Around 1985, Unitel began recording the entire cycle of Sibelius symphonies with Leonard Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Bernstein’s death in 1990 unfortunately cut short this project after the release of Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 7. These were recorded live at Vienna’s Musikvereinssaal, and the performances received amazing reviews. On this double-disc set, Bernstein’s marvelous interpretations of Sibelius are released for the first time on DVD.
This DVD will be issued May 25th, 2010
In each of these symphonies by Sibelius, I can hear the sounds of the Finnish countryside. Cold, windy, icy, foreboding; yet… spring does emerge, although very briefly. There is great passion in Jean Sibelius’ music. There is also great melodic line and great feeling. What better performing group can one find than the master players of the VPO? And with Bernstein, they respond with their very best.
Listen to the great opportunity for members of the orchestra to shine: One moment it’s the Brass; next moment it’s the winds or the strings! And Sibelius gives us always that great drive forwards…
Here is Sir Colin Davis conducting the Finale of the Sibelius Symphony number 2: