Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sibelius 2: Barbirolli & Boston SO 1964 broadcast

Maestro Barbirolli in a '64 Sibelius Second, one to rival his well-known RPO & Halle accounts.

Jean Sibelius
Symphony Nr. 2, Opus 43

Boston Symphony Orchestra
John Barbirolli, conductor

30 October 1964 broadcast
Symphony Hall, Boston MA

Annie (short for Anonymous) sent me this, when I mentioned being an avowed Barbirolli groupie. Sir John Barbirolli never fails me. His recordings always exude a romantic impulse throughout, which the orchestras respond to quite audibly; such it is in this case as well. The expanses that open at around 6:00 into the first movement have turns on a dime, in ways that cannot be written into a score but must be felt and transmitted though the borderline-fictitious magic of conductorship. His footstamped grunts at 6:45 and 7:08 are the pockmarks, evidence of the presence of authentic leather, it happens.
The snowstorm of tension at 5:40 is a marvel of Boston Symphony string prowess. There are, few and far between to be sure, tiny bits of ensemble discombobulation but these come at times when they are at the service of a set-up for a larger swath of sonic narrative. The conductor sounds like he's taking a few risks and liberties that may not have been completely planned, and they feel right;
these are spurts or colors that add to the enjoyment of a deeply considered, living performance.

Overall, this Sibelius 2 is everything I look for -and so often find- in a Glorious John joint.

So I'm sentimental. I love Barbirolli for it.

The complete program of this concert was

[Berlioz: Carnaval romain, Overture
Delius: A Village Romeo and Juliet
Vaughan-Williams: Symphony Nº 6]
Sibelius: Symphony Nº 2

[++UPDATE: Hornsby's struck again! Progress Hornsby sent me the Delius and Vahugan-WIll
iams from the concert which I will soon post; we wonder if anyone out there has the Berlioz?]

Our generous source for this broadcast recording, who wishes anonymity, notes:
"...This tape has sat in a garage for over 30 years, but the sound is pretty good (a little bright and hissy)..."

Thanks, again, Annie. Sorry I couldn't offer this a few weeks earlier to catch Barbirolli's birthday, but here it is as a late present for that, and an early one for these holidays.

While the performance is, as usual, in the comments,
Joe was kind enough to put the info together into a nifty, ready to print covers inlay, available here:

Enjoy, play it loud and pay it forward!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mahler Symphony 5: World Orchestra For Peace, Gergiev, 2009 Sweden, Live broadcast rec.

A seasonal Offering; I hear alot of hope in this version!

Stockholm, Sweden
2nd September 2009 WOP Concert, part of the Baltic Festival

World Orchestra For Peace
Valery Gergiev, conductor

This concert was given at the invitation of Sveriges Radio/ Berwaldhallen as a part of the 2009 Baltic Sea Festival - marking the 70th anniversary of the start of World War 2 in the Baltic in 1939 and 200th anniversary of the peace treaty between Sweden and Finland.

Programme for this concert:
Track 1.
Krzysztof Penderecki
'Prelude for Peace'(WOP commission, Swedish premiere)
Tracks 2-5.
Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 5 in C# minor

Penderecki's Prelude For Peace is short, in five minutes it achieves a broad swath of wonder to bask in and press 'repeat' immediately after.

The Mahler is a clean, positive-sounding reading that satisfies greatly. As usual with the Fifth, there are all these gorgeous musical structures spread to the skies only to be destroyed, and rebuilt, and again, the process moves forward thusly. Made up of a pick of crack top flight musicians, the World Orchestra For Peace shows its mettle navigating the big crashes without any undue muddiness of texture. It fits wonderfully for all us knit-browed 'serious music' junkies heading into a new decade!

for more info see

Thanks to "kurth.johansson" at concertarchive for originally getting this, enjoy and play it loud!