Steam from the sauna as Sibelius returns with a blast

Steam from the sauna as Sibelius returns with a blast


norman lebrecht

October 28, 2022

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week.

Before the great Mahler inundation of the 1980s, every aspirational conductor was expected to know the seven Sibelius symphonies backwards and to perform them on demand. Leonard Bernstein claimed to have taught them to the Vienna Philharmonic; in fact, his compatriot Lorin Maazel got in there first…

Read on here.

And here.

En francais ici.


  • Bone says:

    I must be deaf: I did not like the 3rd at all (way too prim and proper) and couldn’t figure out what he was trying to accomplish in the 2nd movement of the 5th. I did enjoy his 2nd FWIW.

  • Gaffney Feskoe says:

    To my mind the Maazel Vienna cycle is one of the finest still out there. Who would have predicted that?

  • Tony Sanderson says:

    On this occasion, I beg to differ. Sir Colin Davis recorded 3 Sibelius cycles and Sir Simon Rattle 2. Hardly leaving the Finns to it and of course the ground-breaking recording of Kullervo was made in Bournemouth with the BSO under Paavo Berglund.

  • Jean says:

    That snipped off autograph (most probably from a letter, and nowhere near as collectable as a signed photo or postcard) will fade fairly quickly if the glass it is behind is not reflective. The sun loves to fade ink from that period.

  • Sorin braun says:

    Awful recording quality on all this company’s discs. One can’t even judge the performance.

    • Harpist says:

      Maybe get a new player and speakers/headphones? On my Bower & Wilkens speakers or Focal headphones with Woo Audio Amp its is outstanding

  • Mr. Ron says:

    Didn’t this very website feature perhaps the dumbest story I’ve ever read: Sibelius is out of fashion and not performed anywhere, we were told.

    Maazel may have recorded Mahler but I can understand Bernstein’s teaching them it too. (Different concepts and remember that much of Vienna hated Mahler. Bernstein was a gifted teacher in addition to all the rest.

  • microview says:

    Not sure I like his ending of No 5. Bernstein showed convincingly that the accelerando runs to the very end of the score.

  • Harpist says:

    It is a fantastic recording that is on repeat both on my devices and in my head…