Sibelius Symphony No.1 in E Minor, Op.39
Lorin Maazel
Wiener Philharmoniker

This re-master is an ESOTERIC exclusive production and there are limited quantities available.

Decca masterpiece collection vol.2

The reissue of this Decca masterpiece series by ESOTERIC has attracted a lot of attention, both for its uncompromising commitment to recreating the original master sound, and for using hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD) technology to improve sound quality. This series marks the first hybrid SACD release of two selections that have been mainstays of the catalog since their initial release on LP, until the present digital age of CD. These new audio versions feature DSD mastering of the original recordings.

Experience by yourself...

Experience the legendary performance in this new Super Audio CD/CD format. Not only for new followers, but also for well experienced followers of these recorded materials. All will be equally impressed by the "soul" hidden within the notes, but never before found in previously released recordings.

ESOTERIC equipment used for re-mastering

The criterion of re-mastering is to faithfully capture the quality of the original master tapes. ESOTERIC's flag ship D/A converters, model D-01VU, Rubidium master clock generator model G-0Rb and ESOTERIC MEXCEL cables, were all used for this re-mastering session. This combination of highly advanced technology greatly contributed to capturing and improving the high quality sound of the original master tapes.

The young Maazel conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, sharply and precisely portraying the passionate drama of Sibelius. ESTORERIC's uncompromising SACD/CD hybridization of these monumental recordings is finally complete. This album has been highly regarded since its initial release, and this hybrid re-master resurrects these cherished recordings with sound that is even more vibrant and breathtaking.

The stunning brilliance of the razor-sharp Maazel in his early 30s

Though he recently stepped down from his post as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel (born March 6, 1930) is still actively working as a conductor. This album contains Sibelius's Symphony No. 1 and the "Karelia" suite, both which Maazel recorded in 1963 with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra when he was only 33 years old. This recording is widely regarded as a masterpiece, for it perfectly captures Maazel's acute sensitivity and aggressive sense of musical interpretation. Likewise, this is the first recording of Maazel and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performing together, and provides a glimpse of recordings the young Maazel did for Decca, the first being with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1962. From the standpoint of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, this record marks the beginning of the only Sibelius symphonic library (recorded in 1961 - 1968) that Decca has made to date. In addition to Decca, Maazel had already begun recording for Deutsche Grammophon and EMI at the time this performance was recorded. This period signifies the start of his illustrious career, in which he made his debut in 1960 as the youngest conductor to ever perform at the Bayreuther Festspiele. Maazel would later record these works again in 1992, this time with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (Sony)

Super Audio CD hybridization achieves the ultimate sound

This recording session was performed in Vienna at the Sofiensaal, the concert hall where Decca was originally based. The collaboration of producer John Culshaw and recording engineer Gordon Parry lively captures the characteristic sound of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. As with Dvorak's "From the New World" conducted by Kertesz, this hybrid SACD vividly depicts the manner in which the youthfully ardent conductor pours his energy into this long-established orchestra and essentially resurrects it. The freshness of the young Maazel is perfectly conveyed by the strong drumming of the timpanis in the "scherzo" 3rd movement, and by the deliberate progression of the climax in the 2nd movement. Along with the Tchaikovsky symphonic library that was recorded during the same period, this recording recreates the dashing conducting style of Maazel in the 1960s.

"One of Maazel's masterpieces in his youth"

The Sibelius symphonic library, which a young Maazel recorded in the 1960s with the renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, is one of the finest among his many records. In this performance of Symphony No. 1, he works to create music with a fervent passion powered by a relentless drive. So strong is this drive it generates a sharp friction between him and the orchestra, but the friction itself seems to be extremely musical and sufficiently thrilling. There are moments when the sound seems a little close to the microphone, but the commendable quality of this recording still rings true today."
(Tsuguhiko Yoshii, from "The Record Geijutsu Special Issue: Classical Music Record Book Vol. 1 - Symphony", 1985)

Decca Super Audio CD:CD Hybrid Collection Vol.2 Product Info
Decca Super Audio CD:CD Hybrid Collection Vol.2 Product Info
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