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.
The source of the Lemminkäinen Suite is the Finnish national epic Kalevala, and its four movements – of which ‘The Swan of Tuonela’ is often performed separately - tell of the adventures of the young hero Lamminkäinen. In comparison, The Wood-Nymph only had its first complete performance in 1996. This was given by the performers on this disc, a team which has become synonymous with top-flight idiomatic Sibelius performances.
…There is no doubt in my mind that this Kullervo from Segerstam and his team is exceptionally fine and in the first rank of the ever-growing list of recordings. Spano's deeply thought and excellently performed account would also merit a first ranking. But I find Segerstam to have produced the most psychologically realistic Kullervo performance, thanks to the depth of characterisation uncovered by Hakala and Isokoski in the seemingly unpromising and dificult texts of the Kalevala verses. Segerstam comes close to Berglund's powerful first recording from 1970, which allowed many of us to encounter this unforgettable work. The state-of-the art fidelity of Ondine's engineering is a great advantage in itself. While quintessentially Finnish, Ondine's production nevertheless fulfils Sibelius' intent to make this music universal in appeal. Warmly recommended.