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Sibelius: Orchestral Suites / Kamu, Jochum

Sibelius / Kamu / Helsinki Radio Sym Orch
Release Date: 06/01/2010 
Label:  Eloquence   Catalog #: 4803297   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Okko KamuEugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Radio SymphonyBavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 55 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here we have prime analogue recordings from Jochum in the 1950s and Kamu in the 1970s. The first CD is an exact read-across of DGG LP 2530 656 - quite generously filled for vinyl. The second compiles two 1970s vintage Kamu-led tone poems previously keeping company with his classic Finnish RSO versions of symphonies 1 and 3 (he also recorded 2 with the Berlin Phil) alongside Jochum’s rarely encountered Sibelius from DGG 17075 - an earlyish 10” LP. So far as Kamu is concerned whatever happened to this Karajan protégé who here delivers a very succulent Bard - quite the most romantic version I have heard. He also puts across a good En Saga but not excelling Stein or Furtwängler.

As to the stirring Lemminkainen
Read more Suite this for many years held sway in the LP catalogue. There were not many other versions: Jalas and the Hungarian State were reputedly rather rough but with good credentials; Jensen sounded rather matte. On Nonesuch Lukas Foss was very good indeed but not always easy to get hold of. In the late 1970s Ormandy signed up with EMI and re-recorded the Lemminkainen Legends that he had originally recorded with the Philadelphia in the 1950s for CBS. It was and remains revelatory. Kamu is very good so it is well worth tracking down this inexpensive set. The woodwind are given a burnished emphasis and those crashing chords at the end of Lemminkainen and the Maidens of Saari are still stunning. There is a great deal here to enjoy. If you want to extend your knowledge of Kamu in the symphonies then do go for the DG Trio set. It’s intriguing to see Cord Garben credited as executive producer of the Kamu tracks. We are more used to hearing him now as pianist in lieder by Zeisl, Loewe and Zemlinsky. Wind back two decades and here is Jochum with a slowly stuttering start to a satisfying Nightride and a very good Oceanides. He is let down only by an overly mechanistic Tempest prelude.

This will appeal to LP era nostalgiacs but also and more widely Sibelius fans will find that Kamu in particular has much to tell us about Sibelius performing tradition.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Karelia Suite, Op. 11 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Okko Kamu
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Radio Symphony
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Finland 
Date of Recording: 10/1975 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 15 Minutes 46 Secs. 
2. Lemminkäinen Suite, Op. 22 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Okko Kamu
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Radio Symphony
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893/1895; Finland 
Date of Recording: 10/1975 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 45 Minutes 15 Secs. 
3. The Bard, Op. 64 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Okko Kamu
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Radio Symphony
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1913/1914; Finland 
Date of Recording: 10/1972 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 7 Minutes 0 Secs. 
4. En saga, Op. 9 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Okko Kamu
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Radio Symphony
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892/1902; Finland 
Date of Recording: 10/1972 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 18 Minutes 35 Secs. 
5. The Tempest, Op. 109: Prelude by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1925; Finland 
Date of Recording: 11/1955 
Venue:  Residenz, Herkulessaal, Munich, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 2 Secs. 
6. Oceanides, Op. 73 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1914; Finland 
Date of Recording: 11/1955 
Venue:  Residenz, Herkulessaal, Munich, Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 51 Secs. 
7. Nightride and sunrise, Op. 55 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907; Finland 
Date of Recording: 11/1955 
Venue:  Residenz, Herkulessaal, Munich, Germany 
Length: 13 Minutes 29 Secs. 

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