Sibelius: Kullervo

  • Catalogue Number LSO0574
    UPC 822231157427

    James Mallinson producer
    Jonathan Stokes for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineer

    Recorded September and November 2005, Barbican, London

    DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
    Notes in English / en français / auf Deutsch

  • Best Choral Recording
    BBC Music Magazine Awards 2007

    Recording of the Year Award nomination
    2007 Classical Brit Awards

    Choice of the Month - Choral and Song
    BBC Music Magazine

    Artistic Quality 10, Sound Quality 10
    'Simply thrilling, a performance that goes straight to the top of recommended recordings. The men of the LSO Chorus are outstanding, as are the two soloists, Peter Mattei and Monica Groop. In short, this is a great performance by any standard, and it's also extremely well recorded ... As for the work itself, each hearing only makes Sibelius's ban on performances during his lifetime ever more incomprehensible. When treated with such compelling force and urgency, it's impossible to deny Kullervo its rightful place as a major, even great piece. Fantastic!'

    'If any performance is needed to convince anyone of the early mastery of Sibelius, it is this one ... it cannot be emphasized too strongly that the undeniable frisson that comes from a really fine live performance is infinitely preferable to a studio account ... this is a great performance. I have no doubt that the LSO at present is the greatest orchestra in the world ... this is great conducting. As a consequence, mezzo Monica Groop, baritone Peter Mattei and the LSC are equally inspired. Finally the recording quality is first class ... you are unlikely to hear a more thrilling and convincing account of it than this.' International Record Review

    'For 30 years Sibelius has been the most consistent thread in Davis's artistic personality. That sort of experience pays dividends in Kullervo. Full-blooded playing from the LSO and strong contributions from its Chorus and the two soloists, Peter Mattei and Monica Groop, make for stupendous listening.'
    Financial Times

    'A gripping new account conducted by Colin Davis, the finest Sibelius interpreter of our time ... The haunting and incisive performance Sir Colin elicits from the orchestra, chorus and two fine soloists here makes Kullervo seem an audacious and original achievement ... Sir Colin's exciting recording should help bring this ambitious score deserved attention.' New York Times

    'This recording verifies ... Davis's hallmark technical polishand careful balancing. The London Symphony Chorus and the soloists, Peter Mattei and Monica Groop, are as magnificent as the orchestra.'
    Sunday Times

    'LSO Live, the orchestra's pioneering in-house label, combines the immediacy of a live performance with the technical precision of a studio recording ... It's a winning combination. This recording of Kullervo is worth purchasing for any number of reasons. The clarity of the recording allows one to hear so many details ... you can almost sense [the violinists] sitting on the edge of their seats, ripping the notes off their instruments ... it's an extraordinary recording.'


Sir Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra

Best Choral Recording BBC Music Magazine Awards 2007

Although he withdraw it a year after its successful premiere, Sibelius's early Kullervo symphony is laced with the atmosphere and creativeness that would characterise his later works, coupled with a tragic tale from Finnish folklore.

Kullervo recounts the story of its eponymous hero. After a lonely childhood, Kullervo grows up to become a determined warrior. He seduces a girl only to discover she is his long-lost sister and in remorse throws himself on his sword. Despite the tragedy, the work evokes the beauty of the Finnish countryside is an orchestral tour-de-force, offering stunning cameos for its soloists and chorus.

Composer   Sibelius
Conductor   Sir Colin Davis
Performers   Men of the London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra
Soloists   Peter Mattei, Monica Groop

Track list
1. Kullervo: I. Introduction
2. Kullervo: II. Kullervo's Youth
3. Kullervo: III. Kullervo And His Sister
4. Kullervo: IV. Kullervo Goes To Battle
5. Kullervo: V. Kullervo's Death

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