Reviews: Sibelius: Symphonies 2 & 5 - Kamu
|Site review by akiralx September 29, 2013
|A live recording of a Helsinki PO/Kamu concert on 4 February 1982 in Osaka Festival Hall, this stereo-only single layer SACD boasts vivid, spacious, very realistic sound. The Fifth Symphony comes first and is an imaginative performance of a fairly orthodox interpretation - but is none the worse for that. This is the better of the two performances in my view. There are a few audience noises but nothing disturbing. Applause comes in soon after the final chords of both works (not separately tracked).
The Second Symphony is similarly well-played, the performance rather more flexible and not quite as marmoreal as his famous DG recording with the Berlin PO. One thing bothers me slightly: the slight reticence of the timpani generally as recorded, particularly in the Finale.
Another oddity concerning the timpani is Kamu's decision to chop up the timpani roll over the closing bars so they are only actually playing during the three concluding orchestral chords - every recording I have keeps the roll going continuously. The effect here is rather reminiscent of the Fifth Symphony's coda, but with the silences considerably shorter.
A fiery Valse Triste is the encore. I enjoyed this concert recording (you really feel as if you are there) but I doubt I'll get either of the companion discs.