Author Topic: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.  (Read 14931 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3870
  • Location: Germany
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #60 on: February 16, 2018, 05:35:09 AM »
Sure. But further above in message #40 someone says that Karajan/DG was "the worst". This could refer both to the 1980s and the 1960s recording which is nowadays included in a twofer with symphonies 4-7. (I have the latter, but no strong opinion on either piece or recording.) There is at least one more (1970s?) on EMI

Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 11681
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #61 on: February 16, 2018, 06:40:42 AM »
Sure. But further above in message #40 someone says that Karajan/DG was "the worst". This could refer both to the 1980s and the 1960s recording which is nowadays included in a twofer with symphonies 4-7. (I have the latter, but no strong opinion on either piece or recording.) There is at least one more (1970s?) on EMI



Oh, I see what you mean. Not sure. I have all three recordings and like both the DGG Tapiolas. I don't have the one with symphonies 4-7 at hand but suspect it is from the 1960s.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Baron Scarpia

  • Guest
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #62 on: February 16, 2018, 08:58:37 AM »
I prefer Karajan's 80's Tapiola to the 60's version. I have listened to the EMI Berlin one, I am sure, but don't have a distinct memory of it. There is also a Karajan/Philharmonia recording on EMI, mono I think.

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 11681
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #63 on: February 16, 2018, 12:22:07 PM »
I prefer Karajan's 80's Tapiola to the 60's version. I have listened to the EMI Berlin one, I am sure, but don't have a distinct memory of it. There is also a Karajan/Philharmonia recording on EMI, mono I think.
Good to know.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Baron Scarpia

  • Guest
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #64 on: February 16, 2018, 12:25:55 PM »
Good to know.

His Philharmonia recordings are often an interesting comparison, since he wasn't in total control in those days. He had a strong personality in Walter Legge to contend with. There can be dramatic differences between Philharmonia recordings made in the late 50's and Berlin recordings made just a few years later.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 12:40:23 PM by Baron Scarpia »

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 11681
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #65 on: February 16, 2018, 12:49:49 PM »
His Philharmonia recordings are often an interesting comparison, since he wasn't in total control in those days. He had a strong personality in Walter Legge to contend with. There can be dramatic differences between Philharmonia recordings made in the late 50's and Berlin recordings made just a few years later.
Interesting indeed. I think I prefer both the DGG versions to those made for EMI. I also like Berglund's Philharmonia version, which is understated but still very affecting. I prefer it to his Helsinki version, good as that is.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline aukhawk

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 706
  • Frankie
  • Location: England
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bach to Björk
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #66 on: February 19, 2018, 03:29:14 AM »
Oh, I see what you mean. Not sure. I have all three recordings and like both the DGG Tapiolas. I don't have the one with symphonies 4-7 at hand but suspect it is from the 1960s.

It was recorded either late '64 or early '65.  The original release in 1965 was coupled with the 5th Symphony (using the same cover art as the 4-7 reissue set).
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 03:31:20 AM by aukhawk »

Offline Biffo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 760
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #67 on: February 19, 2018, 04:02:54 AM »
I prefer Karajan's 80's Tapiola to the 60's version. I have listened to the EMI Berlin one, I am sure, but don't have a distinct memory of it. There is also a Karajan/Philharmonia recording on EMI, mono I think.

Karajan recorded Tapiola twice for EMI, with the Philharmonia in 1953 and the Berlin Philharmonic in 1976. I have both these recordings but haven't listened to either for a while, I will have to refresh my memory when the drilling outside stops. I don't have either of the DG versions.

What would be interesting is what Sibelius really thought of the recordings of the 4th & 5th symphonies Karajan made with the Philharmonia. Legge sent Sibelius copies and Sibelius replied several months later -

Dear Friend
You have perhaps wondered why I have not written to you before and thanked you for the excellent recordings of my Fourth and Fifth Symphony.  I have now heard them many times and can only say I am happy. Karajan is a great master. His interpretation is superb, technically and musically.

With kindest regards and all good wishes
Yours sincerely,
Jean Sibelius

(dated Helsinki 11 May 1955)

Legge was skeptical as Sibelius had replied earlier but only mentioned the 4th Symphony. Sibelius was very old by this time and was possibly just being polite.

Online North Star

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 17075
  • Location: Oulu, Finland
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #68 on: February 19, 2018, 05:43:56 AM »
Legge was skeptical as Sibelius had replied earlier but only mentioned the 4th Symphony. Sibelius was very old by this time and was possibly just being polite.
As I recall, Sibelius tended to praise everyone who performed his works (apart from general gripes about too slow andantes, I suppose).
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

Offline Biffo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 760
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #69 on: February 19, 2018, 06:25:53 AM »
As I recall, Sibelius tended to praise everyone who performed his works (apart from general gripes about too slow andantes, I suppose).

Barbirolli thought the same after he received a glowing letter from Sibelius regarding his New York recording of the 2nd symphony.

Offline Biffo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 760
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #70 on: February 20, 2018, 05:00:32 AM »
I have now had a chance to listen to both of Karajan's EMI recordings - Philharmonia (1953) an Berlin PO (1977). The later recording has vastly better sound but apart from that I can find little difference between the performances.

I have three Berglund versions, one with Bournemouth SO and two with the Helsinki Philharmonic (1982 & 1987). Will have to give them a try soon.

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 11681
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #71 on: February 27, 2018, 05:20:38 AM »
I have now had a chance to listen to both of Karajan's EMI recordings - Philharmonia (1953) an Berlin PO (1977). The later recording has vastly better sound but apart from that I can find little difference between the performances.

I have three Berglund versions, one with Bournemouth SO and two with the Helsinki Philharmonic (1982 & 1987). Will have to give them a try soon.
The Berglund Philharmonia recording is my favourite of his versions although they are all good.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online North Star

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 17075
  • Location: Oulu, Finland
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #72 on: February 27, 2018, 05:23:43 AM »
The Berglund Philharmonia recording is my favourite of his versions although they are all good.
Berglund Philharmonia? Which recording is this?
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3870
  • Location: Germany
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #73 on: February 27, 2018, 06:13:31 AM »
With the Philharmonia Orchestra London, apparently an 1980s? digital recording.



Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 11681
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #74 on: March 04, 2018, 01:35:14 PM »
With the Philharmonia Orchestra London, apparently an 1980s? digital recording.


Yes, that's my favourite of the Berglund recordings.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Baron Scarpia

  • Guest
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #75 on: March 08, 2018, 10:28:25 AM »
Based on listening yesterday, definitely not Berglund/Helsinki on EMI. Dry and bloodless, is my impression.

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5665
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #76 on: March 08, 2018, 11:20:49 AM »
Maiden recordings of Sibelius tend to be of Symphony no 2 + Valse triste or Finlandia. Tapiola is not a work a conductor plays just for fun. For the standard public it is still difficult listening.

I think that whoever records it has a more than a superficial interest in the composer. I yet have to encounter a performance that fails to move and frighten me. But then, I haven’t heard Berglund/Helsinki  :D.

Baron Scarpia

  • Guest
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #77 on: March 08, 2018, 11:25:23 AM »
Berglund certainly has more than a superficial interest in Sibelius, he recorded, what, half a dozen symphony cycles? But I like his Bournemouth cycle much more than the Helsinki.

Offline Draško

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 553
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #78 on: March 08, 2018, 11:43:40 AM »
Haven't listened to Tapiola in a while, my favorite was Vanska/Lahti, I thought he gets the scary bit really well. Also I remember liking the old Hannikainen recording on Everest, with LSO I think, coupled with great violin concerto with Spivakovsky.

As for Berglund I'm currently massively enjoying his Chamber Orchestra of Europe symphony cycle. Incredible 5th. Probably not to all tastes, very lean and transparent with tendency of downplaying main themes in favor of secondary lines and creating new balances and relations, but still very flexible with tempos (almost romantic in that sense). It sounded quite strange at first and not everything works but it really gripped me.   

Baron Scarpia

  • Guest
Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #79 on: March 08, 2018, 11:48:57 AM »
Sounds enticing.