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Sibelius: Symphony No. 5; Lutoslawski: Concerto for Orchestra

Audio Samples

>Sibelius, Jean : Pohjola's daughter, Op. 49
>Sibelius, Jean : Symphony no 5 in E flat major, Op. 82
>Lutoslawski, Witold : Concerto for Orchestra

Album Summary

>Sibelius, Jean : Pohjola's daughter, Op. 49
>Sibelius, Jean : Symphony no 5 in E flat major, Op. 82
>Lutoslawski, Witold : Concerto for Orchestra
Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Saraste has an enviable reputation in championing repertoire from contemporary northern composers, with cycles of Sibelius and Nielsen already to his name. This disc showcases works for which both Sibelius and Lutoslawski are best remembered. Lutoslawski's Concerto for Orchestra, established him as an important composer of art music and whilst it draws on the avant-garde it has immediate listener appeal.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London.



Reviews

Terrific new recordings that feel authentic
This new live recording of the Sibelius "Pohjola's Daughter" and his "Symphony #5" coupled with the Lutoslawski "Concerto for Orchestra" is a great one! The Sibelius works have been recorded many times and several conductors recognize that Sibelius the symphonist is not given enough due. My old Karajan recording of the fifth is bold and brisk but played maybe just a bit too brassily. I like the much more recent recording with Osmar Vanska and the Lahti Philharmonic for its more Scandinavian. However, this new one with Jukka-Pekka Saraste and the London Philharmonic is, for me, hard to beat! The pacing in the critical opening movement is just right and the trademark horn calls that conclude the work - intended to depict Sibelius' joy at watching swans ascend from the icy lake near his home - is majestic, not blaring and Saraste brings a tone to the work that is just the one heard in so much of Sibelius - there is a constant emotional battle between sadness and triumph; despair and hope. Saraste's reading of the "Pohjola's Daughter" from the Four Legends is also well done. Based on a Finnish folk legend, on the mysterious maiden of the north woods who is sought by men but remains unattainable with strange powers, the themes and small motives that spell a sense of foreboding in the tone poem will surface again in the Symphony #5. The low strings of the London Phil supply a beautiful but ominous tone in both of these masterworks. It is clear that Saraste has a deep understanding of this music and brings an authentic feel to these performances. The Lutoslawski "Concerto for Orchestra" also gets a rousing, not bombastic, treatment here. The Concerto was a product of the mid 1950s when the Communist regime in Poland wanted Lutoslwaski to forsake "modernism" and write something more traditional. Lutoslawski did not consider this one of his strongest pieces but the folk melodies and drive contained withing also revolve around some slightly edgy orchestrations and tonalities reminiscent of Shostakovich. The London Phil here give the piece a very dynamic reading that I think compares most favorably to the composer's own rendition with the Polish National Symphony. This is an excellent recording and is one of many excellent recordings as part of the Polska Music project funded by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Submitted on 12/05/11 by Dan Coombs 
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Works Details

>Sibelius, Jean : Pohjola's daughter, Op. 49
  • Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste
  • Ensemble: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 12 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1906

>Sibelius, Jean : Symphony no 5 in E flat major, Op. 82
  • Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste
  • Ensemble: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 30 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1919

>Lutoslawski, Witold : Concerto for Orchestra
  • Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste
  • Ensemble: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 27 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1950-1954