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HH 1394
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HH 1394

SIBELIUS, J.: Symphony No. 2 / Belshazzar's Feast Suite / Karelia Suite (excerpts) (Kajanus Conducts Sibelius, Vol. 2) (1930-1932)

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2013

Originally recorded in 2013


London Symphony Orchestra

Royal Philharmonic OrchestraStudio orchestra

Studio orchestraRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra

Kajanus, Robert

Robert Kajanus



EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London, UK

Central Hall, Westminster, London, UK

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 61:52
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SIBELIUS, J.: Symphony No. 2 / Belshazzar's Feast Suite / Karelia Suite (excerpts) (Kajanus Conducts Sibelius, Vol. 2) (1930-1932)

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Belshazzar's Feast Suite, Op. 51

1 I. Oriental Procession 2:40
2 II. Solitude 3:46
3 III. Nocturne 4:38
4 IV. Khadra's Dance 3:36

Karelia Suite, Op. 11

5 I. Intermezzo: Moderato 3:43
6 III. Alla marcia: Moderato 4:09

Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43

7 I. Allegretto 8:25
8 II. Tempo andante, ma rubato 12:59
9 III. Vivacissimo - 5:26
10 IV. Finale: Allegro moderato 12:30
 Robert Kajanus Conductor
 Kajanus, Robert

Offered a grant in 1930 to broaden international interest in Finnish music through recordings made in London, Jean Sibelius did not hesitate in his choice of a conductor, writing that “there are none who have gone deeper and given [my symphonies] more feeling and beauty than Robert Kajanus”. These thrilling recordings remain a critical reference today, with Kajanus seen as “Sibelius’s most eloquent and perceptive champion…listening to the Second Symphony one senses the extraordinary feeling Kajanus had for the organic nature of Sibelius’s symphonic thought” (Gramophone). Including the exotic and enticing Belshazzar’s Feast and patriotic Karelia suites, this is the second of three volumes containing Robert Kajanus’s complete Sibelius recordings.

"The programme is artfully sequenced. First we get the fey and fragile exotica, glistening fantasy and wan orientalism of Belshazzar’s Feast. Then come the exuberant outer movements of the Karelia Suite ... Phrasing is nicely sculpted throughout. The notes by Colin Anderson are spot-on and there is an extended introduction by Mark Obert-Thorn ... Sibelius voiced by the composer’s chosen conductor in the best sounding transfers yet."
Rob Barnett - - March 2013

"The disc opens with the Belshazzar’s Feast Suite ... Kajanus elicits an array of distinctive colors from the LSO, beginning with the “Oriental Procession” and the lovely flute sequence from Night Music. The performance [of the Alla marcia] quite sparkles with élan and joie de vivre, the music confident under the helm of a master colorist... Kajanus leads an exemplary Symphony No. 2 in D Major ... The sheer whirl of the running string parts provides a spectacular example of orchestral discipline ... String trills, tympanic motion, and an exquisite crescendo form a devastating arch upon which the brass comments in majestic terms. Rife with solemn tension, the music [of the Andante movement] builds under Kajanus’ skillful direction to explode episodically in emotional paroxysm or bucolic ecstasy, a study in spirited pantheism. The seraphic repose Kajanus can communicate in such dynamically contrasting sections without loss of musical continuity proves outstanding, and the woodwind work suggests the old RPO enjoyed a wealth of talented principals. Another whirlwind emerges via the Vivacissimo movement…More pageantry and somber processionals mark the last movement, Allegro moderato, with its splendid chorale-like hymn to Nature or the Fatherland ... Heartily recommended to all Sibelius enthusiasts ..." ****
Gary Lemco - - January 2013

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