Monday, December 11, 2006

A Weekend in Wiesbaden

Blogger Andrew of German joys attended Paavo's concert in Wiesbaden with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and gives us this mini-review:
I just visited friends in Wiesbaden, capital of the German state of Hessen. First order of business: a concert by the Hessischer Rundfunk Orchestra (G), conducted by Paavo Jaervi. Literally translated, the name of this orchestra would be the Symphony Orchestra of the Hessian State Broadcasting Service. The English version is much more user-friendly: the Frankfurt Symphony.

Deutsche Bahn brought me there too late to see Radu Lupu playing Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto, but I did catch a thrilling performance of Shostakovich's Seventh ('Leningrad') Symphony. Shostakovich isn't really my thing (a bit too bombastic and angst-ridden, not enough shimmering elegance). But Shostakovich done right can be exciting and terrifying, like a surprise air-raid.

The Frankfurt Symphony played its guts out -- everything was taut, crisp, and, when necessary, loud. This is Music Director Paavo Jaervi's first season, and, from what my musical friends say, the orchestra's excited by the new face at the podium.

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