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Classical - Released January 7, 2013 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released May 15, 2015 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released February 22, 2010 | Sony Music Entertainment


Classical - Released August 1, 2006 | LPO

Paavo Berglund is the living link between generations of Finnish Sibelius conductors. After the imperious Karajan, the impulsive Hannikainen, and the magisterial Panula, Berglund held Sibelius' banner high, leading charismatic and wholly compelling performances in the period before the rise of Salonen, Saraste, and Vänskä. Berglund's first Sibelius cycle in the early '70s with England's Bournemouth Symphony was stark, strong, and unbearably heroic, while his second cycle with Finland's Helsinki Symphony in the mid-'80s was austere, severe, and overwhelmingly tragic. Unfortunately, after Salonen's coolly sculpted Sibelius, Saraste's brilliantly virtuosic Sibelius and Vänskä's lucidly re-imagined Sibelius, Berglund's slight and slender cycle of the symphonies with Chamber Orchestra of Europe in the late '90s seemed to put paid to his career as a Sibelius conductor. Not so, as this magnificent pairing of a Second from 2005 and a Seventh from 2003 with the London Philharmonic proves -- in the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Berglund had simply picked too small an ensemble to embody the glory of his vision. With the London Philharmonic at the peak of its latter-day powers, Berglund carves immense monuments out of Sibelius' symphonies, creating a Second at once lyric and heroic and a Seventh at once dramatic and epic. While there have been many great recordings of the Second and Seventh, anyone who loves and honors Sibelius will want to hear these performances. LPO Live's sound is much clearer, deeper, and more evocative than its earlier releases. Perhaps too much so: one can easily hear Berglund shouting at the orchestra at several points.

Classical - Released November 17, 2017 | Warner Classics


Classical - Released February 7, 2011 | Warner Classics

Of his purely orchestral works, Má Vlast (My Homeland) is Bedrich Smetana's best-known score, though its fame rests mostly on the second tone poem in the cycle, Vltava (The Moldau), which is a pops concert staple that is frequently performed and recorded by itself as a greatest hit. But once that work becomes familiar, listeners should make the effort to explore all six symphonic poems, to put Vltava in context and to appreciate the thematic unity of this tribute to Bohemian history and nationalism. This 1978 performance by Paavo Berglund and the Staatskapelle Dresden was given a superb analog recording by EMI that seems to have been enhanced by the 1995 digital remastering. The orchestra has a warm, burnished tone, and the most stirring passages have a fullness and spaciousness that will impress even the most jaded listener. Details are quite clear and crisp, and the sound is excellent for its time.

Classical - Released October 6, 2008 | Warner Classics


Classical - Released October 22, 2007 | Warner Classics