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  • Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6
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Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 Import


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Audio CD, Import, June 8, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The second instalment in Sir Colin Davis's new LSO Live Sibelius cycle follows hot on the heels of the first critically-acclaimed release featuring the Third and Seventh Symphonies. Sibelius was one of the most gifted and innovative symphonists who created music of astonishing beauty and luminosity. His Fifth Symphony is a breathtaking voyage that culminates in a resplendent finale, whilst the Symphony No 6 is more subtle, mysterious and refined to perfection.

Review

'Certainly few conductors before the public today can match his [Sir Colin Davis's] Sibelius ... the Fifth has magnificent breadth and a powerful atmosphere ...The Sixth was always one of the triumphs of Sir Colin's Sibelius cycles and so it proves again here' -- International Record Review, Jul/Aug 2004

'a crafty pairing: the familiar fifth, played with all the seasoned wisdom one would expect of this veteran maestro and his mean London machine, alongside the less well-known, but no less rewarding sixth ... a must for serious collectors' -- The Observer (UK), 27 Jun 2004

'it courses with life from start to finish. This is terrain well travelled by Sir Colin ... but the latest recording, from the London Symphony itself far surpasses both [previous recordings' -- New York Times (USA), 27 Jun 2004

'stunning ... Flawless committed playing of the LSO, but what's really remarkable is the sense of space that Davis brings to the music - you can hear every note in the orchestral texture' Disc of the Month -- Classic FM Magazine (UK), Aug 2004

'the sense of organic growth and of architectural coherence founded upon the wonderful tonal resources of the LSO make the performance hard to resist' -- The Guardian (UK), 24 Jun 2004

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82: I. Tempo molto moderato; Allegro moderato13:38Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82: II. Andante mosso, quasi allegretto 8:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82: III. Allegro molto 9:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Op. 104: I. Allegro molto moderato 8:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Op. 104: II. Allegro moderato 4:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Op. 104: III. Poco vivace 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Op. 104: IV. Allegro molto 8:52$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Colin Davis
  • Composer: Jean Sibelius
  • Audio CD (June 8, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: LSO Live
  • ASIN: B00026KGX8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,125 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Alan Majeska on September 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a beautiful CD in every way, and my first exposure to the LSO LIVE label. I am familiar with this label only from reviews I've read in AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE of Sir Colin Davis's recordings of Berlioz operas, Symphonie fantastique, Harold in Italy, this Sibelius disc, and Sibelius Symphonies 3 and 7. I am very impressed with the whole production: the graphics/design of the disc cover, insert, and program notes on the music and conductor. The disc inside, too, does not disappoint. Both sound and playing are great in this, Sir Colin's most recent Sibelius 5 and 6.

Davis is no stranger to Sibelius Symphonies, having recorded the complete cycle for Philips with the Boston Symphony (Duo Series, 2 double CD sets) in the late 1970s, and again with the London Symphony for RCA (available individually, and in a 7 disc set with other orchestral works). Now, LSO Live has released live concert performances of Symphonies 5 and 6; these are not the same as the RCA recordings. Davis uses lean orchestral textures, and taut, muscular phrasing resulting in Sibelius which is clear and fresh, like ice, or pure crystal: very beatiful and true to the spirit of Sibelius's music and his native Finland.

I have heard the Davis/Boston recording of these works, and here Sir Colin is clearly better in Symphony 5 than he was 25+ years earlier. Symphony 6, previously well played and recorded in Boston, is here very fine, yet different. I can't articulate why the more recent LSO recordings are superior; perhaps longer study with the works at hand, and the presence of a live audience has the London Symphony playing at a higher level than the Boston Symphony had in the studio in the late 1970s.

You can't go wrong with this: grab it while it's still available, and at an almost give away price to boot.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Critics are hailing Sir Colin Davis's ongoing cycle of Sibelius's symphonies as his best (I saw a very favorable review of this recording in The New York Times over a month ago.), eclipsing in quality his critically acclaimed recordings with the London Symphony (RCA) and Boston Symphony (Philips). I haven't heard the CD of the 3rd and 7th symphonies, but am eager to hear it, after hearing these splendid live recordings. Sibelius was one of the few composers who wrote evocatively of nature repeatedly. His most "pastoral" symphony has to be the 5th symphony, with a recurring motif based on swan calls repeating through all three movements. Here Sir Colin Davis does an excellent job capturing the lyrical, dramatic aspects of the score with the London Symphony Orchestra. The more traditional 6th symphony is also well played. LSO Live sound engineers - or rather, those contracted to the LSO - have produced yet another well-balanced live recording that is as fine as any from a recording studio.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ellex on June 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful album for a Sibelius fan or any lover of classical music. The sound quality is fabulous, capturing a marvelous performance with crystal clarity. The liner notes are very informative, too!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Moldyoldie on March 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
[Updated for timeliness and extended remarks on March 27, 2009]

With the semi-chaos that's become of the recording industry, and as do a few prominent orchestras nowadays, the London Symphony Orchestra is producing and distributing live recordings on their own label. This is the first installment of what has become Sir Colin Davis' third complete recorded cycle of Sibelius' symphonies, the last two with the LSO.

Unfortunately, for much of the popular Symphony No. 5 it's "Hum Along with Sir Colin". Though it's become something of a given throughout Davis' vast discography, I've never heard his humming as disconcertingly conspicuous as here! One might be able to overlook it in the face of an overwhelmingly convincing performance, but the truth is that Davis doesn't necessarily convey a special affinity for this stirring and monumental score. The performance is certainly enjoyable enough -- tuneful, mostly fleet of pace, powerful when need be, and confidently played with an evident savvy emanating from the podium -- but it's hardly as gripping, penetrating, and memorable as those of Bernstein and Karajan, who in my estimation still reign supreme in this work, even when compared to the recent spate of fine native Finnish and Scandinavian performances on CD.

The performance of No. 6 here, however, has become one of my personal favorites. This knotty score is seemingly the bane of many Sibelian interpreters, but Davis and the LSO winningly render an optimistic and well-balanced reading from beginning to end. The delightfully disarming poco vivace third movement, a favorite Sibelian concoction of this listener, is especially fetching here.
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