Complete Sibelius Recordings on DG - Karajan

Complete Sibelius Recordings on DG - Karajan

Deutsche Grammophon  0028948606511


Classical - Orchestral

Sibelius: Symphonies 4-7, The Swan of Tuonela, Tapiola, Violin Concerto*, Finlandia, Valse Triste

Christian Ferras* (violin)
Berliner Philharmoniker
Herbert von Karajan (conductor)

Perhaps no other conductor has done more for Sibelius or has championed him more consistently on record than Herbert von Karajan. Celebrating Karajan’s great affinity to Sibelius, we present the reissue of his complete recordings of the composer’s works on the Yellow Label, across 5 CDs + 1 Blu-ray. The analogue recordings are newly remastered and presented on Blu-ray Audio disc in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, 5.1 Surround Sound and Dolby Atmos.

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4 of 4 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

Analogue recording
Resolutions (3)
  • 2.0 DTS HD MA 24bit/192kHz
  • 5.1 DTS HD MA 24bit/96kHz
  • Dolby Atmos 24bit/48kHz
Comments (10)

Comment by Contrapunctus - July 17, 2021 (1 of 10)

- Short comparative listening against SHM-SACD release of the same recordings -

This new BD has been released simultaneously with some hires downloads containing the same recordings (PCM 24/192). Out of sheer curiosity I bought a single track, in this case the glorious finale of the 5th symphony. Let's see how this new remaster compares to the SHM-SACD version from 2017.

First, the general volume level is lower than the SACD. The next quite obvious difference is (to me) a somehow 'stretched' or expanded sound stage on the BD. Unfortunately this is accompanied by an overall thinner and more bright sound (pronounced treble) on the BD, the lower frequencies seem to be underrepresented compared to the SACD.

To make it short: I'm not completely convinced of this new edition if I compare it with the SACD. The SACD is more balanced and focussed. Unlike the SACD, which is based on a 2017 remaster by EBS, DG doesn't tell us anything about remastering information.

For the sake of fairness, however, it must also be said that these are my personal impressions and the differences described are only moderate. This BD edition is definitely an improvement over all of the previous RBCDs.

(Equipment: Marantz SA-10 + Sennheiser HD 800)

To all owners of the BD: it would be very interesting to know if there's some information in the booklet about remastering. (The new HR downloads doesn't give ANY information about remastering.)

Comment by Aastroem - July 17, 2021 (2 of 10)

Will receive this soon, but from what I understand the digital recordings are not included on the Blu-ray disc. A pity snce it is convenient to have it all on one disc.

Comment by AOS - July 20, 2021 (3 of 10)

Only the recordings from Disc No.5 are not included on the BD-A:
Finlandia op. 26
The Swan of Tuonela Op. 22/2
Valse triste Op. 44/1
Tapiola Op. 112
Pelléas et Mélisande Op. 46 (Suite)

All analog recordings are newly mastered in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Surround Sound 5.1 und Dolby Atmos

Comment by Aastroem - July 21, 2021 (4 of 10)

AOS, that's what I said.

Comment by Aastroem - July 21, 2021 (5 of 10)

Blu-ray authoring by MSN Studio group, Munich. Blu-ray producer: Stefan Bock.

Comment by Contrapunctus - July 22, 2021 (6 of 10)

Thank you for the information about the remastering studio, Aastroem!

So, it's the usual 'remastering scheme' for analogue DG recordings: (non-Japanese) BD-releases = MSM // SHM-SACD & TowerRecords = EBS

Comment by Aastroem - July 28, 2021 (7 of 10)

I haven't heard the SHm SACD's mentioned above by Contrapunctus, but I have the SHM RBCD's. I first bought these in 1971 and have bought them many times since then. They are my favorite performances and it is a pity that Karajan never recorded the third symphony. I have nw listened to the Blu-ray twice and it is a great improvement over previous releases. Everything is clear and the bass is deeper and fuller. I never thought that they were so well recorded. The sixth still sounds a bit thin, it always did.

Comment by Gordon Lilley - August 3, 2021 (8 of 10)

I have not heard the symphony recordings for a long time but my comments here refer to the BDA disk in 2 channel Stereo. The fourth sounded disappointingly glassy and brittle but things improve considerably with the 5th to 7th. The seventh is indeed a very fine recording, as is Finlandia. However, unless you demand Karajan, I would sooner recommend the Maazel complete set on Blu-ray audio with the Vienna Philharmonic in classic 1960s Decca sound. I am happy to have this Karajan set but for anyone looking for just one version to buy, the Maazel is an easy first choice

Comment by Aastroem - August 5, 2021 (9 of 10)

I don't find the fourth glassy and shrill at all. And I would never recommend the Maazel set since his performances are inferior to Karajan's. But each to his own and we really have a lot to choose from.

Comment by Gordon Lilley - August 7, 2021 (10 of 10)

I had gone back to listen to the fourth again before I read the previous comment and I have to agree that I was wrong. I think I had accidentally accessed the wrong layer on the disc but was listening on a two channel system, so I would now agree that there's nothing wrong with the sound of the fourth symphony. I strongly disagree with the rest of Aastroem's comment about Maazel being inferior to Karajan. Each to his own indeed.