"Celibidache's stereo recording of Symphony No. 5 dates from March, 1971...this account reveals the conductor's best attributes. Celibidache lets the music unfold powerfully but slowly, so the architectural grandeur of the opening movement assumes vast and epic proportions. There are touching moments of breath-catching delicacy and purity in the central andante, while the finale is magnificently spacious. Thor swings his hammer, and you feel cosmic forces at work in this music, something on which Sibelius himself commented when writing in 1914: "God opens the door for a moment and his orchestra is playing the Fifth Symphony." Celibidache galvanizes the Swedish players in a reading of tremendous tensile strength, power, andRead more vision."
--Michael Jameson, ClassicsToday.com
"The Sibelius symphonies are vital performances. No 2, dating from 1965, is in mono - but still sounds splendid, not least in the thrilling brass perorations of the final movement. There is more than a hint of Barbirolli in this performance - not least in Celi's handling of the wind phrasing, particularly in the second movement. Elsewhere, Celi is Barbirolli-like with fleet and measured tempi. The Fifth is an incandescent performance that is thrillingly played, even if it does not have the opulence of Karajan's justly famous Berlin version from the 1960s. Although this performance is often Brucknerian in its spaciousness, Celi is also capable of some quite extraordinary shifts of tempo that leave his players following him like stampeding horses. The Thor's Hammer episode in the third movement is a triumphant display of Celibidache at his best, the shifts in tempo between the helter-skelter first and second movements compelling with the move from allegro to presto to andante beautifully scaled. Hear the close of the final movement with the hymnal stridency of its theme given cosmic expansiveness and lyricism and you will never want to hear another interpretation of this symphony again."
Another Romanian with a gamma of sublime sounds.May 26, 2012By L. Labra (Oakland, CA)See All My Reviews"I heard Sergiu Celibidache many years ago during his visit to Mexico City. Despite of the at that time not quite good quality of the Mexican Symphonic Orchestra, he left me with an unforgettable impression of his musicality. With this recording again, he brought not his memory but his remarkable conducting. What Rudu Lupu sound has produced on piano, Celibidache produced with an orchestra. No words can express their musicality, sensibility and capacity for us to enjoy."Report Abuse