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Sibelius: Tone Poems / Gibson, Scottish National Orchestra


Release Date: 01/25/2005 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 24119   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Phyllis Bryn-Julson
Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 50 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Alexander Gibson's Sibelius recordings for Chandos represent the high point of his career on disc, and none is finer than this set of tone poems, an excellent value as reissued at a twofer price. Several of the performances here never have been bettered. Luonnotar features the sensational Phyllis Bryn-Julson, whose accuracy of pitch and evenness across registers delivers thrilling results, culminating in a mystical, luminous conclusion quite unlike any other. Here, and also in Oceanides, Gibson paces the music ideally, with perfectly timed climaxes, giving both works the effortless feeling of movement and organic unfolding that remains the hallmark of Sibelius' symphonic writing.

Read more /> Gibson's swift and gripping Tapiola (why is it often played so much more slowly today?) also stands among the best, as does this primal and atmospheric account of En Saga, again featuring extremely exciting climaxes and a commanding control of musical architecture. Pohjola's Daughter may not rise to the level of the recent Segerstam (Ondine) in sheer orchestral splendor, but it yields to no one in narrative point, and Gibson pulls off the all-but-impossible Night Ride and Sunrise as well as anyone ever has. All of the shorter items display similar qualities, with The Bard particularly poetic.


At this stage in its career (the mid-1970s), the Scottish National Orchestra was not quite the ensemble that strutted its stuff to such spectacular effect in Neeme Järvi's set of Strauss tone poems, but these players clearly understand this music as well as Gibson does, and if the strings turn a touch scruffy now and then, the winds and brass deliver the goods, playing with unaffected musicality and just the right timbre. Helping things along considerably is some of the best engineering that Chandos ever achieved with this orchestra, better even than Gibson's later digital Sibelius symphony cycle. Textures are crystal clear and balances are always natural, faithfully reflecting the excellence of the interpretations. If you are looking for an economical way to get all of the major tone poems (save the Four Legends) in a convenient package, then this is it. [5/19/2005]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. En saga, Op. 9 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892/1902; Finland 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Venue:  City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 18 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Notes: Version: 1902 
2. Luonnotar, Op. 70 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Phyllis Bryn-Julson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1910; Finland 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Venue:  City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 9 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
3. Finlandia, Op. 26 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Venue:  City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 7 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Finland (1899 - 1900). 
4. Spring Song, Op. 16 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Venue:  City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 7 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Finland (1894).
Composition revised: 1895.
Composition revised: 1902. 
5. The Bard, Op. 64 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1913/1914; Finland 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Venue:  City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 7 Minutes 47 Secs. 
6. Dryad, Op. 45 no 1 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Finland 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Venue:  City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 5 Minutes 44 Secs. 
7. Pohjola's daughter, Op. 49 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Finland 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Venue:  City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 12 Minutes 35 Secs. 
8. Nightride and sunrise, Op. 55 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907; Finland 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Venue:  City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 15 Minutes 2 Secs. 
9. Oceanides, Op. 73 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1914; Finland 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Venue:  City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 10 Minutes 43 Secs. 
10. Tapiola, Op. 112 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Finland 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Venue:  City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 
Length: 15 Minutes 39 Secs. 

Sound Samples

En saga, Op. 9
Luonnotar, Op. 70
Finlandia, Op. 26
Spring Song, Op. 16: Varsang (Spring Song), Op. 16
Barden (The Bard), Op. 64
The Dryad, Op. 45, No. 1: Dryaden (The Dryad), Op. 45, No. 1
Pohjola's Daughter, Op. 49: Pohjolan tytar (Pohjola's Daughter), Op. 49
Night Ride and Sunrise, Op. 55: Oinen ratsastus ja auringonnousu (Night Ride and Sunrise), Op. 55
The Oceanides, Op. 73: Aallottaret (The Oceanides), Op. 73
Tapiola, Op. 112

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