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Sibelius: Finlandia, En Saga, Etc / Karajan, Berlin Po


Release Date: 02/16/1993 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 64331   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Herbert von Karajan was an excellent Sibelius conductor, and this disc contains mostly excellent performances of the six listed works. En Saga is thrillingly powerful, with one of the most exciting climaxes on disc. It would have been even more so if EMI and the Berlin Philharmonic could have figured out how to capture the bass drum with more impact; but with strings and brass going at full tilt there's little cause for complaint. Indeed here, and in Finlandia and Tapiola, there's none of that slickness that often afflicts Karajan's work in, say, the standard German repertoire. He projects the menacing opening of Finlandia as have few others, bringing an almost expressionistic violence to the piece, and no one has ever captured the storm at Read more the end of Tapiola with greater impact. Both Valse triste and The Swan of Tuonela are incredibly beautiful as well as atmospheric, and only the Karelia Suite comes across as somewhat droopy compared with the best performances. The analogue sonics are better than the digitals (Karelia and Valse triste)--but minor caveats aside, this is a powerful memento of Karajan's gifts, and pretty stunning by any standard.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Reviewing EMI 76847
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Works on This Recording

1. Finlandia, Op. 26 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Date of Recording: 12/1976 
Venue:  Philarmonie, Berlin 
Length: 9 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Finland (1899 - 1900). 
2. Lemminkäinen Suite, Op. 22: no 3, Swan of Tuonela by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1897; Finland 
Date of Recording: 09/1976 
Venue:  Philarmonie, Berlin 
Length: 8 Minutes 31 Secs. 
3. En saga, Op. 9 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892/1902; Finland 
Date of Recording: 12/1976 
Venue:  Philarmonie, Berlin 
Length: 18 Minutes 24 Secs. 
4. Karelia Suite, Op. 11 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1981 
Venue:  Philarmonie, Berlin 
Length: 16 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 
5. Tapiola, Op. 112 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Finland 
Date of Recording: 12/1976 
Venue:  Philarmonie, Berlin 
Length: 19 Minutes 23 Secs. 
6. Kuolema: Valse triste, Op. 44 no 1 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1904; Finland 
Date of Recording: 12/1976 
Venue:  Philarmonie, Berlin 
Length: 6 Minutes 3 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Finlandia Op. 26 (1987 Digital Remaster)
Legends (Lemminkäinen Suite) Op. 22 (1987 Digital Remaster): 2. The Swan of Tuonela
En saga Op. 9
Karelia Suite Op. 11: I. Intermezzo
Karelia Suite Op. 11: II. Ballade
Karelia Suite Op. 11: III. Alla marcia
Tapiola Op. 112 (1987 Digital Remaster)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Sibelian Revelations March 18, 2014 By Peter Jensen See All My Reviews "There are two striking features in the music making. The sound is remarkable, beefy rich brass when needed , the strings while a little dry phrase with an accuracy that is breath taking, but the second feature and the most important is the sense of architecture Karajan gives the material. It is worth considering how much Sibelius admired Bruckner, he claimed he could not sleep for 3 days after hearing the fifth symphony. The impact makes sense, after all in Bruckner we hear the use of pedal points, brass choirs, and an audible sense of mysticism. Bruckner himself was fully aware of his gift for evoking transcendental moments , once writing to Wagner that he was working on an opera that was "full of mystery" a la Parsifal. Karajans obsessive grip on note values and harmonic progression, the ability to time a development and hold control till the final notes of a coda are well known and in this recording his artistic priorities are more than rewarding. The swagger and strength of the Karelia suite is staggering, who plays it like this? No one. It goes from light entertainment to something much more, it captures the inner ecstasy of Sibelian inspiration. Tapiola is frightening in its sense of menace and remoteness, Finlandia is impossibly grand. En Saga for me is the revelation, the rhythmic energy, the force of the strings and the sense of momentousness in the tutti, never lapsing into hysteria, always richly imagined and musically solid compels us to listen with fresh ears. Comparisons are pointless Osmo Vanska sounds brittle in comparison, Colin Davis while nailing the music doesn't give us the structral magic Karajan creates. This is a recording where the interpreter manages to achieve what a listener craves ,the sense that the music is being revealed for what it is , timeless, vast and beautiful. I couldn't sleep for 3 days." Report Abuse
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