Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Sibelius 2 - Kajanus/Obert-Thorn


Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Belshazzar's Feast Suite; Karelia Suite; Symphony No. 2 in D major
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (1932).


Some instrumentalists, especially pianists, have prodigious memories (e.g. Leslie Howard at Wigmore Hall celebrating his 65th) and some critics have encyclopaedic stored memories in detail of recorded performances and have no trouble in identifying "the best" performances and starring them.

I find, to the contrary, that I am more inclined to immerse myself in the present, and adapt to the music now on the CD player, whether exemplifying new state-of-the-recording art, or refurbishments of ancient recordings, the best of those usually by Mark Obert-Thorn, to the sound of which one comfortably adapts withinn seconds...

I got to love Sibelius as a child (and indeed, to a degree, music) through a favourite aunt's encouragement and her collection of shellacs played on a monstrous EMG horn gramophone. Her 78s included Kajanus/Sibelius to which I returned again and again.

Robert Kajanus [above R] was the composer's friend and most favoured conductor of his music, much of which he premiered. The sounds of his Sibelius 2 and 5 were indelibly stored in my brain for later recall.

This Sib 2 is one such, painstakingly recreated (for the second time) by Mark Obert-Thorn, and supplied with an unusually informative set of notes by Colin Anderson.

No more needs saying; a recommended purchase at Naxos bargain price.

Peter Grahame Woolf

See Rob Barnett on MusicWeb

and Beethoven/Weingartner - - listening to historic recordings means a little work by the listener - Mark Obert-Thorn has done most of it. After a few moments one completely forgets any residual background noise and can relax into a mood of complete confidence and satisfaction.