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Sibelius: Night Ride & Sunrise; Belshazzar's Feast; Kuolema
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Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Inkinen is going to come to conduct my home orchestra next month and I can't wait to see how he does with Dvorak 7.
But back to this disc. Naxos sound has improved dramatically, but Mr. Inkinen has his New Zealanders sounding like a top Scandinavian ensemble in this music.
Warm (huh???) is the description that most suits this set of recordings. Put on a headset and a delightful orchestral balance plus a warmth I can't find in other recordings of these works will dance in your head.
Sibelius is not the cool, brooding, and frozen tundra composer here except maybe for "Night Ride and Sunrise" and certain parts of "Kuolema". Yet, you don't feel like you're out in the cold here.
"Valse Triste" is simply wonderful. HvK would be envious of Mr. Inkinen's and the New Zealander's performance here.
Many of these works have not been recorded very often over the years. So, to have them together in a collection of this quality is an absolute must have for Sibelius collectors and those newly interested in his music.
Can you say "Buy it now"?
The disc contains a fine performance of 'Night Ride and Sunrise', Op. 55, one of the better known tone poems here. It is followed by a work I'd never heard before, 'Pan and Echo (Tanz-Intermezzo No. 3)', Op. 53a, a five-minute piece which evokes a pagan world peopled by nymphs and satyrs. The 'Suite from "Belshazzar's Feast"', Op. 51, is a four-movement work, incidental music for a long-forgotten play by Sibelius's friend Hjalmar Procopé. It opens with an 'Oriental Procession' set in Belshazzar's Babylon and is followed by delicate 'Solitude', originally titled 'The Jewish Girl's Song. The suite concludes with the evocative 'Night Music' and with 'Khadra's Dance', a genteel belly-dance.
'Two Pieces for Orchestra', Op. 45, consists of 'The Dryad', a six-minute impressionistic tone poem which has us again back in pagan Greek days. It is coupled with 'Tanz-Intermezzo No. 2', three high-spirited minutes featuring harp glissandi, and oboe and cornet solos all in almost Viennese waltz time.Read more ›
I have recently bought two other Sibelius issues, and to start with I have played Night Ride and Sunrise from both of them by way of a benchmark for assessing this disc. Whether first impressions will last I have no way of telling, but while they are all I have I would award first place to this account in preference to either the Lahti SO or even the classic version by the ultra-dependable Dorati with the great LSO. There would have to be a very good reason indeed for such a ranking, and the reason is the recorded quality. The sound here is fresh and clean, and that gets the disc off to a tremendous start with the terrific opening bars of Night Ride and Sunrise. I suppose I have to add a further compliment - to the editing. Those great opening bars are followed by a further 16 and ½ minutes of great music, and I can hardly imagine a more brilliant initial impression being made.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
01-04-14 Here is the young Finnish conductor, Pietari Inkenin leading the New Zealand Sym. Orch. in a Naxos disk of Sibelius works, most of which are unfaMILIAR TO MOST AUDIENCES,... Read morePublished on January 4, 2014 by NUC MED TECH
This is the best of Inkinen and NZ. Agree with reviewers. Track order makes a nice listening program.
Also try the Historical Scenes disc. Then symphonies 3-7. Read more