Monday, February 27, 2006

Tetzlaffs Guest with CSO This Week


Photo: Tim Wegner for Frankfurt Radio Symphony

Siblings Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff join Paavo and the Cincinnati Symphony this week for a rare concert with two guest instrumentalists.

This week's program features Weber's Overture to "Euryanthe"; Brahms' Concerto for Violin and Cello in A Minor ("Double"); and Schumann's Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major ("Rhenish"). Listen to Paavo's Notes about this concert in MP3 or Real Player formats. And help cut down on that insidious paper crinkling noise by reading the Program Notes before you go! :-) (I just did and discovered that the Weber was performed as part of the first-ever performances of the CSO in 1895--and that "Euryanthe" was based upon a 13th century tale which appeared in one of my favorite books: Boccaccio's Decameron!)

Performances will take place Friday, March 3, at 11 am and Saturday, March 4, at 8 pm. Saturday night is also College Nite, so students may purchase $10 tickets, including both the concert AND a party after the concert, with free appetizers, cash bar, great prizes, mingling with CSO musicians, meeting Paavo and live music by Latin band, iZUMBA!. Call (513)744-3590 to order advance tickets.

A recording of this concert will air via streaming audio on Classical 90.9 WGUC Sunday, April 2, at 7:30 pm ET.

Nach Nordosten

Thanks to Brigitte Schulz and Friederike Westerhaus for sending us this article from the Frankfurter Rundschau about Paavo's press conference in Frankfurt last Friday:
Nach Nordosten: Das Spielzeit-Motto "Aufbruch" beim hr-Sinfonieorchester
VON HANS-JÜRGEN LINKE

Ein Orchester kann sicher nicht in jeder Saison glaubwürdig zu einem neuen Aufbruch blasen, aber wenn in der Besetzung des Chefdirigenten ein Wechsel stattgefunden hat, dann ergibt das einen guten Grund dafür, das Motto "Aufbruch" über die neue Saison zu stellen. Paavo Järvi, der mit Beginn der neuen Spielzeit Chefdirigent des hr-Sinfonieorchesters sein wird, gibt sich zunächst dankbar für die Chance zur Kontinuität seiner Arbeit mit diesem außergewöhnlich guten Orchester. Und dass er Hugh Wolf dankt für die gute künstlerische Verfassung, in der er das Orchester hinterlassen hat, ist mehr als eine höfliche Floskel.

Järvi will in Frankfurt nichts Grundsätzliches ändern. Allenfalls will er den Akzent des Repertoires verschieben, und zwar nach Norden beziehungsweise - von Frankfurt aus gesehen - Nordosten. Stücke, die für die neue Richtung stehen, sind beispielsweise bei Järvis Antrittskonzert Sibelius' "Kullervo"-Sinfonie (wobei der Nationale Männerchor Estlands und der finnische Bariton Jorma Hynninen an der Aufführung dieser heimlichen Nationalsinfonie Finnlands mitwirken werden), etliche Werke von Strawinsky und Schostakowitsch sowie eine Uraufführung von Järvis Landsmann Erkki-Sven Tüür. Und das ist erst der Anfang. "Es gibt", sagt Paavo Järvi, "so viel gute Musik, die nie gespielt wird."

Im Rahmen des Spielzeit-Mottos wird es wiederum anregende Programm-Konstellationen geben, wenn etwa Schuberts 3. Sinfonie und Richard Strauss' Heldenleben (15./16.2. 2007) oder Messiaens L'Ascension und Mahlers 9. Sinfonie (29./30.3.2007) am gleichen Abend erklingen.

Der derzeitige Erfolg des Sinfonieorchesters zeige sich, wie hr-Musikchef Carsten Dufner sagte, nicht nur in den Reaktionen von Publikum und Medien, sondern auch in den Abonnentenzahlen, die seit der Spielzeit 2001/02 um ein Drittel gewachsen sei. Als ebenfalls sehr erfolgreich bezeichnete Dufner die Initiativen des Orchesters in Punkto internationale Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Rundfunk-Orchestern unter dem Projektnamen "Symphonet", die Arbeit mit Schülern sowie die Präsenz im Lande und auf internationalen Bühnen.

Copyright © Frankfurter Rundschau online 2006

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Für Grammy nominiert: Paavo Järvi

Our friend Friederike Westerhaus, classical music correspondent for Radio Bremen, graciously shares this transcript of her interview with Paavo on the eve of the Grammy Awards last month. It was originally broadcast on NDR Kultur (Norddeutscher Rundfunk) and also on Nordwestradio February, 8, 2006. Danke, Friedericke! :-))
Infos für Anmod:

Heute abend werden in Los Angeles die Grammys verliehen, die als der „Oscar" der Musikbranche gelten. Zum zweiten Mal kann auch der Dirigent Paavo Järvi, Künstlerischer Leiter der Deutschen Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, auf einen Grammy hoffen. 2004 erhielt er die begehrte Auszeichnung für eine Einspielung von Sibelius-Kantaten mit dem Estnischen National-Symphonie-Orchester. Diesmal wurde er zusammen mit dem Cellisten Truls Mork in der Kategorie 100 „Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra" für eine CD nominiert, die sie gemeinsam mit dem Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France aufgenommen haben. Friederike Westerhaus hat Paavo Järvi kurz vor der Grammy-Entscheidung getroffen.

Nein, Paavo Järvi ist nicht bei der großen Grammy-Party in Los Angeles. Sondern in Frankfurt – business as usual, Konzertalltag. Wirkt ziemlich entspannt, wie er bei einer Cola im Hotelfoyer sitzt, so als ob das ganze Spektakel um den Grammy ihn gar nichts anginge. Aber die Sache freut ihn doch.

One of the things that actually makes me happy about it is that it is a CD of my good friend Truls Mork who is one of my closest musical partners. I always love being on stage with him. And I happen to be a very big fan of Schumann and I was hoping secretly that some day we could record the Schumann concerto with Truls and he plays it very beautifully.

Was mich daran wirklich glücklich macht ist, daß es sich um eine CD mit meinem guten Freund Truls Mörk handelt. Er ist einer meiner engsten musikalischen Partner und ich liebe es einfach, mit ihm auf der Bühne zu sein. Außerdem bin ich ein großer Schumann-Fan und habe insgeheim immer gehofft, das Cellokonzert eines Tages mit Truls aufnehmen zu können, er spielt es einfach wunderschön.

Musik Schumann
Eine Spezialität Järvis ist, auf CDs bekannte und weniger bekannten Kompositionen zu vereinen. Das Cellokonzert von Robert Schumann kombinierte er mit zwei Werken jüdischen Hintergrunds. Max Bruchs „Kol Nidrei" und Ernest Blochs „Schelomo".

Musik Bloch
In a way it all makes sense and it works really well, even though it doesn't immediately look like it belongs on the same disc. But there is a certain spiritual quality that all three pieces have in common.

Die Werke passen wirklich gut zusammen, auch wenn es auf den ersten Blick nicht so scheint. Und alle drei Stücke haben eine gewisse geistige und geistliche Qualität gemeinsam.

Über 30 CDs hat der 43jährige Paavo Järvi bereits aufgenommen. Mit dieser regen Aufnahmetätigkeit verhilft er auch den Orchestern, mit denen er arbeitet zu einer größeren Bekanntheit. Doch dass er so viel Energie und Zeit in seine CD-Aufnahmen investiert, hat für ihn in erster Linie ganz persönliche Gründe.

A live concert, which for me anyway, is most important, is just that moment of that experience. And that experience is over when the concert is over. There is something about being able to hold onto and touch something, something that you can hold or give it. Recording, it’s like a little snapshot of your musical life and it’s a photo album that; some day [it] is the only thing that will be left of me.

Ein live-Konzert – und das ist für mich eigentlich das Wichtigste – ist immer nur eine Momentsache. Die Erfahrung ist vorbei, wenn das Konzert vorbei ist. Und es geht darum, etwas von dieser Erfahrung festzuhalten, etwas, das man tatsächlich berühren kann, das man behalten oder auch weitergeben kann. Die Aufnahmen sind wie kleine Schnappschüsse meines musikalischen Lebens und dieses Photoalbum ist eines Tages das einzige, das von mir übrig bleibt.

Ein Photoalbum, das dank seiner Extravaganz und seiner hohen Qualität auch der klassischen Musik im Allgemeinen zu einer größeren Popularität verhelfen könnte – gerade wenn sich darin einige CDs finden, die auf den Grammy –Listen standen.

If you tell anybody who is not even in [the] music business, but who watches television in America, that you won a Grammy, they think that you are Michael Jackson.

Wenn Du irgendjemandem, der gar nichts mit Musik zu tun hat, sondern einfach Fernsehen guckt, in Amerika erzählst, daß Du einen Grammy gewonnen hast, dann denkt der, Du wärst Michael Jackson.

Und so freut sich auch die Kammerphilharmonie, wenn ihr künstlerischer Leiter Paavo Järvi seinen zweiten Grammy holt. Geschäftsführer Albert Schmitt:

Also das ist für ihn persönlich erstmal n Riesenerfolg, macht ihn natürlich noch berühmter sozusagen, und davon profitieren wir indirekt natürlich schon, wenn wir jetzt 2007 die Wiedereinladung in den USA haben, dann hilft das natürlich auch den Veranstaltern dort vor Ort, die Konzerte wieder zu verkaufen. Und damit ist das immer auch ein Effekt für Bremen.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

CONCERT REVIEW: Orchestre de Paris (Kodaly/Bartok)

"...c'était le meilleur concert de la saison de l'Orchestre de Paris..." ("...this was the Orchestre de Paris' best concert of the season...")

So says blogger Damien who has a nice long review in French of Paavo's Paris concert in his blog, Samizjazz. You know, this is one thing blogs have all over newspapers when it comes to reviews: they can be really long and detailed! Merci beaucoup, Damien!
Pour le moment, et de loin, c'était le meilleur concert de la saison de l'Orchestre de Paris (enfin, de ceux auxquels j'ai assistés), de par les oeuvres choisies (Bartok étant ce que je préfère dans la tradition savante) mais aussi de par la conduite remarquable de Paavo Järvi, d'une souplesse qui permet d'allier la vivacité générale des oeuvres interprétées à l'expression des nuances qui s'y nichent au détour d'une phrase.

Frankfurt Radio Symphony Announces New Season


Isn't this a glamourpuss photo! Out of all the pix we've seen of PJ with his hand on his chin, this may be our favorite. (Just check out that big grin!) Let's send a Paavo Project Bravo! out to photographer Tim Wegner.

And part of the big news in this press release from the Frankfurt Radio Symphony is that Paavo will be making his return to London's Proms next year to show off his great new band, as well as playing at Amsterdam's reknowned Concertgebouw. We also like the idea of “Kraft-Werke” -- a "festival of sound" appealing to contemporary music lovers. How about something like that for Cincinnati?
New Worlds of Repertoire and Sound
The Frankfurt Radio Symphony’s concert season 2006/2007 with Paavo Järvi

Paavo Järvi, Chief Conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, announces a common departure into new worlds of repertoire and sound for the concert season 2006/2007. The Estonian conductor takes over a versatile and highly innovative top class orchestra from Hugh Wolff. The upcoming season holds in store interesting programmes, renowned artists, and extraordinary new projects. “We’re looking forward to this ‘departure’ full of excitement and content”, says Dr. Helmut Reitze, Director of the German public broadcasting station Hessischer Rundfunk (hr).

Igor Strawinsky’s music will play an important role in the symphony concerts at Frankfurt’s Alte Oper not only in the upcoming, but also in subsequent seasons. `Departure`is the motto of these concerts. Special attention is given to Nordic composers. Some rarely performed works such as Sibelius’ “Kullervo” Symphony will be presented as well as a new piano concert by Estonian Erkki-Sven Tüür. Mahler and Bruckner will be part of the programmes just as will be other works of the classic and modern classic periods. In Shostakovich’s jubilee year, his “Leningrad Symphony” and his film music for the spectacular motion picture “Odna” will be given.

Top rank artists such as Andrew Litton, Heinz Holliger, Matthias Goerne, Tabea Zimmermann, and Thomas Zehetmair will appear as guest performers, as well as aspiring young talents. Once again the Frankfurt Radio Symphony will be given the opportunity to prove its artistic quality abroad. The musicians will perform as ambassadors of Frankfurt, the state of Hesse, and Germany: Hugh Wolff takes the orchestra on a concert tour to South America. With new Chief Conductor Paavo Järvi, the hr musicians will play at Concertgebouw Amsterdam and for the first time ever at the London Proms.

Innovation, fondness of experimenting, and joy of discovery have always been important elements in this orchestra’s work, and many ideas already have been imitated by others. “We are happy about this. It shows that we have obviously chosen the right way” says Carsten Dufner, hr Music Director.

The upcoming season focuses on two projects. There will be a new biennial festival of sound named “Klang-Biennale”. The first edition entitled “Kraft-Werke” appeals to devotees of Contemporary Music. In addition, a “Music Discovery Project” aims at young people.

Several highlights can be found in all of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony‘s concert series such as entertaining “Variations”, “Debuts” featuring young artists, or “Baroque+” concerts. There will also be a project including the hr Bigband. Fabulous Bob Brookmeyer is going to write music for both of the orchestras. “Baroque+” concerts will feature Emmanuelle Haïm and British baroque violinist Andrew Manze.

hr’s manifold subscription offers remain unchanged during the concert season 2006/2007, as well as the “hr music card”, company discounts, and half price tickets for students. Ticket- and subscription prices will be kept stable. hr Ticketcenter’s Subscriber Service (Telephone 069 155 4111 and abo@hr-ticketcenter.de) will answer all questions.

A leaflet listing all concerts is available through Hessischer Rundfunk, hr-ticketcenter, Bertramstrasse 8, 60320 Frankfurt, Telephone 069 155 2000. Subscriptions can be made right now. Tickets will be sold starting July 3, 2006.

Hessischer Rundfunk
Bertramstraße 8
60320 Frankfurt am Main

CONCERT REVIEW: Un cerveau et un bras

Wow! "A brain and an arm"! What a great headline for this review of Paavo's Paris concert by Christian Merlin in Le Figaro's February 25 issue. And, for those of us who couldn't be there to hear the concert in person, it will be broadcast on French radio on March 9 at 20:00 GMT! (See end of article for the link.)
Paavo Järvi et Kun Woo Paik à l'Orchestre de Paris

Musique. Ceux qui pensaient que l'Orchestre de Paris sortirait épuisé de son marathon wagnérien en seront pour leurs frais. Car c'est l'image d'un orchestre en bonne santé qu'il vient de donner après sa résidence au Châtelet. Il faut dire que le chef estonien Paavo Järvi se confirme décidément comme une des baguettes les plus sûres du moment. Celui que s'arrachent les trois phalanges symphoniques parisiennes (on l'a entendu aussi bien au National qu'au Philharmonique ou à l'Orchestre de Paris) impressionne par l'étendue de sa maîtrise: chez lui, le bras égale le cerveau.

Mais c'est justement là que le bât blesse parfois : autant, dans le très joli exercice de style néoclassique qu'est le Concerto pour orchestre de Kodaly – occasion de mettre en valeur la virtuosité de tous les pupitres – son énergie motrice est idéale, autant, dans ce chef-d'oeuvre universel et poignant qu'est la Musique pour cordes, percussion et célesta de Bartok, le côté volontiers désincarné de sa direction prive l'oeuvre d'une dimension essentielle, son aura. Mais cette direction abstraite et dégraissée dynamise superbement un orchestre extrêmement réceptif aux volontés de son chef d'un soir, chaleureusement applaudi par les musiciens à la fin du concert.

Au milieu de ce programme très dense, on avait pu savourer l'une des rares occasions d'entendre le pianiste Kun Woo Paik avec orchestre à Paris. Ce monument qu'est le 2e Concerto de Bartok ne lui fait aucunement peur: son jeu généreux et sensuel s'y déploie sans peine, et ce n'est pas parce que le piano s'y fait «percussif» que le musicien coréen se transforme en tapeur. Cette approche, physique au meilleur sens du terme, n'est pas tout à fait en phase avec la direction plus intellectuelle de Järvi. C'est, avec les pièges de l'acoustique, l'une des explications possibles d'une cohésion rythmique pas toujours impeccable entre l'orchestre et le soliste.

Concert diffusé sur France Musique le 9 mars à 20 heures.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

CONCERT REVIEW: Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi

Jean-Pierre Frommer, who blogs about Hungarian cultural events in Paris, was kind enough to send us this review by Simon Corley from ConcertoNet.com:
En Hongrie

Paris
Théâtre Mogador
02/22/2006 - et 23 février 2006
Zoltan Kodaly: Concerto pour orchestre
Béla Bartok: Concerto pour piano n° 2, sz. 95Musique pour cordes, percussion et célesta, sz. 106

Kun-Woo Paik (piano)
Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi (direction)

Tout juste sorti des représentations de la Tétralogie au Châtelet, l’Orchestre de Paris tournait le dos à l’esthétique wagnérienne, avec ce programme hongrois donné sous la baguette de Paavo Järvi, que l’on a toujours plaisir à retrouver dans la capitale, avec son souci de choisir des partitions injustement négligées, comme cette Deuxième symphonie de Martinu qu’il dirigeait voici tout juste un an à Radio France.

C’est également le cas du Concerto pour orchestre (1940) de Kodaly qui, s’il précède de quatre ans celui de Bartok, n’est certes pas le premier du genre – Hindemith avait créé cet oxymoron dès 1925 – mais demeure d’une inexplicable rareté à l’affiche. Avec fermeté et intensité, Järvi se fait un défenseur très convaincant de ces vingt minutes à fort parfum magyar, qui, par leur virtuosité et leurs nombreux soli, notamment des cordes, justifient pleinement leur dénomination, d’autant que l’Orchestre de Paris y sonne de façon particulièrement brillante.

D’une forte cohérence géographique et chronologique, le programme était par ailleurs consacré à l’alter ego de Kodaly, Bartok. Dans le Deuxième concerto pour piano, Kun-Woo Paik n’est pas, pour le premier de ces deux concerts, dans un de ses meilleurs soirs: son jeu souffre de plus d’imperfections qu’à l’ordinaire et la mise en place avec l’orchestre se révèle trop souvent délicate. A sa décharge, toutefois, un instrument piètrement accordé, une prise de risques assez prononcée et un accompagnement dont l’acoustique renforce le caractère bruyant. Cela dit, refusant toute tentation décorative, il ne cultive pas l’aspect exclusivement percussif de la partition et met en valeur les progressions expressives de l’Adagio central. Après ce déferlement de puissance, quoi de plus antithétique et rafraîchissant que la dernière des trois Romances sans paroles (1863) de Fauré? On retrouve ici le pianiste coréen à son meilleur, abordant cette musique sans le moindre effet facile.

En seconde partie, pour la Musique pour cordes, percussion et célesta (1936), la disposition des instruments n’est pas celle prévue par le compositeur: la masse des soixante-quatre cordes occupe le devant de la scène, reléguant à l’arrière le piano, le célesta, la percussion et la harpe. L’équilibre global s’en trouve modifié et certains détails de l’écriture ressortent d’autant mieux que Järvi s’attache à obtenir une lisibilité satisfaisante des différentes voix. Véhémente, extérieure et contrastée, la conception du chef estonien manque cependant plus de cohérence que d’originalité, avec des mouvements impairs rigoureusement construits, mais des mouvements pairs où l’anecdote a tendance à prendre le dessus.

Copyright ©ConcertoNet.com

And here's my interpretation of the Babelfished version. I am still pondering what some of it might actually mean, and will, no doubt, revisit this translation and attempt to refine it later, after another glass of chardonnay!
Just left the performances of the Tétralogie in Châtelet, the Orchestre de Paris turned its back on Wagnerian esthetics, with this Hungarian program given under the baton of Paavo Järvi, who is always a pleasure to find in the capital again, with his interest in choosing wrongfully neglected works, such as Martinu's Second Symphony which he conducted here just a year ago on Radio France.

It is also the case with Kodaly's Concerto for Orchestra (1940), which, if it precedes Bartok's by four years, is certainly not the first of its kind - Hindemith had created this oxymoron in 1925 - but it remains an unexplainable scarcity to this poster. With firmness and intensity, Järvi made a very convincing defender of these twenty minutes with strong Hungarian flavor, which, by their virtuosity and their solos, in particular of the strings, justify their denomination fully, the more so as the Orchestre de Paris sounds in a particularly brilliant way there.

Of a strong geographical and chronological coherence, in addition, the program was devoted to the alter ego of Kodaly, Bartok. In the Second Concerto for Piano, Kun-Woo Paik is not, for the first of these two concerts, in one of his best evenings: his playing suffers from more imperfections than usual and the installation with the orchestra often appears too delicate. With its discharge, however, a poorly tuned instrument, a rather marked risk-taking and an accompaniment whose acoustics reinforces the noisy character. However, refusing any decorative temptation, he does not cultivate exclusively the percussive aspect of the piece and emphasizes the expressive progressions of the Adagio central. After this surge of power, what could be more antithetic and refreshing than the last of the three Romances without words (1863) of Fauré? One finds here the Korean pianist with his best, approaching this music without the least easy effect.

In second part, for the Music for percussion, strings and célesta (1936), the provision of the instruments is not that envisaged by the type-setter: the mass of the sixty-four strings occupies the front of the stage, relegating to the back the piano, the celesta, the percussion and the toothing-stone. Total balance is somewhat modified and certain details of the writing come out from as much better than Järvi attempts to obtain a satisfactory legibility of the various voices. Vehement, external and contrasted, design of the head Estonian lacks, however, more coherence than originality, with rigorously built odd movements, but of the even movements where the anecdote tends to take the top.

"Concert...charged with electricity..."

French blogger Laurent found much to like about PJ's concert with the Orchestre de Paris! Here's an English translation of his original post:
Definitely, the musical season holds very good surprises for us. This concert was nothing less than charged with electricity. The Orchestra de Paris showed the extent of the genius of Bartók, of the twilight slow movement of the concerto in the rhythmic and hallucinated pages - not to say incredible - played by the orchestra in an irreproachable unit. The disconcerting virtuosity of the Korean pianist Kun Woo Paik leaves me speechless.

Järvi clan and the symphonies of Eduard Tubin

Dutch music critic and blogger Jan de Kruijff has a new post about Eduard Tubin's symphonies which makes mention of Paavo and the Järvi clan (Paavo, Kaido, Kristjan and Neeme).

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"Brothers in different places of the world"

A big "Bravo!" goes to our resident Estonian expert, Cincinnati Post classical music critic Mary Ellyn Hutton, for all the hard work she put into translating our previously posted Estonian interview with Paavo and Kristjan Järvi. We hope you enjoy reading it.
"Brothers in different places of the world"
By Lea Veelma
(Translated by Mary Ellyn Hutton)
"Home and Hearth," February, 2006.

World famous Estonian born conductor Neeme Järvi's sons Paavo and Kristjan do not have to walk with the wind of their father's fame at their backs, but tread their own independent paths of recognition in the music world.

Paavo has been an authority to his younger brother and still is. The older brother discovers, however, that the younger has "everything in correct doses."

PAAVO
Having turned 43 on the 30th of December, Paavo Järvi has been working in the world for many years. At the moment, he is not only music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, but also the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. Paavo is connected also with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. His role as artistic adviser of the ERSO [Estonian National Symphony Orchestra] connects him with Estonia.

Paavo Järvi says that he has three homes altogether. The apartment in London is his principal "island," then a home in America in Cincinnati and an apartment in Florida, where there is a necessary breathing space.

Violinist wife Tanja and daughter Lea turning two [on February 3] wait at home for Paavo. In December, Paavo was on the conductor's podium again in Tallinn. The Estonia Concert Hall was brimful of people.

KRISTJAN
Kristjan Järvi's home is Vienna. There he works as conductor of the Vienna Tonkünstler Symphony Orchestra. When Kristjan is not in Vienna, he is with his parents in New York or in countless hotels. Kristjan's great love belongs to The Absolute Ensemble, whose success in Europe and America grows constantly. Created in 1993, the band, as Kristjan himself calls it, is a new music ensemble and presents mixed jazz, rock and likewise electronic music. The ensemble tries to use balanced new music experiences to break barriers so that the listener may gain different emotional experiences. The ensemble already has six records. Tours to Germany and Sweden have been successful. With a passionate disposition, conductor Kristjan Järvi satisfies thereby his own many-sided musical interest. Also, a recent performance of Mozart's opera "Zaide" in New York went well. Now he is on tour with Absolute in America. Ahead are [dates in] Florida, California and Sacramento, then back to Vienna, where the alpha and omega of his current life waits for Kristjan -- wife Heyle, whom he recently married, and who made Kristjan, in his own words, in everthing the happiest man in the world. Kristjan's son by his first marriage to violinist Leila Josefowicz, five year old Lukas, is already a well-travelled young man who feels as comfortable in Europe as in America.

ESTONIA
When the Järvi family packed suitcases and left Estonia, Paavo Järvi was 17 [and] Kristjan was only seven years old. Home in Kadriorg, where it was so wonderful and comfortable to travel by trolley car when they came from school, was left behind. The boys knew that they would not come back to Estonia at once. A safe and decent home in Estonia, where mother made breakfast in the morning and sent the children to school, faded into the past. After farewell from Estonia, Paavo Järvi was placed in the pre-college division of the Juilliard School of Music to study percussion instruments and later to study conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music. George Otsa, [with] whom he had studied at the music school in Estonia, was "left behind." Kristjan went to the Manhattan School of Music to study piano.

I meet Paavo Järvi, dressed all in black, in the lobby of the Hotel Baron in Tallinn. [There are] two mobile [phones] of which one, the international one, tends to ring, the other stays quiet. I remember interviews with Paavo Järvi in the summer beneath the trees in the park at the Ammende Villa in Pärnu. Then he was in a white linen jacket. Paavo's face lights up the moment you meet him. The man is aware of what to wear. He justifies his dignified black with the fact that he travels so much and it is ideal for travel. Black also emphasizes the seriousness with which a man makes music. Regarding Järvi's' music, Vardo Rumessen [a famous Estonian pianist] says, for example, that the recordings of Beethoven's symphonies which Paavo Järvi has done [with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie] will attract great attention in the world. They are a new interpretive word because Paavo Jarvi reads [lit. solves] Beethoven's creation in the genuine light Viennese musical tradition.

Paavo Järvi on his brother Kristjan:

"We have a very strong family, but we do not meet often now. Lately, I speak with Kristjan basically by telephone on the road, chiefly when he is somewhere in the airport. Then [there] is time."

Paavo believes that adult life indeed begins at 17, when understanding of one's self begins to be formed. Therefore, he had different kinds of assumptions about beginning a new life in the world, because for Kristjan, first grade was unfinished when the Järvis left Estonia. Paavo remembers not only his, but Kristjan's life in Estonia during this interesting time. He does not remember some of the political problems, still less does Kristjan, who obviously remembers bits from here and there, because the difference in age was great, ten years. This permits Kristjan to consider them slightly Bohemian when he tries to remember times back, says Paavo, but he has a very good organizing and mobilizing ability of his own, which manifests itself when it is necessary to make something clear, to learn very rapidly, or to put things in place. However, when there are things which neither need to be done nor to be done by Kristjan, Paavo says that they both are the same. "Father always says that the day after tomorrow is another day." This, says the older brother, indicates the male family disposition.

Paavo recalls that the family was together only a year when they left Estonia, first to Vienna, then to America. A family near New York received the Järvi family, and they lived there a year before their feet got on firm ground. Then Paavo left home and began university study. "The reason Kristjan and I became bound to music is that father's love of music is so infectious that you cannot understand how you are conquered by it. When you must make a decision, it is already done, yet with no pressure, only a kind of self understanding." When Kristjan went to school, there was a question when he would speak clear English. Immediately words emerged for him. He got along inside everyday America very quickly, Paavo recalls.

Without laughter life is not correct

"Being with Kristjan was best when he was about nine years old. Humor brought us together. We understood the joke equally. Our grandmother was a humorous woman, all our family is like this: [people] who laugh at the absurdity of life and are able to laugh about it. Life without laughter is not a correct life. Kristjan laughs a lot and he is not ashamed to show his hilarity. His positive qualities have surely helped his career. He has the right dose of everything." There was a time when the brothers' communication was very close, when Paavo's words had particular weight, when mother said, 'Kristjan listens only to you.' Paavo thinks that boys judge women subconsciously according to their mother. Boys hold up their grandmother's and mother's heightened support as a model for the mother, also in their choice of a wife.

If something concerns Kristjan, he always makes his decisions himself, believes Paavo. He now has a good partner, because in the stressful life which Kristjan lives traveling through the world, he needs a tough and understanding wife and he feels that he has been lucky.

If you ask Paavo about [Kristjan's] external similarity to their parents, he says that if you look at old pictures, Kristjan is the spitting image of [their] father [Neeme]. Now, however, as a joke, you could say that he would pass completely for the famous film star John Travolta. The sincere, glamorous, appealing smile in [his] masculine face is perhaps that which makes them so similar. Also the bursting volume of energy, which makes [his] appearance attractive. The interior reflection in the whole face, if only to look pleasing.

Kristjan Jarvi on his brother Paavo:

"Older brother, this is an important position," laughs Kristjan, whose healthy laugh echoes across the ocean to Estonia -- Kristjan is at the moment on tour in America. Thirty-three-year-old Kristjan Järvi has lived a large part of his life in Western society and an English accent is discernible in his Estonian. The memory [feeling] of a second pleasant meeting arises from the unseen Kristjan as you imagine that cordial smile and passionate speech: the same spontaneity and energy as five years ago, when Kristjan conducted in Elizabeth Church in Pärnu, or in the Estonia Concert Hall last year in May, [at] the time of the Tubin Festival, when the hall was filled with ovations.

The impression remains that the man would fill every moment with the same happening and just by himself. Everything in the world is possible, you only must wish, the spontaneous Kristjan Järvi believes. Having studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music, Kristjan is now actively occupied conducting, and he gets standing ovations not only in Vienna, but [also] in Tallinn. Kristjan is so fiery and so good, fanatics are in the habit of calling him in Estonia.

Speaking of brother Paavo, Kristjan says that what comes to mind first is how well he took care of him when their parents were on a trip. "He was the authority and friend. He is the authority to me until now. When I began conducting, there was a little hesitation that [since] Paavo [wa]s already so advanced in his own career, can all the Järvis fit in the arena. I had the same kind of complex about the connection with Paavo and father." Perhaps his own band, The Absolute Ensemble, distinguishes Kristjan from his father and from Paavo, and has helped him find his own way, because the ensemble is his important role in life. The ensemble has received attention in several ways. In 2001, the ensemble was presented a Grammy recording honor [a nomination for best classical small ensemble recording].

"People who have grown up in different milieus, their grasp is only as large as their world," says Kristjan. "Paavo's world is perhaps less universal than my own, because he simply was older when we left Estonia." The music world for Kristjan does not consist of four separate genres. Pop, rock, jazz and classical are all one big music. "Paavo's opinion of the music world differs from my own, but we strive together in our own directions, look[ing] after each other and lov[ing] one another. We are one team." Paavo is peaceful, everything is under control. This is respected, especially by the orchestra. Paavo is a serious musician. He takes his work very seriously. He is interested also in politics and in life in general, because he believes that [making] music is to experience understanding and also the time and the community where the music is born.

Concerning Paavo's personal life, he is ending one stage of life and beginning a new [one], because he has a new family and a child. This is a new thing for Paavo, and he takes it very seriously. "I believe that in Paavo there is much methodical reflection. He is more a planner. He has done his own work completely, before he came to marriage. It is true, isn't it, that each year we are slightly smarter than the [year] before. So Paavo has changed his priorities with the passing years." With respect to [his] brother's personal life, Kristjan is discreet.

Proper boys of a proper family, they have been always been equals before their mother and father. The independent brothers live a happy life in different parts of the world. Although they [share] common blood with their family, they do not interfere in each other's affairs, which makes them strong and even happier yet. At Christmastime, they all make melodies in Florida, where "mother makes good and healthy food to eat and the whole family is together." This is the Järvi tradition.

The New Year brings Kristjan to Estonia to record, then comes work again with the Vienna Orchestra. Paavo continues his work in Germany, where it is admired very much, and hopefully he will manage to come also to the Paris Radio Orchestra. Naturally, ERSO and the Estonian public wait for Paavo, too. And [on February 3], Lea, Paavo's daughter, who has changed [his] life in the music world, becomes two years old.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Paavo Guests with L'Orchestre de Paris


Paavo is in Paris to guest conduct the Orchestre de Paris on Wednesday, February 22, and Thursday, February 23. This week's programs feature Kodaly's Concerto for Orchestra; Bartok's Music for Percussion, String, and Celesta; and Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 2 with special guest, pianist Kun Woo Paik.

Paavo's recording of the Kodaly Concerto for Orchestra with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will be released by Telarc this spring.

Théâtre Mogador (caisse ouverte du lundi au samedi, de 11h à 18h)
25, rue de Mogador
Paris, 9me arr.; Métro: Trinité (Linie 12), Chaussée d’Antin (Linie 7, 9) Saint-Lazare (Linie 3, 12, 13), Havre-Caumartin (Linie 3, 9)
Renseignements et réservations : 01 56 35 12 12

Sunday, February 19, 2006

CONCERT REVIEW: Fortune favours the brave

Oh, the things I do for you! Just to retrieve a week old article, I've had to register with The Times Online. Well, there are worse things, aren't there? It's not like I'm on Survivor, being forced to eat weevils or rotting fish or something!

Writer Paul Driver "is swept away by two new pieces inspired by Homer and Shakespeare" in Fortune favours the brave, The Sunday Times (February 12, 2006). But it's this niblet at the end that we are interested in:
Fearing a recurrence of Golijovery, I went to the Philharmonia Orchestra’s QEH concert for the European premiere of the erstwhile Estonian rock musician Erkki-Sven Tuur’s Noesis. But this concerto for the possibly unprecedented configuration of violin, clarinet and orchestra turned out to be a solid, if bizarre, piece of work. A traditional fast-slow-fast continuous structure, it was hardly traditional in other ways. For one thing, there are no readily definable ideas. The fast music is a succession of solo flourishes and exerciselike figures, played — in radiant rapport by the married couple Isabelle van Keulen and Michael Collins, the work’s dedicatees — against a strenuous harmonic and rhythmic background. Till the very end, one was waiting for the work proper to begin. But I was struck by the fact that, though Tuur doesn’t falsely dramatise the difference between solo instruments of similar range, interesting timbral contrasts steadily emerge. The concerto, conducted by Paavo Jarvi, did have something to say.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Vennad maailma eri paigus

Oh, dear. Here is a very lengthy piece about the Järvi family, but it's all in Estonian so I haven't a clue what it means! I think it may be a piece about Neeme talking about Kristjan and Paavo. Help! :-)
Vennad maailma eri paigus
TEKST: LEA VEELMA

Maailmamainega eesti soost dirigendi Neeme Järvi pojad Paavo ja Kristjan ei pea kõndima oma isa kuulsuse tuules, vaid sammuvad iseseisvalt, oma tuntuse teed muusikamaailmas. Paavo on olnud nooremale vennale autoriteet ja on seda siiani. Vanem venda leiab aga, et nooremal “on õige doseering kõiges”.

PAAVO
Kolmekümnendal detsembril neljakümne kolmeseks saanud Paavo Järvi töötab mitmel pool maailmas. Hetkel on ta nii Cincinnati orkestri kui ka Frankfurdi raadio sümfooniaorkestri peadirigent. Paavo on seotud ka Deutsche kammerorkestriga, Eestiga seob teda ERSO kunstilise nõustaja roll.

Paavo Järvi ütleb, et tal on kokku kolm kodu. Korter Londonis on tema põhiline peatuspaik. Siis kodu Ameerikas Cincinnatis ja korter Floridas, kui on vaja hinge tõmmata.

Kodus ootab Paavot viiuldajast abikaasa Tanja ja jaanuaris kaheseks saav tütar Lea.
Detsembris oli Paavo taas dirigendipuldis Tallinnas, Estonia kontserdisaal oli rahvast pilgeni täis.

KRISTJAN
Kristjan Järvi kodu on Viin ja veel kord Viin. Seal töötab ta Viini Tonkünstler sümfooniaorkestri dirigendina. Kui Kristjan pole Viinis, siis on ta kas vanemate juures New Yorgis või lõpututes hotellides.

Kristjani suur armastus kuulub ansamblile Absolute, mille edu Euroopas ja Ameerikas järjest kasvab. 1993. aastal loodud bänd, nagu Kristjan seda ise seda nimetab, on uue muusika ansambel ja esitab segu džässist, rokist, samuti elektroonilisest muusikast. Ansambel püüab viia kontserdikogemuse uuele tasemele, murda barjääre, et kuulaja saaks erinevaid emotsionaalseid elamusi. Ansamblil on ilmunud juba kuus plaati. Turneed Saksamaal ja Rootsis on olnud menukad. Kirgliku iseloomuga dirigent Kristjan Järvi rahuldab seeläbi oma mitmekülgset muusikahuvi – ka hiljutine Mozarti ooperi “Zeide“ ettekanne New Yorgis läks hästi. Nüüd ollakse Absolute’iga Ameerika turneel. Ees ootavad Florida, California, Sacramento. Ja siis ehk tagasi Viini, kus Kristjanit ootab tema praeguse elu A ja O – abikaasa Heyle, kellega ta hiljuti abiellus ja kes tegi Kristjanist ta enda sõnade järgi kõige õnnelikuma mehe maailmas. Kristjani poeg eelmisest abielust viiuldaja Leila Josefowicziga, viieaastane Lukas on juba paljurännanud mees, kes tunneb ennast mugavalt nii Euroopas kui Ameerikas.

EESTI
Kui Järvide perekond 1980. aastal kohvrid pakkis ja Eestist lahkus, oli Paavo Järvi seitsmeteistkümnene, Kristjan aga alles seitsmeaastane.

Kodu Kadriorus, kuhu oli nii tore ja mõnus trammiga sõita, kui koolist tulid, jäeti maha ja asuti pikale teele. Poisid teadsid, et Eestisse tagasi ei tule nad niipea. Rutiinselt turvaline, korralik eesti kodu, kus ema tegi hommikusöögi ja saatis lapsed kooli, sai minevikuks.

Pärast Eestist lahkumist asus Paavo Järvi õppima löökpillide erialal Juilliard School of Music eelkolledžis ja hiljem dirigeerimist Curtise muusikainstituudis. Seljataha oli jäänud Georg Otsa muusikakool Eestis. Kristjan Järvi läks aga Manhattani muusikakooli klaverit õppima.

Üleni musta riietunud Paavo Järviga kohtun hotell Baronsi fuajees Tallinnas. Kaks mobiili, millest üks, see rahvusvaheline, kipub aina helisema, teine püsib vaikselt. Mäletan intervjuud Paavo Järviga suvel Pärnus Ammende villa pargipuude all, siis oli ta valges linases särgis. Paavo nagu ülendaks hetke, mil sa temaga kohtud. Pealegi teab mees, mida seljas kanda, ise põhjendab ta väärikat musta sellega, et reisib palju ja see on kindla peale minek. Ju rõhutab must ka tõsiduse astet, millega mees muusikat teeb. Järvide muusikast lugu pidav Vardo Rumessen teab näiteks rääkida, et Beethoveni sümfooniate plaadistused, mida Paavo Järvi on teinud, äratavad maailmas suurt tähelepanu, et need on uus sõna interpretatsioonis. Sellepärast, et Paavo Järvi lahendab Beethoveni loomingut ehtsa Viini muusika traditsioonide valguses.

Paavo Järvi oma vennast Kristjanist:
“Meil on väga tugev perekond, aga praegu me ei kohtu tihti. Põhiliselt räägin Kristjaniga viimasel ajal telefoni teel ja peamiselt siis, kui ta on kuskil lennujaamas. Siis on aega.“

Paavo arvab, et täiskasvanuelu algabki umbes seitsmeteistkümneselt, kui hakkab kujunema enesest arusaamine. Nii olid temal teistsugused eeldused alustada maailmas uut elu, sest Kristjanil jäi siin esimene klass pooleli, kui Järvid Eestist lahkusid.
Paavo meelest oli nii tema kui Kristjani elu Eestis sel ajal huvitav. Mingeid poliitilisi probleeme ei tule tal küll meelde, veel vähem Kristjanil, kes ilmselt mäletab juppe siit ja sealt, sest vanusevahe oli suur, kümme aastat.

Kristjanit võib ju pidada veidi boheemlaseks, kui tuletada meelde aegu tagasi, kõneleb Paavo, praegu aga on tal väga hea organiseerimis- ja enda mobiliseerimisvõime, mis ilmneb siis, kui on väga vaja midagi selgeks teha, kiiresti ära õppida või paika panna.

Kui aga on asju, mida ei pea tegema, ega Kristjan seda siis tee, räägib Paavo ja ütleb, et nad mõlemad on sellised. “Isa ütleb alati, et ülehomme on ka päev,“ viitab vanem vend pere meeste iseloomule.

Paavo meenutab, et perekond oli koos ainult aasta, siis kui nad Eestist lahkusid. Kõigepealt mindi Viini ja edasi Ameerikasse. Üks perekond New Yorgi lähedal võttis Järvid vastu ja nad elasid seal aasta, enne kui said jalad kindlalt maha. Siis lahkus Paavo kodunt ja alustas ülikooliõpingud.

“Põhjus, et nii Kristjan kui mina oleme muusikaga seotud, on vahest selles, et isa muusikaarmastus on nii nakkav, et sa ei saa arugi, kui oled sellest võidetud. Ja kui pead otsustama, siis on see otsus sinu eest juba tehtud, ent mitte survega, vaid mingi iseenesestmõistetavusega.“

Kui Kristjan Ameerikas kooli läks, oli nädalate küsimus, mil ta rääkis juba puhast inglise keelt, kohe tekkisid tal sõbrad, ta elas Ameerika argiellu sisse väga kiiresti, tuletab Paavo meelde.

Ilma naeruta pole õiget elu

“Kontakt Kristjaniga oli parim siis, kui ta oli umbes 9aastane, meid ühendas huumorimeel, me saime naljast ühtviisi aru. Meie vanaema oli humoorikas naine, kogu meie perekond on selline, kes näeb ka elu absurdsemat poolt ja oskab selle üle naerda. Elu ilma naeruta pole õige elu. Ka Kristjan naerab palju ja ta ei häbene oma heameelt näidata. Tema positiivsed omadused on kindlasti karjäärile kaasa aidanud. Tal on õige doseering kõiges.“

Oli ka aeg, kui vendade side oli väga lähedane, kui Paavo sõnal oli eriline kaal, sest ema ütles: Kristjan kuulab ainult sind.

Paavo arvab, et naisi hindavad nad alateadlikult ema järgi, tugevate naiste, nii vanaema kui ema toel kasvanud poisid seavad ema eeskujuks ka oma naise valikul.
Mis Kristjanisse puutub, siis teeb ta omad otsused alati ise, nii arvab Paavo. Tal on praegu hea partner, sest stressirikas elu, mida Kristjan mööda maailma rännates elab, nõuab sitket ja mõistvat naist ja tundub, et tal on vedanud.

Kui Paavo käest pärida välise sarnasuse kohta vanematega, siis ütleb ta, et kui vanu pilte vaadata, siis oli Kristjan küll nagu isa suust kukkunud. Praegu aga öeldakse naljatamisi, et Kristjanit võib eksikombel pidada hoopis filmistaar John Travoltaks. See aval lummavalt võluv naeratus mehises näos on vahest see, mis muudab nad nii sarnaseks. Ju ka pakatav energiahulk, mis teeb välimuse atraktiivseks. Seesmise peegeldus on ju meie kõigi nägudel, kui vaid vaadata suvatseme.

Kristjan Järvi oma vennast Paavost:
“Vanem vend, see on tähtis positsioon,” naerab Kristjan telefonis oma tervendavat naeru, mis kajab üle ookeani Eestisse – Kristjan on hetkel Ameerikas turneel. 33aastane Kristjan Järvi on suure osa oma elust elanud Lääne ühiskonnas ja inglise aktsent tema eesti keeles on tuntav.

Isegi Kristjanit nägemata tekib meeldiv taaskohtumise tunne, kui kujutled seda siirast naeratust ja kirglikkust kõnes. Ikka seesama spontaansus ja energia nagu viis aastat tagasi, kui Kristjan Pärnus Elisabethi kirikus dirigeeris, või hilisem Estonia Kontserdisaal, möödunud aasta mais, Tubina festivali ajal, siis kui saal oli ovatsioonidest pingul. Jääb mulje, nagu paneks mees igasse hetke midagi ainukordset ja just temale omast. Kõik siin maailmas on võimalik, tuleb ainult tahta, arvab spontaanne Kristjan Järvi.

Manhattani muusikakoolis klaverit õppinud Kristjan tegutseb praegu aktiivselt dirigendina ja paneb püsti seistes aplodeerima nii Viini kui isegi Tallinna kontserdipubliku.

Kristjan on nii tuline ja nii hea, tavatsevad Eestis öelda tema fanaatikud.
Vend Paavost rääkides ütleb Kristjan, et esimesena tuleb talle meelde see, kui hästi Paavo tema eest hoolitses, kui vanemad olid sõidus. “Ta oli autoriteet ja sõber. Ta on autoriteet mulle siiani. Kui ma dirigeerimisega alustasin, siis oli väike kõhklus, et Paavo on oma karjääris juba nii kaugel, kas ikka kõik Järvid mahuvad areenile. Mul oli igasuguseid komplekse seoses Paavo ja isaga.“ Võib-olla just oma bändi, Absolute-ansambli elushoidmine eristab Kristjanit nii isast kui ka Paavost ning on aidanud tal leida oma tee, sest ansamblil on tema elus tähtis roll. Ansamblit on tähele pandud mitmes mõttes. Kahe tuhande esimesel aastal esitati ansambli plaat Grammy auhinnale. “Inimesed, kes on erinevates miljöödes kasvanud, nende haare on just nii suur kui nende maailm,“ räägib Kristjan. Paavo maailm võib olla vähem üldisema pildiga kui minu oma, sest tema oli lihtsalt vanem, kui me Eestist lahkusime.“

Nii ongi muusikamaailm Kristjani jaoks suur meelelahutusäri, mis ei koosne neljast eraldi žanrist. Popp, rock, jazz ja klassika on kõik kokku üks suur muusika. “Paavo arvamus muusikamaailmast erineb minu omast, aga me kõik ajame oma rida ja tegelikult hoiame väga kokku ning armastame üksteist. Me oleme ühest meeskonnast.“
Paavo on rahulik, kõik on kontrolli all, see on respekteeritud asi. Eriti orkestrite poolt.

Paavo on tõsine muusik, ta võtab seda tööd väga tõsiselt. Ta tunneb huvi ka poliitika ja üldse elu vastu, sest ta arvab, et muusika mõistmiseks peab tundma ka seda aega ja ühiskonda, kus see muusika on sündinud.

Mis puudutab Paavo isiklikku elu, siis on ta ühe elustaadiumi lõpetanud ja alustanud uut, sest tal on ju nüüd perekond ja laps. See on uus asi Paavole ja ta võtab seda väga tõsiselt.

“Arvan, et Paavos on palju metoodilist mõtlemist, ta on rohkem planeerija. Ta oli ju oma tööelus palju ära teinud, enne kui abieluni jõudis. Eks me kõik ole igal järgmisel aastal veidi targemad kui eelmisel, nii on ka Paavo aastate möödudes omi prioriteete muutnud,” on Kristjan venna isikliku elu suhtes piisavalt diskreetne.
Korraliku perekonna korralikud poisid on ema-isa ees alati olnud võrdsed. Iseseisvad vennad elavad maailma eri paikades õnnelikku elu, nad ei sekku teineteise asjadesse, kuid samas on nad ühises vereringes kogu oma perekonnaga, mis teeb neid tugevaks ja veelgi õnnelikumaks.

Ja jõulude ajal viisid kõik teed Floridasse, kus “ema teeb hästi ja tervislikult süüa ning kogu perekond on koos”. See on Järvide traditsioon. Uus aasta toob Kristjan Järvi aga kõigepealt Eestisse plaadistama, siit edasi tuleb töö Vene Rahvusorkestriga. Paavo jätkab oma tööd Saksamaal, kus teda väga hinnatakse, ja loodetavasti jõuab ka Pariisi raadio orkestri juurde. Loomulikult ootab Paavot ka ERSO ja eesti publik. Ja jaanuaris saab kaheaastaseks Lea, Paavo Järvi tütar, kes on muutnud maailmamuusiku elu.

CONCERT REVIEW: Mit und ohne Ölfarbe

Mit und ohne Ölfarbe
Das hr-Sinfonieorchester unter Paavo Järvi mit Bruckner und Pärt
Von HANS-JÜRGEN LINKE
Frankfurter Rundschau, 14.02.2006

"Alle Musik ist im Innersten religiös"? Einspruch! Auch die Gegenthese von der Weltlichkeit aller Musik wäre gut begründbar, und beide zusammen könnten Ausgangspunkte sein für einen Blick aufs Ganze. Warum nicht, wie jetzt mit dem hr-Sinfonieorchester unter seinem künftigen Chefdirigenten Paavo Järvi, anhand von zwei dritten Sinfonien, zwischen denen fast ein Jahrhundert liegt?

Arvo Pärt und Anton Bruckner verfolg(t)en zutiefst unterschiedliche Kompositionsstrategien. Während Bruckners Dritte als weitläufiges, pastoses Landschaftsgemälde erscheint, kommt Pärts 1971 entstandene Komposition eher reduktionistisch daher. Sie verzichtet auf Ölfarben und Blattgold ebenso weitgehend wie auf zeittypische Kompositionstechniken, bescheidet sich in klaren, zuweilen liturgischen oder choralartigen Klanggesten, einer harmonisch aufgefassten Spiritualität und verortet sich in einem feinen Netz von Zitaten und Anklängen im Kontext nordischer Musik, zu der sowohl Rachmaninow wie Sibelius gehören.

Eine Serie klanglicher Einzelfälle

Paavo Järvi legt vor allem Wert auf Differenzierung. Er behandelt die Sinfonie als Abfolge von Miniaturen, die wie klangliche Einzelfälle modelliert werden. Schrittweise entsteht ein Patchwork von dramatischen, naiven, pathetischen, formstrengen Augenblicken, die immer wieder über sich hinaus zu weisen scheinen, so dass nach und nach ein Zusammenhang erkennbar wird. Ob das die These von der Religiosität stützt?

Wenn Pärts Musik einem spirituell ausgerichteten, historisch reflektierten Protestantismus entspräche, dann wäre Bruckner ganz und gar katholisch: Der Bilderreichtum seiner Klangwelt, die mystischen Weihrauchschwaden, die wie Nebelbänke durch die Sinfonie ziehen, legen diese Assoziation nahe. Andererseits weist Järvis Interpretation ständig auf die Architektur dieser Sinfonie hin. Sie ist nicht aus bogenförmigen Spannungsverläufen gearbeitet, sondern aus fast linear verlaufenden Komponenten. Stets ordnet sich die Musik in der Dynamik eines fein dosierten Crescendo, bei dem schon in den ersten Steigerungsmomenten der Blick auf die Spitze frei ist, die dann auch konsequent angesteuert wird. Järvi geht die Sache mit forschem Tempo an, ohne allerdings Bruckners sinfonische Landschaft eilig zu durchschreiten: Immer wieder schafft er Momente des intensiven Besinnens und Verharrens in erstaunlichen klanglichen Situationen, bevor der Gipfelsturm erneut in Angriff genommen wird.

Die Architektur dieser Musik wäre die einer gotischen Kathedrale, die ganz darauf ausgerichtet ist, den Blick immer wieder in die Vertikale nach oben zu ziehen und aus diesen Verlaufsformen ein Ensemble aus vielfältig sich variierender Gleichförmigkeit bildet. Harmonie und Dynamik sind die beiden zentralen Konstruktionselemente einer Klangwelt, die das hr-Sinfonieorchester wiederum eindrucksvoll zu gestalten vermochte und damit einmal mehr einen Anlass lieferte, sich auf den künftigen Chefdirigenten zu freuen. Bevor dann im nächsten Konzert Hugh Wolff seinen Hörern den Abschied schwer machen wird.

© Frankfurter Rundschau online 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

CONCERT REVIEW: Schlankheitskur für Bruckner

Schlankheitskur für Bruckner
Von Michael Dellith
Frankfurter Neue Presse, 11.02.2006

Paavo Järvi stellte beim HR-Konzert in der Alten Oper Frankfurt Sinfonien von Arvo Pärt und Anton Bruckner gegenüber.

Es war bereits der zweite Abend in dieser Saison, bei dem der designierte Nachfolger von Hugh Wolff das HR-Sinfonieorchester dirigierte und sich durch seine unprätentiöse Arbeitsweise große Sympathien beim Publikum erwarb. Als besonders attraktiv erwies sich das Programm diesmal nicht nur deshalb, weil der Este Järvi mit Arvo Pärts dritter Sinfonie ein Werk aus seiner Heimat den Frankfurtern vorführte, sondern auch, weil sich bei den dritten Sinfonien von Pärt und Bruckner trotz unterschiedlicher Provenienz viele Gemeinsamkeiten entdecken ließen. Und dass nicht nur, weil beide Tonschöpfungen von tiefer Religiosität geprägt sind. Verblüffend war vielmehr, wie sehr sich bei aller Differenz Pärt und Bruckner in der kompositorischen Vorgehensweise ähneln, im montageartigen Schichten von melodischen und rhythmischen Ebenen etwa. Pärts 1971 entstandene Sinfonie, die durch ihre reduzierte Klangsprache und ihre choralartigen Wendungen archaisch schlicht anmutete, dirigierte Järvi mit großer Ruhe, Konzentration und Klarheit und öffnete damit dem Publikum gleichsam ein Fenster zu unerhörten Sphären. Der solistische Paukenwirbel beispielsweise kam wie aus einer anderen Welt.

Neue Hörerfahrungen konnte man aber auch bei Bruckner machen, dessen Werke oft im Klangbombast ersticken, schwerlastend und bleiern dargeboten werden. Järvi animierte die hochaufmerksamen HR-Musiker zu einem entschlackten, mühelosen Spiel und unterzog Bruckner einer wohltuenden Schlankheitskur: keine ohrenbetäubende Blechbläser-Exzesse, stattdessen tänzerische Beweglichkeit, feinziselierte Strukturen und stringentes Hinsteuern auf Kulminationspunkte. Auch so kann Bruckner seine opiatische Wirkung entfalten – ganz ohne Weihrauch!

© 2003 Frankfurter Neue Presse

CONCERT REVIEW: Himmlische Klänge auf die Erde zurückgeholt

Himmlische Klänge auf die Erde zurückgeholt
Künftiger Chefdirigent Paavo Järvi beim hr-Funkkonzert
Von Klaus Ackermann
Offenbach Post, 13.02.2006

Der Neue scharrt nachhaltig mit den Hufen: Paavo Järvi designierter Chefdirigent des hr-Sinfonieorchesters, hat beim Funkkonzert in der Alten Oper stark beeindruckt. Ließ der Este doch anklingen, dass er von übergreifenden Schlagwort-Krücken - "Alle Musik ist im Innersten religiös" - offenbar nicht viel hält, indem er das Thema konterkarierte: Die 3. Sinfonie des für meditative Klänge empfänglichen Zeitgenossen Arvo Pärt hat Järvi ebenso sachlich durchformt, wie er Bruckners Dritte abseits des religiösen Überbaus auf ihren sinfonischen Gehalt überprüfte.

Sympathisch wie Järvi, Protagonist der mittleren Dirigenten-Generation, sich für seinen Landsmann Pärt einsetzt, der den kompositorischen Zeitgeist brüskiert, indem er die Wandlungsfähigkeit eines reinen Dreiklangs immer wieder aufs Neue nachweist. Mit Anleihen bei der Gregorianik und in choralartiger Strenge scheint da ein archaischer Kult wiederbelebt, von Järvi bis in die rabenschwarzen Blechbläser nahezu pathetisch ausgespielt. Dagegen werden klangliche Reibungen und Rückungen - vielleicht Hinweise aufs stinknormale Menschendasein - ausgesprochen trocken fixiert. Inklusive leuchtender Bläserinterludien, Streicher-Pizzikati und den sehnsüchtigen Glöckchen der Celesta, stets Accessoire des Pärt-Klangs. Hochmotiviert wirkt das hr-Sinfonieorchester - auch jener unerbittlich und schicksalhaft auftrumpfende Kesselpauker, der Järvis Absichten unterstreicht: Selbst das meditative, sakrale Element braucht die gewisse Theatralik. Und das beeindruckend hohlquintige Finale verweist schon auf den Bruckner nach der Pause.

Schließlich basieren die mächtigen Pfeiler eingangs der dritten Sinfonie d-Moll, allemal Wagner-Nähe atmend, ebenfalls auf diesem Intervall, von Järvi druckvoll eingerammt, der sich vor keinem dreifachen Fortissimo fürchtet. Umso durchsichtiger, ja geradezu klanglich schlank gerät Bruckners schwärmerische Idylle. Ob nun die behutsamen Veränderungen des Wagnerschen Tristan-Akkords (Bruckners nahezu devote Ehrerbietung belegend), der derbe Ländler im Scherzo oder das hymnische Finale sinfonischen Hochgefühls: Järvi lässt dies wie in schnellen Filmschnitten erleben, setzt freilich auch Zäsuren, als gelte es, Bruckners orchestrale Orgel jeweils neu zu registrieren.

Verblüffend, dass dennoch der innere Zusammenhalt dieser vier sinfonischen Sätze gewahrt wird. Von einem Orchester, das wie aus einem Guss spielt und die Bläserdominanz zu kultivieren versteht. Eher verhalten, immer sachdienlich und absolut konziliant ist dagegen Järvis Dirigat. Dass er dennoch "sein" Orchester knallen lässt, signalisiert intensive Probenarbeit - und verspricht eine spannende Konzertsaison.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Is Schoenberg the kiss of death on a program?

According to this piece by Geoff Edgers in Sunday's Boston Globe, it just might be! Some excerpts:
BSO program rekindles a debate for the ages
By Geoff Edgers, Boston Globe (February 12, 2006)

Not everyone will come. That much is clear as the Boston Symphony Orchestra plunges into a concert program this week that is dominated by the work of the late composer Arnold Schoenberg. Hundreds of subscribers have already turned in their tickets, opting for concerts with more traditional repertoire. Others are thrilled, eager to celebrate the work of a composer so often criticized for being inaccessible.

Over the next two years, James Levine, the BSO's music director, is leading the orchestra in 10 programs that link Schoenberg with his more popular German counterpart, Ludwig van Beethoven. Levine hopes to convert more symphony-goers to the music he loves. And this week brings what is probably the toughest sell in Levine's lineup: an all-Schoenberg program that ranges from the challenging 12-tone composition "Variations" to an earlier work,"Pelleas und Melisande," that the BSO describes as an "orchestral tone poem in the vein of Liszt and Strauss."

The Schoenberg programming has had a polarizing effect, pitting the traditionalists, who would prefer their Beethoven served with a dose of Mozart, against the modernists, a group made up of musicians, students, critics, and subscribers who say they're inspired by Levine's commitment to a composer who, while long respected, has never been a hot ticket.

So far, subscribers have traded in 745 tickets for the four all-Schoenberg performances that kick off Thursday night; that's twice the norm. Kris Sessa, 57, a music librarian at Boston University, is among them. "I just don't enjoy his music," Sessa says.

"Art has never been a popularity contest," Levine says, a phrase he uses often.

The BSO's music director doesn't dismiss the unhappy subscribers.

"I find it always sad when there's something that means a lot to me in music and there are people who can't get the exposure to it ever to understand it, let alone love it," says Levine.

'It's courageous'
Balance. During Levine's tenure, it's a term that's been tossed around Symphony Hall like a beach ball in the Fenway Park bleachers. To the BSO's leaders, it means finding a proper meeting place between market share and artistic ambition. Crowd pleasers such as Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis," performed last month to packed halls, make up for the empty seats at other concerts.

Levine's pairing of Beethoven with Schoenberg offers a welcome box-office balance for the BSO, even if the music director's motivation is to show the artistic connections between the composers.

"This is entirely driven by two composers who changed music," says Mark Volpe, the BSO's managing director. "That being said, if Jim came to me and said I need Schoenberg and Stockhausen, or Schoenberg and Milton Babbitt, I probably would have had a different willingness for proceeding with the plan."

Around the world, Levine's Schoenberg/Beethoven programming has been watched closely by other conductors -- and admired.

"It's courageous," says Paavo Jarvi, music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. "It is so mind-boggling that Schoenberg at the beginning of the 21st century is somehow considered unprogrammable or difficult to present to audiences. Certainly there is a challenge, but at the same time it is something for which somebody has to take a leadership role."


The Schoenberg focus has also mobilized some of the local music community. On Feb. 27, the Harvard University Department of Music, the university's Center for European Studies, and the BSO are holding an all-day conference, ''Beethoven, Schoenberg, and the Legacy of the Ninth," which will include Levine. The Goethe-Institut Boston has been holding ''Evenings With Schoenberg" each Wednesday in February, which pair salon-style talks with the composer's complete solo piano music played by New England Conservatory students.

Stephen Olson, an NEC pianist who will play this Wednesday, will be one of the many college-age Levine followers heading to Symphony Hall.

"I think it's predictable that the Boston Symphony might lose some of that older crowd," he said. "But I think if James Levine keeps up this programming he will have gained a younger audience that wasn't there before."

It's already happening. While the BSO's subscription sales are down this season by 2.5 percent compared to last season, BSO officials say they've more than compensated with single-ticket sales, which are up more than 7 percent, from 38,242 last year to 41,246. In addition, sales of the BSO's college card -- which allows students to attend up to 14 concerts a season for $25 total, provided tickets are available -- are up, from 1,800 cardholders to 2,070. BSO surveys show that the average age of concertgoers is 49, two years younger than when Levine arrived.

"Levine . . . is planting seeds," says Leslie Epstein, a Boston University English professor who has been working on an opera based on Schoenberg's life with MIT composer Tod Machover. "I think he well knows the plants may come up stunted for a while. It's rather like an elderly person who plants a seed of a tree he knows he may never sit under, but so others may enjoy the shade."...

Hmmmm. Can there be some Schoenberg on the Cincinnati Symphony's horizon?

Executive Pay Takes the Stage

The Wall Street Journal's Jacob Hale Russell takes up the issue of compensation in the arts in this February 11 article. Some excerpts:
Even as performing-arts groups struggle, star salaries are soaring -- with music directors making almost $2 million. Can orchestras afford to conduct themselves this way?
By JACOB HALE RUSSELL
February 11, 2006; Page P8

It's been a tough couple of years for one of Chicago's better-known institutions, with sales down 5.7% this year, mounting red ink and a recent round of heated union negotiations ending in concessions from the rank and file. But one man at the top of the ladder has seen his paycheck swell -- by 69% in five years, to nearly $2 million.

He's Daniel Barenboim, conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Executive pay has been a hot-button issue in the corporate world for more than a decade. That's especially true in struggling industries like airlines and autos where profits are slim and salaries aren't -- as General Motors chief Rick Wagoner demonstrated this week when he agreed to a 50% pay cut. But the debate over compensation is playing out in another realm as well. At a time when audience numbers are trailing off and many groups are struggling to stay in the black, some salaries in the performing arts world are climbing at remarkable rates.

Nowhere in the arts world is this more visible than among orchestra conductors. In the 2003-2004 season, the New York Philharmonic paid conductor Lorin Maazel $1.9 million, or 23% more than they paid his predecessor, Kurt Masur, five years earlier, according to the nonprofit group's tax filings. In the same period, the Philharmonic's ticket sales barely budged, and it posted a $1.3 million deficit. At the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, conductor Paavo Järvi's compensation climbed 37% to $626,000, during his first three years starting in fall 2001, while program revenues increased only 7% and operating deficits were posted the first two years.

Overall, roughly a dozen conductors made more than $500,000 in the season ending in 2004, the most recent period for which data are available. The top half-dozen earned between $1 million and $2 million. The rich pay extends beyond the biggest metropolitan areas to cities like Atlanta, Detroit and Cleveland.

The gap between performance and pay is sparking debate in some orchestra circles about just how much is too much when it comes to compensating the most visible figure in the pit. For years, orchestras have been willing to pay a premium for star conductors whom they count on to fill seats, attract talented musicians and recruit donors. But while that strategy has often worked in the past, it isn't clear it will continue to be viable. "Orchestras have to be rethinking every aspect of the way this business is run," says Henry Fogel, president of the American Symphony Orchestra League.

Orchestras say they need to pay competitive salaries because there are only a handful of top-notch conductors, and they can be easily snatched up by state-supported European groups that can afford to pay even more. They also say conductors account for a relatively small part of overall expenditures -- about 3%. "It's not the orchestra itself that attracts the donors, it's the person on the podium" and soloists, says Leonard Slatkin, music director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. "Somebody has to decide the musical personality of the orchestra."

...Even a big name doesn't guarantee success at the box office. Since taking the baton at the Boston Symphony Orchestra last season, James Levine has won critical acclaim for his atonal modernist programming. While single-ticket sales have gone up during his tenure, the company's subscription-renewal rate, which accounts for a greater portion of overall revenue, fell from 84% to 80%. Mr. Levine maintains his position as music director of New York's Metropolitan Opera, which pays him through his management company. In 2003-2004, the figure reported to the IRS was $1.9 million. Mark Volpe, executive director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, says a star name like Mr. Levine is worth the cost: "It's first and foremost an artistic matter."

...To determine pay at some of the country's top performing-arts groups, we used compensation figures from I-990 IRS filings for 2003-2004, the most recent data available for the majority of institutions. In cases where conductors are salaried employees, our figures do not include extras like benefits or expense accounts. For those hired as contractors, compensation may or may not include benefits and can vary depending on the number of conducting and solo performances....

Examples given in article include:

Daniel Barenboim $1,974,546
James Levine (Met only) $1,912,000
Lorin Maazel $1,909,155
Michael Tilson Thomas $1,584,460
Christopher Eschenbach $1,422,000
Esa-Pekka Salonen $1,260,639
Leonard Slatkin $1,113,846
Franz Welser-Most $1,000,360
Paavo Jarvi $ 626,000
Neeme Jarvi (Detroit) $ 586,672
James DePreist (Oregon) $ 342,000
Andreas Delfs $ 326,366

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Paavo Järvi: Der musikalische Norden


Photo: © F.A.Z. - Wonge Bergmann

Thanks to our friend Carola Finkel in Frankfurt for sending us this article:
Paavo Järvi
Der musikalische Norden
Von Guido Holze
Frankfurter Allgemeigne Zeitung, 08. Februar 2006

Alle sechs Sinfonien des Dänen Carl Nielsen und alle sieben Sinfonien des Finnen Jean Sibelius wolle er hier aufführen. Soviel verrät der designierte Chefdirigent des hr-Sinfonieorchesters. Überhaupt werde ein Schwerpunkt seiner Arbeit auf hierzulande wenig bekannter nordeuropäischer Musik liegen.

Viel Neue Musik soll es daneben geben, nicht zuletzt von Komponisten aus Paavo Järvis Heimat Estland: von Erkki-Sven Tüür etwa, mit dem der zunächst als Schlagzeuger ausgebildete, 1962 in Tallinn geborene Dirigent einst in einer Rockband spielte, natürlich von „Altmeister” Arvo Pärt, aber auch von den Balten Eduard Tubin und Lepo Sumera. Daneben möchte Järvi die Bruckner-Tradition des Orchesters neu beleben, wie sie etwa von Eliahu Inbal, seinem Amtsvorgänger der Jahre 1974 bis 1990, geprägt worden ist.

Das Programm, das er heute und morgen um 20 Uhr am Pult des hr-Sinfonieorchesters in der Alten Oper leiten wird, eine Gegenüberstellung der dritten Sinfonien von Pärt und Bruckner, soll dennoch nicht „typisch” sein für die Zukunft. „Typisch” dürfe überhaupt nichts sein, sagt Järvi, der sich in Deutschland derzeit noch auf englisch verständigt.

Ohne Maestro-Gehabe

Denn das bedeute Vorhersehbarkeit und Langeweile. „Flexibiltität” ist in diesem Zusammenhang ein von ihm häufig gebrauchtes Wort: Das Orchester habe in den vergangenen acht Jahren unter Hugh Wolffs Chefdirigat stilistisch eine große Vielseitigkeit erlangt, die es zu bewahren und auszubauen gelte. Dazu zählten die Erfahrungen mit Barockmusik und der historischen Aufführungspraxis ebenso wie die Haydn-Interpretationen von Wolff, der ihm ein Orchester in bester Verfassung übergebe.

Die Blechbläser seien ungemein stark, aber auch die Streicher verfügten über eine sehr hohe Klangkultur, weiß Järvi, der seit 1998 schon vier Mal am Pult des vormaligen Radio-Sinfonie-Orchesters Frankfurt stand und nicht nur der Wunschkandidat der Intendanz und des Musikchefs des Hessischen Rundfunks war, sondern auch von den Musikern als Wolff-Nachfolger favorisiert wurde.

Leider sei diese Qualität des Klangkörpers, die den Orchestern des WDR in Köln, des NDR in Hamburg oder des Bayerischen Rundfunks in München vergleichbar sei, international noch nicht genug anerkannt. Das ist aus Järvis Sicht auch eine Image-Frage: Orchester, die sich „Philharmonic” nennen, gälten zu Unrecht als „glamouröser” als die oft besseren Rundfunkorchester. Mit mehr Auslandstourneen möchte der zugänglich und ohne Maestro-Gehabe auftretende Sohn des Dirigenten Neeme Järvi deshalb das internationale Profil künftig schärfen.

„Nicht zu groß und nicht zu klein”

Das Reisen ist er selbst nur allzu gewohnt: Daß Frankfurt über den „wahrscheinlich besten Flughafen Europas” verfüge, sei für ihn ein großer Vorteil, räumt er unumwunden ein. So wird er neben seiner Tätigkeit hier auch weiter sein volles Amt als Chefdirigent des Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra ausüben. Daneben bleibt er weiterhin Künstlerischer Leiter der Deutschen Kammerphilharmonie Bremen und Künstlerischer Berater des Estnischen Nationalen Symphonieorchesters. Es sei jedoch keineswegs so, daß er sozusagen unersättlich mit möglichst vielen Orchestern arbeiten wolle. Im Gegenteil: Die vielen Gastdirigate bei ehedem bis zu 20 verschiedenen Orchestern pro Saison seien für ihn mehr und mehr unbefriedigend geworden. Er möchte nicht immer „bei Null anfangen” und lieber mit wenigen Orchestern kontinuierlich arbeiten.

In Frankfurt will sich Paavo Järvi, dessen Drei-Jahres-Vertrag (mit einer Option auf Verlängerung um weitere zwei Jahre) die Leitung von mindestens 30 Konzerten des hr-Sinfonieorchesters pro Saison vorschreibt, zunächst aber kein Zimmer nehmen: Stärker könne er sich hier auf die Arbeit konzentrieren, wenn er sich nicht zusätzlich um eine Wohnung sorgen müssen. Wohnsitze hat Järvi derzeit in London, Cincinnati und New York. Nach Amerika war sein Vater schon 1980 mit der Familie aus politischen und künstlerischen Gründen emigriert - im selben Monat übrigens, als auch Arvo Pärt die Heimat Estland verließ, dessen nun von Paavo Järvi geleitete dritte Sinfonie seinem Vater Neeme gewidmet ist.

Von seiner neuen Wirkungsstätte als Stadt ist der Weltbürger mit amerikanischen Paß jedenfalls recht angetan: Von außen betrachtet habe Frankfurt etwas Amerikanisches, im Inneren besitze die Stadt, die er mit Freunden auch schon teilweise besichtigt habe, aber auch eine charmante Kleinteiligkeit. Sie sei kein Moloch wie Tokio, „nicht zu groß und nicht zu klein”.

© F.A.Z. Electronic Media GmbH 2001 - 2006

CONCERT REVIEW: Der Sohn dirigiert eine dem Vater gewidmete Sinfonie im "Tintinnabuli"-Stil

Alte Oper: HR-Sinfonieorchester unter seinem künftigen Leiter Paavo Järvi / Sinfonien von Arvo Pärt und Anton Bruckner / Fast ein Antrittskonzer

Von Axel Zibulski
Wiesbadener Kurier, Vom 11.02.2006

FRANKFURT - Im Sommer dieses Jahres, zu Beginn der kommenden Konzertsaison, wird der aus Estland stammende Dirigent Paavo Järvi die Leitung des HR-Sinfonieorchesters übernehmen. Und er hat bereits angekündigt, dass die zeitgenössische Musik ebenso einen Schwerpunkt seiner Arbeit in Frankfurt bilden wird wie die Aufführung der Sinfonien Anton Bruckners und Gustav Mahlers. Daran gemessen hatte Järvis Gast-Dirigat beim HR-Sinfonieorchester fast den Charakter eines Antrittskonzerts: In der Alten Oper Frankfurt stellte er Arvo Pärts 1971 entstandene Sinfonie Nr. 3 der dritten Sinfonie von Anton Bruckner gegenüber.

Mit seinem Landsmann Arvo Pärt ist Paavo Järvi sozusagen familiär verbunden: Die dritte Sinfonie, in der der estnische Komponist seinen bis heute konsequent angewandten, auf spiritueller Dreiklang-Motivik beruhenden "Tintinnabuli"-Stil vorbereitet, ist Paavo Järvis Vater, dem Dirigenten Neeme Järvi, gewidmet. Dass auch der Sohn mit der gut 20 Minuten dauernden Sinfonie bestens vertraut ist, bewies er gemeinsam mit dem HR-Sinfonieorchester. Noch die filigransten motivischen Wiederholungen der Streicher waren prägnant und plastisch geformt, die wenigen dynamischen Ausbrüche aus dem meditativen Urgrund der Musik Pärts klanglich scharfkantig und exakt herausgearbeitet: Man darf gespannt sein auf sicherlich folgende, weitere Pärt-Interpretationen Järvis in Frankfurt.

"Alle Musik ist im Innersten religiös": Das Motto des Konzerts galt für die spirituelle Tonsprache Pärts gewiss nicht weniger als für die dritte Sinfonie Anton Bruckners, der bekanntlich seine letzte, die neunte Sinfonie sogar "dem lieben Gott" gewidmet hat. An quasi-religiöse Verehrung erinnert auch sein devotes Verhalten gegenüber Richard Wagner, dem Widmungsträger der dritten Sinfonie.

Järvi dirigierte sie in Frankfurt in der vom Komponisten deutlich gestrafften Drittfassung aus dem Jahr 1889, in der Bruckner auch sämtliche Wagner-Zitate der Urfassung gestrichen hatte: Järvis Wahl dieser überarbeiteten Version bedeutet beim HR durchaus einen kleinen Traditionsbruch. Noch Eliahu Inbal, bis 1990 Chefdirigent, hatte sich seinerzeit fast pionierhaft für Bruckners Urfassungen eingesetzt. Järvis klanglich eher geschmeidig-verbindliche, weniger das Registerhafte der Komposition berücksichtigende Deutung mochte dabei Geschmackssache sein: Die vorzüglichen Blechbläser des HR-Orchesters, aber auch gelungene Einzelmomente wie das fast wienerisch leicht vorantänzelnde Trio des Scherzos jedenfalls waren Pluspunkte dieser mit freundlichem Applaus gewürdigten Bruckner-Interpretation.

Copyright: Wiesbadener Kurier

Friday, February 10, 2006

CONCERT REVIEW: Philharmonia Orchestra/Paavo Järvi Tüür Premiere

Reviewed by: Edward Clark
www.classicalsource.com

Sibelius: Tapiola, Op.112
Tüür: Noēsis, Concerto for Violin, Clarinet and Orchestra [Detroit Symphony Orchestra & Philharmonia Orchestra co-commission: European premiere] Isabelle van Keulen (violin) & Michael Collins (clarinet)
Rachmaninov: Symphony No.2 in E minor, Op.27

Philharmonia Orchestra/Paavo Järvi
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Sunday, February 05, 2006

This concert included a European premiere by one of the most exciting and highly regarded contemporary composers, the Estonian composer, Erkki-Sven Tüür (born 1959). The husband and wife team of Isabelle van Keulen and Michael Collins worked hard for their status as co-dedicatees of a work that keeps them busy throughout. Scored for a Beethoven-sized orchestra with added percussion, the overall model for Tüür seems to be Vivaldi in the delight of melody and rhythm living side by side in delightful harmony. Cast in three continuous movements this work contains many memorable ideas and is, in the outer movements, packed with energy and a kind of momentum that many living composers find so hard to achieve. Somewhat pretentious in its aims (“Noēsis – the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning”, to quote the composer), the listener delights in its intrinsic musical interest where the two soloists are often playing together and sometimes going their separate ways. Rather like married life really! This fine new work was sandwiched between Sibelius and Rachmaninov. Was it ever different with the Philharmonia’s programme-planners: these two composers have been coupled ever since Lorin Maazel’s Sibelius symphony cycle in the 1970s. Whether the different merits of Tapiola or Rachmaninov’s symphony were heard to best advantage in the reduced space of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, with its compression of tonal allure, is questionable. Sibelius did not know Tapiola was to be his last major composition (he worked on his Eighth Symphony for many years afterwards) but, in hindsight, it is a marvellous manifestation of organic growth and concentration of his musical ideas. Putting to one side the normal associations of the Nordic landscape, Tapiola contains, in under twenty minutes, significant signposts for the future of musical expression that have grown stronger in the minds of composers over the decades since Tapiola was premiered in New York. Sibelius’s technique in the use of his classically-sized orchestra involves multi-layered textures and differing tempos performed simultaneously. His adoption of such subtle innovations allows for major emotional contrasts that make Tapiola an overwhelming experience in the concert hall. Paavo Järvi produced a performance of great feeling and grandeur with a careful ear for the ever-changing sonorities in this work. The final quiet bars came as balm after the trials and tribulations that occur, and the held silence at the end was eloquent testimony to the spell the conductor had over his players who responded with great care and passion to what remains an infrequently performed masterpiece. Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony came as a welcome contrast to the rigours of the first half. This large-scale romantic work revels in lush melodies and surging emotions of the type that makes this Russian composer so popular. Given the acoustic, it was perhaps a merciful release not to be given the exposition repeat, and Järvi’s many expressive ideas passed by despite the untiring efforts of the orchestra, its members so familiar with this music. The evening, nevertheless, ended in a blaze of glory.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

PJ to Return to Chicago Symphony Podium in 2006-2007 Season

According to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's website, Paavo will return as a guest conductor in the 2006-2007 season. This is the program which he will be conducting:

Thursday, October 05; Friday, October 06; and Saturday, October 7, 2006 at 8 pm

Erkki-Sven Tüür's Zeitraum; Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Matthias Goerne, baritone); and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10.

Frampton to take a classical bow

By Rick Bird
The Cincinnati Post, 2/10/06

Classic rocker Peter Frampton says he has often wondered what it would be like if his music got a really classic treatment performed with a symphonic orchestra.

"It has been something I've wanted to do for quite a few years," Frampton said this week from his Indian Hill Home. "I've seen other (rockers) augmenting with orchestra."

It wasn't until he moved to Cincinnati five years ago, to be near the family of his wife, Tina Elfers of Reading, that the seeds would be planted for his orchestral debut.

And it took Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Director Paavo Jarvi to persuade Frampton he could do it. Frampton says the two met at a dinner in 2002. They were the prize in a contest that offered a fan a night out with the duo from the classic rock and classical music world. Frampton said he instantly bonded with Jarvi.

"By the end of the evening, he said, 'Why don't you write me a 25-minute guitar piece, and I'll work with you and arrange it, and come and play it with me,' " Frampton said, admitting the idea both thrilled and scared him.

"I had always been a little nervous about the orchestral stuff. It got my feet wet by talking to him - 'Yeah, you can do it.' "

Jarvi was certainly aware of Frampton's work. Growing up as a teenager in Estonia in the '70s, Jarvi was a drummer in a band heavily influenced by the British metal blues rockers from Led Zeppelin to Frampton.

Frampton admits he still hasn't written that piece for Jarvi, realizing meshing his electric guitar style with a symphony composition requires "baby steps." Frampton takes the first ones June 24 when he will play with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra at Riverbend. Frampton's first-ever collaboration with an orchestra will feature a short original composition and several of his classic rock hits from "Frampton Comes Alive," the biggest-selling live album of all time.


Frampton, 55, will team with Pops arranger Steve Reineke, 35, already a veteran of more than 100 arrangements for orchestra, to work on his original piece. And he's looking forward to finally finding out how some of his own rock classics will work with an orchestra.

"I don't know how it will sound, until Steve and I get together. That's the beauty of music and bringing two different types together. I think it will be very exciting, very eye-opening for me. A song like 'Lines on My Face,' with the strings and French horns or whatever would be phenomenal."

Frampton hopes his Riverbend Pops debut will lay the groundwork for a tour this fall with other orchestras around the country.

"The idea is to take Steve with me and, depending who wants us, do 10 or so symphonies around the country. Maybe we can go to Boston, the Hollywood Bowl. The mind boggles. It'll be lovely. Completely different. It's lovely to have a new challenge."

Frampton said his patented voice box - which lets him essentially sing though his guitar - will be used with the Pops. "Maybe we'll have some flutes or tubas playing along with it," he said.

Meanwhile, Frampton is close to finishing work on a new album he's recording at his home studio. It will be his first-ever all-instrumental work.

"Steam is coming out of the basement," he said with a laugh. "We're starting to mix some of the tracks. The all -instrumental thing ties in with the orchestral business, too. It's totally an anti-commercial effort. Even if I sing I don't get on the radio."

He was referring to his last CD of new material, "Now," released two years ago to decent reviews. But it got almost no airplay as rock radio is content to hammer his '70s classic rock anthems.

Frampton says he would still like to deliver that 25-minute guitar piece to Jarvi some day and counts himself a major fan of CSO concerts.

"I always go, 'My God, that's the real thing. It just blows me away."

Janelle Gelfand's Interview with Peter Frampton

Guitar icon Peter Frampton, 55, spoke from his Indian Hill home this week about his latest project with the Cincinnati Pops and local composer/conductor Steve Reineke.

Janelle Gelfand: Why at this point in your career is it time to do something symphonic, and how did the project come about?

Peter Frampton: It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. When I was involved with an "Evening Out on the Town" with Paavo (Järvi, Cincinnati Symphony music director) and myself [in 2002] – [listen]ers won an evening with us – I got to spend some time with him, and he asked me at that time if I would ever think about doing a complete guitar piece with orchestra. I haven’t gotten around to doing that yet. But this is sort of like a stepping-stone to that, the way I see it, in as much as we’ll be able to do my show, augmented by the orchestra. Paavo sort of inspired me to get this going.


JG: Are you a classically trained guitarist?

PF: I did study about four years of classical guitar, because when my parents realized all hope was lost, when I was about 12, they said it looks like this is getting very serious! We think you ought to -- you will go to Spanish guitar lessons! So I did.

JG: Has anyone else inspired you for this new piece that you’re writing, such as other rockers, like Paul McCartney, who have done similar things?

PF: I obviously think about them, but I’m trying not to do anything like anybody else has done. So as far as style and stuff like that, you know, Steve Reineke and myself are going to be writing a piece for the orchestra, on top of my own songs for the act. So I’m very much looking forward to doing that in May, and having it ready for the show in June.

JG: What are you recording right now?

PF: It’s all sort of intermingled, because this is the first totally instrumental, no vocals at all, CD I’ve ever done. Being as I started off as a guitar player, and basically just wanted to be the guy playing behind the singer – things change, but (laughs) I still enjoy that position, going out with David Bowie, playing with Ringo and the Allstars. So I enjoy being just the guitar player in the band. And that’s because that’s my main love, playing guitar.

Don’t get me wrong, I love singing, I love writing, but I’ll always play guitar – for me.

JG: So this is a purely instrumental album?

PF: Yes, it’s going to be on A&M Records. I’m back for the first time since about ‘82 or ‘83. I’ve been with other labels since A&M.

JG: Is your album, "Frampton Comes Alive!" still the all-time best-selling live album?

PF: Yes, it is. There are certain people that will say that Garth Brooks has sold more. But that’s because he released a 2, 3 or 4-CD package, and they counted them 2, 3 or 4 times. We only counted ours once. So 17 million – but if you want to be technical about it, we sold (34 million).

I still maintain that we are the biggest. We’re trying to get it reclassified as two.

JG: Is the album all new material?

PF: Yes it is. There’s one cover, of (Seattle band) Soundgarden’s "Black Hole Sun." ("Black Hole Sun" was on Soundgarden’s 1994 album "Superunknown.")

JG: How long have you been performing?

PF: Professionally since I was 16.

JG: That’s quite a legacy.

PF: Yes, I mean, I was semi-pro before that. I actually began playing onstage when I was 8.

JG: Why would you want to appear with a symphony orchestra?

PF: It’s every musician’s dream to stand up there in front of an orchestra one day. There’s nothing more awe-inspiring.

I have played with an orchestra – with the British Rock Symphony, which was put on in Europe and in Australia and New Zealand, which was all different people, and myself, Alice Cooper – and we went all over the place with an orchestra. But this wasn’t an orchestra that plays together all the time – these were people just put together to make this orchestra.

So it was sort of like a tease. It was very good, but I knew it wasn’t the real thing. It wasn’t like the Cincinnati Symphony or the Boston Symphony – two of the greatest orchestras in the world.


JG: Could this orchestra show lead to a symphonic DVD?

PF: That’s what we’re hoping for. Also, this is just the first show with the symphony. Steve Reineke is going to come with me and in the fall, we’re looking at doing 12 to 15 symphonies around the country. And we’ll do the same show.

JG: So you’re taking it on the road?

PF: Taking it on the road with Steve and different symphonies. It’s amazing.

JG: Do you think this where the orchestra industry is headed?

PF: I think that’s because the baby boomers want to be comfortable when they get entertained these days, they want to go to amphitheatres and they want to go to theaters. They want a nice comfy seat!

JG: This is an interesting career direction for you. Do you hope to continue in the symphony orchestra vein?

PF: Well it’s just another thing that I can do. Maybe every other year I do some symphony dates. It just adds another wonderful outlet for the music.

JG: Do you have plans with Paavo and the Cincinnati Symphony next?

PF: Well, not yet, but he said, you should write a 25-minute piece (he imitates the Estonian accent) and you come, we work together and we will play this together. I says, you’re kidding me! And it scared me to death! But I am definitely going to rise to the occasion. I just can’t say when that will be.

JG: So the idea really originated with Paavo?

PF: I had been thinking about it before that, because James Taylor and other people had done some nice things with orchestras. I had seen some of them, and I thought they were wonderful. Then when I actually touched the flesh of the great maestro – it was very interesting to talk with him, put it that way. Hey, music – it’s all about learning, every day. And I’m never close-minded to anything so, it was just another avenue to go down.

I’m not saying I’m going to write a piece of classical music, or ever will concentrate on just that, but it just gives me something else to work towards. If there’s no challenges left, then there’s no creativity. You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again, obviously. Otherwise you get bored, and then it becomes bland. So this is just something to be blunt, kick up your (behind) – musically, for me.


JG: They’ll have to find a new Grammy category.

PF: There you go.

posted by Janelle Gelfand @ 12:03 PM

Frampton to open Pops season



By Janelle Gelfand, The Cincinnati Enquirer (2/10/06)

The Cincinnati Pops will rock out to open its 2006 Riverbend season, with a little help from British-born guitar legend Peter Frampton.

Frampton, 55, will appear in a symphonic setting for the first time in his nearly 40-year career - a career that skyrocketed in 1976 with "Frampton Comes Alive!" the best-selling live album of all time.

"It's every musician's dream to stand up there in front of an orchestra one day. There's nothing more awe-inspiring," said Frampton, who lives in Indian Hill with his Cincinnati-born wife, Tina, and their daughter, Mia.

The June 24 Riverbend show will include Frampton's hits "Show Me the Way," "Do You (Feel Like I Do)," "Baby I Love Your Way" and others. He and Cincinnati composer Steven Reineke are arranging them for orchestra, four-piece band and his signature "TalkBox."

For the Pops show, Frampton and Reineke are also writing an original work together.

The rocker is hoping it could lead to a symphonic DVD. But first, he and Reineke, who is also conducting, will take the show on the road, performing with 12 to 15 other orchestras. And although this is a Pops gig, he hopes to eventually compose a classical symphonic work, he says.

The idea started with an invitation from Paavo Järvi, music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and a former rock drummer.

"I had been thinking about it before that, because James Taylor and other people had done some nice things with orchestras," Frampton said. "Hey music - it's all about learning, every day."


The '70s rock icon is recording his first completely instrumental album in his Indian Hill home recording studio, slated for September release on A&M Records.

A onetime teen idol, Frampton became a megastar with "Frampton Comes Alive!" which was re-released in 1995. He received a Grammy nomination for his 2000 album, "Live in Detroit."

He's worked with David Bowie, former Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman and Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band and appeared in the 1978 film "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." In 2003, Frampton recorded "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" in memory of his friend George Harrison.

Tickets go on sale May 8.

Cleveland Orchestra Announces 2006-2007 Season

Elaine Guregian of the Akron Beacon Journal has an article entitled Orchestra mixes new, old in today's paper. According to her other piece, Orchestra season full of fun, Paavo will be conducting a program with Sibelius' Night Ride and Sunrise; Richard King playing Richard Strauss's Horn Concerto No. 2; and Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5. (May 10 and 12, 2007).

Hear Paavo's recording of Siblius' Night Ride and Sunrise before you go. (See Sidebar for link.)