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Discussion: Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 7 - Berglund

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Post by tream October 13, 2005 (1 of 12)
I received this a few days ago and have had a chance to listen to each symphony once. I think this represents Berglund's 4th go at the Sibelius symphonies. I have listened only in stereo thus far, no chance to play it on the multichannel system yet.

I will start by saying that my reference recordings for the second are Szell and Davis (Colin, of course) - I prefer to hear Sibelius with structure, if that makes sense. If you have read my review of the Paavo Jarvi recording, you'll see that I found it lacking in this regards (pace, Teresa), and I find these recordings by Berglund, though less obviously romanticized than the Jarvi, still leaning too much in that direction.

The sound is decent as heard on my Sony XA9000ES/Bryston/B&W 804's - it feels like a live recording, with a relatively distant perspective - sort of like EMI recordings in the 60's. These are live recordings, and there is applause at the end of each symphony - I think this should have been edited out.

For the second symphony on SACD I think I would either wait (hoping for an LSO Live with Davis, perhaps) or try to acquire one of the JSACDS with Szell, if you want just a single recording. (I haven't heard the N. Jarvi set, but experience with his second on BIS, other recordings he has made, and commentary here has led me to a decision not to acquire that one.) I continue to like the LSO Live version of the 7th, coupled with the 3rd, conducted by Davis, and also note that Pentaman has written in this forum that Pentatone has multichannel tapes of the Davis 5th and 7th with the BSO, considered by me and many others to be a classic set.

So, not a bad effort, but not a great one in my view.

Post by peteyspambucket October 13, 2005 (2 of 12)
Tream, thanks for these comments! I was going to buy this one, but I probably won't now.

The Neeme Jarvi set will do me fine for now, even with its flaws, it still has standout performances of Symphonies 3,4,5,and 6. And I wait anxiously for the Pentatone disc with the 7th! Incidentally, I have a JSACD of Szell doing the Sib 2nd, plus the Oberon Overture and another piece. It was a live performance and a great one. I will pull that one out and listen to it again.

Post by tream October 13, 2005 (3 of 12)
And I wait anxiously for the Pentatone disc with the 7th!

Incidentally, I have a JSACD of Szell doing the Sib 2nd, plus the Oberon Overture and another piece. It was a live performance and a great one. I will pull that one out and listen to it again.

Just checked out the Pentatone Web site, which lists all of the 06 releases. While there are some really interesting ones, the Sibelius 5 & 7 is not among them. Too bad.

Where did you obtain your JSACD?

Post by peteyspambucket October 13, 2005 (4 of 12)
tream said:

Where did you obtain your JSACD?

I got it in the SACD section at Tower in NYC (in the Trump Tower location -- yes, where The Apprentice is filmed).

Post by DSD October 13, 2005 (5 of 12)
tream said:

If you have read my review of the Paavo Jarvi recording, you'll see that I found it lacking in this regards (pace, Teresa), and I find these recordings by Berglund, though less obviously romanticized than the Jarvi, still leaning too much in that direction.

Tream it is the pace and especially the rhythmic drive that makes the Paavo Jarvi on Telarc the best performance of Sibelius' Second Symphony I have ever heard. I have owned the Colin Davis LP, Pierre Monteux Living Stereo Classic Records 180 Gram LP, Yoel Levi CD and the Barbarolli re-issue on Chesky audiophile LP and NONE come even close to the grandeur of the Paavo Jarvi on Telarc. Could also be the romanticizing that makes this performance so special? Who knows but I feel differently than you and I do not feel that the Paavo Jarvi Telarc SACD will be surpassed in sonic qualities or performance for a least several decades, if ever.

Happy listening,
Teresa

Post by peteyspambucket October 13, 2005 (6 of 12)
My favorite Sib 2's of all time: Szell (Philips), Maazel (Decca), and Karajan (EMI).

Others I've heard that didn't make the cut (for ME): Neeme Jarvi (BIS and DG), Maazel (Sony), Ashkenazy (Decca), Gibson (Chandos), Segerstam (Chandos), and Colin Davis (Philips).

Post by Scott October 14, 2005 (7 of 12)
tream said:

I received this a few days ago and have had a chance to listen to each symphony once. I think this represents Berglund's 4th go at the Sibelius symphonies. I have listened only in stereo thus far, no chance to play it on the multichannel system yet.

I will start by saying that my reference recordings for the second are Szell and Davis (Colin, of course) - I prefer to hear Sibelius with structure, if that makes sense. If you have read my review of the Paavo Jarvi recording, you'll see that I found it lacking in this regards (pace, Teresa), and I find these recordings by Berglund, though less obviously romanticized than the Jarvi, still leaning too much in that direction.


So, not a bad effort, but not a great one in my view.

I've read that this 7th is an extraordinarily slow performance, "granitic" in speed - would you agree? What is the timing for the 7th?

Post by tream October 14, 2005 (8 of 12)
Scott said:

I've read that this 7th is an extraordinarily slow performance, "granitic" in speed - would you agree? What is the timing for the 7th?

Yes, it is slow. He takes the term "adagio" literally. I'll post the timings (Davis and Berglund) later.

Post by Windsurfer November 6, 2005 (9 of 12)
DSD said:

Tream it is the pace and especially the rhythmic drive that makes the Paavo Jarvi on Telarc the best performance of Sibelius' Second Symphony I have ever heard. I have owned the Colin Davis LP, Pierre Monteux Living Stereo Classic Records 180 Gram LP, Yoel Levi CD and the Barbarolli re-issue on Chesky audiophile LP and NONE come even close to the grandeur of the Paavo Jarvi on Telarc. Could also be the romanticizing that makes this performance so special? Who knows but I feel differently than you and I do not feel that the Paavo Jarvi Telarc SACD will be surpassed in sonic qualities or performance for a least several decades, if ever.

Happy listening,
Teresa

As soon as my multi-channel system is up again, I will listen to my copy of the Jarvi first!

Post by Edvin August 28, 2006 (10 of 12)
I listened to this last night and couldn´t refrain from laughing at one point. Berglund shouts out loud several times, really loud. Can´t remember the exact timings where this occurs but say around 15 minutes or so. It´s a hilarious effect and shows that Berglund is very engaged in the music making. Maybe track 7 some six minutes in? It is a great seventh.

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