Sibelius: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 3; Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 5; Symphony No. 6; Symphony No. 7

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COMPOSERS: Sibelius
LABELS: Sony
WORKS: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 3; Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 5; Symphony No. 6; Symphony No. 7
PERFORMER: Phyllis Curtin (soprano)New York PO/Leonard Bernstein
CATALOGUE NO: SM2K 47619/47622 ADD (1965-70)
These are glamorous, big-city readings, far removed from the granite-faced objectivity proffered by most recorded Sibelians. But it’s all tremendously exciting – and if Bernstein nears emotional saturation more than once, particularly in Symphonies Nos. 1, 2 and 5, the coursing adrenalin in these accounts is irresistible. The New Yorkers are on top form throughout, and Bernstein’s performances of the less accessible Nos. 4 and 6 are unusually thorough and detailed. Despite remastering, some of the fizz and glare that goaded pre-digital CBS LP pressings still survives. Michael Jameson

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