Sibelius: Symphonies No 4 & 7 / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
Release Date: 01/31/2008
Rca Victor Red Seal
Catalog #: 38124
Composer: Jean Sibelius Conductor: Eugene Ormandy Orchestra/Ensemble: Philadelphia Orchestra Number of Discs: 1
Recorded in: Stereo
Special Order:This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.
*** This title is a reissue of a Japanese release with liner notes in Japanese. ***
Great news! Arkivmusic.com has gotten its "on demand" hands on the Japanese RCA Ormandy Edition, making these recordings available in North America at far saner prices. Some of these performances are outstanding, nowhere more so than here--one of the greatest Sibelius recordings ever made. Ormandy's Fourth Symphony is magnificent: gaunt, direct, and unflinching, with stunning string playing and the most intelligent approach on disc to the percussion conundrum in the finale (chimes at the "sonore" climax, glockenspiel everywhere else). Some listeners might prefer a swifter tempo in the scherzo, but this interpretationRead more is all of a piece, taking in the work as if in one sweeping gesture, and Sibelians will understand just what that means.
The Seventh also is a perfectly paced, immaculately played performance, with none of the mannerisms in the pastoral interlude that disturb Ormandy's first recording for Sony. As for the tone poems, there is no finer performance of Oceanides available anywhere, and Pohjola's Daughter is just about as good. Ormandy could come across as a somewhat stiff and unsmiling interpreter, but not here, and particularly not in music that requires an absolutely logical, indeed mathematical approach to tempo relationships between sections. Both in terms of performance quality and programming (Sibelius at his very greatest throughout), it just doesn't get any better.
The Japanese edition apparently used original unaltered sources, meaning the tapes were not remastered in any way, and so vary widely in sound quality--from very good, as here, to virtually unlistenable (Mahler Second). So until someone goes back and redoes them from scratch--and we may have a very long wait--you will have to buy selectively. These recordings, from the late 1970s, stand among the best-sounding of the lot. A magnificent release that you won't want to miss!
Symphony no 4 in A minor, Op. 63by Jean Sibelius Conductor:
Period: 20th Century Written: 1911; Finland Date of Recording: 3/4/1978
Pohjola's daughter, Op. 49by Jean Sibelius Conductor:
Period: Romantic Written: 1906; Finland Date of Recording: 10/26/1976
Oceanides, Op. 73by Jean Sibelius Conductor:
Period: Romantic Written: 1914; Finland Date of Recording: 10/26/1976
Symphony no 7 in C major, Op. 105by Jean Sibelius Conductor:
Period: Romantic Written: 1924; Finland Date of Recording: 12/10/1975
Featured Sound Samples
Symphony no 4: I. Tempo molto moderato, quasi adagio
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
not remastered?March 9, 2014By Eric A. (San Rafael, CA)See All My Reviews"I agree with David Hurwitz in his appraisal, but I believe the Japanese RCA edition WAS remastered, as the spars code on it is ADD."Report Abuse
Superb SibeliusJuly 21, 2013By H. Hudgins (Trenton, MI)See All My Reviews"Since it was by one of my favorite composers it had to have been a disaster to have been bad. Well it wasn't, it's excellent and a very enjoyable CD that fits well into my library of music."Report Abuse