tiberius-claudius | Georgia | 03/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Boy, did this shake me up. After hearing the classic Karajan recordings from the 60's forever, this was a welcome treat. Levine's style of drawing out the long lines, then pulling out the guns for great effect may be considered "crass" by Grammophone snobs, but I love it. These are two great recordings. Excellent sound, also, which will put your hi-fi set to the test. This is a good case for DG's "4D" recording. Thumbs up."
Fine Renditions and Excellent Sound
Karl W. Nehring | Ostrander, OH USA | 08/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Sibelius lover has a bounteous crop of sonically splendid releases to choose from, with compelling recordings of the symphonies available from Davis on RCA, Segerstram on Chandos, Berglund on Finlandia, Maazel on Decca, and others. Even in light of this fierce competition, it is worth reporting that the Levine 4 & 5 features the Berlin Philharmonic in 4D sound, an imposing combination. The 5th is one of the most popular of Sibelius's symphonies, but it is the 4th that will make your blood run cold. If you have never heard this symphony, you are missing one of the glories of the symphonic literature, and the Levine recording is a fine rendition in excellent sound."
Different, but highly recommended
E. J. Van Sten | 01/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This disc is unmissable for Levine's interpretation of the 4th. The tempi are slow to the point where the music comes dangerously close to a standstill. But Levine is not different just for the sake of being different. Excitement clearly is not what he was looking for, and in its place comes a profound bleakness that makes Schubert's Winterreise seem like a pleasant stroll in the sun.
The 5th is solid, but ordinary by comparison. All in all, a highly recommended disc if you can find it!"