Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

Opera, music, theater, and art in Los Angeles and beyond

Recordings of the week

June 17, 2007

I was noticing that my weekly recordings posts have been heavily oriented toward opera and vocal work so far, which is my wont. However, I thought I should feature some non-vocal performances this week and here are two. The recent Sir Colin Davis Sibelius disc featuring a live performance from the LSO of Symphony No. 2 and Pohjola's Daughter has been widely featured in The Gramophone and elsewhere and deservedly so. And since I'm not above jumping on a bandwagon, here it is. This is not a bad place to start if you're getting warmed up for the LA Philharmonic's Sibelius series with Salonen this fall.

The new recording of Silvestrov's Symphony No. 6 is a more complicated choice. I haven't completely decided if I like it yet or not, but it is compelling and worth listening to. At first go through, I felt it was as if someone had taken the "fate" motif from Beethoven's 5th and concocted an entire symphony from these few bars. Granted this first listen was in the car. Subsequent exposure argues for a much broader appreciation, but hey, you be the judge.

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