Sibelius: Symphony No. 5; Symphony No. 6; The Swan of Tuonela

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Sibelius
LABELS: DG Galleria
WORKS: Symphony No. 5; Symphony No. 6; The Swan of Tuonela
PERFORMER: Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan
CATALOGUE NO: 439 982-2 ADD (1965/68)
Karajan’s 1965 version of Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony was a grossly over-inflated, wilfully self-regarding affair; surprisingly so given his lifelong involvement with the work. The leaner, drily elusive terrain of the Sixth emerged rather more convincingly three years later, although in retrospect this hardly bears the imprimatur of a committed or compelling Sibelian. This reissue also includes a chillingly sombre, dark-hued interpretation of The Swan of Tuonela, but, with intrusive tape hiss throughout, this remains a disappointing disc. Michael Jameson

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