Magazine article Gramophone

Sibelius: Symphonies-No 3

Magazine article Gramophone

Sibelius: Symphonies-No 3

Article excerpt

Sibelius [G]

Symphonies--No 3, Op 52; No 6. Op 104; No 7, Op 105

Minnesota Orchestra / Osmo Vanska

BIS (F) [DVD] BIS2006 (82' * DDD)

As Osmo Vanska powers into the home straight of his Minnesota Sibelius cycle, the first thing that strikes one about his newly minted account of the Third Symphony is the keenness of the articulation. It's the aural equivalent of crisp, cold air.

Vanska's Sibelius is all about clarity--of rhythm, of texture, of intention. It is zealously unfussy and entirely without exaggeration. But it can stop you in your tracks. The 'no-man's-land' we enter a few pages into the Third--a moment or two of reflection in a barren landscape--can rarely have sounded more like Sibelius's 'pure spring water'. But in the suddenness of the hush Vanska manages to change the way the air moves in Minnesota Hall. I love the simplicity and limpidity of the second movement, and the gathering of energy at the heart of the third movement is tremendous that's where the resplendent final procession is generated.

The Third and Sixth Symphonies feel even more closely related than usual. The quietism of the Sixth speaks volumes. If ever a piece existed between the notes, this is it. …

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