Sibelius - Symphonies # 1-7 - Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle - 2015 (FLAC, 24BIT – 96KHZ)

Sibelius – Symphonies # 1-7 – Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle – 2015 (FLAC, 24BIT – 96KHZ)

Composer: Jean Sibelius
Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1 CD
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Bit Depth: 24bit / 96kHz
Number of channels: 2.0
Label: Berliner Philharmoniker
Size: 3.51 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes
Server: datafile

Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle
Jean Sibelius: Symphonies 1-7

Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 39

01. I. Andante, ma non troppo – Allegro energico
02. II. Andante
03. III. Scherzo: Allegro
04. IV. Finale: Andante – Allegro molto

Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43

05. I. Allegretto
06. II. Tempo andante, ma rubato
07. III. Vivacissimo
08. IV. Finale: Allegro moderato

Symphony No. 3 in C Major, Op. 52

09. I. Allegro moderato
10. II. Andantino con moto, quasi allegretto – Un pocchettino con moto – Tempo primo
11. III. Moderato – Allegro (Ma non tanto) – Sempre energico

Symphony No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 63

12. I. Tempo molto moderato, quasi adagio
13. II. Allegro molto vivace – Doppio più lento
14. III. Il tempo largo
15. IV. Allegro

Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82

16. I. Tempo molto moderato – Allegro moderato – Presto – Più presto
17. II. Andante mosso, quasi allegretto – Tranquillo – Poco a poco stretto – Tempo primo
18. III. Allegro molto – Misterioso – Largamente assai – Un pochettino stretto

Symphony No. 6 in D Minor, Op. 104

19. I. Allegro molto moderato
20. II. Allegretto moderato
21. III. Poco vivace
22. IV. Allegro molto

Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 105

23. I. Adagio
24. II. Vivacissimo – Adagio
25. III. Allegro molto moderato – Allegro moderato
26. IV. Vivace – Presto – Adagio – Largamente molto – Affettuoso

Recorded at the Berlin Philharmonie, December 2014 and February 2015

For Simon Rattle, Jean Sibelius is “one of the most staggeringly original composers that there is”. And indeed, this music has a unique musical language whose many beauties are particularly succinctly conveyed in Sibelius’s seven symphonies. There is sonorous warmth as much as there is austere Nordic folklore. Moreover, there is a conceptual boldness that takes the listener on exciting musical journeys of discovery. In 2015, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Sibelius’s birth, Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker presented the cycle live, which was met with unanimous delight by audiences and critics alike. “The Philharmoniker show that with them and Simon Rattle, Sibelius is in excellent hands,” wrote the Berliner Zeitung, “because the orchestra has that astringency and sheer power which is so important for this kind of music.”

Simon Rattle was familiar with the music of Jean Sibelius from childhood. When, as a ten-year-old, he heard the Fifth Symphony live for the first time, it struck him – to use his own words – “like a thunderbolt”. The Berliner Philharmoniker can also look back on a long Sibelius tradition and the orchestra was conducted by the composer himself in 1902. However, the first complete performance of the seven symphonies was not realised until 2010 under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle, with the Third Symphony being performed by the Philharmoniker for the first time. For many music lovers in Berlin, this new encounter with Sibelius was an exhilarating experience, and so it was only natural to repeat the performance of the cycle in Sibelius’s anniversary year.

The complete recording of the symphonies is now being released in an exclusive edition. The edition presents the symphonies not only on 4 CDs, but also on two Blu-ray discs as HD video, in uncompressed audio resolution and DTS surround sound. The extensive product features include a comprehensive booklet and an hour-long video interview in which Sir Simon Rattle talks about his views on Sibelius and introduces the seven symphonies.

The Guardian:

At the beginning of this 150th anniversary year for Sibelius, Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic gave cycles of the seven symphonies in Berlin and on tour; these recordings are taken from the performances given at the Philharmonie in Berlin. They are lavishly packaged in what is now the standard format for the orchestra’s own label, and as well as recordings in conventional CD format, the set includes Blu-ray discs offering HD video recordings of the concerts and audio versions in 24-bit, 96kHz sound.

When Rattle and the orchestra gave the cycle at the Barbican in London in February, what came across most forcibly was the depth and power of the orchestral playing. But despite the hi-tech sophistication of these recordings, there is nothing like the same presence to the sound here, which often seems curiously distanced and uninvolving, homogenised almost. And what in the concert hall seemed problematic about the way in which Rattle’s approach to Sibelius has changed over the years appears much more obvious when heard on disc, especially in the later symphonies.

The Fifth, in particular, seems perfunctory and glib here, by turns too ponderous, too lightweight and superficial. The way in which the first movement transforms itself into a scherzo – one of the great moments in the history of the symphony – is alarmingly glossed over, and the finale never hits the majestic stride it should. There’s something unresolved about this account of the Sixth as well, the opening string paragraphs self-consciously moulded, but Rattle’s account of the Seventh (thankfully not elided with the Sixth as it was in the concert hall) is much more convincing, rugged, uncompromising and all of a piece musically.

If it’s a cycle that ends well, it begins impressively too, with an account of the First Symphony sculpted on a grand scale. By the time it reaches the Third (which, astonishingly, the Berlin Phil had never played until Rattle first conducted it with them five years ago), though, the preoccupations with surface smoothness are beginning to be obvious and they diminish the raw, bleak power of the Fourth, too. While any one of these performances might leave a good enough impression in a concert, these endlessly fascinating works need something much less generalised for repeated listening on disc.

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