Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett




Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Recordings of the Month


Beethoven String Quartets

Produzioni Armoniche

Seven Symphonic Poems

Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons

Vivaldi Violin Concertos



Beethoven Piano Concertos

Stradal Transcriptions

LOSY Note d’oro

Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2



alternatively AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
Symphony No.3 in C major, op.52 (1907) [29:57]
Symphony No.5 in E flat major, op.82 (1919) [33:49]
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/Leif Segerstam
rec. Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, 3 June 2003. DDD
ONDINE ODE 1035-2 [63:57]

This isnít a new release but Iíve been given the opportunity to audition Segerstamís coupling of the Third and Fifth, my first experience of his conducting of the Sibelius symphonies. My impressions are generally affirmatory.

The Third seems to me the superior performance. His control of tempo relations in the first movement especially is first class and he inspires the Helsinki Philharmonic to give of their very considerable best. Wind playing is of a distinguished standard. Just listen out at 4:40 in the first movement for the kind of expressive personalisation with which they present the music. Throughout he brings a galvanising sense of rhythmic freedom to bear Ė though not one that in any way steps beyond musical bounds. The noble peroration at 9:35 is just one moment among many when one feels the life force of Segerstamís conducting. Nor does he stint on finesse; the central movement is notable for it with some beautifully shaped lines at a good tempo. Furthermore the sectional balance between choirs is perfectly maintained and the important theatricality of the string/wind dialogues no less so. The finale is just as good and caps an impressive addition to the catalogues.

The Fifth opens powerfully, Segerstam taking the first movement at roughly the same tempo adopted by Colin Davis in his LSO Live recording. The recording is felicitous in exposing a great deal of the kind of detail often blurred in other recordings. So some of the inner writing becomes clarified; the more desolate wind lines emerge with decisive drama. He brings a kaleidoscopic sense of power, brooding and relaxing lightness as well. With the slow movement we find him again balancing with care and experience the contrasting characters embedded in the music. And so too in the finale, again well-paced and exuding strength. Perversely however he seeks a solution to the supposedly problematic ending by holding back the tempo very slightly and then making a furious accelerando to the final bars. The last two chords are slightly beefed up as well. This wonít find universal favour and materially limited my appreciation of his success elsewhere.

Nevertheless these are splendidly played and recorded performances and the contentious ending to the Fifth aside worthy additions to the Sibelius catalogues.

Jonathan Woolf


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.