Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Sibelius Symphonies
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sibelius Symphonies - Page 4

post #46 of 233
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.
post #47 of 233
Just received a CD of Sibelius orchestral works with Ormandy and Bernstein conducting. Ormandy is good with Sibelius, but Bernstein is, as was the case with symphony no. 5, outstanding. I keep on going back and forth between adding a Bernstein cycle or testing out the Vanska one. In Bernstein's favor is the price and the fact that both the recordings I have with him and the NYP are absolutely great...to my tastes. Vanska receives outstanding reviews and I'm kind of curious as to his Sibelius with a lean string section, which supposedly allows the winds/horns to shine more. Besides, the Vanska includes Tapiola and supposedly offers outstanding sound quality. Downside is that it goes for 2-3 times as much as Bernstein on Sony.
post #48 of 233
Berglund/Filandia/COE Sym 1,2,3
Not sure if this is typical of Berglunds other Sibelius work (hopefully not), but very average uninspired performances. The small group offers a little different perspective but doesn't overcome overall performance weakness. His symphony 1 is especially weak reading, with symphony 2 faring better showing some glimmers of life/passion, and 3 just average overall. The sound is pretty good (as it should be for new recording) but nothing great. Will now scratch Berglund off my list of Sibelius conductors and sell this set.

Berglund reminds me a bit of Ashkenazy/London in style, never capturing the deep felt passion and sweeping energy these works can convey......instead opting more for an intellectual detached coolness I don't really like. I keep the Ashkenazy around because the sound quality of his set is very good.

The Maazel/London set again is far superior to this Berglund/Finlandia offering for me. Still waiting for Bernstein/Sony to arrive.
post #49 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by danaa
... I keep on going back and forth between adding a Bernstein cycle or testing out the Vanska one. ...
Has DarkAngel taught you nothing??? The obvious answer is buy them both!


-Z
post #50 of 233
You should know that I use guys like Dark Angel and Tyson as leverage. Don't think that I haven't brought my wife over to the computer and said, "Hey, hon, look at this. Tyson has 7 copies of everything that Sibelius did. Hey, hey, this Dark Angel guy has eight. I'm like nobody."
post #51 of 233
Thread Starter 
I do the same thing with my audio purchases - whenever my wife thinks I have spent to much on an amp or speakers or whatever, I always have one of my other audiophile friends ready to show her what "really" crazy gear is like, and I look sane by comparison
post #52 of 233
Bernstein/Sony/NYPO Sym 1-7
Just arrived today and did a quick listen to several symphonies......no need to hesitate this is a great set and highly recommendable but does not quite surpass my reference Maazel/London.

As you would expect from a younger Bernstein these are full of high drama and emotionally charged performances. Lenny cheats a bit though to acheive his drama and sometimes briefly slows things down more than usual but maintains the suspense/grip to make the next swell/climax even more overwhelming and powerful. Maazel I believe is more even handed yet equally as powerful.

The Sony sound is pretty good overall, but not in the same class as Maazel's amazing London recordings........gives Maazel an edge that is hard for others to compete with.
post #53 of 233

Bernstein/Sony/NYPO Sym 1-7

Arrived today as well, and I've been listening to it for much of the afternoon. The remastered sound is noteworth for clarity and background silence. The stereo separation seems exaggerated at times, almost to the point of manipulation in places. I'm impressed by the orchestral playing that Bernstein pulls out of the NYPO.

As for the interpretation, so far I like the approach--with one notable exception. B. manages to make stretches of the 2nd sound absolutely unfamiliar, and I've some real reservations with his tempi. I expected him to do a Bernstein on the 2nd, broad effects and epic romanticism. Instead, he seems willful and contrived. Jarvi milks it for more drama while maintaining greater coherence, IMO. The 5th, on the other hand . . . lovingly lingered over and built to self-indulgent climaxes. If you like your Sibelius cold and Nordic, I don't think it will appeal. Bernstein fans (of whom I am one) will eat it up.

BW

[Edit] Wrote this off-line and discovered DA's post when I checked in.
post #54 of 233
BW
I will have to listen to set again today to get better feel how Bernstein's style is different from some of my other favorite sets, just know after one listen that set is very very good.

I will have to update my initial Sibelius overview post soon since I have some new purchases since then. Also expect to receive Gibson/Chandos set very soon.
post #55 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ward
As for the interpretation, so far I like the approach--with one notable exception. B. manages to make stretches of the 2nd sound absolutely unfamiliar, and I've some real reservations with his tempi. I expected him to do a Bernstein on the 2nd, broad effects and epic romanticism. Instead, he seems willful and contrived. Jarvi milks it for more drama while maintaining greater coherence, IMO. The 5th, on the other hand . . . lovingly lingered over and built to self-indulgent climaxes. If you like your Sibelius cold and Nordic, I don't think it will appeal. Bernstein fans (of whom I am one) will eat it up.
I think what you are hearing is Lennys tendency to highlight the contrasts, make the slow parts slower more intense and the climaxes faster more energetic.......many purists will object to this artistic liscense, he he.

Jarvi and most others are more even handed and don't accentuate the peaks and valleys for dramatic effect the same way Bernstein does, making them more consistent sounding. But I enjoy the "Sturm and Drang" that Lenny stirs up in many of his performances.....sometimes he fails completely but in Sibelius he hits the mark for me.
post #56 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I think what you are hearing is Lennys tendency to highlight the contrasts, make the slow parts slower more intense and the climaxes faster more energetic.......many purists will object to this artistic liscense, he he.

Jarvi and most others are more even handed and don't accentuate the peaks and valleys for dramatic effect the same way Bernstein does, making them more consistent sounding. But I enjoy the "Sturm and Drang" that Lenny stirs up in many of his performances.....sometimes he fails completely but in Sibelius he hits the mark for me.
I agree with your observation. This is a good example of Bernstein at his most subjective. And I both enjoy and would second your recommendation of the set. But not as an only choice. Probably I grumble about the 2nd because I have the clearest notion of how it "should" be played, and the present performance strays far afield from my expectations. In the less familiar symphonies, I bring less baggage and am more at ease with his artistic liberties. It's interesting to watch how he makes Sibelius sound like Bernstein in places, the abrupt tempo changes, unexpected moments of silence, and such. Fun recording. Thanks for the tip.

BW
post #57 of 233
If you can lay your hands on any recordings, Beecham ha done some marvellous Sibelius. They collaborated together quite a bit and I think he has some great insights and really captures the very essence of the many brooding moods of Sibelius.

To what has been said already, I would second, third, fourth...

Davis/BSO

Karajan 4-7 with the BPO
post #58 of 233
Dark Angel,

Are the new acquisitions influencing you more positively toward the latter symphonies? I really enjoy Maazel's Nos. 4 and 7. Was wondering if you share the feelings.

As for myself, I went ahead and ordered some new Sibelius last night, all at bargain rates.

The Vanska/Lahti Symphony Orchestra No. 1 and 4. All I read about this pairing is wonderful. This is the one that most intrigues me.

The Sakari/Iceland Symphony No. 1 and 3. From what I read, this is Sakari's finest Sibelius disc.

The Szell/Concertgeboul Orchestra Amsterdam No. 2. Was wanting for something to complement my Barbirolli and this one receives very high praise. Interestingly paired with Beethoven's fifth, a pretty odd combination. The Beethoven is supposed to be excellent as well, although I doubt my Kleiber will be tossed off the throne as the favorite of all the recordings I have of this particular work.

Obviously, I was concentrating on earlier works this time around.
post #59 of 233
Danaa
Where did you find good price on Vanska Cds? Ususally they are full price versions.

Sakari/Naxos 1,3
I do have this CD which I read was best of Sakari series. Mixed bag symphony 1 is very average.....compare this to the excellent Maazel, Jansons or Bernstein and it falls way short. Symphony 3 here fares much better for me and compares favorably with the better versions. For $5 price worth having and a keeper for me.

The Barbirolli/Chesky 2nd will be very hard to beat, it is one of the great ones.

My favorite Sibelius in general are symphony 1,2,3 which I never tire of. Symphony 4,6 are also very enjoyable with sufficient contrast, pace, and drama. Symphony 5 I like less and symphony 7 which is usually a single CD track becomes a very long tone poem like Tapiola, and I rarely bother to play it.

Still waiting to receive Gibson/Chandos set.

Kiwi
I would love to find good stereo Beecham set, but only ones I have seen are mono.
post #60 of 233
The Vanska set is VERY expensive at Amazon. It's $84. Lately though, I've been buying via their "used or new" links. So far, I've had no bad experiences whatsoever and they've all been shipped promptly. The price savings can be substantial. For instance, to buy the Vanska complete set this way only costs $47, still brand new. I got the Vanska Nos. 1 and 4 for $8, rather than the $20 price of Amazon.

The downside is that you have to pay shipping costs, which I think is still pretty reasonable ($2.49), especially when compared to what some charge at Ebay and the fact that it is real hit or miss as far as prices. Today, the cheapest Vanska 1/4 was $16.11.

The Szell Beethoven/Sibelius was advertised as having been played lightly, but in excellent condition, but I know the seller from the classical music forum and at $4.49 was something that was worth it to me.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Music
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Sibelius Symphonies