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Sibelius: Symphony No 2; Tubin / Paavo Järvi, Cincinnati So


Release Date: 08/27/2002 
Label:  Telarc   Catalog #: 80585   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jean SibeliusEduard Tubin
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This selection is a DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording.
This selection is also available in Hybrid Multichannel Super Audio CD format.

Paavo Järvi has recorded some interesting couplings for Telarc, including Tubin’s Fifth Symphony with Sibelius’s Second Symphony, and Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps with Nielsen’s Fifth Symphony. Now, he gives us Britten and Elgar. On first glance, this does not seem to be a match made in heaven designed to erase memories of André Previn conducting English music. Closer listening reveals a different story. First of all, Järvi does not utilize the narrator in the Young Person’s Guide. This immediately makes it a more rewarding purely musical experience. He begins
Read more with a brisk and urgent statement of Purcell’s famous theme, and at the final fugue it emerges out of the raging orchestra with just the right amount of grandeur before Järvi races to the sumptuous final chord. In between, I can find no significant problems with the different sections of the orchestra.

“Dawn” from the “Four Sea Interludes” is suitably atmospheric, and the shimmering strings are excellent as they contrast with ominous brass chords. The opening of “Sunday Morning” sounds a bit square, but the chimes have tremendous impact and accent the sense of impending tragedy. The “Storm” is terrifying, beginning with sharply articulated timpani, and proceeding to the harsh, staccato final chords. My only quibble would be that on a 66-minute SACD, there is absolutely no reason not to include the powerful passacaglia that is usually played with the “Four Sea Interludes.” Its menacing bass drum thwacks would be perfect for Telarc.

The initial theme from the Enigma Variations is more sharply accented than it often is (a good thing), but Järvi moves it along in a way that detracts from the Elgarian nobility that is so important to the British. However, this is Elgar’s most universally popular work (aside from the first Pomp and Circumstance march), and it benefits from different interpretive points of view. “Nimrod” begins at a hushed pianissimo, and builds slowly to a grand and gorgeous climax. Järvi takes nearly a half-minute longer than Boult, and he is not afraid to emphasize this as the central core of the score. He plays “Troyte” at a dazzling speed with blazing timpani. The “Dorabella” intermezzo has just the right amount of balletic lightness, but “B. G. N.” is entirely too slow. In the finale, Järvi unleashes a torrent of sound. The brasses are sufficiently biting (though not as effective as they are with Boult on EMI), and the organ literally shakes the floor as it generates a goose bump factor not present in any other recording.

The sound is generally sensational with one caveat. It is big, bold, and dark in coloration, with the customary realistic Telarc soundstage. The bass drum has its usual impact, and the critical timpani are sharply differentiated from the bass drum. The finale of the Enigma Variations is simply overwhelming. In multichannel, Telarc again proves that it has it right with a gloriously realistic and seamless midhall perspective. My complaint is that the sound is so dark and dense that it tends to blunt the tonal and timbral contrast between the various sections of these dazzling and kaleidoscopic scores. Järvi may not possess the last degree of British elegance and nobility that is inevitable with Boult, but taken as a whole, this recording is a surprising revelation that must be highly recommended.

FANFARE: Arthur Lintgen
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 43 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Finland 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio 
Length: 44 Minutes 28 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 5 in B minor by Eduard Tubin
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; Sweden 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio 
Length: 28 Minutes 37 Secs. 

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