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  LSO Live -
  Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4 - Davis
  Sibelius: Symphony No. 1, Symphony No. 4

London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 4

Reviews: 2

Review by threerandot March 29, 2010 (6 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Colin Davis easily has the sweep and grandeur of these works under his fingertips. An excellent program of Sibelius music!

I have been a big fan of Sibelius for a while now and consider his symphonies on par with those of Mahler and Bruckner.

These are exciting performances with Davis bringing out the excitement and intensity of these pieces in large, bold gestures. The LSO are first rate and have no visible trouble playing these symphonies. Both performances are memorable and the fourth has all the brooding mystery and intensity one could wish for. The first movement of the fourth has wonderful and exciting climaxes that these works truly deserve.

With a first rate DSD recording there is no detectable harshness and plenty of air and warmth. Strings are lush and beautiful and the balances is just right. The rear speakers bring out the ambience of the original location beautifully.

This is a disc for true Sibelius fans and all I can say is I want more Sibelius on SACD, especially recorded in DSD. There is a wonderful selection of Mahler recordings now released. Now how about more Sibelius on SACD? Are the labels listening?

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Review by Luukas January 13, 2015 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Sir Colin Davis was great Sibelius interpreter, and his recordings got many acclaimed awards. Davis recorded three Sibelius cycles: first with Boston Symphony Orchestra and two others with London Symphony Orchestra. His last cycle - this is the first disc - was live from the Barbican Hall, London.
I have many recordings of Sibelius First Symphony. My first introduction was Leif Segerstam's performance with Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (Ondine). This is also very good recording; it is dramatic and live concert's feeling comes very close by 5.0 surround sound.
First movement, Andante ma non troppo, (11'54") begin's lonely clarinet's quiet melody. Here it is very beautifully performed: Andrew Marriner (first clarinetist) plays touchingly and sensitively. Main theme is peaceful, but it isn't too slow. Osmo Vänskä's interpretation with Minnesota Orchestra is much quicker: first movement's total time is only 9 minutes!
Second movement, Andante (ma non troppo lento) (9'27") is very beautiful. Davis really understands this. He groans with Tchaikovskian melody. It is touching experience. The fast middle scene is powerful, and Davis reaches its freighting feeling very well.
Third movement, Scherzo (5'15") is just OK. Its performance is quite normal. But the emotionally finale, (Quasi una fantasia): Andante (12'59") is this performance's real culmination. Strings singing melody is unforgettable, and Davis gives his all knowledge to it. Dramatic moments are like thunders.
Fourth Symphony (1910-1911) is different work. It is dark composition, it doesn't contains happy end. Davis' interpretation is excellent.
Neil Hutchinson's and Jonathan Stokes' engineering is also very good. For example my subwoofer switched on when the bass drum strikes in the finale.

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Works: 2  

Jean Sibelius - Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39
Jean Sibelius - Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 63