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Sibelius


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Audio CD, March 15, 2000
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Product Details

  • Performer: Dong-Suk Kang
  • Orchestra: Lahti Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Osmo Vänskä
  • Composer: Jean Sibelius
  • Audio CD (March 15, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: BIS
  • ASIN: B00004RJNR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,709 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Finlandia, tone poem for orchestra, Op. 26
2. The Swan of Tuonela, tone poem for orchestra (Lemminkäinen Suite No. 3), Op. 22/3: The Swan of Tuonela, Op. 22 No. 2
3. Spring Song (Vårsång), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 16
4. Karelia Suite, for orchestra, Op. 11: Alla marcia
5. The Countess's Portrait (Grevinnans konterfej), tableau music for accordion & string orchestra
6. The Tempest, incidental music for vocal soloists, chorus, orchestra & harmonium, Op. 109: Antonio. Dance of the Shapes
7. Suite, for violin & string orchestra, Op. 117: No. 1, 'Country: Scenery'
8. Suite, for violin & string orchestra, Op. 117: No. 2, 'Serenade: Evening in Spring'
9. Suite, for violin & string orchestra, Op. 117: No. 3, 'In the summer'
10. Valse triste, for orchestra (from Kuolema), Op. 44/1
11. Pelléas et Mélisande, incidental music for orchestra, Op. 46: VII. Entr'acte
12. Pelléas et Mélisande, incidental music for orchestra, Op. 46: VIII. The Death of Mélisande
13. Tapiola, tone poem for orchestra, Op. 112

Editorial Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 4, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This well-rounded collection of the better-known short works of Jean Sibelius is very well served by conductor Osmo Vänskä and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. It is one of those CDs for both the passionate lover of Sibelius' music as well as a very fitting introduction to those who for some reason have not placed the great Finnish composer in their collection of recordings. While many of the works fall into the 'pops' category (well known from frequent exposure) such as 'Finlandia', 'The Swan of Tuonela' from the Lemminkäinen, 'Valse Triste', and 'Tapiola', there are some significant works less well known in the concert halls. One of the more poignant of these is the 'Death of Melisande' from the Pelléas et Mélisande incidental music - an example of the fine works for theater Sibelius composed ('The Tempest' being another of these rarely performed works). Vänskä and his orchestra give solid performances here, somehow making this collection cohesive.

Jean Sibelius is growing in respect as one of the more important composers linking the Romantics with the Moderns and we are left to wonder what would have come from him had he not ceased composing for the last decades of his life (he died in 1957). For the past weeks the audiences for the Los Angeles Philharmonic have been blessed with Esa Pekka Salonen's survey of his fellow countryman's genius in a series he titled 'Sibelius Unbound'. The survey included all seven symphonies and some tone poems and excerpts (one of those being the luminous 'Death of Melisande') and as Salonen approaches age fifty he has become the foremost interpreter of Sibelius' music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dongiovanni on January 30, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Three little words: Sibelius - Lahti - Vanska. That's all that's needed. Lahti is simply the best orchestra for Sibelius and Vanska is arguably the best conductor for Sibelius. Do not be disheartened by the popular items. Those are played with extraordinary penache with orchestral richness previously unheard of. Vanska has Sibelius in his veins, in his subconscious, in his viscera. To top it all is the recording quality, the dynamic sensitivity that registers the slightest shift in volume not to mention the superb stereo separation.
The BIS engineering is light years above the average recording companies. You will love this disc. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tero on June 25, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If all you have is the symphonies, this is a nice start to sample Sibelius. The Swan of Tuonela is just one part of a set of four, but the Vänskä version, along with Järvi, is one of my favorites.

Buy the disc used, there are usually many copies. I got one and it was autographed!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 17, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Finland has become a never-ending source of Sibelius recordings, and Osmo Vanska, who ranks as an international conductor at this point (he leads the Minnesota Orch. and tours widely) has made it his misison to spread the gospel. I'm glad he combines the most well known of Sibelius's incidental works (finlandia and the Swan of Tuonela) with others that no one but a Sibelius devotee would know. Two thing a listener knows going in: the Lahti orchestra will be enthusiastic but rovincial in skill, and the recorded sound will be first-rate.

To start with the familiar, Vanska's low-key way with Finlandia is a bit of a surprise, although I must say that I like rip-roaring versions better, preferably with a perfent Finnish male chorus to underline the music's heroism. The Swan of Tuonela requires a world-class soloist on the English horn, while this one is merely good. Vanska takes the familiar March from the Karelia Suite at a smart clip, which is refreshing. The Entr'acte from Pleeas and Melisande is light and tripping, which is also nice. Valse triste is lovely, but on the subdued side compared to big-league readings. None of these performances rate among the very best by a long shot.

Now on to the rarities. Are there any discoveries here? The Spring Song is a pastoral melody that reminds one of Grieg, but not inspired Grieg. Another snippet is The Countess's Portrait, a more hushed melody that begins to sound like the Sibelius we know form the smphonies, only not as memorable. The incidental music to Shakespeare's The Tempest is vry late (op. 109), in this excerpt depicting Anontio dancing drunkenly with shifting shapes conjured up by Prospero -- it's the first really striking thing among the snippets, with strong suggestions of the Seventh Sym. in lighter form.
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