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Sibelius: Pelleas, Valse Triste, Etc / Swensen, Scottish Chamber Orchestra


Release Date: 01/01/2003 
Label:  Linn Records   Catalog #: 220   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Joseph Swensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This is an absolutely super Sibelius program containing a well-chosen selection of some of his finest theater music. Pelleas and Melisande doesn't heave and pant as heavily as some versions in "At the Castle Gate" or "The Death of Melisande", but there's plenty of lovely string playing from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the livelier numbers (such as the Entr'acte) never have been done better. The same observation holds true of Valse Triste, which has the necessary elegiac air about it without ever turning sticky. Belshazzar's Feast has plenty of impact in the opening "Oriental Procession", while "Khadra's Dance" is the very soul of grace, first cousin to
Read more Grieg's Anitra.

Suite No. 2 from The Tempest is simply gorgeous. "Dance of the Nymphs", "Naiads", and the concluding "Dance Episode" benefit from conductor Joseph Swensen's attention to niceties of rhythm, while "Prospero" sounds properly imposing. A fine Andante Festivo (more "festivo" than "andante" perhaps) rounds out the disc, which also benefits from state-of-the-art sonics in both stereo and multichannel formats. The latter format especially offers exceptional realism without excessive "business" in the rear channels and with no diffusion of impact or excessive reverberation. The Oriental Procession would make a terrific demo for the new technology. An easy and enthusiastic recommendation!

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Pelléas et Mélisande, Op. 46 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Joseph Swensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Finland 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland 
Length: 26 Minutes 16 Secs. 
2.
Kuolema: Valse triste, Op. 44 no 1 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Joseph Swensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1904; Finland 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland 
Length: 5 Minutes 54 Secs. 
3.
Belshazzar's Feast, Op. 51: Suite by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Joseph Swensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Finland 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland 
Length: 13 Minutes 38 Secs. 
4.
The Tempest, Op. 109: Suite no 2 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Joseph Swensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1925; Finland 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland 
Length: 15 Minutes 42 Secs. 
5.
Andante festivo for Strings and Timpani by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Joseph Swensen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Date of Recording: 03/2003 
Venue:  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland 
Length: 4 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Finland (1922).
Composition revised: Finland (1938). 

Sound Samples

Pelleas and Melisande, Op. 46 (version for orchestra): I. At the Castle Gate
Pelleas and Melisande, Op. 46 (version for orchestra): II. Melisande
Pelleas and Melisande, Op. 46 (version for orchestra): IIa. At the Seashore
Pelleas and Melisande, Op. 46 (version for orchestra): III. A Spring in the Park
Pelleas and Melisande, Op. 46 (version for orchestra): IV. The Three Blind Sisters
Pelleas and Melisande, Op. 46 (version for orchestra): V. Pastorale
Pelleas and Melisande, Op. 46 (version for orchestra): VI. Melisande at the Spinning Wheel
Pelleas and Melisande, Op. 46 (version for orchestra): VII. Entr'acte
Pelleas and Melisande, Op. 46 (version for orchestra): VIII. The Death of Melisande
Kuolema (Death): Incidental music, Op. 44 (revised version): Kuolema (Death): Incidental music, Op. 44: No. 1. Valse triste (revised version)
Belshazzar's Feast Suite, Op. 51: I. Oriental Procession
Belshazzar's Feast Suite, Op. 51: II. Solitude
Belshazzar's Feast Suite, Op. 51: III. Nocturne
Belshazzar's Feast Suite, Op. 51: IV. Khadra's Dance
The Tempest Suite No. 2, Op. 109, No. 3: I. Chorus of the Winds
The Tempest Suite No. 2, Op. 109, No. 3: II. Intermezzo
The Tempest Suite No. 2, Op. 109, No. 3: III. Dance of the Nymphs
The Tempest Suite No. 2, Op. 109, No. 3: IV. Prospero
The Tempest Suite No. 2, Op. 109, No. 3: V. Songs I
The Tempest Suite No. 2, Op. 109, No. 3: V. Songs II
The Tempest Suite No. 2, Op. 109, No. 3: VI. Miranda
The Tempest Suite No. 2, Op. 109, No. 3: VII. Naiads
The Tempest Suite No. 2, Op. 109, No. 3: VIII. Dance Episode
Andante festivo (version for string orchestra)

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