Author Topic: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings  (Read 13917 times)

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Sean

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2013, 08:29:49 PM »
Interesting list Sarge.

I listened to the live Szell on Youtube the other day- plenty of his ruthless commitment and builds well to the end in the manner of the Karajan but Americans in Japan don't really capture Finland and the character and spirit of the music I feel does elude him. Monteux turns the corners smoother, letting the passion emerge from the music without selling it; his terracing of the inner textures is matchless.

Offline Cato

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2013, 07:34:21 AM »
Gadzooks! That's one hell of a performance (the Toscanini, fixed by Sarge). Almost flawless first movement too, if the violins' opening motif was more sharply articulated it would be my ideal. Thanks folks :)

Similar to this are slam-dunk Toscanini performances of Beethoven's Seventh and of Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony.  The latter however was somewhat truncated to fit on the records of the 1940's/1950's.

Thanks again to Sarge for fixing the YouTube link!  (The one time I do not preview it... :D )
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Offline David M

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2013, 07:31:39 AM »
You all have inspired me to go back and listen to some of my dusty Sibelius 2nd recordings. The recordings that I own and thus know at least a bit are:

Toscanini. NBC SO (1940)
Beecham, London PO (1947)
Ormandy Phila O (1958) CBS/Sony
Szell, COA (1964)
Barbirolli, Halle O (1966)
Ormandy Phila O (1972) RCA
Jarvi, Gothenburg SO (1983)
Colin Davis, LSO (1994)
Vanska, Lahti SO (1996)

Listening again to Toscanini, I liked it better than I remembered. I am only a sometimes Toscanini fan. Here I found his incisiveness worked well with the piece, only in part of the 2nd movement did I find it overbearing. That said, it is still one of my least favorites. Of the two Ormandy recordings, I prefer the earlier one one CBS now Sony. The timings are quite close but the earlier one is better recorded to my ears and preferences. Vanska's has much to recommend, generally satisfying. I feel he gets ponderous in some places where I wish he didn't. His finale is good though I thought the brass overwhelms the strings. Barbirolli and his sound engineers manage to bring a beautiful balance between the brass and the shimmering strings that is quite magical.

My favorites remain the Colin Davis, the Szell Concertgebouw Orchestra recording and the Barbirolli. I am curious to hear the Szell Cleveland Orchestra recording after reading some comments here. The Szell and Barbirolli are rather different from each other, Szell incisive and intense, Barbirolli expansive. It is hard not to put Colin Davis up there with them. He seems to get everything in it's right place, buidling to carefully calibrated climaxes that never cease to amaze me. By the way, I used to own Sir Colin's first recording of the second symphony with the BSO. I played it a lot at one time (the whole cycle actually) and have positive memories of it, though the details dim with time. I have more on vinyl but rarely get any vinyl out these days. I have fond memories of the Monteux and Barbirolli RPO recordings.

I am curious if anyone here has got both Vanska recordings and how they compare.


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2013, 11:49:29 AM »
Just listened to the Monteux for the first time, following a recommendation here. It is very impressive, a most eloquent performance. The terrific coda begins in a rather understated way and cumulatively builds up power with a tremendous sense of inevitability. Maazel's accompanying Karelia Suite is the best version I have heard. Now on to Anthony Collins in Symphony No 2!
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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kyjo

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2013, 12:12:59 PM »
Just listened to the Monteux for the first time, following a recommendation here. It is very impressive, a most eloquent performance. The terrific coda begins in a rather understated way and cumulatively builds up power with a tremendous sense of inevitability. Maazel's accompanying Karelia Suite is the best version I have heard. Now on to Anthony Collins in Symphony No 2!

Cool, Jeffrey. 8) Will investigate the Monteux! Your description of the coda in this performance is quite enticing! Is it this recording?


Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2013, 12:18:17 PM »
Cool, Jeffrey. 8) Will investigate the Monteux! Your description of the coda in this performance is quite enticing! Is it this recording?



-Chiming In- that's the one, Kyjo, I just ordered it myself, it's definitely my kind of Sibelius 2.

kyjo

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2013, 12:31:14 PM »
-Chiming In- that's the one, Kyjo, I just ordered it myself, it's definitely my kind of Sibelius 2.

Nice! You'll never believe what I'm going to do next-that's right, plop it right into the old Amazon shopping cart! :P

Online MusicTurner

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #47 on: April 11, 2020, 08:09:59 AM »
Sibelius 2 timings, in order from fastest first movement to slowest. The Szell and Saraste live recordings are the actual times of the performances, not the times listed in the booklet (which include pauses between movements and applause). I don't have the Barbirolli/Testament or Chesky timings.


Järvi/Gothenburg                8:48  13:54  5:57  12:59
Toscanini/BBC                     8:49  12:37  5:50  12:16
Berglund/COE                     9:07  13:30  5:59  12:55
Szell/Cleveland                   9:12  12:48  5:52  14:03
Vänskä/Lahti                       9:14  14:25  5:57  14:55
Levi/Cleveland                    9:15  12:47  5:30  13:22
Saraste/Finnish RSO           9:18  13:32  5:48  13:13
Szell/Concertgebouw         9:24  12:40  5:54  13:41
Bernstein/New York            9:25  14:43  5:41  14:34
Rozhdestvensky/Moscow   9:36  15:00  5:52  14:30
Davis/Boston                      9:40  14:35  5:57  14:31
Davis/LSO Live                   9:43  14:52  6:06  14:02
Maazel/Vienna                   9:44  13:02  6:05  14:13
Berglund/Bournemouth      9:50  15:26  6:01  13:37
Sakari/Iceland                    9:54  14:47  6:17  14:03
Blomstedt/San Fran           9:56  14:18  6:08  14:10
Segerstam/Helsinki          10:06  15:03  6:23  14:13
Davis/LSO RCA                 10:13  15:25  6:07  14:45
Monteux/LSO                   10:16  14:36  6:15  12:49
Celibidache/Swed RSO     10:16  16:03  5:49  14:21
Sanderling/Berlin SO        10:23  13:15  7:01  14:48
Barbirolli/Hallé                  10:33  15:02  5:58  14:22       
Ashkenazy/Philh              10:37  15:01  6:17  14:26 
Bernstein/Vienna             10:54  18:02  6:23  15:57
Maazel/Pittsburgh           11:28  14:34  6:18  14:33

The Barbirolli/NYPO 24th of June 1940 is one of the most interesting I've heard as regards the phrasing; if one likes say the originality of Mengelberg, it's worth seeking out.           
But the sound is obviously 'ancient'.

Timings are
                                       8:23  12:32  5:43  12:21,
so very fast.

It's in the Membran Barbirolli 10cd box 224 043, for example.
That box has several interesting recordings IMHO, including 2 Mozart piano concertos (22 Fischer 1935, 27 Casadesus 1941) and a Beethoven Symphony 4 (NYPO 1936), plus an old but very melodical Grieg Concerto with Backhaus, with a trollish Finale.

The Dorati/Stockholm PO/RCA is also very impressive, in more modern sound, but it is 'grand' rather than 'feverish'. I just have the LP.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 08:21:49 PM by MusicTurner »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #48 on: April 13, 2020, 06:10:37 PM »
Cool, Jeffrey. 8) Will investigate the Monteux! Your description of the coda in this performance is quite enticing! Is it this recording?



Yes it is Kyle and I'm only seven years late with this reply  ::)
I still rate that recording very highly.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline André

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #49 on: April 14, 2020, 05:11:07 AM »
Barszelleux for me ! 8)

Online MusicTurner

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #50 on: April 14, 2020, 05:20:57 AM »
Barszelleux for me ! 8)

Had to think twice, but supposedly Barbirolli stereo, Szell and Monteux ... got it :)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 05:28:40 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline Biffo

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #51 on: April 14, 2020, 05:28:21 AM »
Had to think twice, but supposedly Barbirolli, Szell and Monteux ... got it :)

I would add Berglund/Bournemouth SO and Davis Boston SO to those

Offline André

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #52 on: April 14, 2020, 08:20:59 AM »
Had to think twice, but supposedly Barbirolli stereo, Szell and Monteux ... got it :)

Specifically: Barbirolli with the Royal Philharmonic, Szell with the Cleveland Orchestra in Tokyo AND with the Concertgebouw, and Monteux.

Offline Brian

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #53 on: April 14, 2020, 06:12:04 PM »
Specifically: Barbirolli with the Royal Philharmonic, Szell with the Cleveland Orchestra in Tokyo AND with the Concertgebouw, and Monteux.
Those are my top three, too!

Offline André

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #54 on: April 15, 2020, 08:20:18 AM »
👍

Offline North Star

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Re: Sibelius Symphony No.2 - Great Recordings
« Reply #55 on: April 16, 2020, 02:22:06 AM »
Anyone familiar with Rouvali's recent release?

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