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CD Review

Jean Sibelius

The Seven Symphonies

  • Symphony #1 in E minor, Op. 39 (1899)
  • Symphony #2 in D Major, Op. 43 (1901)
  • Symphony #3 in C Major, Op. 52 (1907)
  • Symphony #4 in A minor, Op. 63 (1911)
  • Symphony #5 in E Flat Major, Op. 82 (1915)
  • Symphony #6 in D minor, Op. 104 (1923)
  • Symphony #7 in C Major, Op. 105 (1924)
Utah Symphony Orchestra/Maurice Abravanel
Vanguard Classics SVC3133 3CDs

[ Reissued on 4CDs in two sets - Symphonies 1-4:
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Symphonies 5-7 & Tone Poems:
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Abravanel portrays a rather temperate Sibelius, the rough-hewn landscapes of the Finnish master are bevelled by the Utah Symphony's perfectionist ensemble and restricted range. Fastish tempos bleed the atmosphere at times.

This is a fine starter set, but won't banish memories of great Sibelians such as Barbirolli, Karajan, Ashkenazy, et al.

Copyright © 1997, Robert J. Sullivan