Sibelius's Symphony No.3 was composed in 1907. It is the link between the romantic intensity of his first two symphonies and the more cold complexity of his later symphonies. Symphony No.7 was completed in 1924 and is notable for having only one movement. The Swan of Tuonela is a tone poem based on the Kalevala epic of Finnish mythology. The Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra and Yevgeny Mravinsky pair these with Debussy's Nocturnes Nos.1 & 2.
Monteux draws a brisk and clean performance from the orchestra. The rich and melodic symphony is presented with vitality. Sound is a plus factor, and an interesting portrait of the composer lends excellent display values. There are other versions, but this can compete strongly(The Billboard, Sept. 14, 1959)
Vladimir Fedoseev was borh in Leningrad and studied in Moscow at the Gnesins Academy of Music and then did postgraduate studies at Moscow Conservatoire with Professor Leo Ginzburg. In 1971 he was invited by Evgeny Mravinsky to guest conduct the Leningrad Philarmonic Orchestra. Since 1974 Vladimir Fedoseev has been working as the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tchaikovsky Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra. He also collaborates with leading orchestras in Europe including Zurich’s Tonhalle, Leipcig’s Gevandhaus, Orchestre de Paris, Bavarian Radio Orchestra. In 1996 he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1997 Vladimir Fedoseev was appointed Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. As a highly acclaimed operatic conductor Fedoseev is a regular guest conductor at the Zurich Opera as well as Opera Theatres in Milano, Paris, Vienna, Bologna, Florence…
The excellence of these two famous performances hasn't diminished a bit over time. George Szell's Beethoven Fifth exists in three versions: this one; another with the Cleveland Orchestra on Sony; and (finest of all) one with the Vienna Philharmonic live from the Salzburg Festival on Orfeo. Talk about an embarrassment of riches! It's really pointless to dwell on minute variations in interpretation or playing: all three recordings represent a surpassingly high level of achievement, from the taught opening and generously "con moto" Andante, right through the grim scherzo to the explosive finale. It's simply great Beethoven….
Great music, great performance and great sound. Recommended.
Thomas Søndergård's hybrid SACD of Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 in D major and his Symphony No. 7 in C major is an audiophile showcase that presents two contrasting sides of the composer with optimal clarity. The comparatively lush orchestration of the Symphony No. 2 probably has never sounded better in any recorded format, and the multichannel reproduction of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales brings out its vibrant bass, velvety strings, and sumptuous winds in a resonant acoustic, all of which are essential ingredients in the young Sibelius' post-Romantic sound. Yet the Symphony No. 7 presents the sparer counterpoint and leaner textures of Sibelius' mature phase, so the recording brings out the transparency of the timbres, and the clean separation of parts gives an added spatial dimension. Søndergård's interpretations of both works are wholly sympathetic and masterful, and the orchestra plays with the commitment and vitality that make these symphonies compelling. One hopes this is the first installment of a Sibelius cycle, which would be a great addition to Linn's catalog. Highly recommended.
Karajan was a chord guy, and his DG Sibelius recordings arguably find him and the Berlin Philharmonic at their creamy-textured, soft-edged, tensionless but gorgeous peak. These EMI remakes, on the other hand, lack the same degree of discipline, nor are they so well (or at least consistently) recorded, but they also do selectively greater justice to the composer’s craggier textures and tendency to favor winds over strings as the bearers of significant thematic material…
Some critics claim that Karajan's 1965 recording of Sibelius' Symphony No. 5 with the Berlin Philharmonic is the greatest performance of that symphony ever recorded. Some claim that his 1967 recording of the Sixth is the greatest performance of that symphony ever recorded. And a few critics even assert that his 1965 Fourth is, if not the greatest ever recorded, at least the most beautiful ever recorded. Beautiful? Yes, certainly; all of Karajan's mid-'60s recordings of Sibelius, like all of his mid-'60s recordings of everything, were opulently, sumptuously, voluptuously beautiful.