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  Exton -
  Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7 - Ashkenazy
  Sibelius: Symphony No. 6 in D minor Op. 104, Symphony No. 7 in C major Op. 105, Karelia Suite Op. 11, Valse Triste Op. 44 No. 1

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Vladimir Ashkenazy (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 3

Reviews: 3

Site review by Polly Nomial April 10, 2009
Performance:   Sonics:  
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Site review by Geohominid June 20, 2008
Performance:   Sonics:    
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Review by terence December 22, 2008 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is one of the best 7ths in my collection, and I have a lot of 7ths in my collection. In the modern era only Maazel in my experience (in his Vienna) recording gets the tempos as right as this, and his is probably the only performance I'd still actively prefer to this one.

Ashkenazy has tautened his view of the symphony considerably since his earlier Decca recording with the Philharmonia, which I thought was very overrated. How much more smoothly and naturally, for instance, the famous string chorale theme flows near the work's beginning - on Decca it mooned and drooped unconscionably.

The sound is big and bold, but a bit diffuse in focus, with muddiness of textures and flabby, slightly booming bass. Very little use indeed is made of rear channels, perhaps because the hall itself is dry, but the sound definitely needs aerating, with more "hall" in it.

Overall, though, I like this a lot because Ashkenazy has excellent grip on the symphony's structure, and does not at any stage unduly linger, which is fatal in this of all Sibelius's symphonies.

This is not the last word in SACD 7ths, but I'm glad I bought it.

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Works: 4  

Jean Sibelius - Karelia Suite, Op. 11
Jean Sibelius - Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Op. 104
Jean Sibelius - Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105
Jean Sibelius - Valse triste, Op. 44/1