Title - 'Sibelius: The 7 Symphonies' [4 CD/Blu-ray Combo]
Artist - Lorin Maazel & The Wiener Philharmoniker
For those not in the classical know, Jean Sibelius (actually born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius in 1865), was a Finnish violinist and composer of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. Widely recognized as his country's national composer, Sibelius is often credited for supporting the rise of the Finnish national identity in the country's struggle for independence.
Sibelius composed almost a hundred songs, most of them to Swedish texts. The earliest set, Opus 13, dates from the early 1890s, and the last, the Six Runeberg settings, op.90, comes from the darkest years of the First World War when he was struggling with the definitive version of the Fifth Symphony.
Here on Sibelius: The Seven Symphonies, a 4 CD/Blu-ray Combo collection that houses a perfectly orchestrated collection of his seven symphonies, Sibelius' world where Nordic myths and reality unite is a rare joy to behold. A Gramophone Award-winner, this definitive set of his work presents the rare opportunity to hear the seven complete symphonies, conducted by Lorin Maazel and performed, stunningly by the Wiener Philharmoniker.
1-4 Symphony no. 1 in E minor, Op. 39
5-8 Symphony no. 2 in D, Op. 43
1-3 Symphony no. 3 in C, Op. 52
4-7 Symphony no. 4 in A minor, Op. 63
1-3 Symphony no. 5 in E flat, Op. 82
4-7 Symphony no. 6 in D minor, Op. 104
1 Symphony no. 7 in C, Op. 105
2-4 Karelia Suite, Op. 11
5 Tapiola, Op. 112
Sibelius reputation rests chiefly on his magnificent symphonies, seven spectacular creations, all with their particular points of grandeur and originality. Originally released between 1963 and 1968 Maazel's Sibelius cycle met with critical acclaim. Particularly praised is Maazel's interpretation of the Fourth Symphony in the Vienna Philharmonic's only recording of the work.
Decca has gone back to the original tapes to make a definitive transfer and present a set which includes the remastered recordings on 4 CDs and a High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray disc an unprecedented opportunity to hear these legendary recordings in the best possible audio quality.
Here with Sibelius: The Seven Symphonies, as most all the classical record companies are all busy with reissues to note the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius, Decca Records have brought forth a 4 CD/Blu-ray Combo collection of gold. Giving us further insight into Sibelius symphony performances, from what ended up being the final decade of the composer's life, the new box-set is beautiful - both physically and musically.
In closing, and with regard that packaging, inside it contains "mintpack sleeves," a 48 page full color booklet, original LP cover art, artist images and session photographs. It also contains a brand new appraisal on cycle from Robert Layton, and original LP liner notes on the repertoire. I mean, seriously, what more could you possibly ask for?