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Complete Symphonies Box set

13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, March 21, 2006
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Frequently Bought Together

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  • Jean Sibelius: The Tempest, Suites 1 & 2 / The Oceanides / Nightride and Sunrise - Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra / Leif Segerstam
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Disc: 1
1. Andante, Ma Non Troppo - Allegro Energico
2. Andante (Ma Non Troppo Lento)
3. Scherzo. Allegro
4. Finale (Quasi Una Fantasia). Andante - Allegro Molto
5. Symphony No.7 In C Major, Op.105
See all 6 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Allegretto
2. Tempo Andante, Ma Rubato
3. Vivacissimo
4. Finale. Allegro Moderato
5. Allegro Molto Moderato
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Allegro Moderato
2. Andantino Con Moto, Quasi Allegretto
3. Moderato-Allegro (Ma Non Tanto)
4. Tempo Molto Moderato-Allegro Moderato (Ma Poco A Poco Stretto)
5. Andante Mosso, Quasi Allegretto
See all 6 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Tempo Molto Moderato, Quasi Adagio
2. Allegro Molto Vivace
3. Il Tempo Largo
4. Allegro
5. Allegro Moderato
See all 7 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 21, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Ondine
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,718 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Brian F Hudon on June 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD
If you have loved the Sibelius Symphonies as I have and have been searching for the one set to buy, this is that set. A Finnish conductor and orchestra make it all the better. The recorded sound is amazingingly clear and deep. The performances are rich, detailed and have a great urgency to them. There is I would say a tension to the performaces and excitement and more warmth than so much of the "icy" Sibelius that is out there on CD. The second is taken at a slower pace than some, but at no expense of structure. The first is my personal favorite in the set. Many conductors I think treat this as an early "romantic" Sibelius work (as though it is not "real" Sibelius) and it often comes off rather Tchaikovsky-ish. Not so here as here it definately sounds like Sibelius. I was also very impressed with the 7th, which despite its short length comes off as having great size and breadth, feeling more like a symphony at the length of a tone poem. My only gripe is the recording of the Sibelius violin concerto, which is simply not worthy of the rest of the set. Fortunately there are many good recordings of that concerto available.

The version of Finlandia in this set features chorus with it and it is sublime. A great bonus with the 7 symphonies.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By M. DeNero on January 22, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There are some things to admire and some to regret with these recordings. The performances are well recorded with rich, detailed sound, but they are too often on the slack side. In addition it seems Segerstam feels the need to go over the top with idiosyncratic phrasing and tempi. The 2nd Symphony for instance. Segerstam has this going in fine form with powerful, expansive sound until he gets to the finale. There, in an attempt to create emphasis and passion, he inserts an odd hesitation preceding each proclamation of the main theme, like a singer taking a dramatic, deep breath before belting out a line. It sounds contrived and adds nothing. That theme can only be described as an anthem and accordingly must be delivered straight-up and unaffected. Then there is the 5th. Here Segerstam gets even further along before derailing. It's a full bodied performance, recorded with transparency, the famous Swan Hymn delivered majestically, but he so exaggerates the accelerando in the closing bars that it detracts from the structure of the entire work. The accelerando is there in the score, and is heard in every performance to different degrees, but not as Segerstam presents it. The first time I listened I was truly taken up in the experience...and then that! "What the...? Aarrgghhh!" It is truly jarring.

The other symphonies are more successful overall. The 3rd has a full bodied, athletic character that is unusual for this work but effective. The 4th is straightforward, appropriately dark and brooding, again with expansive sound. But perhaps a bit tepid. I am not as enthused by the 6th as some seem to be. It's OK, but a bit too broad for my tastes. I prefer a more taut, crystalline reading of this work. The 1st is very powerful and atmospheric, as is the 7th.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. Scott Harrison on May 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having just digested seven complete sets of Sibelius' symphonies, I too can pick and choose amongst the splendid offerings and find treasures. To my mind and ear, none of the complete sets are "clunkers". In fact, I find all of them to have great merit. I must admit, I do especially love Barbirolli and Collins.. the brashness of Davis(BSO)and Von K.'s suaveness and beauty, especially the 7th. But the Segerstam set really is all around exemplary. Fine performances, chilly yet with passion. Superb, realistic sound and interpretations that, while some might quibble with, are personal and interesting. Great set. Five stars!
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38 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Lee on July 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Segerstam's Sibelius will probably appeal more to those who appreciate a somewhat soft edged, relatively slower paced, more richly textured quality. In other words, if you like tauter, cleaner lines, a more vivid and energetic pace and a cooler interpretive style, then Segerstam may not be your man. There's no doubt he can be quite musically expressive, but the issue is in what way[s] ? One of the chief considerations with Sibelius is atmosphere. Aside from nature's colors playing a vital role, grandeur or an epic quality frequently demands representation. While Segerstam is capable of projecting a swelling sense of intensity when called for, I feel he doesn't reveal enough in the way of that Sibelian attribute of loftiness. However, the Sixth Symphony's recipe calls for a somewhat different set of ingredients. Though there are still aspects of the usual mystery and grandness, more flowing textures and some lighter considerations significantly come into play. Segerstam deals with these things in a most disarming way by bringing warmly expressive detail to what is often referred to as a wintry toned work. I do not rate him as highly however in the other symphonies...In the First, my main criticisms are along aesthetic grounds---his characterization of particular phrases, the prominence given to certain instrumental sections over others and some pauses that are too long...The popular Second Symphony is the kind of piece that runs the risk of being twisted and pulled excessively by some conductors. The worst case I'm familiar with is Thomas Schippers' New York Philharmonic account from the 1960s. Segerstam does not go that far, though I'm still not especially enamoured with his reading. Moreover, he does not entirely avoid some congestion. I also do not respond well to some of his heavier accents.Read more ›
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