Sibelius Symphonies


Please provide any suggested recording(s) of Sibelius Symphonies, especially No. 2, 5 and 7.

Thanks and Happy Listening.

Otto
yu11375
vanska on bis - all 7, my favorites. also ashkenazy, blomstedt on all 7 and levine on 2 & 5.
Sym 2 -- Barbirolli/RPO or Monteux/LonSO
Sym 5 -- Gibson/LonSO
Sym 7 -- Maazel/VPO
Thoroughly recommend Barbirolli, for the whole cycle. Also Davis offers insightful playing. Found on EMI. Cheers
Has anyone listened to Sanderling's performances (the whole cycle) with Berlin Symphony Orchestra on Berlin Classics?

For
Symphony 5: Kondrashin with Royal Concertgebouw
Orchestra on Philips.
Symphony 7: Mravinsky with Leningrad Philharmonic
Orchestra on Erato.
these two interpretations provided me different viewpoints to approach Sibelius other than the legendary Sir Barbirolli reading has established.

Newbee,
Are Blomstedt's recordings with San Francisco or Dresden? Please confirm.

Thanks you all and Happy Listening.

Otto
Symphony # 5 & 7
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis, conductor
Philips 289 464 740-2
Sugar just corrected & completed my previous ref to C Davis. It is on Philips of course, the Barbirolli/Halle being on EMI. Sorry.
I believe that Barbirolli also did a recording of the Second for the Readers Digest series that was reissued both on vinyl and CD by Chesky that I enjoy quite a bit. Sugarbrie, glad to see you're in good shape. I imagine viewing that storm will not easily be erased from your memory.
otto, blomsstedt with the sf. i note you like russians - if your not familar with the ashknazy versions you might give them a try, i like #4 best. you can just feel the cold wind of the artic...........
Has anyone listened to Sanderling's performances (the whole cycle) with Berlin Symphony Orchestra on Berlin Classics?

For
Symphony 5: Kondrashin with Royal Concertgebouw
Orchestra on Philips.
Symphony 7: Mravinsky with Leningrad Philharmonic
Orchestra on Erato.
these two interpretations provided me different viewpoints to approach Sibelius other than the legendary Sir Barbirolli reading has established.

Newbee,
Are Blomstedt's recordings with San Francisco or Dresden? Please confirm.

Thanks you all and Happy Listening.

Otto
All,

Sorry the for the repeat listing.

Newbee,

Thanks for your confirmation.

Otto
Here's my current favorites:

#2 (First Choice) - Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra (Available directly from the Cleveland Orchestra website)

#2 (Second Choice) - Barbirolli and the Royal Philharmonic (Chesky)

#5 (First Choice) - Vanska and Lahti on BIS (coupled with the Original first draft #5)

#5 (Second Choice) -Karajan and Philharmonia (Not Berlin) - EMI recording from 1953

#7 (First Choice) - Berglund and Helsinki Philharmonic on EMI (From his 2nd complete Sibelius Cycle)

#7 (Second Choice) - Ashkenazy and Philharmonic on London/Decca
for otto: out of curiosity i picked up sanderlings' #2 and 3. both are very good performances, i liked 3 a bit more than two but he keeps the pace up. i'm not fond of performances in which the conductor tries to make sibelius into a "romantic". very good recordings, especially at budget price (7.49 at alldirect.com). i'm going to get the rest.
I thoroughly agree with Greg: Sir John Barbirolli on EMI and Colin Davis on Phillips, especially the 2nd.
Newbee,

Finally I found the company with me on Sanderlings' performances. Try his recording of Symphony No. 5, it is very objective interpretation. Enjoy!

Otto
otto, you like strauss and sibelius, have your tried bantock? this is a composer from the british isles who should be heard, not your typical bucolic english music. he was a contempoary of both strauss and sibelius. his music was influenced by liszt and wagner. talk about a convergence of the planets! if you haven't, try hebridean symphony on hyperion label for starters. excuse the presumption.........
Newbee,

Thank you for your suggestion regarding Bantock's Hebridean Symphony. To be honest with you, I have difficulty to approach 20 century music.

Happy Listening!

Otto
Surprised that no one mentioned the Sergstam with the Danish SO...Sergstam did his best with the limitations of the Danish, would prefer if he recorded the set with the great Helsinki orchestra. The recordings are good, but i may have to recommend the Sanderling. The Berlin, not my favorite orchestra, but certainly out does the modest Danish. Sergstam is a great conductor for bringing out nuances in all his Sibelius. But the legendary Barbirolli possibly comes through as the set to own. But i love Sibelius ...so i have 3 sets. Do not buy Davis with the London SO. The worst in all catalogue. Davis with the Boston is very interesting on 2 and 5.(or 7?) BYW for SYM. #1, Rozdenvesky with the London (album) is excellent. Kamu with the Helsinki (album) is very good. DG did not release all the Kamu's Sibelius recordings on CD.??? The one to own on SYM #1 is the Stokowski and the National. Of all classical legendary recordings (i'll soon start a thread on this list) this recording is just superb. What a genius Stokowski!
Check out Paavo Berglund complete sibielius symph. with the chamber orch. of Europe on the FINLANDIA label. Very good readings by top notch players. And very well recorded by Tony Faulkners and Onno ?( whats his lastname).
Best complete set for me is Maazel/London, recorded in 1960's this is a young Maazel giving us a set for the ages with great sound that betters most new modern recordings.

I own the critics darlings like Ashkenazy, Davis, Karajan, Berglund etc but much prefer the Maazel set even though there are few other Maazel works I really like. Other sets I prefer are Bernstein/Sony and Gibson/Chandos.....three great sets there that are not normally touted heavily by critics.

For Karajan much prefer his EMI recordings to critics favorite DG versions, the Barbirolli/Chesky 2nd is magnificent and essential. The Szell/Phillips 50 2nd is very good also but Barbirolli mentioned is a touch better.

Have not heard the Vanska/BIS set yet.....the Kamu 1,2,3 performances contained on DG Trio CD are well worth getting although sound is not great. The Neemi Jarvi and Mariss Jansons performances are very good buy not quite elite status, still preferred to Ashkenazy, Davis etc.
Since this thread has been revived, I'll add one more performance I've been enjoying very much recently: not one of his symphonies, but Finlandia as performed by Mackerras and the London Proms Orchestra on RCA LSC 2336 (the Classic Records 45 r.p.m. reissue is very good, the engineering by Kenneth Wilkinson is superb).
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I've been a Sibelius buff for 40 years and have many recordings of the symphonies, including the complete sets by Maazel (Decca/London), Bernstein (Sony), Berglund (EMI), Jarvi (BIS), Rattle (EMI), both the Davis sets (Boston on Philips and London SO on RCA), Saraste (RCA), as well as numerous individual performances. Without question the best set of the Sibelius symphonies is the recent, second Colin Davis one, with the London Symphony Orchestra, on RCA. No modern conductor has shown as thorough and consistent a grasp of the very individual Sibelius idiom as Colin Davis, the unchallenged dean of Sibelius interpreters of our time. And the LSO/RCA set has the advantage of excellent recent digital sound, engineered by Tony Faulkner. My second choice would be Ashkenazy's spirited and eloquent but somewhat Russianized readings on Decca/London.
If you like Sibelius, don't miss the classic Heifetz/Hendl/Chicago SO performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto on RCA, far and away the greatest recording ever made of this magnificent work, by the violinist who "owned" this piece as few other virtuosos have ever owned a concerto, and who played it in a way no other violinist could approach. This recording always had superb sound, but is now sounding better than ever in the recent RCA hybrid SACD release (at mid-price to boot). In a class by itself.
Ditto Texasdave's recommendation of the Sibelius Violin Concerto by Heifetz/Hendl/Chicago SO. It is superb. For vinyl fanciers, the Classic Records LP reissue is very good.

Dave, it sounds like you may have found something to like in Tony Faulker's engineering work on the Colin Davis series. Is that so?
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I just looked up Sibelius symphonies in The 2003-4 Penguin Guide and The 2004 Gramophone Classical CD Guide. The Penguin Guide says: "Capped with a superb account of Kullervo, Sir Colin Davis's RCA set of the Sibelius Symphonies sweeps the board. The excellence of the LSO playing is matched by the consistently fine RCA recording, which sets the seal on a totally authoritative and triumphant survey, including equally fine performances of En Saga and Rakastava for good measure. Otherwise Ashkenazy's Sibelius cycle takes precedence." The Gramophone Guide likes the Ashkenazy set, but prefers the first Davis cycle with Boston on Philips to his second one.

My recommendation is Colin Davis's second cycle with the London SO, which was recorded 1992-1998 in and around London (three different venues), all engineered by Tony Faulkner, and released on 5 CDs as follows:
1. Symphonies 1 & 4: Recorded 1994.
2. Symphonies 2 & 6: Recorded 1994.
3. Symphonies 3 & 5: Recorded 1992.
4. Symphony 7, Kullervo Symphony, Rakastava, En Saga: Recorded 1994 and 1996.
5. Karelia Suite, Oceanides, Finlandia, Valse triste, Tapiola, Nightride and Sunrise: Recorded 1992, 1994, and 1998.