Friday, November 27, 2015

Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 (Barbirolli, 1940)

Jean Sibelius
Sorry for the long absence, but it's become more and more difficult for me to find time to work on this blog. I've spoiled everyone in the past with weekly posts, and now I find that one or two posts a month is the best I can do. Be that as it may, I didn't want to miss the Sibelius sesquicentennial next month (Dec. 8), and here is my little contribution to the celebrations, John Barbirolli's first recording of a Sibelius symphony:

Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43
New York Philharmonic conducted by John Barbirolli
Recorded May 6, 1940
Columbia Masterworks set MM-423, five 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 99.37 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 66.72 MB)

This was Barbirolli's second Philharmonic session for Columbia; the first had produced this recording of another Second Symphony - that by Brahms.  In between these two sessions, Igor Stravinsky made his first recordings with the Philharmonic, conducting his own "Rite of Spring" and suite from "Petrouchka."