- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted October 1, 2010
The worst Fifth I've heard on record
Caveats first: I've only heard the Fourth and Fifth from this cycle, and I won't comment on the Fourth because I don't really understand the piece. That said, the Fifth here is frankly awful -- a disservice to one of the towering achievements in all of music. I came away wondering if they rehearsed at all before recording. The SFSO is usually a terrific band, but here the players don't match articulations or note lengths -- listen for example to the different winds in the opening bars, or the "wgwgwg" of the violas at the start of the finale versus the "tktktk" of the violins that follow. Rhythms are glossy and indistinct, and some of Sibelius's accents are totally missing. The result is that Sibelius's incisive gestures become gelatinous and his crystalline textures opaque. Listen to the playing of the Philharmonia with Ashkenazy and there's just no comparison. Blomstedt's tempos are passable mostly, but the Andante mosso is rushed and lacks charm, and the ending of the symphony, which should be both exhilerating and devastating, instead induces a shrug of the shoulders. I think the Ashkenazy is still available as two separate "2fer" issues, with some tone poems thrown in. If you like your Sibelius more sedate, there's Davis & Boston on Philips, also as 2fers. Spend the extra five bucks.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.