Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 7; Pelléas et Mélisande; Tapiola

Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 7; Pelléas et Mélisande; Tapiola

by Thomas Beecham
     
 

Sir Thomas Beecham first conducted Sibelius' music in 1915. Over the subsequent four decades, the English maestro became one of the composer's most ardent advocates, and Sibelius in turn made it known that he considered Beecham one of the greatest interpreters of his music. The culmination of this highly productive symbioticSee more details below

Overview

Sir Thomas Beecham first conducted Sibelius' music in 1915. Over the subsequent four decades, the English maestro became one of the composer's most ardent advocates, and Sibelius in turn made it known that he considered Beecham one of the greatest interpreters of his music. The culmination of this highly productive symbiotic association was a magnificent 1955 concert at the Royal Festival Hall celebrating Sibelius' 90th birthday -- a truly legendary event that is finally available on disc, thanks to the BBC. From the delectable miniatures of the opening "Swanwhite" Suite to the uncompromising, stark power of the Fourth Symphony, few conductors have had such deep sympathy with this music's crisp, clean atmosphere. The piping woodwinds in the Pastorale from "Pelléas et Mélisande" are rustic yet refined, and "The Death of Mélisande" is imbued with poignant dignity. "Tapiola," the composer's last major work, is perhaps most impressive of all: With sharply focused playing by the Royal Philharmonic, the result is more intense than Beecham's celebrated studio recording. Even the silences here crackle with electricity. This two-CD set also includes an urgent and incandescent live performance of the Seventh Symphony taped at the Royal Albert Hall in 1954, as well as a 15-minute lecture in which Beecham sheds insight on Sibelius' elusive art. The recorded sound is a little muffled in the birthday concert, and there's considerable audience noise between the pieces, but the sense of a great, historic occasion is richly conveyed.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/25/2000
Label:
Bbc Legends
UPC:
0684911404128
catalogNumber:
4041

Tracks

  1. God Save the Queen, British National Anthem  -  Anonymous  - Thomas Beecham  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  2. Finnish National Anthem, "Maamme"  - Fredrik Pacius  - Thomas Beecham  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  3. Symphony No. 4, for orchestra in A minor, Op. 63  - Jean Sibelius  - Thomas Beecham  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  4. Pelléas et Mélisande, incidental music for orchestra, Op. 46  - Jean Sibelius  - Thomas Beecham  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  5. Tapiola, tone poem for orchestra, Op. 112  - Jean Sibelius  - Thomas Beecham  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  6. The Tempest: Suite No. 2, for orchestra, Op. 109/3: Dance of the Nymphs  - Jean Sibelius  - Thomas Beecham  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  7. Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105  - Jean Sibelius  - Thomas Beecham  -  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

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