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Gibson: Sibelius – Tone Poems (FLAC)

Gibson: Sibelius - Tone Poems (FLAC)

Gibson: Sibelius – Tone Poems (FLAC)

Composer: Jean Sibelius
Performer: Phyllis Bryn-Julson
Orchestra: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Conductor: Sir Alexander Gibson
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Chandos
Release: 2004
Size: 415 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: cover

CD 01
01. En Saga, Op. 9
02. Luonnotar, Op. 70 (Text: Kalevala)
03. Finlandia, Op. 26
04. Varsang (Spring Song), Op. 16
05. The Bard, Op. 64
06. Dryaden (The Dryad), Op. 45, No. 1

CD 02
01. Pohjolan tytar (Pohjola’s Daughter), Op. 49
02. Oinen ratsastus ja auringonnousu (Night Ride and Sunrise), Op. 55
03. Aallottaret (The Oceanides), Op. 73
04. Tapiola, Op. 112

These discs restore to the catalog Alexander Gibson and the Scottish National Orchestra’s 1977 recordings of ten of Sibelius’ tone poems. Most of the favorites are here — Finlandia and En Saga, but not, however, Valse Triste — and most of the performances are first-rate. Gibson was a powerfully individualistic conductor whose Sibelius interpretations were dramatically heroic at their best. Gibson is at his best in the less well-known works. His Night Ride and Sunrise is evocative and ecstatic. His The Oceanides is supple and mysterious. Some listeners might find his Tapiola too fast, but none would deny its strength. And all listeners will find his Luonnotar with soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson overwhelmingly compelling. With the technically superb and brilliantly colorful playing of the Scottish National Orchestra, Gibson’s Sibelius recordings are arguably the best English Sibelius recordings between Barbirolli and Colin Davis. Chandos’ 2004 remastering of the 1977 recordings is superlative. The originals were hard, harsh, and glassy, but these reissues are deep, lush, and warm.

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