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A big, craggy, mountain spring water, pan-flute YES to Nelsons' Sibelius 2nd

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Posted on January 8, 2017 at 11:50:53
jdaniel@jps.net
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Best I've heard yet: Pacing, poetry, sensitivity to, (and belief in) Sibelius' eccentric orchestration and dynamics, and especially balance: those bass "garrumphs" that underpin the opening of the finale don't sound small, weak, or unintentionally bizarre.

Nelson's also reigns in brass just a bit in the closing pages, allowing the other musical lines and rhythms to come through, which IMHO adds power rather than takes it away. (Same issue with the Handel bit at the end of Mahler's 1st.) No worries though: the choral theme is allowed to blaze by the end.

Concerns? The pause before the lovely "shepherd" bit in the Scherzo seems extraordinarily long to me. Maybe the oboist was buried in his smartphone.

Recording is wonderful: no matter how loud the orchestra gets, the acoustic expands with it. Strings retain their sheen throughout.

 

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Yep, BSO landed on their feet with Nelsons...., posted on January 8, 2017 at 12:00:40
Ivan303
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This after years wandering in the desert with Ozawa and losing Levine to tragic health issues.

BSO indeed looks to be in good hands and the idea of their own label seems to have worked out well, at least for this release.





 

Definitely whets my appetite for their DGG Shostakovich, at least the 10th, posted on January 8, 2017 at 12:09:24
jdaniel@jps.net
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Hope they left the DGG engineers at home.

 

RE: Definitely whets my appetite for their DGG Shostakovich, at least the 10th, posted on January 8, 2017 at 15:33:56
pbarach
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The engineering on the DG Shostakovich recordings is excellent, but to me the performances are merely good and didn't get me to set aside my favorites.

 

RE: Definitely whets my appetite for their DGG Shostakovich, at least the 10th, posted on January 8, 2017 at 16:34:10
jdaniel@jps.net
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Hmmmm. I got that feeling regarding their 5th,8th, and 9th; but the 10th didn't do it for you? The Petrenko is also a recent 10th that good raves.

I could always go back to Karajan's, but want to give the new guys a try.

 

RE: A big, craggy, mountain spring water, pan-flute YES to Nelsons' Sibelius 2nd, posted on January 8, 2017 at 17:45:24
srl1
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I bought the download today. I was leaning in that direction, and your positive words pushed me to action. First, the BSO's download service is a bit clunky. One has to download one file at a time, hence five separate downloads (not counting the booklet). But after I completed that and placed the files in a folder I was ready to go.

The sound is excellent, as you said. The performance is also top-notch. Mr. Nelsons is not in a hurry, for sure. This leads to a more soulful, melancholy reading than usual. What he is trying to do does work for me, but I must look elsewhere for a more robust, visceral, exciting performance when I'm in a different mood.

Thanks again for the heads-up.

 

RE: A big, craggy, mountain spring water, pan-flute YES to Nelsons' Sibelius 2nd, posted on January 8, 2017 at 17:58:44
jdaniel@jps.net
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Interesting, I couldn't download from the site because of geographical restrictions, so I went with Presto Classical.

I found the Tannhauser a bit sluggish in the central section, but as far as the Sibelius went, I thought it had plenty of swagger and incisiveness; certainly more than Barbirolli's (Chesky/Reader's Digest), and Davis in Boston and with the LSO.

Probably the most robust I know is Szell's but as I've mentioned before in these parts, his fourth mov't doesn't get me in the zone.

 

RE: Definitely whets my appetite for their DGG Shostakovich, at least the 10th, posted on January 8, 2017 at 18:08:09
pbarach
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No opinion on the performance of the 10th. I just don't find it an interesting piece, except for the "portrait of Stalin" movement, which Mitropolous and Mravinsky did better than Nelsons.

I don't listen to Karajan recordings because I prefer to avoid performances by Nazis.

 

RE: Definitely whets my appetite for their DGG Shostakovich, at least the 10th, posted on January 8, 2017 at 18:23:15
jdaniel@jps.net
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Well thanks for the input, I understand your issues with von K.

Since I know the Mravinsky and Mitro, I guess I'll go for Petrenko.

I like the first mov't quite a bit, and then, of course, the 2nd. But the 4th mov't can be a riot if done right.

 

RE: Definitely whets my appetite for their DGG Shostakovich, at least the 10th, posted on January 8, 2017 at 18:27:46
pbarach
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Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind after listening to the 10th more. I've just gotten to appreciate the first two movements of the 11th.

But my faves are the 14th (which I've seen in concert twice, once with John Shirley-Quirk (Dwight Oltman conducting) and once with Thomas Quasthoff (Welser-Moest conducting); can't remember who the sopranos were; 13th; 6th, 1st, and 5th.

 

RE: Definitely whets my appetite for their DGG Shostakovich, at least the 10th, posted on January 8, 2017 at 18:34:05
jdaniel@jps.net
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Oh, man--the final 10 min of the 11th are as angry and bad-*ss as Shostakovich every got. : )

On vinyl, I loved the Berglund, and BIS' with Wigglesworth is my current favorite.

 

RE: Definitely whets my appetite for their DGG Shostakovich, at least the 10th, posted on January 9, 2017 at 04:14:48
pbarach
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I like the Lazarev recording of the 11th; haven't heard Berglund or Wigglesworth yet. The other recordings of the 11th that I have (Rostropovich/NSO, Barshai, Stokowski/Houston) don't come close to the intensity of Lazarev.

 

"Hope they left the DGG engineers at home.", posted on January 9, 2017 at 11:47:25
Russell
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As I understand it, DG (and probably most other major labels) don't really do their own recordings and don't have in-house engineers any more, and haven't for some time. Instead, most classical recordings nowadays are done by third parties and are licensed for release by the record labels. Look at the new Murray Perahia Bach recording on DG as an example: he just signed his new contract with them in September 2016, yet the recording was made back in 2013, when he was still with Sony.

BTW, I love the Nelsons Shostakovich recordings, especially 10 and 8--the best 8th since Previn's EMI one, I think.

Russell

 

That was the first thing I raved about on my new blog., posted on January 9, 2017 at 14:52:03
John Marks
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Hi-

That was the first thing I raved about on my new blog.

Almost a year ago.

Of course I agree!

John Marks

 

I'm so glad you liked it too! I have taste! , posted on January 9, 2017 at 18:34:43
jdaniel@jps.net
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Sorry I missed that one, but I was, was...was...sniff....

listening to vinyl back then. Can't believe it's only been a year.

I see you mentioned the Respighi BIS disc from Liege, but man, maybe it's my system, but the their strings seemed awfully harsh and dry to me during the "big" variation of Metamorphoesen, which I believe is the other work on that issue.

Also, an under-the-radar download you might like to investigate, (unless you already have), is Savoy singing Ravel's Scheherazade. She doesn't surpass Crespin, but I love her voice, the orchestra is sultry and glittering by turns, and the recording is IMHO very impressive. I just took a chance and I love it. But then Crespin.... And Ansermet....

 

IT'S A COOKBOOK!!!!!, posted on January 10, 2017 at 10:35:45
John Marks
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Sorry, could not resist.

Um, the BIS Respighi I recommended was Brazilian Impressions coupled with Boutique Fantasque, so no, I have not heard the Metamorphosen.

Thanks for the Scheherazade recommendation. I have the original solid silver Philips Elly Ameling/San Francisco, which is luscious, but, a good time to hear a new one!

Thanks,

John

 

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