Monday, August 13, 2007

CD REVIEW: Beethoven Symphonies 4 & 7 DKAM

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Paavo Järvi

RCA/BMG (original Japanese release: 23 May 2007; recorded 2004/5)

CD Journal, July 2007

Review by Matsumoto-san

Outstanding Performance through Detailed Study of the Scores
Nowadays there are too many performances that are characterized by historically informed practice – i.e., endeavoring to perform the music of earlier periods on modern instruments while also using the historical playing technique of the respective era. Nevertheless, you will be astonished by this CD and marvel at the fact that it is still possible to create extremely exciting music with this style of playing. I find the Fourth Symphony particularly magnificent; the work begins with a slow introduction, during which many features of these interpretations can already be heard. It immediately attracts the listener's attention and arouses his curiosity about the further development of the work. After the beginning of the first movement, artful achievement is displayed again and again. The contrasts between marcato and legato are marvelously emphasized, the string sound is extremely eloquent, and the energetic wind instruments are simply fantastic (especially the bassoons and clarinets with the triplets in the Finale). Their thrilling interpretation continues with the ornaments in the first movement, which they execute perfectly (7:04), and the violins, positioned on both sides, harmonize superbly with each other (7:20). The timpani create an ever new atmosphere (8:15) … etc. All the important details in Beethoven's scores emerge in this interpretation and are extremely convincing to the listener. Unfortunately, I cannot cite further examples here, since there are simply too many passages that I would like to mention. This performance reminds me a little of that of David Zinman. (By coincidence, the record company of his CD in Japan is the same as with this CD.) Although Zinman's approach is completely different than Järvi's, the two conductors are nevertheless alike in their persistence in working out the smallest details. But perhaps it is unnecessary to point that out here …?

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