Here at last is a disc which makes recording history: Sir Adrian Boult (1889-1983), one of the greatest and longest lived of British conductors of the 20th century, conducting a disc of some of Sibelius’s most popular works.
He recorded these in 1956 for Pye (Nixa Recording Company Ltd as it was then known) and these now appear on CD in the SOMM Céleste catalogue. These symphonic poems are all superbly realized by Boult and the London Philharmonic in performances that were universally admired.
The Nixa discs of the orchestral poems constituted the first integral recording of these works, and it is from those performances that the music on this CD has been chosen. What has to be noted is the excellence of the London Philharmonic (at that time, Boult was the Orchestra’s principal conductor) and the clarity of the recorded sound, but over and above these qualities is the nature of Boult’s ‘finely conceived’ interpretations – as the Sibelius authority, composer Robert Simpson, wrote of them. ‘What a wealth of poetry and power is in the music! It is really exciting to hear all these pieces and to realize the scope and variety that is encompassed by their superficial similarities of style and texture.’
The six works on this CD reveal the conductor’s mastery in this music, finely recorded, to the extent that – as with all of Boult’s performances – we can concentrate on the music and less on any interpretative quirks a conductor may bring to it.
Sibelius was a composer who met with international acceptance and recognition during his lifetime: there were annual festivals of his music in Helsinki which the composer attended for many years, and on his 80th birthday a postage stamp was issued in his honour.
We would like to take this opportunity to mention that having researched the archives with due care and attention and having not come up against any other recordings we claimed this to be a premiere CD Release and we printed this information on the back inlay card. This claim was made in bona fide. We have since found out that Omega had released this particular recording as part of a two-CD set some years ago. However, the disc was deleted some time ago and is no longer available.
On This Recording
- Finlandia: Finlandia, Op. 26
- Tapiola: Tapiola, Op. 112
- The Oceanides: The Oceanides, Op. 73
- Night Ride and Sunrise: Night Ride and Sunrise, Op. 55
- Pohjola’s Daughter: Pohjola’s Daughter, Op. 49
- The Tempest Suite No. 1: The Tempest Suite No. 1, Op. 109, No. 2: Prelude