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Gemini - Sibelius: Kullervo, Tapiola, Finlandia, Karelia, Etc / Berglund, Bournemouth So


Release Date: 02/13/2001 
Label:  Emi Classics Double Fforte Catalog #: 74200   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Usko ViitanenRaili KostiaIda Haendel
Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony OrchestraYL Male Voice Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 28 Mins. 

Imported from : ARGENTINA   
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Disc 1 of this generous Sibelius collection features Paavo Berglund's classic 1970 recording of the sprawling Kullervo Symphony. For many years the only one in the catalog, this performance remains an engrossing experience even after three decades. Berglund's vital conducting, combined with edge-of-the-seat playing by the Bournemouth Symphony and impassioned singing by the soloists (especially baritone Usko Viitanen) and choir, creates a wonderfully raw atmosphere for this dark and dramatic work. Later recordings, such as Neeme Järvi's with the Gothenberg Symphony and Berglund's Helsinki remake (last available on EMI Matrix) do offer fuller, wider-ranging sound; but this one crackles with the excitement of first discovery.
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The second disc is packed full of Sibelius tone poems and incidental music. The Oceanides, sort of a condensed La Mer, receives a lush, colorful reading that builds nicely to a climax that lacks only the overwhelming sonic amplitude of Järvi's BIS recording. Karelia is inexplicably missing its middle movement. Berglund's Tapiola takes pains to balance texture with tension (especially in those abundant divided string passages), and tellingly conveys the music's eerie mystery. Finlandia is its usual boisterous self, though in a more refined vein than Ashkenazy's ferociously raw reading on Decca.


The remaining items are relative Sibelius rarities: the delightfully quaint Scenes historiques and the two Serenades, played with much polish and panache by violinist Ida Haendel. EMI's remastering has improved the presence on these very well balanced recordings, which nevertheless carry a noticeable degree of tape hiss. Unless you already own Berglund's later versions, this collection is quite an attractive proposition.
--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Kullervo, Op. 7 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Usko Viitanen (Baritone), Raili Kostia (Soprano)
Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  YL Male Voice Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Finland 
Date of Recording: 11/1970 
Venue:  Guidhall, Southampton, England 
Length: 71 Minutes 45 Secs. 
2.
Oceanides, Op. 73 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1914; Finland 
Date of Recording: 05/1972 
Venue:  Guidhall, Southampton, England 
Length: 10 Minutes 55 Secs. 
3.
Scènes historiques no 1, Op. 25 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; Finland 
Date of Recording: 07/1975 
Venue:  Guidhall, Southampton, England 
Length: 16 Minutes 24 Secs. 
4.
Tapiola, Op. 112 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Finland 
Date of Recording: 05/1972 
Venue:  Guidhall, Southampton, England 
Length: 18 Minutes 10 Secs. 
5.
Finlandia, Op. 26 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1972 
Venue:  Guidhall, Southampton, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Finland (1899 - 1900). 
6.
Karelia Suite, Op. 11: no 1, Intermezzo by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1972 
Venue:  Guidhall, Southampton, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs. 
7.
Serenades (2) for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 69 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Ida Haendel (Violin)
Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912-1913; Finland 
Date of Recording: 07/1976 
Venue:  Guidhall, Southampton, England 
Length: 13 Minutes 39 Secs. 
8.
Karelia Suite, Op. 11: no 3, Alla marcia by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1972 
Venue:  Guidhall, Southampton, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 

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