Ah, the good old blind comparison days! Glad to see this is still going on to some extent.
The fact that it's Sibelius 7 made me bite. I have several recordings but it's been a while since I did any focused listening to this so at the moment it's more of a clean slate.
I'm probably going to mention some conductor/orchestra combinations below that don't even exist for this work, oh well just stabs in the dark!
Here are comments on each, I did end up listening to them in numbered order for convenience-sake, of course order always influences perspective I feel..
Top favs are 10, 4, 5
Sluggish, then weirdly rushed in the middle, playing is not always totally together, textures are a bit muddy. Perhaps an older recording? Really no idea about the orchestra or conductor…this one doesn’t do it for me.
Innnnnnteresting….VERY deliberate but with a purpose. I think this is a European orchestra, maybe Vienna or Berlin? Everything makes a lot more sense in this recording than #1. LOVE the tempo contrasts, the drama in the sustained brass section, blazing, almost overbearing! Really wondering if this is a Bernstein recording.
Restrained…very light balletic touch, tempo a little ploddy perhaps. This one is just missing immediacy and drama though to me, it’s very safe. No idea about the provenance (but feel like this might be an American orchestra)
This certainly has more to say about the music …love the characterful winds! Elegant, and phrasing/accents just all make sense. Love the quick scherzo tempi. Great balance when the brass come in. Pretty sure this is a northern European (or Finnish) orchestra, might have an idea which recording this is.
Beautiful, extremely musical playing! Very sweet and flirtatious, round fruity winds, this makes a lot of very specific musical statements that are quite interesting. For some reason I feel this might be the Berlin Philharmonic..no idea about conductor.
This one glosses over a bit too much for me, not enough to say. It is light to the extreme, not weighty enough somehow, feels rushed. Gets a little better when the brass enters. Nicely played, but not a favorite. Feel like this might be a British orchestra.
Well, this is quite drawn out.. Very musical, extremely restrained and sooo tightly controlled. Almost sounds chamber orchestra-like. Interesting how darkly colored the brass sound. Awesome playing though as a whole it doesn’t speak to me as much as some others. Wondering if this might be Vienna though.
Okay, so this is an extreme, like each phrase has been taken out and spit polished and put back on display with a spotlight over it. It’s too much really for me, almost over dramatic. Spells out too much, I want longer thoughts. I’m wondering if this is possibly a Finnish orchestra, possibly with Segerstam? Probably so wrong about that though..
A slow beginning…again very classical light delicate playing. Something about this one reminds me of #7 for some reason. Feels a bit rushed in the middle. So this still has that same quality as the brass in #7 too, kind of a dark covered element in the sound. This one had a lot more to say (in a doom sort of way) when the brass came in. Interesting, for sure, though not sure if a fav.
Love the sweep of the beginning right off, this one is also making more extreme and specific statements. Maybe a Finnish/northern European orchestra. Great contrasts in tempi! I actually hear the sentences in this one, and they are quite varied. Excellent phrasing! Love the brass tone…it’s like darkly blazing….how about the horn, very interesting interpretation! Man, really not sure about the provenance now. But absolutely a fav.