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BI 1996
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BI 1996

SIBELIUS, J.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4 (Minnesota Orchestra, Vanska)

The Classical Shop
release date: June 2013

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2013


Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi Chamber Orchestra


Osmo Vanska


Osmo Vanska



Orchestra Hall


Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 72:41
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SIBELIUS, J.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4 (Minnesota Orchestra, Vanska)

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Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39

1 I. Andante, ma non troppo - Allegro energico 9:36
2 II. Andante (ma non troppo lento) 8:45
3 III. Scherzo: Allegro 4:34
4 IV. Finale (quasi una Fantasia): Andante - Allegro molto 11:32

Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 63

5 I. Tempo molto moderato, quasi adagio 11:59
6 II. Allegro molto vivace 4:17
7 III. Il tempo largo 13:10
8 IV. Allegro 8:48
 Osmo Vanska Conductor
 Osmo Vanska Conductor

Of all of Jean Sibelius’ seven symphonies, the two recorded here are those that reveal the furthermost poles of his symphonic art; the one an essay in the received tradition, the other a work so original and inward-looking as to open up an entirely new world. Composed right around the turn of the previous century, the First Symphony may be described as a pivotal work in Sibelius’s career, in that he here took a decisive step away from the Wagnerian world that had occupied him so much in the 1890s, casting a personal vote of confidence in absolute music, and in the symphonic tradition. On the basis of a particular tunefulness, among other aspects, the First is often said to be the most Tchaikovskian of Sibelius’s symphonies. In contrast, the Fourth Symphony is extremely concise and highly concentrated both in terms of its musical material and the way Sibelius uses the orchestral forces – the scoring is in fact often compared to chamber music. Sibelius was well aware that his new symphony opened up an entirely foreign world, and said ‘there is absolutely nothing of the circus about it’. The initial reaction among critics and audiences was one of incomprehension and the work was denounced as ‘ultra-modern’ and even ‘cubist’. The present recording of these two works, by the Minnesota Orchestra and its music director Osmo Vänskä, follows on the same team’s disc with the Second and Fifth symphonies, hailed at its release as ‘a fine start to what may be the benchmark cycle for the 21st century’ by Gramophone, and nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance.

                        Music ****½       Sound *****

Michael Kube - Fono Forum magazine - December 2013

"... The two works here are very much under the shadow of the 2nd and 5th symphonies and yet listening to these superb performances it is difficult to see why. The 1st Symphony premiered in 1899 is one of the most assured first symphonies ever written. Sibelius immediately shows that he is a master of melody, harmonic structure and development. The Minnesota Orchestra play these works with a sweep and commitment under Osmo Vanska which puts this disc in my top ten Sibelius performances and the SACD sound is superb and will give audiophiles many hours of pleasure... Buy and enjoy a fine Sibelian in his core repertoire."
James Norris - - July 2013

                  Gramophone Choice 

"... With superb sound as always from BIS, this new disc has set the bar for all to follow and past ones to be measured against."

Guy Rickards - Gramophone magazine - August 2013

                    Performance ****      Recording *****

"...Altogether, Vänskä’s new interpretations, sturdy and intense rather than richly Romantic, offer persuasive alternatives in a crowed market."

Michael Scott Rohan - BBC Music magazine - August 2013

"...Vänskä’s latest thoughts on Sibelius are certainly worth hearing ..."
Dan Morgan - - 12 June 2013

                          *** - Good Disc

Stéphane Friédérich - Classica magazine - June 2013

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