Author Topic: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.  (Read 14292 times)

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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #80 on: March 09, 2018, 02:25:17 AM »
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.

Yes Berglund/COE is probably my favourite for the 6th symphony.  And certainly an interesting alternative to visit occasionally, in the others.

Offline Draško

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Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #81 on: March 10, 2018, 04:56:31 AM »
Yes Berglund/COE is probably my favourite for the 6th symphony.  And certainly an interesting alternative to visit occasionally, in the others.

He takes opening movement of the 6th daringly swift but COE winds play a blinder. I've been very impressed with COE throughout the cycle especially the winds, seriously virtuosic, and Finlandia's recording is so clear and crisp that no room for error is allowed.

It probably is an alternative set to more mainstream interpretations but it's became my first choice in 3-7 (especially 5). In 1 & 2 I have to admit to prefer more romantic approach, with a whiff of Tchaikovsky. Sanderling fills that spot for me.

Offline Josquin13

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Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #82 on: March 12, 2018, 09:05:58 AM »
Paavo Berglund's Sibelius was often best live.  For example, his final two Sibelius recordings with the London Philharmonic Orchestra live at the Barbican fully attest to how special Berglund's Sibelius could be in concert, as opposed to the studio.  IMO, his live LPO 5th is rivaled only by Kajanus, and his live LPO 7th has no equal:

https://www.amazon.com/Sibelius-Symphonies-No-JEAN-SIBELIUS/dp/B000B865B4/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1520873627&sr=1-1&keywords=berglund+sibelius+sacd
https://www.amazon.com/Sibelius-Symphonies-Nos-Swan-Tuonela/dp/B008P76VTE/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1520873676&sr=1-1&keywords=berglund+sibelius+5+6

As for Tapiola, I have four favorite, contrasting versions--Paavo Berglund & the Philharmonia, Leif Segerstam & the Helsinki Philharmonic (who I tend to prefer in the tone poems & shorter works, rather than in the symphonies), Hans Rosbaud & the Berlin Philharmonic, and Ashkenazy's performance in the Christopher Nuppen documentary film on Sibelius, with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.  Ashkenazy isn't a conductor that I'd normally recommend in Sibelius, but his performance of Tapiola in the Nuppen film is one of the best I've heard (& more gripping than his studio account with the Philharmonia, IMO).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUaH61AICLY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JPIgLMtKw4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ3Tlua8P1I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8noD7PhA-po

Segerstam's slower, first recording with the Danish National Symphony is very interesting too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0Xtg_pbLr0

Historically speaking, Robert Kajanus' 1926 recording is essentially listening:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIT-57li4DA

as is Serge Koussevitzky, conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVB4LUipXGI

« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 09:10:11 AM by Josquin13 »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #83 on: March 12, 2018, 12:21:14 PM »
Paavo Berglund's Sibelius was often best live.  For example, his final two Sibelius recordings with the London Philharmonic Orchestra live at the Barbican fully attest to how special Berglund's Sibelius could be in concert, as opposed to the studio.  IMO, his live LPO 5th is rivaled only by Kajanus, and his live LPO 7th has no equal:

https://www.amazon.com/Sibelius-Symphonies-No-JEAN-SIBELIUS/dp/B000B865B4/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1520873627&sr=1-1&keywords=berglund+sibelius+sacd
https://www.amazon.com/Sibelius-Symphonies-Nos-Swan-Tuonela/dp/B008P76VTE/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1520873676&sr=1-1&keywords=berglund+sibelius+5+6

As for Tapiola, I have four favorite, contrasting versions--Paavo Berglund & the Philharmonia, Leif Segerstam & the Helsinki Philharmonic (who I tend to prefer in the tone poems & shorter works, rather than in the symphonies), Hans Rosbaud & the Berlin Philharmonic, and Ashkenazy's performance in the Christopher Nuppen documentary film on Sibelius, with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.  Ashkenazy isn't a conductor that I'd normally recommend in Sibelius, but his performance of Tapiola in the Nuppen film is one of the best I've heard (& more gripping than his studio account with the Philharmonia, IMO).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUaH61AICLY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JPIgLMtKw4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ3Tlua8P1I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8noD7PhA-po

Segerstam's slower, first recording with the Danish National Symphony is very interesting too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0Xtg_pbLr0

Historically speaking, Robert Kajanus' 1926 recording is essentially listening:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIT-57li4DA

as is Serge Koussevitzky, conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVB4LUipXGI
Josquin13,
Thank you very much for this most interesting post of recommendations. I totally agree with your list of favourite Tapiola recordings, especially Berglund's Philharmonia recording alongside Rosbaud on DGG, Kajanus, Segerstam on Ondine and Chandos and I've also enjoyed Ashkenazy's Decca version. Also Sir Alexander Gibson with the RSNO and the new Ondine version I mentioned above (Finnish RSO, Lintu).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Josquin13

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Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #84 on: March 12, 2018, 06:45:20 PM »
Vandermolen,

My pleasure, and thank you for your kind reply.   Yes, I agree that Sir Alexander Gibson was a first rate Sibelius conductor.  His excellent set of tone poems on Chandos was how I first got to know some of the rarer tone poems; that is, before BIS & the Lahti orchestra recorded literally everything.

I've yet to get to Lintu's Sibelius.  Soon, I hope.

By the way, if you haven't seen the following short documentary film about conductor/pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy's recent trip to Finland & Sibelius's home "Ainola", it's a must for all Sibelius (& Ashkenazy) fans.  I especially enjoyed that it was shot in HD, as the scenery around Ainola is so vivid that it made me feel like I was there:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnPFI3Yf5dY

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #85 on: March 13, 2018, 06:48:35 AM »
Vandermolen,

My pleasure, and thank you for your kind reply.   Yes, I agree that Sir Alexander Gibson was a first rate Sibelius conductor.  His excellent set of tone poems on Chandos was how I first got to know some of the rarer tone poems; that is, before BIS & the Lahti orchestra recorded literally everything.

I've yet to get to Lintu's Sibelius.  Soon, I hope.

By the way, if you haven't seen the following short documentary film about conductor/pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy's recent trip to Finland & Sibelius's home "Ainola", it's a must for all Sibelius (& Ashkenazy) fans.  I especially enjoyed that it was shot in HD, as the scenery around Ainola is so vivid that it made me feel like I was there:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnPFI3Yf5dY
Josquin13,
Again, thank you very much for this - I shall watch the programme with much interest.
I was lucky enough to visit Sibelius's home at 'Ainola' in 2013 with my brother and my kind Finnish friends who took me there - it was a wonderful experience.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Baron Scarpia

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Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #86 on: March 13, 2018, 09:18:17 AM »
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.

Ok, I've dug up my Berglund/COE set, I've got to find time to listen to it.

Offline Josquin13

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Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #87 on: March 14, 2018, 08:59:33 AM »
Vandermolen writes, "I was lucky enough to visit Sibelius's home at 'Ainola' in 2013 with my brother and my kind Finnish friends who took me there - it was a wonderful experience."

Yes, I can imagine that would be a wonderful pilgrimage to take, for all Sibelius lovers.  I hope to visit 'Ainola' someday myself (along with 'Villa Kokkonen' on Lake Tuusula).   In the meantime, HD is the next best thing.

Baron Scarpia

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Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #88 on: March 14, 2018, 09:06:41 AM »
Vandermolen writes, "I was lucky enough to visit Sibelius's home at 'Ainola' in 2013 with my brother and my kind Finnish friends who took me there - it was a wonderful experience."

Yes, I can imagine that would be a wonderful pilgrimage to take, for all Sibelius lovers.  I hope to visit 'Ainola' someday myself (along with 'Villa Kokkonen' on Lake Tuusula).   In the meantime, HD is the next best thing.

Site of Sibelius’ famous fireplace?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #89 on: March 14, 2018, 10:15:32 AM »
Vandermolen writes, "I was lucky enough to visit Sibelius's home at 'Ainola' in 2013 with my brother and my kind Finnish friends who took me there - it was a wonderful experience."

Yes, I can imagine that would be a wonderful pilgrimage to take, for all Sibelius lovers.  I hope to visit 'Ainola' someday myself (along with 'Villa Kokkonen' on Lake Tuusula).   In the meantime, HD is the next best thing.
Yes, you must go - it was a wonderful experience to be there and of course Sibelius is buried in the garden.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #90 on: March 19, 2018, 08:03:45 AM »
I’m sure I mentioned it on this thread (somewhere), but it’s worth mentioning again: Segerstam’s Tapiola on Ondine is outstanding. I think he gets the piece right in that the pacing and attention to the dynamics in the music are exemplary. It has this shamanistic, dark forest spell-on-you vibe that is quite appropriate I think.
"Music should be able to invoke the natural emotions in all human beings. Music is not notes fixed on apiece of paper.” - Toru Takemitsu

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sibelius's 'Tapiola' favourite recording.
« Reply #91 on: March 19, 2018, 02:54:06 PM »
I’m sure I mentioned it on this thread (somewhere), but it’s worth mentioning again: Segerstam’s Tapiola on Ondine is outstanding. I think he gets the piece right in that the pacing and attention to the dynamics in the music are exemplary. It has this shamanistic, dark forest spell-on-you vibe that is quite appropriate I think.
One of the great performances - I agree. I also like his earlier Chandos version.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).