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Sibelius: Symphonies 2 & 6 / Segerstam, Helsinki Po


Release Date: 12/09/2003 
Label:  Ondine   Catalog #: 1026   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Leif Segerstam's new Sibelius cycle continues in strength with this fine pairing. Symphony No. 2 receives a first-rate performance that offers biting energy and taut rhythms despite the generally relaxed tempos. In fact Segerstam's natural and idiomatic phrasing and the fulsome sound he draws from the Helsinki Philharmonic gives the music a special vitality, whether in the first movement's climactic development (where the strings soar sweetly and the brass offer golden-toned declamations), in the andante's somber drama, or in the finale's grandly sweeping rhetoric. The great performances of this symphony remain those of conductors such as Barbirolli, Bernstein, and Szell, but Segerstam's handsomely played rendition stands as a fine modern Read more alternative, worthy to take its place beside them.

The Sixth is an outright marvel. Again, Segerstam employs relatively slow tempos, but such is the beauty of sound and rhythmic vibrancy that the music maintains a fluidity that defies the pacing. Segerstam's careful rendering of Sibelius' precisely calculated balances draws you irresistibly into this symphony's special sound world. The tranquil slow movement achieves a near-hypnotic effect through the exceptionally vivd woodwind detail. The gently dancing scherzo here suggests Debussy, while the slightly relaxed finale evokes a uniquely refined euphoria and gentle melancholy. This Sixth is a triumph, one of the finest available. Ondine's realistic recording perfectly complements Segerstam's ravishing sound concept.
--Victor Carr Jr Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 43 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Finland 
Date of Recording: 10/2002 
Venue:  Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 45 Minutes 45 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 6 in D minor, Op. 104 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1923; Finland 

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