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Pocket Symphonies

Faure Quartett , Sven Helbig , Kristjan Jarvi , MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $13.07 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon's Sven Helbig Store


Image of album by Sven Helbig


Image of Sven Helbig


Sven Helbig was born into a working class family and raised in Eisenhüttenstadt,
Eastern Germany. He discovered classical music by chance as he was flipping
through the channels on his self-built radio. What started out as a fascination for
semiconductor circuits swiftly turned into the centre of his life: the MW-receiver as
a window on the world.
Night after night he would ... Read more in Amazon's Sven Helbig Store

Visit Amazon's Sven Helbig Store
for all the music, 3 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony
  • Conductor: Kristjan Jarvi
  • Composer: Sven Helbig
  • Audio CD (August 13, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00D3HG7PE
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,821 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Gone
2. Frost
3. Am Abend
4. Eisenhuttenstadt
5. Autumn Song
6. A Tear
7. Urban Perfume
8. Sing For The Moment
9. Bell Sound Falling Like Snow
10. Zorn
11. Rise
12. Schlaflied

Editorial Reviews

Introducing the new album from German composer-producer Sven Helbig, who has worked with Rammstein, Pet Shop Boys, Snoop Dogg, Polarkreis 18 and German rapper Sido.

Pocket Symphonies are twelve symphonic pearls in the form of songs. Short, infectious, beautifully melodic, and yet with the immensity and depth of symphonic-like works, Helbig draws his inspiration from centuries of power and glory.

If you like the music of Einaudi, Reich, Richter, Glass, Jenkins and other accessible contemporary composers, you will be drawn to this music.

Helbigs emotional symphonic images for orchestra and piano are closely connected to his life, experiences, aspirations and also the voids between epochs, systems and continents.

When one writes a three-and-a-half-minute symphony, a song is automatically created, according to his own personal credo. There is a genetic relationship; but in a song, one has to express within just a few bars what a symphony affords a whole movement for expressing. However, if one compresses a symphony in all of its dimensions of length, dynamics and emotions, then a song is what remains - whether one likes it or not; it doesn t work any other way. In this respect, the Pocket Sym¬phonies are in fact symphonic songs.

For the recording, Helbig continued his collaboration with the award-winning Faure Quartett - ECHO winners in 2010 for Klassik ohne Grenzen (Classic without Borders)

The Estonian-American conductor Kristjan Jarvi, who has conducted almost all of the worlds great orchestras, accompanies Helbig and the Faure Quartett. Jarvi called the Pocket Sym-phonies probably one of the best things I ve ever done.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars For the more demanding listener January 31, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you like a bit more classical in your contemporary music listening and that at a level of sophistication that is unusual, like in Not the run of the mill same old same old, Seven will pleasantly surprise you. It takes perhaps a person who understands the European cultural context to understand his music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent contemporary symphonic music January 11, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Sven Helbig co-founded the Dresden Symphony Orchestra, which specializes in new, symphonic music.
This album, however, used the Faure Quartet and MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony. The works, 12 in all, are conducted by Kristjan Jarvi. Järvi is the younger son of Neeme Järvi, and the brother of conductor Paavo Järvi.

The pieces are short -- the longest is just over 5 minutes. While the time length is short, the pieces are long on quality. They are in different moods, from pathos to angst to energetic. They are uniformly excellent.

The overall style I would call post-romantic. Think Prokofiev, with a modern accent. Many of the pieces seem like they could be themes for dramatic movies. I say that as a compliment. I regard modern movie soundtrack writers as top notch. I'd say he sounds a bit like Horner, but he has more edginess in his compositions. I have heard lots of modern post-romantic composers and film composers and Helbig has a distinctive voice.

I recommend this without reservation. This is very high quality symphonic music with a modern tone. The recording is crystal clear and well captures the many nuances and colors in the music.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome Back Germany! December 15, 2013
Format:Audio CD
I have often been puzzled about what happened to German and Austrian classical music. After all, Germany and Austria are the homes of classical music. But after Korngold (born 1897) and Orff (born 1895), virtual silence! (that's if we exclude the meretricious 'university' music which no one loves, and which sounds as if it is stuck in the pre 1914 world).

So is Helbig the one to move German music into the twenty first century? Well it is certainly the first German music I ever heard which actually SOUNDS like it was written during my life time. That is a huge step forward in itself.

Some of this is very good indeed. I would recommend you try 'Rise', the eleventh of these Pocket Symphonies. 'Rise' exhibits tremendous energy and creative fertility, with endlessly varying rhythms, spicy and occasionally discordant harmonies. It is music which constantly dances, in a wonderful manner which reminded me of Michael Tippett.

Some of the other Pocket Symphonies pay homage to Helbig's Austrian and German predecessors. 'A Tear' has a final chord reminiscent of Strauss's 'Metamorphosen', and the spirit of the last movement of Mahler 9 is not too far away either. In 'Autumn Song', which I especially loved, the echoes are of Berg. And elsewhere the shade of Bach rises his head - for example in the wonderful fast piano solos of 'Frost'.

The orchestration is quite unusual, enabling Helbig to create his own sound world. There is much beautiful writing for solo strings and piano, and the glockenspiel (I think) has a starring role too. The sound and harmony is a little 'fatter' than many other contemporary composers, which gave it a nice German accent.

This is music that requires repeated and careful listening.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional October 8, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you wish to fall in love please get this album. An incredible sampling of classic styles blended with less traditional sounds, easy listen but profound and very emotional.I feel very fortunate that composers like Sven Helbig bring a modern perspective in the classic genre. I will be listening to this beautiful music for a long time.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars very very sleepy December 13, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
THIS IS VERY BORING PREDICTABLE MUSIC i AM very sorry I purchased This is worse than most film music...dont waste your time listening to this incredibly uninteresting music ,,,NOT one original melody or harmonic component in this terrible 45 minute disc will interest anyone witha creative mind
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