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Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5; Andante Festivo; Karelia Overture Import

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 25, 1994
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Tempo Molto Moderato-Allegro Moderato
  2. Andante Mosso - Quasi Allegretto
  3. Allegro Molto
  4. Andante Festivo
  5. Karelia Ov


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 25, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: BIS
  • ASIN: B0000016A7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455,365 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

5 star
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4 star
67%
3 star
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Top Customer Reviews

By John K. Casey on February 3, 2012
Verified Purchase
I bought this CD because I wanted to own once again a performance of the marvelous Karelia Overture, the Opus 10 of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Unlike the Karelia Suite, which has been recorded many times, the Overture is neglected. In the 1970's, Eugene Ormandy put out a first rate rendition with the Philadelphia Orchestra when they returned to RCA to do their recording, but I don't believe that it has ever been released on CD. This recording by Neeme Jarvi is pretty much one's only plausible option.

The Overture is part of a group of works commissioned from the 27 year old composer by a local group of students, the Wiborg Society of Helsinki. They wished to celebrate the history of Karelia, a locale that lies between Finland and Russia. Both countries have claimed the windswept territory as their own at various times. Sibelius undertook the project with gusto, producing the first of what would be a long series of incidental music. However, not all of the music he wrote for the Karelia event was actually published. The composer drew up a three-movement Suite, which became the Op. 11 that we know so well today. He also prepared the Karelia Overture for publication as his Op. 10.

Happily, the Jarvi choice for the Overture is a good one. He takes the pacing at a slightly faster tempo than I recall with the Ormandy. The Gothenburg Symphony plays with both force and finesse, and Jarvi brings out many of the fine little touches that populate virtually every score of the Finnish genius. The renowned melodies of the Suite are adroitly revealed in the fresh garb of the Overture. The brass section, especially the full-throated trumpet, is particularly brilliant.

Two other pieces are on this CD. The Symphony No.
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Having heard Andante Festivo at Lincoln Center's 2013 White Light Festival, I ordered this performance by the same artists, Neeme Jarve and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Well worth the delayed delivery involved.
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Sibelius is nice, but was never my favorite. However, I recently attended a concert in our series with the Phila Orchestra, and Neemi Jarvi was the guest conductor doing the Andante Festivo, and I fell in love. With him, and with the piece. It was riveting despite its brevity. Fabulous piece, and great CD. The seller was also wonderful! Bravo, Amazon!
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