Sibelius: Lemminkäinen Suite (Four Legends from the Kalevala); Tapiola

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Sibelius
LABELS: EMI Studio Plus
WORKS: Lemminkäinen Suite (Four Legends from the Kalevala); Tapiola
PERFORMER: Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy; Helsinki PO/Paavo Berglund
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 65176 2 ADD/DDD (1979/86)
Philadelphian Sibelius is Sibelius without the rough edges. Ormandy’s orchestra always represented the epitome of American sleekness and the playing in the Lemminkäinen Suite is never short of stunning, but between them they miss the earthiness and northern coldness of Sibelius’s music, something exacerbated by the bright, silken recorded sound. A more echt-Sibelius flavour can be heard in the Helsinki PO’s Tapiola, more warmly recorded than Lemminkäinen, and firmly shaped by Berglund. Matthew Rye

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