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Showing 101-125 of 660 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jun 1, 2012 10:13:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 1, 2012 10:34:27 AM PDT
I'm going to go against the majority and say that I've actually preferred Segerstam in the tone poems to his Symphony 1-7 set on Ondine--because, for me, he has a tendency to slow down too much in certain movements of symphonies, & loose a sense of forward movement. Berglund never does this.

I wish I could say that I also prefer Berglund's Lemminkainen suite over Segerstam's, but unfortunately he never recorded all of it. Nevertheless Berglund's Philharmonia recording of The Swan of Tuonela is the most beautiful I've ever heard--no one touches him here: Sibelius: Finlandia / Tone Poems. Another very fine recording of the Lemminkainen Suite, which tends to get overlooked, is Jukka-Pekka Saraste's first recording on RCA (not his inferior later Toronto SO version): Symphony 7. (Though as good as Saraste's 7th is here, it is no match for Berglund's 'live' 7th with the London Philharmonic: Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D, Symphony No. 7 in C--which we discussed earlier in this thread.)

My two favorite recent Sibelius purchases have both come from Saraste. His 'complete' music from The Tempest on Ondine is one of the great Sibelius recordings of recent decades IMO, & an important one, as this music is not to missed in it's entirety: Tempest: Complete Incidental Music to Shakespeare. The later 'orchestral suites' that Sibelius composed from this incidental stage music include none of the vocal music, & I find this to be essential Sibelius. The other disc that I've been enjoying lately is Saraste's RCA recording of the Sibelius 3rd Symphony: Sibelius: Symphony No 3, Belshazzar's Feast Suite, King Christian II Suite; but not so much for the 3rd, which is very good, as for the Belshazzar's Feast, which I found enchanting. I had never before realized what interesting music this is.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 10:41:07 AM PDT
Tero says:
Tempest looks good.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 3:00:03 PM PDT
MacDoom says:
My first exposure to Lemminkäinen was via Okko Kamu on DG. A very gripping performance indeed. DG dropped him, which I think is a pity.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 7:48:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 1, 2012 7:53:14 PM PDT
Tero says:
OK, I have the Segerstam on order. I think it was the 6th that made me decide I have something new here. The Helsinki band probably plays here

which had awful acoustics till refitted. The Lahti idea of the hall. In any case I seem to hear a more pleasant hall in Helsinki. Have not checked my other collections yet.

Tempted to order Lemminkäinen as well. You can't have too many Lemminkäinens! I think I have 4.

Looking up concert halls gave me this address:
Mannerheimintie 13 a
FI-00100 Helsinki

Which would then be this hall

Posted on Jun 2, 2012 2:54:47 AM PDT
Skaynan says:
Tero: as to Segerstan Conducts

The Leminkainen is very good, the Tapiola is disappointing IMHO. And since for me Tapiola was the main reason for buying this cd, it got disappointed overall. A very strange program when you think about it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 4:12:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2012 10:58:41 AM PDT
Tero says:
I looked all over the entries and really could not find a nicely chosen package of tone poems by Segertam. They missed an opportunity here. Especially when they put out all these fragment collections that make nice souvenirs for tourists:
White Nights: Music of Tranquil Beauty

Clicking around that, found a nice disc of folksy music by Nordgren
Nordgren, P.H.: Pelimannimuotokuvia / Eller, H.: 5 Pieces / Grieg, E.: 2 Nordic Melodies (Folk Into Classic)

Posted on Jun 2, 2012 5:27:37 AM PDT
Jim Ginn says:
I just ordered the Lemminkainen with Ormandy and the Philadelphia plus Tapiola. I have the LP of the op.22 and it is a fine performance--happy to finally be getting the CD. Ormandy was always a great Sibelius performer.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 7:10:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2012 7:13:58 AM PDT
Tero says:
I actually never got to rate my Tapiolas. It is usually at the end of a disc. I get the same experience from all I have. Vänskä clocks in at 17:56.

Järvi I will have to dig up. It's 20:08.

This one is too fast, but I have it coming for the symphonies:
Tapiola Op. 112 Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/Paavo Berglund 14:52

Posted on Jun 2, 2012 9:10:02 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2012 9:15:27 AM PDT
The late Ormandy Lemminkainen is very good, & it's always a special pleasure to hear the old Philadelphia orchestra play the music of Sibelius.

Tero writes, "I looked all over the entries and really could not find a nicely chosen package of tone poems by Segertam." Agreed. There is a selection from his earlier Danish cycle on Chandos: Sibelius: Tone Poems, and a later one on Ondine: Sibelius Inspired by Nature. Segerstam's Tempest Suites got rave reviews when they came out, so they tend to be included on his tone poem CDs, unfortunately, where they don't really belong.

On favorite Tapiolas--Berglund with the Philharmonia comes in at 17:17: Sibelius: Finlandia / Tone Poems--apparently much slower than his later Helsinki version. This is my favorite Tapiola; & close behind Berglund is, believe it or not (because I generally dislike Karajan), Karajan's later digital Tapiola: Sibelius: Finlandia; Valse Triste; Tapiola; Der Schwan von Tuonela; The Swan of Tuonela, which is over 20 minutes & may be too slow for some.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 9:11:46 AM PDT
Edgar Self says:
And for a truly hair-raising "Tapiola" with shivering horn whoops, Koussevitzky's classic with the Boston Symphony.

Posted on Jun 2, 2012 3:10:16 PM PDT
Jim Ginn says:
Piso--I had that Tapiola on 78,s and it was an amazing performance.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 3:50:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2012 4:22:58 PM PDT
Edgar Self says:
So did I, James Ginn (Koussevitzky's "Tapiola" on 78s with the Boston Symphony) and I was a long time finding any I thought were as good. Truthfully, I've never heard it bettered, although technology has certainly changed.

EDIT: I just ordered Koussevitzky's "Tapiola" , "Pohjola", and Seventh Symphony from Amazon.UK on a Naxos not sold here. I realised I've got to hear it one more time. has it in a 2-CD Pearl set with Swan White and more symphonies, but I dread Pearl's surface noise.
Until it comes, I'll bridge the gap with Anthony Collins/LSO and Malcolm Sargent/VPO unless my memory lets me down.

Posted on Jun 2, 2012 4:26:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2012 7:29:59 PM PDT
Tero says:
Nobody is at home, rarely happens. I have had a chance to blast the stereo. I notice that some CDs that seem a little odd on headphones play much better in the stereo. The finest collection on one disc so far, this week, is:
Sibelius: Symphonies / Tone Poems

disc six, with Pohjola's as track one. But I have not played disc 7 yet. After dinner.

I tacked down the hall of the Lahti-Vänskä orchestra. It is named after Sibelius

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 2:03:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 3, 2012 2:04:14 AM PDT
Skaynan says:
James and Piso, just a curiosity question:

I'm a bit young so I never actualy seen a 78rpm record, so I really have no idea, but how did they squeeze a 16-20 minutes of music on one side of the thing? Or did they cut it in the middle and you had to stop and flip the record?

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 2:37:38 AM PDT
Jim Ginn says:
Skaynen--a 78 would play up to 4'33'' on a side--hence Cage's 4'33'' piece. A piece was broken into segments and each side recorded sepe ratly--hopefully at reasonable places. I think that Sibelius piece was on 4 sides of a 2 record album.

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 5:13:34 AM PDT
Skaynan says:
Wow! Thank god we dont have to listen to Tapiola nowadays in 4:33m long separate parts. Small wonder Bruckner or Mahler were not recorded much at the time!
But it does raise another issue: doesn't that "separated" recording technique have some interpretive problems or implications on the piece as a whole? I mean, once you get these cd transfers, they must "put it back together again"- its not similar to a studio recording made of "takes", because in the 78rpm case the cuts were imposed... Interesting.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 5:14:35 AM PDT
Tero says:
I have seen some 78s that we never played, they were heavy bits of polymer. Once in a museum setup I saw a guy play one. He had rigged the "victorola" to play with a long woody thorn from a tree. He said it damaged the record less than a needle. They were 1940s vocals.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 7:30:34 AM PDT
Edgar Self says:
There were automatic record changers on which you loaded a stack of 78s to play and drop one after the other with a few seconds delay to change sides.

Last night I heard three "Tapiolas": Ashkenazy/PO, Maazel/VPO, and Beecham/RPO live in a Sibelius 90th birthday broadcast in 1955 before a very bronchial audience (BBC CD). Ashkenazy far less impressive than the others, not well-balanced, and sometimes unclear. Beecham and Maazel knew what they wanted and got it.

I also heard Ashkenazy's "En Saga", which is also much less powerful and effective than Beecham's old one.

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 11:50:48 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 4, 2012 4:50:04 PM PDT
Tero says:
Sibelius: The Complete Symphonies, Kullervo

The set is now a download or used box set. Give me your opinions on Kullervo from the samples. I only have one Kullervo, Vänskä.

The singing is fine in the Icelandic one, the singers are Finnish, the rest I cant tell really.

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 6:26:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 4, 2012 6:32:53 PM PDT
Tero says:
I reviewed Oramo. I can't really distinguish between good and super good. Review should appear in a few days. I have a CD wallet, and these 4 discs may spend the summer in my car. The timings of the tracks do not appear at the link.

Symphonies 1-7 / Finlandia / Karelia Suite


Disc 1 timings
Symph 1, 10:14
Symp 3
Finlandia: 8:05

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 1:04:47 AM PDT
Skaynan says:
Tero: My favorite Kulervo is the famous Berglund recording, my second favorite is the Segerstam. Both are great, and better then Vanska IMHO.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 5:48:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 7, 2012 5:48:55 AM PDT
Tero says:
I think the Berglund one is what I had on LP.

The Vanskä isn't bad as I have nostalgia for the LP and it is very close. My problem is I never get to play the whole thing, so I compromise and play the 3rd movement, 25 min by itself!

Posted on Jun 9, 2012 1:19:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 9, 2012 2:05:37 PM PDT
Tero says:
Segerstam recorded in the refitted Finlandia hall. The Vänskä band records in a Lahti church.

Just found out Berglund passed away this year.

Segerstam is very good. I find the typical recording a little plodding in the andante of the 5th.

Still evaluating Berglund. I have only 1-4 on hand. Comparing his 3rd, about as good as Segerstam. Berglund had a big role as a mediary to Sibelius. He had SIbelius in the audience, 1950s. In 1980 Berglund got the corrected score of the 7th published.

Posted on Jun 10, 2012 3:17:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 10, 2012 3:45:16 AM PDT
Skaynan says:
Opinions on Sibelius: 'Finlandia' (suites & symphonic poems)

Not expensive, two different conductors, two (very) different orchestras. I generally don't like Ashkenazy in Sibelius but in this collection he really surprised me. His Tapiola made it straight to near the top for me. And a Luonnutar for the ages. And the rest is also great, with orchestral sound and playing to die for (very important factor in Sibelius music).
Stein is no surprise. He's great, that's a given. You got to hear the "night ride and sunrise" here: the best recording of the piece I ever heard.

What do you think?

Posted on Jun 10, 2012 6:00:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 10, 2012 6:06:32 AM PDT
Tero says:
I beieve I have the Ashkenazy. The other one sounds OK from samples, or possibly great, some reviewers love it. Still looking at it.

One can never have too many Lemminkäinens. I may have it attached to every symphony, on several discs, eventually. Well, not 2, it does not fit.
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