concert, I can't wait!

Scott
What a great start! By all reports, Levine is doing great things with the BSO.
post #128 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by daycart1
What a great start! By all reports, Levine is doing great things with the BSO.
I have a copy of the Mahler 8th he did with the BSO, excellent! I am quite excited.

Scott
post #129 of 233
Well, Levine did not disappoint with the Sibelius 4th and 5th, both wonderfully handled, very even handed prformance, but the finale of th 5th was simply mindblowing, I am SO glad I went.

Scott
post #130 of 233
Bravo.......interesting to see in person all that is involved in performing a symphony, gives you a fuller perspective.
post #131 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Bravo.......interesting to see in person all that is involved in performing a symphony, gives you a fuller perspective.
Indeed, although one thing nice on CD, no cough-a-thons between movements! But it was quit something. and the sound, well, no headphone can touch live.

Scott
post #132 of 233
Thread Starter 
Took me a while, but I finally put the Gibson set on order, will post a review once it's in my hands.
post #133 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson
Took me a while, but I finally put the Gibson set on order, will post a review once it's in my hands.
Great keep us posted........as stated previously I was quite impressed overall with this inexpensive set.

I did pick up one Sibelius CD recently: Szell/Phillips 50 Greatest Sibelius 2nd with Beethoven 5th as coupling. Was able to pick up cheap so did my duty and purchased......will report soon.
post #134 of 233
Since we're all reporting in. I am getting the String Quartets by the Sibelius Academy Quartet. Will report on those as well.

Scott
post #135 of 233
Thread Starter 
The Gibson set is very good. He also interprets Sibelius from a germanic tradition, but his way is much more Beethoven-ish than Mahler-ish. Phrases tend to be curt, short. Music has drive and energy, but not an over-inflated sense of pathos or false grandiosity. I like it much better than the wrong-headed Maazel (Sibelius after Mahler), or Ashkenazy (Sibelius after Tchaikovsky), and almost as much as Davis/BSO (Sibelius as modernist). Playing and sound quality are both first rate. Very happy with this purchase and will be listening to it a lot.
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