Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Sibelius, Sargent, BBC Sym Orch|
Symphony 1 E Minor Op 39 / Pohjola's Daughter
Outstanding 5th and Pohjola.
R. Ball | London W14, England United Kingdom | 11/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two items on this CD make it essential for the serious Sibelius Collector. The recording of Pohjola's daughter is extraordinary, having a brooding intensity, a gripping build-up and a menacing climax that I have not heard equalled elsewhere. The fifth is even better - just about the best recording ever made of this symphony ! The fifth has always been my favourite of the Sibelius cycle and I have heard almost every recording issued in the last 30 years. Great though the old Kajanus version was, it was not as good as the 3rd. The early mono Ormandy was very fine but lacked a little in weight and momentum. The Koussevitsky and Karajan are both much overrated. The Davis Boston cycle is unidiomatic and badly recorded. The Barbarolli is a remarkably good performance that would be as good as any if only his tempi weren't just a bit too slow. There is a very good Russian performance under Roszdestvensky and the closest similarity to the Sargeant performance is with the Scottish National under Alexander Gibson in the EMI recording. Nevertheless, the most consistently gripping version is the Sargent which has the same darkly resonant sound as the Barbarolli and the climaxes to the first and third movements are built with a sustained power that is quite unique. Unfortunately, although adequate, the performance of the first symphony is not in the same class."