Sibelius - Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3


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Sibelius - Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3



Catalogue No:




Release date:

1st June 1997




76 minutes


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Sibelius - Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3


Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43

Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52



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Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43

I. Allegretto

II. Tempo Andante, ma rubato

III. Vivacissimo - attacca

IV. Finale: Allegro moderato

Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52

I. Allegro moderato

II. Andantino co moto, quasi allegretto

III. Moderato: Allegro (ma non tanto)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“The first issue in the Sibelius cycle by Osmo Vänskä and the Lahti orchestra (Symphonies Nos 1 and 4) made a strong impression. Indeed it holds its own against the most exalted competition.
The present set doesn't disappoint either: these artists are right inside this music.
First, the Second Symphony where competition is stiffest, with Karajan, Barbirolli and Colin Davis leading a field that includes Szell (Philips), Kletzki (EMI) and Ormandy (Sony).
Admittedly it would have been preferable if Vänskä had set a slightly brisker tempo at the very opening, though he's not alone in the pace he adopts. Karajan and Sir Colin are equally measured. Kajanus took 8'14" over this movement and Sibelius's first biographer, the scholarcritic Erik Furuhjhelm, records that the composer took it even faster! Perhaps the briskest of all modern performances is Neeme Järvi and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Vänskä's reading is both powerfully wrought and well thought-out though there are some self-conscious touches. He pulls back a little too much at the tranquillo marking in the first movement (track 1, 4'31"), of which one becomes too aware. Elsewhere he makes one think afresh about the score. The F sharp major tune on the strings in the slow movement marked ppp is played as a barely audible whisper (track 2, 4'40") and so exaggerated does it seem that the wind four bars later sound (and are) much louder than the marked pianissimo. But these are minor matters in a performance marked by feeling and eloquence.
It's good to see the Third Symphony doing so well on record. Vänskä sets the right tempo for the first movement and gets the right atmosphere.
The opening bars do not build up as powerfully as they do in the hands of the LSO and Sir Colin, and it's possible to feel a certain want of momentum in the slow movement by their side and in comparison with Kajanus's pioneering set. On the whole, however, this is a very good performance, well paced and full of perceptive touches. The sound is excellent and, exceptionally wide-ranging.”

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