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Jean Sibelius - 4 Legends from The Kalevala
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Jean Sibelius - 4 Legends from The Kalevala

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable performances! March 21, 2013
There are giants in this score. No doubt it. Thomas Jensen, Alexander Gibson and Eugene Ormandy, just to cite a few. But Lukas Foss captures the myhtical aura of this fabulous suite. Details of orchestration, remarkable moments of captivating tension but above all, the absolute domain of the score, elusive and mysterious.

A notable finding that it really impressed me. Don't leave outside this brilliant gem!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Interesting Rendition August 30, 2009
What attracted me first to this LP in the late 1970's was the cover by an artist named Szafran. It's very colorful, sort of surreal, with bubbles and butterflies and nude figures and woods and flowers and a skeleton. Since the Amazon listing does not give much information, it was Lukas Foss who conducted the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the record is Nonesuch H-71203. I knew something of Sibelius but I didn't know the Lemminkainen Suite or 4 Legends from the Kalevala, except perhaps the Swan of Tuonela.

The recording is not realistic but is effective. The orchestra is generally somewhat back, but the solo instruments seem to be close miked and more forward, which decreases the dynamic range. However, the result is generally very appropriate, though the Swan of Tuonela could be somewhat more atmospheric. Lemminkainen in Tuonela is suitably dark and dramatic and Lemminkainen and the Maidens of Saari (they certainly weren't maidens after he visited them!) and Lemminkainen's Homeward Journey are lively and well done.

I think my previous speakers, all of which have been in many ways quite good, tended to emphasize the defects of recording a bit. The recording sounds better than ever with my current speakers, which have a flat frequency response and excellent horizontal dispersion, so I suggest neutral speakers.

If you want a more realistic perspective, I can suggest Sir Alexander Gibson's recording on Chandos or Horst Stein's on London. While the Lukas Foss recording is not a first choice, it has its own charms and is well worth having.
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