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Symphonies - Released June 3, 2014 | Dacapo SACD

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica
More than half a century separates Per Nørgård's Symphony No. 1, "Sinfonia austera" (1953-55), and his Symphony No. 8 (2010-11), spanning a career that has seen great changes in music. Nørgård is simultaneously a traditionalist and an innovator, so it's not surprising to find that his music reflects many influences, from the symphonies of Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen, to serialism, spectral music, jazz, and beyond. Yet his own works show that he has thoroughly internalized his sources and made everything serve his personal expression, not any arbitrary system or ideology. The symphonies stand as signposts marking developments in his music, so where the Symphony No. 1 shows the young Nørgård in search of an original voice, the Symphony No. 8 seems like a grand summation of his methods and is as complete a statement as can be made by such an eclectic composer. The Vienna Philharmonic under Sakari Oramo plays with commitment, precision, and energy, and the performances are utterly compelling in the hybrid SACD format, which gives the orchestra incredible presence. This is the world-premiere recording of the Symphony No. 8, which was recorded live at the Wiener Konzerthaus, but the excellent multichannel sound exposes few background noises. © TiVo
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Symphonies - Released May 5, 2015 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released May 31, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra since 2013, Sakari Oramo has a special affinity with the music of his compatriot the Finnish composer Sibelius, which this recording admirably demonstrates. Sibelius’s ever-popular Lemminkäinen-Suite is complemented here with the early Spring Song and the lesser-known Suite from Belshazzar’s Feast. Sibelius composed the Lemminkäinen-Suite (also called the Four Legends, or Four Legends from the Kalevala), Op. 22 in the 1890s. Drawing on material originally conceived for a mythological opera, Veneen luominen ("The Building of the Boat"), the suite focuses on the character Lemminkäinen from the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala. In 1906 Sibelius composed ten numbers of incidental music for the play Belshazzar’s Feast (by Hjalmar Procopé), which was first performed in the Swedish Theatre in Helsinki in November of that year, the composer conducting. The following year, Sibelius extracted four of the movements to form the more widely known orchestral suite that we hear in this recording. © Chandos
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Classical - Released February 3, 2015 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The second installment in Sakari Oramo's superb hybrid SACD cycle of the symphonies of Carl Nielsen on BIS presents the Symphony No. 1 in G minor and the Symphony No. 3, "Sinfonia espansiva," two ruggedly independent works that reflect the composer's late Romantic style yet point to the modernism to come. While the Symphony No. 1 was influenced by Brahms and offers a rich harmonic language, propulsive rhythms, and a fairly homogenous orchestral palette, the Symphony No. 3 is striking for its reliance on unfolding counterpoint and long-breathed lines, and most notable for the use of wordless parts for soprano and baritone voices in the pastoral slow movement. These performances by Oramo and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra are exceptional for their stunning power and spacious feeling, though the crisp details and focused sound quality will be the biggest draw for audiophiles. This package on BIS follows Oramo's 2014 release of the Symphony No. 4, "The Inextinguishable," and the Symphony No. 5, Nielsen's most popular symphonies, and the extraordinary quality of these recordings gives high hopes for the conclusion of the series. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released August 5, 2014 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
Following in the footsteps of Adrian Boult and Vernon Handley, two conductors praised for their authoritative recordings of Edward Elgar's Symphony No. 1 in A flat major, Sakari Oramo achieves a similar greatness in his splendid reading with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, which has the added benefit of superb audiophile reproduction. Boult and Handley made their landmark recordings in the late 1970s, so they were working near the end of the analog era and were able to draw out wonderful sounding orchestral sonorities that were vividly captured in stereo sound. Oramo's interpretation is quite close to theirs in tempos and overall pacing, and anyone familiar with the earlier recordings will note that the timings of the movements are quite close. But this hybrid SACD has the advantage in listenability, due to the astonishing depth of the multichannel recording and the pristine DSD sound, which make this recording the clearest and most spacious of the three, and the easiest to use in following the score. Expressively, Oramo also compares well with his predecessors, and the emotional impact of this performance is enhanced by the myriad details of the orchestration, which are plainly audible and surprisingly affecting because of their freshness. The filler piece is the festive Cockaigne Overture, which is terrific fun in its rambunctious way, and the playing here is a joy to hear. This BIS recording is highly recommended as one of the finest releases of 2014. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released May 28, 2013 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released February 4, 2014 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
Sakari Oramo's hybrid SACD of Carl Nielsen's most popular symphonies, the Symphony No. 4, "The Inextinguishable," and the Symphony No. 5, is a sonic showcase of works that ordinarily aren't treated as display pieces. Nielsen's scoring is clean and precise, and his handling of the orchestra is distinctive and often brilliant, so it's only natural that Oramo would take full advantage of the resources of the superb Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and BIS' state-of-the-art technology to present these symphonies with optimal sound quality. However, while listeners will be amazed by the incredible tone colors and the fantastic separation of parts in these recordings, they should still appreciate the symphonies for the strength of their ideas and the rigor of their development: these are serious essays that must be regarded among the greatest of symphonies. Nielsen's organic structures are strikingly clear in Oramo's interpretations, and there isn't any of the murkiness that attends other performances that strive for atmospheric effects. Oramo instead understands that the counterpoint reveals all, and as long as all the lines are heard clearly, as they are here, the symphonies unfold their themes logically and inevitably, revealing themselves as cogent essays in the tradition of Beethoven and Brahms, albeit with a Nordic flavor. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 1, 2006 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released April 3, 2006 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released October 13, 2000 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released August 1, 2004 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released May 1, 2001 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released August 1, 2003 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released September 1, 2001 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released October 4, 2012 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released May 1, 2001 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released September 1, 2001 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released March 1, 2005 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released May 1, 2001 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released June 22, 2018 | Dacapo

Hi-Res Booklet