Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D major
Paul Kletzki, conductor
Price range: $38-214, mean $85 on popsike
Comments: I think this is my favorite recording of the Sibelius 2nd. Originally recorded on July 15-16th, 1955 in early stereo. Although Karajan also recorded it with the Philharmonia for British Columbia (and then later for DG), I don't like his as much as I like Kletzki's. Sound here is very nice, tube sounding.
Here is a passage from its original Gramophone review in 1956:
"Kletzki makes an impetuous attack on the music which is virtually completely successful, carried along by a marvelous quality of both orchestral playing and recording... Whether it is a sweep of full-bodied tone, a biting attack, a resonant pizzicato, or a sensitive solo that is called for, it is always there; even to tunes from the basses with a distinctly above-average proportion of note to rumble. And all of it set off by a brilliant quality of recording with fine internal balance...The new Kletzki...addresses the listener directly and convincingly."
This album was remastered for CD on Kletzki's EMI Artist Profile. The sad thing, though, is that there is this weird clicking noise which shows up on more than one of the Sibelius tracks. I actually listened to more than one copy of this CD, and the problem was present on both. Have no idea what happened during the remastering. If you want this Sibelius, skip out on the digital and find it on LP. Fortunately, Hi-Q Supercuts recently remastered this on LP, which can be purchased for about $35. I have not heard this reissue but would be very interested in comparing it to the original.