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  Membran -
  Sibelius: Symphony No. 5, En Saga - RPO/Schmidt
  Sibelius: Symphony No. 5, En Saga Op. 9, The Swan of Tuonela Op. 22, Valse triste Op. 44

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Ole Schmidt (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 3

Site review by Castor October 9, 2005
Performance:   Sonics:    
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

Review by Luukas September 15, 2014 (2 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is beautifully recorded and performed album of Jean Sibelius' (1865-1957) most famous orchestral works. This is also part of Royal Philharmonic Collection, which is recorded in 1990s.
Fifth Symphony Op. 82 sounds movingly here: Ole Schmidt's performance isn't never boring, and he brings this symphony to life. Second movement is very beautiful, and third movement is thrilling. It is shame that recording quality isn't very good, specially in stereo. Multi-channel sound is better, and C.T.S. Studios acoustic surrounds the listener.
It is very difficult to find multi-channel SACD of En Saga. Sir Colin Davis' recording with London Symphony Orchestra (PentaTone) is re-released 4.0 multi-channel sound. This is mixed 5.1 multi-channel sound, and it is much better. Bass drum's tremolos and strikes are very effectively - watch out your subwoofer! - and tone poem's famous main theme is powerful and vivid.
Other pieces - Valse Triste and The Swan of Tuonela - are pretty good, but there are many better recordings of these works. English Horn's lonely solo [in the "The Swan of Tuonela"] is quiet and weak.
So, buy this if you want exciting version of Sibelius' Fifth Symphony. I recommend this, but very carefully.

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Review by Allan1us October 27, 2005 (2 of 5 found this review helpful)
Here is an excerpt from a review of this performance (released in stereo only on the Regis label- but its obviously the same recording)in todays' (27/10/05) Music Web reviews:
"Schmidt's Sibelius 5 is monumental and indomitable. This is not code for slow. As for the sound it really is splendid. It is as if a pane of matte frosted glass has been removed and we are in the orchestra's immediate presence. The brass has real 'bite' The stereo spread is ample and details both subtle and stark emerge with renewed freshness. The finale's hurried tense whisper at 3.44 is superbly put across and so is the pizzicato at 4:13. And those six asynchronous hammer-blows are staggering. As for Schmidt’s En Saga this is one of the greats. It counts alongside my long-time reference version - Horst Stein's tense and volcanic Suisse Romande recording on Decca-Universal from circa 1972. The Swan of Tuonela is also superbly done with the cor anglais song floating on the sheer and shimmer of hushed violins. By contrast Valse Triste is taken very fast indeed.This is one of those discs that slips way into the background all too easily. Sibelians need this disc. Schmidt’s Fifth could easily stand as the only version in someone’s collection."
- Rob Barnett

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Works: 4  

Jean Sibelius - En Saga, Op. 9
Jean Sibelius - Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82
Jean Sibelius - The Swan of Tuonela, Op. 22/2
Jean Sibelius - Valse triste, Op. 44/1