Magazine article Musical Opinion

Sibelius: Finlandia; Tapiola; the Oceanides; Nightride and Sunrise; Pohjola's Daughter; Prelude to the Tempest

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Sibelius: Finlandia; Tapiola; the Oceanides; Nightride and Sunrise; Pohjola's Daughter; Prelude to the Tempest

Article excerpt

Sibelius: Finlandia; Tapiola; The Oceanides; Nightride and Sunrise; Pohjola's Daughter; Prelude to The Tempest.

London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Sir Adrian Boult

**

Somm mono SOMMCD093

[69 minutes] Recorded 1956

This disc will come as a revelation to many today who have little idea of the sheer range of music that Adrian Boult encompassed during his long career. He once remarked in his usual self-effacing manner that in the course of 20 years as the BBC's director of music, 'You come across most things in the repertoire', but that was only half of it: what he never trumpeted was the tremendous amount of music he pioneered. In Sibelius's case he actually made some of the first recordings of the music with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the 1 930s, notably The Oceanides and Nightride and Sunrise: these were universally admired, not least by Sibelius himself who at the time declared them 'marvellous' and later wrote to Boult, "I specially remember your performance of Night-ride and Sunrise which I think one of the very best records done of my works"; both it and The Oceanides (an actual first recording) took their rightful places in HMVs Sibelius Society volume four alongside Heifetz in the Violin Concerto.

In 1956 Boult returned to Sibelius and on two Nixa LPs (NCLl 6023/4) recorded ten of the orchestral works in a concentrated series of sessions between 1-12 June. Somm has selected six (and might have found room for The Bard as well) but its claim of a 'première release' on CD only relates to the UK since they have been published in the USA; and Michael Dutton pioneered the missing titles - En Saga, The Bard and the two popular Lemminkainen legends - on CD as long ago as 1986. …

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