Search - Raimo Laukka, Tommi Hakala, Sauli Tiilikainen :: The Essential Sibelius [Box Set]

The Essential Sibelius [Box Set]
Raimo Laukka, Tommi Hakala, Sauli Tiilikainen
The Essential Sibelius [Box Set]
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #4
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #5
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #6
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #7
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #8
  •  Track Listings (25) - Disc #9
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #10
  •  Track Listings (30) - Disc #11
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #12
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #13
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #14
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #15


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CD Reviews

Predecessor to The Complete Sibelius Edition (pending)
Martin Selbrede | The Woodlands, Texas | 12/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"BIS set itself the task of recording EVERY work by Sibelius, and this 15 CD set is the downpayment on that more ambitious project. That in no way renders this so-called Essential Sibelius set modest or compromised. This set is so good, it risks eclipsing the subsequent Complete Works project BIS is still working to finish. All the major works (symphonies, tone poems, songs, Kullervo, concerti) are represented here and are gorgeously recorded. All but the second half of the 15th CD are digitally recorded (the analog material is restricted to some piano works).

The recording engineers at BIS do stunning work, and this collation is no exception. Let's consider the symphonies as representative of the set itself. This is a marvelous traversal of all seven. I own the readings done by Sir Colin Davis (still highly respected), the four that Bernstein recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic, and Maurice Abravanel's recordings. In virtually all particulars, Osmo Vanska betters the competition. He's done something I would not have thought possible (given that I own over 2,000 classical CDs): one of these disks has earned entry into my "Ten Desert Island CDs" list. That would be CD 2, containing the Second and Third Symphonies of Sibelius. Astonishingly compelling music-making: authoritative, with deeply carved emotion, overwhelming power, and soul-searching tenderness. It was like rediscovering Sibelius anew. I don't think there can be any higher praise than this.

The multi-lingual booklet is informative on a biographical level, but weak on extended discussion of the individual works. The sleeve packaging is arguably bargain-basement level, as is the silkscreening on the disks, which sometimes requires the booklet to let you know what you're facing. But at the stupendous price these gorgeous recordings are offered at, to complain about the packaging is to quibble.

There is something authoritative about any Sibelius project BIS puts its hand to, and one gets that sense in this collection. National pride, corporate pride, and (as we learn from the booklet) a personal connection to Sibelius, is evident in this box set and the loving attention the interpreters and recording engineers lavished on these works. Rediscover Sibelius by starting here. This box set will become the new benchmark for Sibelius box sets, at least until BIS finishes the Complete Works project in the future."
A Remarkable Collection
J. Rich | 10/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""The Essential Sibelius" is truly a remarkable set and a major accomplishment for the BIS label. As the other reviewer pointed out, there is something very definitive about anything BIS puts out regarding Sibelius. It appears that this set is out-of-print now. Truly a shame as I haven't even began to discover all the jewels hidden in this box. BIS does, however, have a series called "The Sibelius Edition," which is much more comprehensive than this box, but the great thing I have found with this set is that it contains all the major works Sibelius wrote: all the symphonies, the "Violin Concerto," most of the tone poems, including a fantastic version of "Kullervo," choral works, and a lot of chamber works. The orchestral performances are either with Osmo Vanska/Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Neeme Jarvi/Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. The audio quality is also excellent.

Another nice thing about this box is that it's a much better deal than any of the previous sets released and much more cost friendly. Here are the contents of "The Essential Sibelius" taken from the BIS website:

The Essential SIBELIUS - Table of contents/artists

Disc 1:
Symphony No.1 in E minor, Op.39
Symphony No.4 in A minor, Op.63
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Disc 2:
Symphony No.2 in D major, Op.43
Symphony No.3 in C major, Op.52
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Disc 3:
Symphony No.5 in E flat major, Op.82
En saga, Op.9
Pohjola's Daughter, Op.49
Valse triste, Op.44 No.1
Finlandia, Op.26
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Disc 4:
Symphony No.6 (in D minor), Op.104
Symphony No.7 in C major, Op.105
Tapiola, Op.112
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Disc 5:
Concerto in D minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op.47
Leonidas Kavakos, violin
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Two Serious Melodies for cello and orchestra, Op.77
Marko Ylönen, cello
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Two Serenades for violin and orchestra, Op.69
Six Humoresques for violin and orchestra
Dong-Suk Kang, violin
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra · Neeme Järvi

Disc 6:
Kullervo, Op.7
Lilli Paasikivi, mezzo-soprano · Raimo Laukka, baritone
Helsinki University Chorus
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Disc 7:
The Wood-Nymph, Op.15
Lemminkäinen Suite, Op.22
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Disc 8:
Karelia Suite, Op.11
Scènes historiques, Set I, Op.25
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra · Neeme Järvi

Athenarnes sång (Song of the Athenians), Op.31 No.3
Lahti Boys' Choir · Helsinki University Chorus
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Tulen synty (The Origin of Fire), Op.32
Tommi Hakala, baritone · Helsinki University Chorus
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Vapautettu kuningatar (The Captive Queen), Op.48
Dominante Choir
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Rakastava for strings, timpani and triangle, Op.14
Andante festivo, JS34b
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Disc 9:
Kung Kristian II (King Christian II), Op.27 (suite)
Pelléas et Mélisande, Op.46 (suite)
The Tempest, Op.109 (extracts)
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra · Neeme Järvi

Disc 10:
Snöfrid, Op.29
Stina Ekblad, narrator
Jubilate Choir
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

The Bard, Op.64
The Oceanides, Op.73
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Luonnotar, Op.70
Helena Juntunen, soprano
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Sortunut ääni (The Broken Voice), Op.18 No.1
Venematka (The Boat Journey), Op.18 No.3
Sydämeni laulu (Song of my Heart), Op.18 No.6
Helsinki University Chorus · Matti Hyökki

Rakastava (The Lover), JS160a (Op.14)
Monica Groop, mezzo-soprano · Sauli Tiilikainen, baritone
ubilate Choir · Astrid Riska

Isänmaalle (To the Fatherland), JS98a
Saarella palaa (Fire on the Island), Op.18 No.4
Soi kiitokseksi Luojan (We Praise Thee, Our Creator), Op.23 No.6a
Män från slätten och havet (Men from Land and Sea), Op.65a
Jubilate Choir · Astrid Riska

Till havs (At Sea), Op.84 No.5
Fridolins dårskap (Fridolin's Folly), JS84
Jone havsfärd (Jonah's Voyage), JS100
Orphei Drängar · Robert Sund

Jääkärien marssi, Op.91a (March of the Finnish Jäger Battalion)
Helsinki University Chorus
Lahti Symphony Orchestra · Osmo Vänskä

Finlandia-Hymni (Finlandia Hymn), Op.26
Jubilate Choir · Astrid Riska

Disc 11:
Svarta rosor (Black Roses), Op.36 No.1
Men min fågel märks dock icke (But my Bird is Long in Homing), Op.36 No.2
Säv, säv, susa (Sigh, Sigh, Sedges), Op.36 No.4
Illalle (To Evening), Op.17 No.6
Im Feld ein Mädchen singt (A Maiden Yonder Sings), Op.50 No.3
Aus banger Brust (O, Wert Thou Here), Op.50 No.4
Die stille Stadt (The Silent Town), Op.50 No.5
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano · Bengt Forsberg, piano

Våren flyktar hastigt (Spring is Flying), Op.13 No.4
Se'n har jag ej frågat mera (Since Then I Have Questioned No Further), Op.17 No.1
Höstkväll (Autumn Evening), Op.38 No.1
Arioso, Op.3 (1911)
MariAnne Häggander, soprano
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra · Jorma Panula

Näcken (The Watersprite), song/melodrama, JS138
Monica Groop, mezzo-soprano · Lasse Pöysti, narrator
Jaakko Kuusisto, violin · Joel Laakso, cello · Folke Gräsbeck, piano

Giv mig ej glans, ej guld, ej prakt (Give Me No Splendour), Op.1 No.4
Jag är ett träd (The Tree), Op.57 No.5
Näcken (The Watersprite), Op.57 No.8
Hymn to Thaïs, JS97
Kaiutar (The Echo Nymph), Op.72 No.4
Längtan heter min arvedel (Longing is my Heritage), Op.86 No.2
I systrar, I bröder, I älskande par (Ye Sisters, Ye Brothers), Op.86 No.6
Monica Groop, mezzo-soprano · Love Derwinger, piano

Demanten på marssnön (The Diamond on the March Snow), Op.36 No.6
Sången om korsspindeln (The Song of the Cross Spider), Op.27 No.4
På verandan vid havet (On a Balcony by the Sea), Op.38 No.2
Kom nu hit, död (Come Away, Death), Op.60 No.1
Jorma Hynninen, baritone
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra · Jorma Panula

Souda, souda, sinisorsa (Swim, Duck, Swim), JS180
Norden (The North), Op.90 No.1
Narciss (Narcissus), JS140
Den första kyssen (The First Kiss), Op.37 No.1
Var det en dröm? (Was it a Dream?), Op.37 No.4
Flickan kom ifrån sin älsklings möte (The Tryst) , Op.37 No.5
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano · Bengt Forsberg, piano

Tanken (The Thought), JS192
Anne Sofie von Otter and Monica Groop, mezzo-sopranos
Bengt Forsberg, piano

Moderato - Allegro appassionato in C sharp minor JS131
String Quartet in A minor, JS183
String Quartet in D minor `Voces intimae', Op.56
Tempera Quartet
(Laura Vikman, violin I · Silva Koskela, violin II
Tiila Kangas, viola · Ulla Lampela, cello)

Disc 13:
Piano Trio in D major, `Korpo', JS209
Jaakko Kuusisto, violin · Marko Ylönen, cello · Folke Gräsbeck, piano

Piano Quintet in G minor, JS159
Jaakko Kuusisto, violin I · Laura Vikman, violin II
Anna Kreetta Gribajcevic, viola · Joel Laakso, cello
Folke Gräsbeck, piano

La pompeuse Marche d'Asis, JS116
Jaakko Kuusisto, violin · Marko Ylönen, cello · Folke Gräsbeck, piano

Disc 14:
Vattendroppar (Water Drops), JS216
Jaakko Kuusisto, violin · Taneli Turunen, cello

Andante cantabile in E flat major, JS30b
Folke Gräsbeck, piano · Harri Viitanen, harmonium

Andante cantabile in G major, JS33
Sonata in F major, JS178 (1889)
Jaakko Kuusisto, violin · Folke Gräsbeck, piano

Malinconia, Op.20 (1900)
Torleif Thedéen, cello · Folke Gräsbeck, piano

Four Pieces, Op.78 for violin and piano
Sonatina in E major, Op.80
Two Danses Champêtres from Op.106
Nils-Erik Sparf violin · Bengt Forsberg piano

Disc 15:
Florestan, JS82
Impromptu in B minor, Op.5 No.5
Sonata in F major, Op.12
Folke Gräsbeck, piano

Romance in D flat major, Op.24 No.9
Kyllikki, three lyric pieces, Op.41
Sonatina in F sharp minor, Op.67 No.1
Sonatina in E major, Op.67 No.2
Sonatina in B minor, Op.67 No.3
Den ensamma furan (The Solitary Fir Tree), Op.75 No.2
Granen (The Spruce), Op.75 No.5
Scène romantique, Op.101 No.5
The Village Church, Op.103 No.1
Erik T. Tawaststjerna, piano

If you love Sibelius and want a quick way to get his major works in a box, then this set is for you. Highly recommended."
A Truly Essential Survey of Sibelius' Works, but...
Gregory E. Foster | Portland, ME, USA | 08/13/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First one needs to click on the link just under "Track Listings" that says "see all items". I guess the list is too long to sensibly fit onto this page.

The scope of the contents of this magnificent box set is simply mind-staggering, and dollar for dollar is probably one of the best buys in music here on Amazon. Of course, one must like Sibelius, but frankly I don't know anyone who does not, and so this set really is a "must" for most music lovers.

In truth, you would really not need much, if anything, more from the cannon of Sibelius' works if you have this set. The sampling is uniform through all genres of the great master's output, carefully selected, I am sure, by the folks at BIS to showcase their much larger "Complete Sibelius Collection" which should be finished very soon. Frankly, I cannot imagine what one would do with everything Sibelius's staggering to think about!

Everything included here is truly first class, with first rank interpretations from the artists involved, done up spectacularly in BIS's famous, fabulous, sound!

Now, the "but..."

There are a couple "sad" things regarding this otherwise truly fabulous box.

The "Original Version" of the 5th Symphony that appears in the Vansky Symphony Cycle box Sibelius: The Complete Symphonies is very sadly missing here in this set, which is too bad, for it truly is a fabulous piece, strange but familiar, not at all inferior to the "Revised Version" which premiered a year later.

Also, the "Original Version" of the Violin Concerto which appears on Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor (Original Version); Violin Concerto in D minor is also not present. It, too, is a wonderful "listen" aside from the "Revised" one, strong enough to stand on its own.

Lastly, I personally find it sad that the truly beautiful tone poem "Night Ride and Sunrise" does not appear here with all these other beautiful works. It is a short piece, surely the boys at BIS could have worked it in someplace on the 15 discs, or pruned some other small work.

Otherwise, I have no qualms or quibbles with this massive cross section through Sibelius' output. Ultimately, of course, one must make their own decision "what they want", but dollar for dollar, and for the interpretive efforts reflected in this set, it simply is unbeatable either for someone just beginning with Sibelius, or for somebody wishing to easily broaden their collection of this great composer's works. And, lucky for all, this is a "first class" set of truly "first class" recordings, so economically priced that it is almost a steal....go for it! Your ears will really thank you for making this choice for them!