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Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The Naxos label forsakes its standard design for this disc of Sibelius symphonies from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen. Perhaps the image of aurora borealis over snowy mountains in darkness was inspired by the presence of the "Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 63," a piece of murk and utter gloom pierced only intermittently by brief rays of light. Here the work is paired with its polar opposite, the soaring "Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82," an inspiring work that was virtually an anthem of Britain's World War II effort remarkable in view of the fact that Finland spent much of the war allied with Nazi Germany against its ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The Naxos label forsakes its standard design for this disc of Sibelius symphonies from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen. Perhaps the image of aurora borealis over snowy mountains in darkness was inspired by the presence of the "Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 63," a piece of murk and utter gloom pierced only intermittently by brief rays of light. Here the work is paired with its polar opposite, the soaring "Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82," an inspiring work that was virtually an anthem of Britain's World War II effort remarkable in view of the fact that Finland spent much of the war allied with Nazi Germany against its historic oppressors, the Russians. There are plenty of recordings of these works, even in this pairing, but Inkinen's makes a strong choice at a budget price. His approach is straightforward and measured and very effective in the almost unbearably dark first movement of the "Symphony No. 4," where he lets the music speak for its miserable self. The "Symphony No. 5" has plenty for the orchestral horns to do, and the little-heralded New Zealand Symphony Orchestra stands up to Sibelius' demands even if there are other versions where the strings glitter a bit more. Too, there are broader readings of the "Symphony No. 5"'s hurtling finale; here again Inkinen doesn't push the music in any particular direction, and listeners may or may not prefer the result to other stand-up-and-cheer readings. But this is on balance top-level Sibelius at a budget price, with reasonable sound. Booklet notes, summarizing the circumstances and structure of each symphony, are in English only.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/25/2011
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313222773
  • Catalog Number: 8572227
  • Sales rank: 255,186

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–4 Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 63 - Jean Sibelius & New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (36:34)
  2. 5–7 Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82 - Jean Sibelius & New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (33:04)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Pietari Inkinen Primary Artist
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