Pablo Massa wrote:
>A few days ago I received one of my (anticipated) birthday presents: a
>Sibelius' Symphonies integrale (Karajan / Okko Kamu - Berlin Phil. / RSO
>Helsinki, 3CD DG 474 353-2). I've not listened all of it yet but I think
>I like it, particularly Kamu's versions of 1st. and 3rd. I never heard
>before HvK playing a Sibelius symphony but, in first instance, I liked
>his 5th and 7th. Time will confirm or not this first impression.
>I would like to read comments of listmembers on this integrale, if there's
Nothing special to say. These are very famous recordings. I believe
Kamu's Second was the result of his winning a competition, with the
prize the opportunity to record a piece of his choosing with the Berlin
Philharmonic. (I welcome correction if I'm wrong.) The disc was well
received, and Kamu was thought to be at the start of a major career.
As it turned out "major" was relative. He certainly has done well and
earned respect, but he never quite broke out as a major figure on the
international stage. He seemed, rather, to settle into a niche conducting
Finnish music. (Was that overstated?) Maybe that was never his goal. I
have no idea.
Karajan's recordings were famous additions to the refined and aesthetic
school of Sibelius conducing. They're quite different from his EMI set
with the same orchestra--those tended to be darker and heavier--and his
livelier 2 and 5 with the Philharmonia. He may have recorded others
with the Philharmonia, but I don't recall.
If you think you'd like to augment this collection, I'd probably start
with the last three, if for no reason that, good as they are, they tend
to stand at a stylistic extreme. By the way, keep after that recording
of 4. It's very good, but requires some time.
All in all, enjoy. It's a fine set.