Posted at 3:03 PM on January 23, 2012
by John Birge
Let's put this right up front: numerical ratings of record reviews are specious at best. But relatively speaking here's a not-so-perfect 7 for the new Sibelius recording by Osmo Vanska and the Minnesota Orchestra. And it comes from a critic who, in fairness, has in the past awarded many perfect 10's to Osmo's recordings.
Say what you will about critics, but I will credit David Hurwitz with giving very specific details about WHY he feels Osmo's performance doesn't work. Hurwitz even goes so far as to explain why Bernstein's recording is superior -- even tho Hurwitz doesn't like that one either. Point being, this review contains real insight and nuance.
Osmo has said the new CD is the best he's ever done, and Osmo is one of the most thoughtful musicians around. I'd love to sit Osmo and Hurwitz down at a table to hear them discuss the merits of this Sibelius. THAT would be really interesting.
Meanwhile, you can judge for yourself; the disc is Julie Amacher's next feature on New Classical Tracks tomorrow!
And here's a sneak preview from the recording session: