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Reviews: Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 7 - Colin Davis

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Reviews: 4

Review by audio-grubi February 5, 2005 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
What's going on with this recording?
I've tested TWO discs(!) of it and with TWO SACD-systems(!) and there's always the same terrible, scratching noise from the tweeter of the right surround channel. It's only in the multichannel track of this disc.
So it isn't a problem of the player. I've never heard such like this with any other SACD recording.

It's such a shame because it seems to be a good interpretation of the Symphonies, but it is'nt a pleasure to listen the multichannel track.
I'm so surprised 'cause the sound of all other SACD's from "LSO live" is so fantastic. Especially of LSO 0535 (Shostakovich, Symphony No.11)

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Review by williamsdl3 February 8, 2005 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I agree that the multichannel tracks have a problem in the right rear. I first thought the problem was my system. I had just upgraded my speaker wiring and SACD player interconnects. But once convinced that it was the SACD, I was amazed this SACD was allowed to be released! However, I was not that thrilled with the performance. I did not care for the tempos and phrasing especially in the 3rd's slow movement. I still prefer the Simon Rattle's with the City of Birmingham Sym Orch on CD.

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Review by Chris April 25, 2005 (9 of 12 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I have to say right away that I completely disagree with the two other reviews of this disc so far posted here.
This disc is IMO yet another, superb SACD from LSO LIVE! And it has also been selected as Editor's
Choice by Gramophone.
I can't comment on the surround version, having heard it in Stereo only.But over my Sennheiser HD 650 headphones and through my modded Xindak SCD1, tubed SACD player,it shows all the advantages of pure DSD recordings, with breathtakingly clear and realistic strings and close, but natural perspectives.My only complaint regarding the sound would be the well-known limitations of the hall itself.I'm pretty sure that what we hear from this SACD is a truthful replica of how these splendid symphonies sounded there and then.Unfortunately the close miking also captures some of Davis's gruntings and "singalongs" again,more so in the third than the seventh.
But in most respects this is a SOTA recording!
Just listen to the marvellous clarity of the opening pages of the Seventh Symphony and revel in all the low level detail and natural timbre captured!
Colin Davis certainly knows these symphonies,also having recorded them before for Philips with the Boston symphony in the seventies.
I have those LPs and find that these new readings compare favourably with his older ones.
The Boston Symphony recordings are perhaps more atmospheric with more bloom and venue captured.
These new ones are drier yes ,but also more intimate, revealing more of Sibelius's masterful scoring, and if anything I am more conscious of multimiking on the Boston set than here.
All in all this is a bargain not to be missed IMHO.

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Review by Luukas February 6, 2015 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I have about five recordings of these works. My own favorites are Paavo Berglund's interpretations with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (Warner Classics).
This is Sir Colin Davis' third release from his late journey with Sibelius' Symphonies. London Symphony Orchestra is very powerful here, its tone is fresh and clear.
Sibelius' Third Symphony is perhaps his "easiest" symphony. It contains many unforgettable melodies - especially the singing second movement is always touching - and its orchestration isn't very heavy. Actually, I think that the Third is Sibelius' the most "classical" symphony.
By the way, Colin Davis has long knowledge with this work. The finale - which is often too slow - is here - at last - enough powerful. Davis reaches Sibelius' own tempo marking, "un poco a poco stretto" perfectly. This got Gramophone Magazine's "Editor's Choice" prize.
Seventh [Symphony] is also very good. It cannot still beat Berglund's live recording with London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO).

And now, the recording. LSO Live published this previously on CD and later mixed it to 5.0 multi-channel. 5.0 surround sound isn't "surround": surround speakers volume is too quiet, and it cannot creates a surround listening experience. It is a pity. CD version is better.
Here are my own recommendations:
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Berglund (Warner Classics)*
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy (Exton)
Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä (BIS)*
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Paavo Berglund (LPO)
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Pietari Inkinen (Naxos)*

*) normal CD

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