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Discussion: Sibelius: The Complete Symphonies - Neeme Järvi

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Post by brenda August 6, 2005 (1 of 50)
just wanted to thank akiralx for a very interesting and readable review, - the first I've seen anywhere of this set. Also, Q. to Akiralx, I was wondering if you've heard the only other m/c set of all seven symph's, on DVD-A with Abravanel (on 3 discs and often available q. cheaply). If so, do you have any comparative thoughts/comments? Regards, B

Post by ramesh August 6, 2005 (2 of 50)
24 bit/48 kHz recordings. I remember a poster earlier mentioned a personal communication from an engineer responsible for the recording, saying they were 'future proofed'. If so, the proud tradition of German engineering is now wallowing like Russian submarine technology. I wonder what Jeremy Clarkson in 'Top Gear' would make of the chassis of a Porsche 911 or Corvette Stingray if it was powered by a peppy 2500cc Daewoo engine mated to a 4 speed automatic gearbox, and the resultant hybrid was called state of the art technology. I wonder what is more cynical, Punyversal advertising agencies taking their nubile string players or Simon Rattle's bit of fluff and presenting them like hookers fit for the Volkswagen corporate jet, or taking circa 1995 PCM digital technology and lauding it as 'future proof'. If LSO Live can record Sibelius in MC DSD, I can't see why a purported major like Dingbat Gunkaphon can't. Sure, there are some very nice sounding 24/48 orchestral SACDs, such as the Naxos Brahms1, but surely the expense of a little bit more tape to even get it to 24/96 can be afforded if Punyversal forgo the artist photo shoots. Artistic considerations aside, the DGG 24/96 Kaplan Mahler 2 sounds airier with less artefacts than the 24/48 Boulez Mahler 3, both with the same orchestra in the same hall. If DGG are pulling out of releasing nonanalogue SACDs, it's really no great loss. They could also relocate to St Petersburg, Tbilisi, Vladivostok or Gothenburg for that matter, before they mock German engineering any further.

Post by nickc August 6, 2005 (3 of 50)
brenda said:

just wanted to thank akiralx for a very interesting and readable review, - the first I've seen anywhere of this set. Also, Q. to Akiralx, I was wondering if you've heard the only other m/c set of all seven symph's, on DVD-A with Abravanel (on 3 discs and often available q. cheaply). If so, do you have any comparative thoughts/comments? Regards, B

i agree with brenda and thank you alex for an excellent review - my set is on its way - hoopefully here next week
cheers
nick
ps and once again thanks ramesh- its 9am on sunday morning here in melbourne and you've made me laugh with your posts!

Post by seth August 6, 2005 (4 of 50)
ramesh said:

I remember a poster earlier mentioned a personal communication from an engineer responsible for the recording, saying they were 'future proofed'. If so, the proud tradition of German engineering is now wallowing like Russian submarine technology ... If LSO Live can record Sibelius in MC DSD, I can't see why a purported major like Dingbat Gunkaphon can't.

Are you really surprised? DG has never been an audiophile label. Out of the recordings I own made in the last 10 years, the best sounding ones where almost all done (in conjunction) with outside crews.

Post by akiralx August 7, 2005 (5 of 50)
brenda said:

just wanted to thank akiralx for a very interesting and readable review, - the first I've seen anywhere of this set. Also, Q. to Akiralx, I was wondering if you've heard the only other m/c set of all seven symph's, on DVD-A with Abravanel (on 3 discs and often available q. cheaply). If so, do you have any comparative thoughts/comments? Regards, B

Hi Brenda - no, I haven't heard the Maurice Abravanel set, in fact I don't have any DVD-As. I think you'll enjoy the Jarvi if you decide to buy it.

Thanks to you and Nick for your comments, glad you enjoyed the review - I hope it was useful.

Regards

Alex

Post by mdt August 7, 2005 (6 of 50)
seth said:

Out of the recordings I own made in the last 10 years, the best sounding ones where almost all done (in conjunction) with outside crews.

can you name some ?

Post by seth August 7, 2005 (7 of 50)
mdt said:

can you name some ?

In the early '90s Gardiner made a series of recordings with the NDR-Sinfonieorchester; all were co-productions with the NDR. Releases included:

Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances / Janacek: Taras Bulba
Anne Sofie von Otter - Mahler & Zemlinsky Lieder / Gardiner
Brahms: Hungarian Dances WoO1 / Dvorak: Symphonic Variations Op78
Benjamin Britten: War Requiem, Op 66

The sound is big, warm, with an excellent sense of depth. Some are live recordings, but unless you looked at the recording information, you'd think that they were studio. A lot of other DG recordings from this period, even ones done in the Musikverein, sound artificially bright and up front, such as Boulez's Mahler 6. Someone is selling the Brahms/Dvorak disc on Amazon for $2.15 if you want to hear a sample cheap. All the performances are excellent; the rarely performed Czech Suite makes a nice addition to any collection. Be sure to listen how well the subtle taps (pp I think) of the bass drum come through in the 3rd Hungarian Dance. The finale of the Symphonic Variations will give an system a great work out.

Another great co-produced DG recording is the live Bruckner 8 from St. Florian with Boulez/VPO. A Decca recording team was brought in for this one.

Post by akiralx August 8, 2005 (8 of 50)
seth said:

In the early '90s Gardiner made a series of recordings with the NDR-Sinfonieorchester; all were co-productions with the NDR. Releases included:

Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances / Janacek: Taras Bulba
Anne Sofie von Otter - Mahler & Zemlinsky Lieder / Gardiner
Brahms: Hungarian Dances WoO1 / Dvorak: Symphonic Variations Op78
Benjamin Britten: War Requiem, Op 66

The sound is big, warm, with an excellent sense of depth. Some are live recordings, but unless you looked at the recording information, you'd think that they were studio. A lot of other DG recordings from this period, even ones done in the Musikverein, sound artificially bright and up front, such as Boulez's Mahler 6. Someone is selling the Brahms/Dvorak disc on Amazon for $2.15 if you want to hear a sample cheap. All the performances are excellent; the rarely performed Czech Suite makes a nice addition to any collection. Be sure to listen how well the subtle taps (pp I think) of the bass drum come through in the 3rd Hungarian Dance. The finale of the Symphonic Variations will give an system a great work out.

Another great co-produced DG recording is the live Bruckner 8 from St. Florian with Boulez/VPO. A Decca recording team was brought in for this one.

Yep, I have the Rach/Janacek, the Taras Bulba is excellent.

Was an outside team involved in the Sinopoli Bruckner 8, in the Lukaskirche? That sounds phenomenal, as usual from that Dresden venue. The set is now OOP I think.

Post by seth August 8, 2005 (9 of 50)
akiralx said:

Was an outside team involved in the Sinopoli Bruckner 8, in the Lukaskirche? That sounds phenomenal, as usual from that Dresden venue. The set is now OOP I think.

Not a clue -- but not everything DG did on their own in the '90s was a dud (though a lot of it is below work done by the other major labels). For instance, Gardiner's recording of Grainger's "The Warriors" is excellent, better than EMI's version with Rattle made a year or so afterwards.

Post by tream August 8, 2005 (10 of 50)
My thanks as well for this review. It looks like you have heard the Vanska performances, as you reference one of them in your review. I'm not a huge fan of Jarvi Sr's work, in general. I respect the breadth of his repetoire and his willingness to take on conducting assignments that other conductors might shun, but I feel a want of depth in his performances and a tendency to monkey with phrases, especially in what I heard of his first Sibelius cycle on Bis. For me, some of the classic Sibelius has been the Colin Davis/BSO, the Gibson on Chandos, and the magnificent Szell Second with the Concertgebouw. Are you familiar with these and if so, able to comment on the new Jarvi performances stack up?

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