SIBELIUS Symphonies / Maazel

JEAN SIBELIUS
The Seven Symphonies

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
FRANZ SCHUBERT

Int. Release 16 Oct. 2015
4 CDs + 1 Blu-Ray Audio
0289 478 8541 2


Track List

CD 1: Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2

Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
Symphony No.1 In E Minor, Op.39

Symphony No.2 in D Major, Op.43

Wiener Philharmoniker, Lorin Maazel

Total Playing Time: 1:19:29

CD 2: Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4

Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
Symphony No.3 in C, Op.52

Symphony No.4 in A minor, Op.63

Wiener Philharmoniker, Lorin Maazel

Total Playing Time: 59:13

CD 3: Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6

Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
Symphony No.5 in E flat, Op.82

Symphony No.6 in D minor, Op.104

Wiener Philharmoniker, Lorin Maazel

Total Playing Time: 51:59

CD 4: Sibelius: Symphony No.7; Karelia Suite; Tapiola

Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
Karelia Suite, Op.11

5.
19:05

Wiener Philharmoniker, Lorin Maazel

Total Playing Time: 54:46

BR 5: Sibelius: The Seven Symphonies

Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
Symphony No.1 In E Minor, Op.39

Symphony No.2 in D Major, Op.43

Symphony No.3 in C, Op.52

Symphony No.4 in A minor, Op.63

Symphony No.5 in E flat, Op.82

Symphony No.6 in D minor, Op.104

Karelia Suite, Op.11

27.
19:13

Wiener Philharmoniker, Lorin Maazel

Total Playing Time: 4:03:39

By the time these recordings were made the Decca team had significant experience of recording the VPO in the Sofiensaal and it shows . . . The First Symphony immediately establishes that the engineer's work is really excellent. The sound has great presence and there's an striking left-right panorama. The front-to-back perspective is very good too. I especially liked the marvellous bass definition; that's so important with a composer who makes such use of pedal points. Maazel's way with the first movement is thrusting and dynamic. His conducting is vital and is also sweeping . . . [the VPO] play splendidly . . . This is a super performance of the symphony and I'm not in the least surprised that it emboldened Decca to record the rest of the cycle . . . [Symphony no. 4]: a very concentrated and successful performance of a challenging score. In the Fifth Symphony the extraordinary tension and formal inventiveness of Sibelius's first movement is well conveyed by Maazel and his orchestra . . . The final climax is magnificent, setting the seal on a very fine account of the symphony . . . [Symphony no. 7]: [a] magnificent performance . . . It's been highly rewarding to revisit these recordings. Performance standards are uniformly high . . . these Decca performances from the 1960s can still be ranked alongside the very best despite the passage of five decades . . . The presentation does full justice to these excellent recordings . . . There could be no better way to mark the Sibelius 150th anniversary than by acquiring these excellent performances . . . Lorin Maazel's Sibelius cycle stands the test of time.

. . . [Decca Classics' lavish 24-bit restoration of Maazel's famous VPO cycle] will bring a smile to audiophiles . . . Gordon Parry's engineering possesses almost startling physical impact and tangible presence . . . Nos 1, 4, 7 and "Tapiola" remain among the most boldly compelling ever recorded . . .

The most marvelously played and recorded complete cycle of the LP era . . . The brooding Fourth Symphony has rarely been conveyed with such depth and sweep; the pine forests and cold lakes come alive in the mind, but so do dark shadows. The Seventh resounds magnificently, the textures swirling, the melodies glowing.

L'intégrale enregistrée par Lorin Maazel dans les années 1960 -- peut-être la meilleure jamais produite -- est authentiquement sibélienne. Elle s'apparente à un éloge, sobre et pénétrant, de la métamorphose. De la pudeur dans l'épanchement, de la clarté dans le mystère, de la tenue dans le tourbillon . . . Le tout avec un orchestre (le Philharmonique de Vienne) étourdissant de virtuosité et fusionnel à tous les niveaux. En résumé: intelligence et musicalité. Constat valable pour le chef des instrumentistes comme pour celui . . .