Sibelius. Symphony 5 / Pohjola's Daughter. New York Philharmonic / Bernstein CBS Great Performances
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on March 25, 2017
Format: Audio CD
LB's performance of the 5th (and 2nd) with NY have not withstood the test of time. Although the 5th is, indeed, exciting, as is often the case, the performance is more about the conductor than the composer. Columbia's sound for these recordings was never great, but the remastering has certainly helped. For people interested in these recordings (and other Sibelius recordings), I suggest you read the reviews in Fanfare Magazine (Richard Kaplan from Fanfare, in his 2007 review of Sibelius recordings, declared LB's 5th his 'desert island' recording of the symphony). This CD is very short (45'), and it's irritating how it goes straight into Pohjola's Daughter just seconds after the symphony ends - there was plenty of time for a longer pause. Bottom line: Bernstein was not a natural Sibelian and the interested consumer can do better.