Thursday, August 30, 2007

CD REVIEW: Beethoven Symphonies 4 & 7


August 31, 2007
http://www.wiwo.de/
Here is another brilliant review.. It's witty too!
Ludwig van Beethoven - Sinfonien 4+7 (Paavo Järvi)

Dieses ist der zweite Streich, und der nächste folgt - leider erst im nächsten Jahr. Paavo Järvi und die Deustche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen legen nach dem sensationellen Auftakt ihres Beethoven-Zyklus mit der dritten und achten Sinfonie (siehe Rezension vom 19.01.2007) heute ihre neue Aufnahme mit der Vierten und Siebten vor. Und auch diesmal machen die 40 Bremer Weltmusikanten Lust auf mehr: Die Erste und Fünfte sind, so viel sei verraten, bereits eingespielt, an der so schwierigen Sechsten wird in diesen Monaten (vom Beethoven-Fest bis zu einem vorweihnachtlichen Auftritt in Berlin) öffentlich gearbeitet... - bis 2009 soll auch die Neunte auf dem Markt sein.
Wenn es so weitergeht wie bisher, dann gebührt diesem Beethoven-Zyklus ganz sicher der vorderste Platz unter den modernen Einspielungen - ungeachtet der Tatsache, dass David Zinman mit dem Tonhalle-Orcheser in Zürich vor einigen Jahren erst eine famose Gesamtschau gelang. Järvi schafft es tatsächlich, so etwas wie eine dirigentische Farbmischung aus Toscanini und Furtwängler, Karajan und Harnoncourt, Norrington und Gardiner anzurühren - und über aller eklektizistischen Grundierung einen höchst persönlichen Anstrich aufzubringen.
Den Toscawängler kehrt Järvi besonders in der Siebten heraus: die Tempi straff, die Einsätze präzis, die Partitur wie mit Fensterputzmittel auf Klarheit und Durchsicht behandelt - und doch: wie kraftvoll der Kopfsatz, wie beseelt das karge Allegretto, wie engagiert das Finale... Den Karacourt gibt's in der Vierten: ungeheuer klangsinnlich in den Details (der zaghafte Auftakt!), stets beredt im weiteren Verlauf... Den Norriner wiederum gibt's durchgehend: penible Texttreue, originale Tempi, durchgetaktetes Musizieren in grobkörnigem Grundton.
Und Paavo Järvi, wo steckt der? Der steckt in einem sagenhaft fein abgestuften Klangbild, in dem Holz und (ventilloses?) Blech so prächtig aufeinander abgestimmt sind, dass sie die rhytmische Geradlinigkeit klangfarblich brechen. Aber nicht nur das: Eine dritte, "räumliche Dimension" zieht Järvi dadurch ein, dass er die großen Melodiebögen loslöst vom rhythmischen Tumult und als prächtiges Himmelszelte über dem irdischen Betrieb aufspannt... - ganz egal, ob Beethoven 1806, 1811 dabei die Götterdämmerung oder den Sonnenaufgang der Aufklärung im Sinn hatte: Wir bekommen aus dem musikalischen Geist Haydns eine fast physisch spürbare Vorstellung von den napoleonischen Umbruchzeiten und der Entflammbarkeit Ludwig van Beethovens.
Doch wozu weiter reden? Bei dieser CD gibt es keine Zeit zu verlieren. Kaufen! Sofort!
Wertung (maximal fünf Sterne): * * * * *

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

CONCERT REVIEW: Bonn

Bonn Beethovenhalle - August 26, 2007

www.klassic.com

Paavo Järvi dirigiert Beethoven in Bonn

By Miquel Cabruja



Seit 2004 ist die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen das 'Orchestra-in-residence' des Beethovenfestes und führt mit ihrem Dirigenten Paavo Järvi jährlich eine Beethoven-Sinfonie auf. In der diesjährigen Spielzeit stand die Sechste auf dem Programm. Mit der Ouvertüre 'Die Weihe des Hauses' und der Klavierfassung des Violinkonzerts op. 61 gab Järvi der Pastoralen am 26. August in der Bonner Beethovenhalle einen spektakulären Rahmen. Schon bei der Ouvertüre hängte der estnische Dirigent die Messlatte hoch und zeigte sich als blitzgescheiter Exeget und begnadeter Klangzauberer. Im Spätwerk des bereits ertaubten Beethoven, das die Zeitgenossen als eine seiner reifsten Leistungen bewerteten, verriet Järvi intensive Detail-Arbeit mit seinem Orchester. Mit geradezu barocker Klangtransparenz gewährte er intime Einblicke in die kompositorische Struktur. Sein Sinn für Klarheit, sein schlafwandlerisches Gefühl für Tempi und fesselnde Akzente machten deutlich, dass Järvi in der Tradition der historisch informieren Aufführungspraxis eines Roger Norrington steht. Herrliche Schattierungen im Holz, federnde Genauigkeit und phantasievolle Beweglichkeit unterstrichen gleichzeitig die wohlüberlegte Eigenständigkeit Järvis und hohe Spielkultur des Orchesters. Derart poliert klang diese Ouvertüre taufrisch, als wäre sie gestern komponiert worden. Mit der Für das Violinkonzert, das Beethoven wegen ausbleibenden Erfolgs auf Anregung des Pianisten Muzio Clementi für Klavier und Orchester einrichtete, hatte die Bremer Kammerphilharmonie mit Olli Mustonen einen wahren Virtuosen zum Partner. Im Kopfsatz gab Järvi präzise und zügige Tempi vor und hielt das Publikum mit magischen Diminuendi und erhabenden Crescendi in Atem. Mustonen folgte dem Dirigenten mit sichtbarem Entzücken. Aus vollen Händen streute er Silberstaub über die Tastatur und widmete sich der Solokadenz, die Beethoven eigens für die Klavierfassung umgearbeitet und um markante Akzente erweitert hatte, mit der Verzierungskunst einer Koloratursopranistin. Im Dialog des Klaviers mit der Pauke offenbarte Mustonen das kreative Potential des mit-schöpferischen Musikers. In den Nebelschleiern des Larghetto erzeugte er bei aller Kantabilität und kostbarer Kristall-Klänge knisternde Spannung. Überschwang und Genauigkeit, Präsenz und großen Gestaltungswillen markierten das Rondo, zu dessen Finale Mustonen die Farbpalette eines ganzen Orchesters auf seinem Instrument zur Verfügung stand. Ein Denker und ehrlicher Empfinder am Flügel, dessen Interpretation sich aufs Glücklichste mit der scharfsinnigen Lesart Järvis verband. Die Chemie zwischen Solist und Dirigent stimmte. Kein Wunder also, dass Mustonen sich nach der Pause im Publikum einfand, um Järvis 'Pastorale' zu lauschen. Und Järvi enttäuschte nicht. Idyllisches zeige er genau so wie das bereits gebrochene Naturerleben des 19. Jahrhunderts. Mit malerischem Talent tupfte er im ersten Satz kleine Wölkchen und ländliche Szenerien. Die sommerliche Schwere im zweiten Satz ließ ihn für keinen Moment die übergeordnete Form und das musikalische Grundmaterial aus den Augen verlieren, das Beethovens idyllische Naturbetrachtung mit der schicksalsdrängenden Fünften verschwistert. Temporeiches Spiel, bodenständigen Humor und genauste Klangarbeit zeigte Järvi im dritten Satz. Im Gewitter schließlich setzte er schlagkräftige Akzente und zeigt sich noch einmal als geistreicher Dirigent, um dann im elegischen letzten Satz die Summe eines Abends zu ziehen, der in der Konzentration eines Brennspiegels durch grandiose Leistungen Beethoven in den Mittelpunkt rückte. Eine fulminante Zugabe, das Finale aus der vierten Sinfonie, machte vor allem eines: Lust auf mehr.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Listen to Paavo's Podcast

Beethoven Fest | 27.08.2007
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano (Violin) in D Major, Op. 61
Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Pianist Olli Mustonen and conductor Paavo Järvi performed the concerto
Deutsche Welle presents a selection of complimentary recordings from the 2007 Beethovenfest in Bonn.

Ludwig van Beethoven's Violin Concert in D Major, Op. 61 is among the most popular and well known works in the genre. The version for piano and orchestra, on the other hand, is relatively unfamiliar.

Inspired by the pianist and composer Muzio Clementi, Beethoven rewrote Opus 61 for piano in 1807, adding two quite virtuosic cadences.

Finnish pianist Olli Mustonen, accompanied by the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, performed Beethoven's piano concerto on Aug. 26 in the Beeethovenhalle Bonn as part of this year's Beethovenfest. Paavo Järvi conducted.

The first movement, Allegro ma non troppo, is available as podcast or audio-on-demand.

By Klaus Gehrke

CONCERT REVIEW: From Arezzo

August 24, 2007
Pubblico in delirio per Viktoria Mullova e Paavo Järvi

Il Giardino Profondo ha chiuso ieri sera la sua prima edizione con il tutto esaurito


AREZZO - Con il tutto esaurito dell'ultimo appuntamento in programma, Il Giardino Profondo ha chiuso ieri sera la sua prima edizione. Un bilancio più che positivo per la festa di musica teatro e arte intesa quale omaggio a Piero della Francesca dai due promotori, l'Ente Filarmonico Italiano e l'Assessorato alla Cultura del Comune di Arezzo che, insieme, ne hanno già confermato l'edizione 2008. Le attese erano tutte per il concerto della celebre violinista VIKTORIA MULLOVA e della DEUTSCHE KAMMERPHILHARMONIE BREMEN diretta da PAAVO JÄRVI: il meglio del concertismo internazionale, qui ad Arezzo, grazie ad un concerto in esclusiva italiana e inserito in un tour mondiale dedicato a Beethoven. Le condizioni metereologiche della giornata avevano suggerito agli organizzatori la saggia decisione di rinunciare al superbo scenario dell'Anfiteatro Romano e di allestire il concerto nell'adiecente Chiesa di San Bernardo che, per l'occasione, si è riempita in ogni angolo. Lasciato aperto il portone d'ingresso, le tante persone rimaste fuori hanno comunque potuto ascoltare l'imperdibile concerto.Paavo Järvi ha interpretato i due capolavori di Beethoven (la Sinfonia "Pastorale" e il Concerto per violino) da par suo, con un'attenzione meticolosa per tutti i particolari, ottenendo dalla meravigliosa orchestra di Brema un colore pastoso e un'incredibile forza interpretativa, qualità che fanno di questo grande direttore il direttore "beethoveniano" per antonomasia. Viktoria Mullova, grintosa e dolcissima solista, ha colto del meraviglioso Concerto lo stesso carattere voluto da Paavo Jarvi: entrambi sono stati salutati con autentiche ovazioni.Il concerto veniva sontuosamente chiuso dalla Sinfonia n. 88 di Haydn, pagina di virtuosismo assoluto che ha enfatizzato le splendide qualità dell'Orchestra di Brema. Oltre che da un bis preteso con determinazione dal pubblico entusiasta: il Valzer triste di Sibelius.

An article from Bonn: CD review and concert announcement.

August 18/19, 2007
Ganz auf Risiko

Beim Beethovenfest zu Gast: Der Dirigent Paavo Järvi

BEETHOVENFEST Paavo Järvi und die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen bringen zum Festival eine neue Beethoven-Einspielung mit
Von Ursula Böhmer

Erst dachte er, sein Schallplattenspieler funktioniere nicht mehr richtig. Paavo Järvi war schockiert, als er in den 80er Jahren die Beethoven- Sinfonien hörte, mit denen Roger Norrington und die London Classical Players in der Rezeptionsgeschichte eine kleine Revolution auslösten. Zugleich war Järvi fasziniert von Tempowahl, Phrasierung, schroffem Klang. Er forschte nach, verglich, liest seither Partituren immer wieder neu, sucht sich seinen eigenen Weg. Järvis Beethoven ist Individualist – und Kosmopolit. Überall und ewig gültig, weil er (allzu) menschliche Eigenschaften hat: Unnachgiebig, schroff, brutal, sanft, anschmiegsam, elegant, graziös, herzlich, warm. Nachdem Järvi und die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen – sie sind bei den Beethovenfesten in Bonn vorzugsweise für die Beethoven-Sinfonien zuständig – schon in den Einspielungen der 3. und 8. Sinfonie einem individuellen Beethoven-Klang nachgespürt haben, setzen sie diese Arbeit nun mit der 4. und 7. Sinfonie fort: mit erneut unerhört präziser, nuancierter Klangfarbenmalerei,in der sie risikofreudig an ihre dynamischen Grenzen gehen. Fahl, nebelverhangen ist die Adagio-Einleitung zur 4. Sinfonie. Eine im vibratolosen Piano schwelende Geheimniskrämerei, aus der sich im Allegro-Teil schließlich der furiose Schlagabtausch aus Tutti- Einschüben, knackigen Staccato- Läufen, spannungsvollem Streicherflirren, herrlichen Legatokantilenen entwickelt. Es folgen ein schlaftrunken-friedlicher Adagiosatz, ein temperamentvolles Menuett mit grazilem Trioteil und ein geradezu nervenkitzelnder Finalsatz. Für herbe Farbtupfer im sonst modernen Instrumentenklangbild sorgen die historisch nachgebaute Pauke, Hörner und Trompeten. Dass Paavo Järvi mit der 7. Sinfonie, vor allem dem letzten Satz, nicht gleich so warm wurde wie mit den übrigen Sinfonien, wie er im Interview äußert – davon hört man hier nichts. Famos die Idee, den Anfangsakkord des Totenmarschs an den ersten Satz dranzuhängen und damit eine Art musikalischen Gedankenstrich zu setzen, der die ersten beiden Sätze zusammenfasst. Hier folgen sie sozusagen Beethovens im ersten Satz noch fröhlich tänzerischen Gedanken, die sich im Allegretto tragisch verfinstern. Worüber sich Beethoven allerdings den Kopf zerbricht, wird auf immer unklar bleiben. Ob’s wirklich, wie im Booklet zur CD nahegelegt wird, die Beziehung zur „unsterblichen Geliebten“ ist, an die er 1812, zur Entstehungszeit der Sinfonie, seine berühmten Briefe geschrieben hat, sei dahingestellt. Der Finalsatz wird zum überschwänglichen Galopp. Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen artikuliert in den fast manischen Töne-Repetitionen klar, bewahrt Ruhe. „Sie verstehen Beethovens Stil nicht nur vom musikwissenschaftlichen Standpunkt aus, sondern von innen heraus. Diese Art der Identifikation macht letztlich den Unterschied aus“, sagt Paavo Järvi über sein Orchester. Man könnte es auch, etwas frei, mit Beethovens Erben Johannes Brahms ausdrücken: In seinen Tönen sprechen sie. Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie/ Paavo Järvi: Beethoven – Sinfonien Nr. 4 und 7. Im Handel ab dem 31. August. Erhältlich ist die CD vorab beim Konzert der Kammerphilharmonie Bremen am Sonntag, 26. August, 20 Uhr, in der Beethovenhalle. Es gibt ein reines Beethoven-Programm: die Ouvertüre zu „Die Weihe des Hauses“, das Violinkonzert in der Fassung für Klavier und Orchester und die 6. Sinfonie. Solist ist Olli Mustonen.

CONCERT REVIEW: Concertgebouw

14 August, 2007

This is from the musical blog Paris – Broadway

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam • hr-Sinfonieorchester, Paavo Järvi.

Nielsen : Maskarade, ouverture (1904-1906)
Mendelssohn : concerto pour violon (1844)
Veronika Eberle, violon
Dvořák : symphonie n°9, “Du Nouveau Monde” (1893)

Après plusieurs tentatives infructueuses, me voici enfin au légendaire Concertgebouw d’Amsterdam, une grande salle rectangulaire qui peut accueillir 2000 personnes — soit le même type de configuration et de jauge que le Musikverein de Vienne. Compte tenu de ses caractéristiques et de sa décoration opulente, c’est une salle à l’acoustique fournie, avec une réverbération assez forte, qui convient sans doute mieux au répertoire romantique qu’à d’autres.
Des médaillons disposés autour de la salle rendent hommage à de grands compositeurs : Mahler occupe la place d’honneur, entre Bruckner et Franck. Bach et Haendel se trouvent quant à eux de part et d’autre de l’orgue. Il y a dans le lot plusieurs noms de compositeurs néerlandais que l’on ne croise pas tous les jours (sauf sur les coffrets anthologiques de l’Orchestre du Concertgebouw) : Wagenaar, Diepenbrock, Verhulst, Pijper…
Les Amstellodamois sont de sacrés veinards : ils peuvent assister en juillet et août à une centaine de concerts tous plus alléchants les uns que les autres, tous donnés au Concertgebouw (il y a deux salles !), dans tous les genres : symphonique, opéra, jazz, musiques du monde, etc. Beaucoup parmi les interprètes à l’affiche sont des premiers couteaux. L’orchestre résident du Concertgebouw, l’un des meilleurs du monde, en fait évidemment partie.
Mais ce n’était pas lui qui se produisait ce soir. C’était l’Orchestre Symphonique de la Radio de Francfort, avec son chef principal, l’Américain d’origine estonienne Paavo Järvi qui, depuis un concert inoubliable à la tête de l’Orchestre de Paris (dont il doit devenir le Directeur Musical dans quelques années), figure dans ma liste de chefs pour qui je n’hésite pas à sauter dans un avion.
Le concert a commencé avec l’ouverture de Maskarade, un opéra du compositeur danois Carl Nielsen. C’est une pièce d’une écriture assez simple, fort peut contrapuntique et aux harmonies relativement élémentaires. Mais elle est d’une belle énergie et permet surtout de montrer l’orchestre dans une forme déjà étonnante.
Puis vient le magnifique concerto pour violon de Mendelssohn, dont j’ai pris conscience durant la représentation qu’il me touche infiniment plus que celui de Brahms, beaucoup entendu ces derniers temps. Lorsque je vois la (très ?) jeune Veronika Eberle arriver avec son Giuseppe Gagliano de 1790, j’ai un petit moment d’inquiétude car il semble y avoir eu ces dernières années une génération spontanée de jeunes violonistes féminines dotées d’une technique parfaite mais plutôt rébarbatives à écouter. Dès les premières notes, je suis rassuré : Eberle a un son magnifique ; elle ne se contente pas d’effleurer les cordes, même dans les passages virtuoses : elle les travaille, elle les écrase… Il en résulte ce son charnu et chaleureux qui peut rendre le violon si ensorcelant. Certes, il lui manque encore un peu de passion, mais elle est bien jeune. Il faut qu’elle vive, qu’elle rie, qu’elle pleure un peu, mais elle semble avoir l’étoffe d’une grande. Il faudrait malgré tout qu’elle se décide à se muscler un peu les bras, et cela pour deux raisons : d’une part, cela lui éviterait la baisse de régime manifeste qu’elle a connue dans le troisième mouvement, dans lequel elle a donné beaucoup moins d’énergie au tricotage des dernières mesures qu’au reste de l’œuvre. D’autre part, c’est une absolue nécessité esthétique si elle veut continuer à porter des robes sans manches.
Je m’attendais à un grand moment avec la neuvième symphonie de Dvořák, et j’ai été servi. Järvi confirme qu’il est un visionnaire, un sculpteur de matière musicale qui n’hésite pas à faire des choix parfois un peu inhabituels, notamment dans ses tempos, mais sans jamais perdre le fil d’un propos parfaitement lisible et convaincant. Il faut dire que son Orchestre Symphonique de la Radio de Hambourg le suit les yeux fermés partout où il veut les emmener. L’homogénéité des cordes est étonnante, surtout dans les passages très lents et très (mais vraiment très) piano. Le solo de cor anglais, l’une des pages les plus émouvantes du répertoire, jouée avec une sensibilité infinie, prend aux tripes. Järvi mène les dernières minutes dans une sorte d’emballement qui évite le piège stylistique d’un discours un peu pompier. C’est vraiment superbe.
En bis, la sublime Valse Triste de Sibelius (après le compositeur danois et le compositeur tchèque, on nous sert donc le compositeur finlandais), jouée par un orchestre en état de grâce, avec notamment des pianissimi de cordes que je n’aurais même pas pensé possibles. Ce morceau me met toujours dans tous mes états ; j’ai été servi.
Et dire qu’il y a un deuxième concert à venir…

CONCERT REVIEW: BBC PROMS

August 13, 2007

Classicalsource.com

Reviewed by: Colin Anderson

WeberOberon – OvertureMahlerDes Knaben Wunderhorn [selection]
Brahms, orch. Schoenberg Piano Quartet in G minor, Op.25

Matthias Goerne (baritone)
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Järvi
Royal Albert Hall, London

Paavo Järvi is a collector of orchestras – he is Music Director of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Artistic Adviser of the Estonian National Symphony (Järvi was born in Tallinn) and Artistic Director of Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and he is announced as Music Director of Orchestre de Paris from 2010.
Great things appear to be happening in Frankfurt. This Prom begun with a magically floated horn solo to launch the Overture to Weber’s final opera “Oberon” (final anything, in fact) and riposted by lightly tripping woodwinds and lovingly shaped lower strings. Brass was beautifully integrated with strings, the clarinet spun an insinuating line, and virility and lucidity was to the fore in the fast sections.
Matthias Goerne is a well-seasoned practitioner of Mahler’s settings of the Romantic, naturalistic folk-poetry collected under the title of “Des Knaben Wunderhorn” (The Boy’s Magic Horn). This 8-song, 45-minute sequence was rather too much, made monotonous by the same voice and by juxtaposing ‘similar’ types of mood rather than seeking optimum contrast. Beginning with ‘Der Schildwache Nachtlied’ (which was listed second in the programme), Goerne (surprisingly only now making his Proms debut) impressed with his ease of delivery and his conversational approach but not afraid to ‘bark’ (Sergeant-Major-like in the militaristic songs) when required. Nevertheless there was a lack of edge that was compounded by Järvi clarifying textural niceties (masterly orchestral manoeuvres nonetheless); consequently there was often musical magic but a suppression of the macabre and ironic. If ‘Lob des hohen Verstandes’ (Mahler having a go at his critics, who are likened to donkeys) was too deadpan, then ‘Urlicht’ (played attacca to ‘Das irdische Leben’) was raptly contemplative, the highlight of the group.
In 1937 Schoenberg decided to orchestrate Brahms’s G minor Piano Quartet (completed in 1851) because he liked it, it was (then) seldom performed and if it was it wasn’t well played. Although Schoenberg’s orchestration is of respect and affection it is also whimsical, not without humour and goes further than Brahms would have contemplated or would have approved of. If there is one failing it is that Schoenberg adds in much detail and decoration; after a while splashes of percussion, horns gurgling, and the like, become irksome. Yet the occasional airing is usually a pleasure, and it certainly was here.
The Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra played, as throughout the evening, with character, flexibility and responsiveness in a very well prepared performance that leapt eagerly off the platform, Järvi’s penchant for clarity bringing out every strand of Schoenberg’s scoring, sometimes too spot-lit, but with a care for balance and timbre that was impressive. Solo work was again notable – this is an orchestra with irrepressible principals – and Järvi caught well Brahms’s (and Schoenberg’s) fire, swing, peasantry and melodic outpouring, pointing the music with lightness, burnish and eagerness. The gypsy music of the finale was a real knees-up, some episodes suggesting the arrival of a salon sophisticate, and, after much stomping vitality and a cimbalom-suggesting episode, the coda was perfectly timed as an exhilarating pay-off.
Brahms (again orchestrated by another, Albert Parlow probably) was offered as an encore, the Sixth of his 21 Hungarian Dances (the originals are piano/four hands) – similarly given a richly diverse treatment and played with fastidious command of dynamics, exacting balance, technical sureness and enviable unanimity – and with a commitment that made and left a vivid impression.

CONCERT REVIEW: BBC PROMS

August 21, 2007

 

Matthew Rye reviews Prom 40: Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi

Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi Last night's Prom featured two important debuts from among Germany's revered musical pantheon.

The Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, one of the country's top broadcasting ensembles, has taken the best part of three-quarters of a century since its foundation to make it to the Royal Albert Hall; baritone Matthias Goerne has obviously not waited half so long, but his belated first Prom appearance was no less welcome.

Their programme, under the orchestra's new chief conductor Paavo Järvi, was solidly Austro-German, too, with Goerne singing a selection of songs from Mahler's 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn' between music by Weber and Brahms.

Such is the baritone's highly responsive and emotive way of singing that each of Mahler's songs took on the weight of a miniature operatic scene, with their array of chilling, ghostly encounters between soldiers and their fate only tempered by the comic interludes of song contest between cuckoo and nightingale and Anthony of Padua's sermon to the fishes.

But most affecting of all was 'Urlicht', 'Primal Light', where Goerne, a singer more used to communicating to select hundreds at Wigmore Hall rather than thousands at the Proms, filled the RAH's cavernous space with a series of remarkable floating pianissimos. Such composure is not something one could accuse Schoenberg's orchestration of Brahms's G minor Piano Quartet of needing.

Early in his career, Schoenberg and his disciples felt the need to arrange full-scale works such as Mahler symphonies for chamber forces in order to hear them performed. By 1937, the year of his Brahms arrangement, the situation had reversed and he honoured his great idol not least to save the trio from bad chamber performances and give it a new lease of life.

The result is Brahms refracted through a 20th-century lense, and Järvi and his wonderfully responsive orchestra made no bones about the later composer's sense of fun with his subject-matter, introducing such un-Brahmsian yet echt Second Viennese School colours as E flat clarinet, muted brass and xylophone. It was the kind of performance to remind us that Brahms's trio -- in whatever form -- must be one of the most joyous minor-key works in the repertoire.

The Rest Is Noise

August 13, 2007

Bremen town musicians

By Alex Ross

A discographic addendum to this week's Mostly Mozart and Lincoln Center Festival column. I mentioned Paul Lewis's Beethoven sonata cycle for Harmonia Mundi, the third volume of which is due shortly; it contains a mesmerizing, cobweb-dispelling rendition of, yes, the "Moonlight" Sonata. I might also have mentioned that Paavo Järvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, whose all-Beethoven concert at Mostly Mozart was an undisputed knockout, have launched a Beethoven cycle for RCA. The first disc, pairing the Third and the Eighth, preserves most of the virtues of the live experience: precise attacks, danceable rhythms, vivid phrasing, a grainy, gutsy sound quality from the musicians, no-nonsense tempos from Järvi. This is not a recording for those who wish to plumb the philosophical depths à la Furtwängler; it's earthy, propulsive musicmaking, Beethoven as pure physical specimen. I'd judged the Minnesota / Osmo Vänskä cycle on BIS to be the Beethoven cycle of our moment, but Järvi is set to give fierce competition. Missing, of course, is the joy of witnessing performances such as this in a responsive hall and with a responsive crowd.

CONCERT REVIEW: Paavo at the Proms!

August 14, 2007

Very intimate Mahler

By Barry Millington, Evening Standard


It's easy to forget that for all his gargantuan symphonic structures, Mahler's orchestration is often of chamber-like refinement and subtlety. Nowhere is that more true than in the Knaben Wunderhorn songs, where the pleasures and sorrows of peasant life are recreated with a spareness and simplicity that immeasurably enhances their poignancy.
In his performance of a selection from that collection, Matthias Goerne seemed to relish their intimate scale, as it were addressing the handful of promenaders immediately in front of him rather than the majority of the audience in far-flung parts of the hall.
The hauntingly funereal pair of songs with which he opened, The Sentry's Night-song and Where the Fine Trumpets Sound, were exquisitely projected, making full use of Goerne's richly burnished baritone. But In Praise of High Intellect, that satirical account of a singing competition between a cuckoo and a nightingale settled by a large-eared donkey of a critic, was also delivered - perhaps appropriately - as though it was being shared with a select audience.
Paavo Jarvi drew a correspondingly inward reading from the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, with immaculately controlled brass and wind solos. In the Schoenberg arrangement of Brahms's Piano Quartet No1 in G minor, Jarvi allowed himself to develop more amplitude of tone, more sensuousness of expression, though he admirably contrived to avoid what can seem, in this version, somewhat clogged textures. Pointing up the woodwind flecks and sparkling glockenspiel in the first movement, he also revealed a silky, translucent quality in the textures of the Intermezzo.
The more characteristically Brahmsian grandiloquence of the Andante elicited a register of elevated rhetoric, with swaggering abandon for the Gipsy finale.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Paavo at Concertgebouw- 2nd Concert


Radio-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, Paavo Järvi, Matthias Goerne
Datum en plaats
datum 15-8-2007
tijd 20:15u
locatie Grote Zaal

De Duitse bariton Matthias Goerne wordt wel de opvolger van Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau genoemd. Hij heeft een gloeiend fluwelen timbre en een rijk palet kleuren. Zijn vertolkingen getuigen van grote intelligentie en een enorm inlevingsvermogen, zonder de vaak bijbehorende zangersmanieren. Goerne is een onovertroffen Mahler-interpreet.

Uitvoerenden
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt
Paavo Järvi ( dirigent )
Matthias Goerne ( bariton )


Werken
Carl Maria von Weber:
Ouverture 'Oberon'

Gustav Mahler:
Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen (uit 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn')

Gustav Mahler:
Der Schildwache Nachtlied (uit 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn')

Gustav Mahler:
Lob des hohen Verstandes (uit 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn')

Gustav Mahler:
Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt (uit 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn')

Gustav Mahler:
Das irdische Leben (uit 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn')

Gustav Mahler:
Urlicht (uit 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn')

Gustav Mahler:
Revelge (uit 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn')

Gustav Mahler:
Der Tamboursg'sell (uit 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn')

pauze

Johannes Brahms/Arnold Schönberg:
Pianokwartet in g, op. 25

Paavo at Concertgebouw

Radio-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, Paavo Järvi, Veronika Eberle

Datum en plaats
datum 14-8-2007
tijd 20:15u
locatie Grote Zaal


De enige echte concurrenten van Dvoráks geliefde Negende zijn misschien Beethovens Eroica of Tsjaikovski's Pathétique. Het is een stormachtig en tegelijk verstild werk met Amerikaanse sfeer, en met in de finale orkestrale uitbarstingen die wegebben in de verte. Een meestervondst.

Uitvoerenden
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt
Paavo Järvi ( dirigent )
Veronika Eberle ( viool )


Werken
Carl Nielsen:
Ouverture 'Maskarade', op. 39

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy:
Vioolconcert in e, op. 64

pauze

Antonín Dvor+ák:
Negende symfonie in e, op. 95 'Uit de nieuwe wereld'

Paavo at the Prom once again!


Prom 40: Frankfurt Radio Symphony

Time: 7.30pm - c9.40pm

Venue ROYAL ALBERT HALL

Broadcast on BBC FOUR Live on BBC Radio 3
Available as audio on demand for the following week

Shakespeare's King of the Fairies, immortalised by Weber, contrasts with the equally fantastical, though darker-streaked German folk tales of Des Knaben Wunderhorn, a rich source of inspiration to Mahler, sung by the rich-toned Matthias Goerne who makes his long-awaited Proms debut. Closing with Schoenberg's orchestration of Brahms's ambitious Piano Quartet, tonight's Prom represents four generations of Austro-German composers, performed by this distinguished German orchestra and its new Chief Conductor, Paavo Järvi.

Weber Oberon – Overture
Mahler Des Knaben Wunderhorn – selection

Interval

Brahms, arr Schoenberg Piano Quartet in G minor

Matthias Goerne baritone
Frankfurt Radio Symphony
Paavo Järvi conductor

CD REVIEW: Beethoven Symphonies 4 & 7

Beethoven: Symphonies No. 4 & 7

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Paavo Järvi

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


Mostly Classics Magazine, July 2007

CD Review by Minoru Okamoto



Beethoven Standard of Today

Second installment of the complete recording of all nine Beethoven symphonies, which everyone has been waiting for


The second CD in a recording of the complete Beethoven symphonies by Paavo Järvi and The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is again impressive because of the fantastic collaboration between conductor and orchestra. They have already established historically informed practice (HIP) – the use of original playing techniques on modern instruments – as a means of expressing their music. They present the most high-spirited music that anyone could ever create.


It rarely happens that a famous work which every listener knows appears with a completely new image. Hearing this CD makes it possible to relive the sense of excitement that Beethoven's music generated earlier. This complete recording of the Beethoven symphonies will undoubtedly become the new standard for the twenty-first century.

CD REVIEW: Symphonies 4 & 7 DKAM


Beethoven: Symphonies No. 4 & 7
The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Paavo Järvi
RCA/BMG (original Japanese release: 23 May 2007; recorded 2004/5)

Variée Magazine, July 2007

CD Review by Kawada-san

An Unparalleled Masterwork That Never Disappoints the Audience's Expectations

This CD is the second installment in the complete recording of Beethoven's symphonies by Paavo Järvi and The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and includes the Fourth and Seventh Symphonies. The complete recording is expected to consist of five albums – the First and Fifth ("Fate" Symphony) will be released next, in 2008, and the Second and Sixth ("Pastoral") in 2009. The Beethoven Project will conclude with the Ninth Symphony and its closing chorus.
This lengthy process is probably what makes it possible to complete such an ambitious project. The time-consuming work on the release of this CD can be perceived even when listening to it. Järvi and The Kammerphilharmonie spent a three-day session recording the Fourth Symphony. For the Seventh there is a recording from June 2004, supplemented by another from September 2006, probably in order to further intensify the originality that emerged from the concerts.
The first CD received outstanding reviews worldwide; this new release is also a fantastic success. The fans, whose number is increasing steadily, will not be disappointed. Each section of the orchestra retains its tonal independence, even in fortissimo; at no point does the sound become muddy. Even in the outer movements of the two symphonies, where otherwise the refined sound is often lost at a brisk tempo, this well-developed approach invariably comes across. Every instrument makes its own statement without getting in the way of the voices of the others.
If this had only sounded like skillful work, but with emotional coldness, it would have made no sense at all. Yet, despite the dizzying tempo, the music is conveyed with great passion, although Järvi precisely controls the balance. I was simply speechless at this brilliant power. A multifaceted artistic achievement is obvious when listening to this new recording. Strict attention to the wide range of Beethoven's dynamic indications results in spectacular vitality. Energy springs up from the gradually developed crescendi; in the pianissimo, on the other hand, the expressive style is serene and lyrical. The solid rhythm captivates again and again.
This work, refined down to the smallest detail, acquires such great persuasive power that it immediately seizes the listener's ears and heart and doesn't let go of them again. This interpretation stands far above many other performances that strive for merely superficial effects. As a result of their deep understanding of the music, the participants read the notes carefully, and their persistence makes interpretations of the highest standard possible. Such an unparalleled, brilliant achievement is made possible above all by profound trust between conductor and orchestra.

CD REVIEW: Beethoven: Symphonies No. 4 & 7

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Paavo Järvi
RCA/BMG 2007

Fujin-Kouron Magazine, May 2007

CD Review by Yoshiko Iguma

Two Leading Conductors of the Twenty-First Century

Another perfect team with an equally brilliant conductor and orchestra – in addition to Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, which was also introduced in this article – is Paavo Järvi and The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.
This dream combination was in Japan last year and presented a complete performance of all nine Beethoven symphonies there. Even then, an outstanding sound filled with vigor and crispness heralded the beginning of a "Järvi era," also on a CD.
Paavo Järvi was born in Estonia in 1962, son of the renowned conductor Neeme Järvi. His younger brother, Kristjan, is also a conductor. Paavo currently lives in the US.
The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is an independent organization. It uses period instruments, such as timpani and trumpets, which determine the novel structuring of phrases and tempos. In their new recording, which is full of self-confidence, Beethoven's world-famous symphonies shine in a new light.
Their splendid performances during the Japanese concerts last year not only stimulated the audience's minds, they also generated excited enthusiasm and created a sensation. The entire audience went into raptures over a new era of Beethoven interpretation and demonstrated its admiration for their outstanding music-making with tumultuous applause.
The recording of all the Beethoven symphonies is scheduled for completion in 2009. The Third and Eighth Symphonies were released in 2006.
The interpretations are incredibly innovative, yet at the same time are somehow nostalgic as well – probably the most successful achievement in the attempt to approach the true essence of Beethoven's works.

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 …?

CD REVIEW: Beethoven: Symphonies No. 4 & 7

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Paavo Järvi RCA/BMG (original Japanese release: 23 May 2007; recorded 2004/5)

Advanced Review Magazine

CD Review by Kousei Moroishi

The Latest CD of the Beethoven Symphonies by Paavo Järvi and The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen with the Fourth and Seventh
In their interpretations of the nine Beethoven symphonies during several concerts in Japan last year, Paavo Järvi and The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen presented outstanding performances and offered audiences an exciting sensation. In the meantime, the first album with the Eighth and the Third ("Eroica") has received excellent reviews everywhere.
Now, after approximately one year, the enchanting team is back again. The second installment of their recording of all the Beethoven symphonies includes the Fourth and Seventh Symphonies. The marvelous listening experience of these two symphonies in concert last year is still very clear in my memory. The Fourth Symphony stimulated my mind, and during the Seventh Symphony I could almost have danced like crazy to the music in the background.
The Fourth, like the "Eroica," was recorded in August 2005; the production of the Seventh was based on two recordings from 2004 and 2006, testifying to the passion and the efforts of those involved to present the entire work in one long process. This new CD seems much more aggressive and radical than the first. Listeners should prepare themselves inwardly for the many exciting thrills that are evoked by the recording.
In the Fourth Symphony, in particular, the attention to structure and balance can be discerned. Moreover, this aggressive performance is especially shaped by Järvi's expressive spirit. All four movements seem like a single intensification and do not allow the listener to breathe deeply for a second. All the passion, dreams, drama, and yearning that seethed within Beethoven as he composed the work come out of this clear, straight line as vehemently as in a volcano.
It is actually a very daring performance; in the worst case, the whole thing could have fallen apart and lost all sense. Yet Järvi strictly controls the orchestra, and his conducting excites the listener but does not give the slightest impression that the interpretation is too exaggerated. At the same time, however, his extremely precise reading also shows a great deal of sensitivity, through which emotion is perceived much more profoundly. Furthermore, I am astonished at the mastery of all the individual musicians of The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie. The Finale proved to be particularly marvelous; the playing was absolutely magical.
The Seventh Symphony makes even greater technical demands. Yet Järvi's strong solidarity with the orchestra forms a supporting backdrop and draws a passionate, almost fiery performance from it. Immediately after hearing the two symphonies, several thoughts crossed my mind, first of all, that a Beethoven symphony is a unique, extremely emotional world, and the act of listening in order to experience this world is a spiritual journey for the audience during which one risks his own life. After hearing this CD, you will probably – no, most definitely – not be able to listen to Beethoven performances by other musicians for a while …

Friday, August 10, 2007

CD REVIEW: Sibelius Maiden in the Tower

JEAN SIBELIUS The Maiden in the Tower; Pelléas et Mélisande; Valse tristeSolveig Kringelborn (soprano); Lilli Paasikivi (mezzo soprano); Lars-Erik Jonsson (tenor); Garry Magree (baritone) Estonian National Symphony OrchestraPaavo JärviVirgin Classics- 5 45493 2(CD)Reference Recording - Maiden: This One

The Maiden in the Tower is a fresh, tuneful, not-quite-fabulous one-act opera scarcely 35 minutes long. The plot could hardly be more rudimentary: the big bad bailiff has the hots for the (no-name) maiden. She rebuffs him and he locks her up in the tower of the title. Her boyfriend hears her calls for help and alerts the bailiff's boss, who dresses him down and makes him free the maiden, to general rejoicing. Sibelius wrote the opera in Swedish for some sort of Finnish lady's tea club (those were the days, eh?), expertly scoring it for smallish orchestra and using coloristic devices of the utmost simplicity--such as bass-drum rolls that last for minutes on end--to create tension and atmosphere. In its modest way, it works very well. Just about the only character that matters is that of the maiden, who has a wonderful "prayer aria", and Solveig Kringelborn assumes the role admirably. The remainder of the cast is similarly adroit, as is Paavo Järvi's leadership.
As for the remainder of the program, Järvi's direction of Pelléas and Mélisande, one of Sibelius' finest scores, is about as good as it gets. Tempos are ideally chosen: the opening At the Castle Gate has majesty without turning heavy; the eerie scene of Mélisande at her spinning wheel has an aptly sinister quality; and the sunny Entr'acte is vivacious without turning frantic. Mélisande's Death also has just the right touch of restraint, which makes the piece all the more moving. The orchestra plays marvelously both here and in the Valse triste, and the recording is excellent, making this an unusually desirable Sibelius disc that many music lovers will want to add to their collections. It lasted in the domestic catalog for about 12 seconds, and so it's particularly welcome in this on-demand Arkivmusic.com pressing, complete with original notes and full Swedish/English libretto (hooray!).
David Hurwitz

Paavo Järvi et son orchestre: champions du monde... et même pas dopés!

Festival de Lanaudière
July 30, 2007

Christophe Huss

La Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie (DKP) et Paavo Järvi sont venus offrir aux Québécois un cadeau musical dont la portée peut à peine se décrire. Ni Tokyo, ni Chicago, ni New York n'auront finalement le privilège d'entendre la totalité de leurs Symphonies de Beethoven.
Ce parcours est présenté chronologiquement. Le périlleux programme de vendredi, regroupant les Symphonies n° 1, 2 et 3, amène à percevoir autrement le choc de la Symphonie héroïque. Un choc par la puissance, dès les deux premiers coups assénés, mais aussi par la quête de nouveaux coloris orchestraux. Il devient ainsi palpable avec quelle viscéralité Beethoven a été le premier compositeur à se mettre lui-même en musique, ou comment il a fait de la timbale un instrument expressif et non seulement un «articulateur rythmique». La force du «projet Beethoven» de la DKP et de son chef se niche dans la révélation fondamentale que les détails ne sont pas des détails, mais les éléments constitutifs -- tous importants -- d'un édifice. Ces détails sont à chercher dans le moindre recoin: la percussion change de couleur en abandonnant les baguettes en bois après la 2e Symphonie; associé à des trompettes anciennes; le premier cor imite, en bouchant son pavillon, les sonorités des cors de l'époque (effets sidérants dans l'Héroïque, le 1er mouvement de la Quatrième ou le 3e volet de la Cinquième); les cordes jouent en permanence sur le dosage du vibrato. Les exemples se multiplient à l'infini, car le détail n'est pas ici l'objet d'une obsession maniaque, mais bien d'une quête de sens. De la mise en évidence du détail naît en effet une vraie circulation musicale entre les pupitres. C'est pour les avoir vus jouer ce jeu-là avec passion et maestria que l'on peut qualifier les musiciens de la DKP de «champions du monde»! Je ne connais aucun orchestre témoignant d'une telle complicité et d'un tel engagement. Cette dimension a sauté aux yeux de tous, même profanes, et a valu aux interprètes un accueil digne de véritables rock stars. Car l'évidence saute aux oreilles. L'ovation après la Septième restera dans les mémoires des festivaliers. Les grands moments de cette intégrale (dont restent à commenter, demain dans Le Devoir, les deux dernières symphonies) se bousculent. On citera la 1re, la 3e, la 5e, la 7e et les volets finaux de la 2e et de la 4e Symphonies, cette dernière au second mouvement, hélas, perturbé par la pluie. Les mouvements lents (2e, 6e, 7e!) ont bénéficié d'une légèreté de touche et de nuances quasiment inouïe. Des points «faibles»? La Pastorale, très belle pourtant, n'a pas encore trouvé sa place dans le concept de l'intégrale. Elle est encore trop pastorale, trop descriptive, avec des ralentis, quelques fortissimos corsetés, des aplanissements d'accentuation qu'on ne trouve pas ailleurs dans le cycle. Curieusement, les cors, extraordinaires jusqu'à la Cinquième, ont paru plus neutres et moins puissants samedi soir (6e et 7e). Quoi qu'il en soit, Järvi et la DKP ont fait deux tiers du chemin à parcourir dans cette partition. Peut-être les échos de quelques grands anciens, tels Mitropoulos, Szell ou Paray, apporteront-ils quelques pistes intéressantes au féru d'enregistrements anciens qu'est Paavo Järvi!

Tüür: "Magma"


Tüür Symphony No 4 "Magma" on Virgin Classics, with Evelyn Glennie has been choosen CD of the month by BBC Music magasine!

CONCERT REVIEW: A Plea for Blood, Sweat & Tears

August 6, 2007

New York Sun

BY FRED KIRSHNIT

There was quite a bit of excitement in the lobby of Jazz at Lincoln Center on Thursday evening, as two celebrities — Neeme Jarvi and Derek Jeter — were on hand at the same time. Mr. Jeter was making a personal appearance, while Mr. Jarvi was entering the Rose Theater to hear his son Paavo conduct at the Mostly Mozart Festival.
Paavo Jarvi has done wonders as music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and takes the reins of the Orchestre de Paris in 2010. He is also the head of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, a small ensemble numbering about 40 players at any given time that can be considered the authoritative Beethoven orchestra of our day, and is resident at the Beethovenfest in the composer's birthplace of Bonn.
Mr. Jarvi wasted little time in establishing a "wow" effect at this all-Beethoven affair. The opening chord of the Creatures of Prometheus Overture was spectacular, the combination of such supple playing and the slightly reverberant acoustics of the small theater immediately arresting. It was remarkable to hear such a full string sound from such a small ensemble and whenever the long-bore trumpets and timpani, played with hard sticks, joined the proceedings, the resultant tutti was magnificent.
Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter was on hand to perform and Mr. Jarvi and his troops were also playing, but it was difficult to imagine that they were indeed all reading from the same score the Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major The orchestra was precise and muscular, classically balanced and nuanced When Ms. Fliter entered, however, she intoned in a sweetly Romantic style at a much more relaxed tempo. I'm no purist, so I was with her all of the way, even though her style of play was at least 40 years away when Beethoven first penned this concerto. Mr. Jarvi, though appeared not to be in sync with her slight rubatos and elongated passagework, and this caused problems.
The first two movements were haunted by this legitimate disagreement, but the Rondo simply got away from Ms. Fliter. Mr. Jeter would have been able to empathize. You can perform a play perfectly 100 times in a row during practice, only to flub it in front of the fans. I'm sure that Ms. Fliter will produce many very good performances of this piece in the future.
But all was swept away by a stunning realization of the Symphony No. 7. It is difficult to imagine a more exciting traversal of this most exciting of the nine symphonies. Mr. Jarvi had his team perform the entire piece without pause, so that the triumph of the ending of the Vivace, with its horns hitting those cruel high notes flawlessly, was immediately supplanted by the solemnity of the famous Allegretto, one of the most moving depictions of human suffering from any art form in cultural history.
Yes, I'm aware of the composer's tempo markings, but this movement really only reaches its height — or is it depth? — of emotion at a slower pace. It is no longer fashionable to perform this essay deliberately, although this was the norm for most of the last century. Few modern conductors — Daniel Barenboim is one of them — still wring every last drop of blood, sweat, and tears from it, and that's a shame. But at least Mr. Jarvi was on the slower side of the Allegretto designation.
The final two movements were electrifying, with the players reaching such a high level of energy and commitment that they were positively vibrating in their chairs. No American orchestra past its student years would ever dare to dig into a piece so enthusiastically and never sacrifice one iota of precision. Except for an old von Karajan recording, I can't remember a performance so thrilling.

CONCERT REVIEW: NY Times - DKAM concert


By JAMES R. OESTREICH

Published: August 4, 2007

The Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center has, in its first week, been mostly Beethoven. And that mini-festival culminates today in a long two-part re-creation of one of Beethoven’s most famous concerts, in 1808, which presented the premieres of major works including his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies and Fourth Piano Concerto. Louis Langrée will conduct the festival orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall.
But for sheer vitality, they will be hard put to match what Paavo Jarvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen put out in the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Thursday evening in a briefer but still meaty program of Beethoven. Mr. Jarvi led breathless performances of the “Creatures of Prometheus” Overture and the Seventh Symphony, and the magnetic pianist Ingrid Fliter joined them in the First Concerto.
Mr. Jarvi drove tempos and pushed dynamics wherever possible, and the orchestra was wondrously responsive to his every direction. Not that subtleties were absent. Mr. Jarvi was especially attuned to harmonic shifts, sometimes pointing them up almost comically, as warranted. And the players uttered scarcely a phrase that was not shapely, whether growing, fading or changing character.
Ms. Fliter, an Argentine pianist, was little known in this country before she received the $300,000 Gilmore Artist Award last year, but she is quickly proving her worth. Her performance here was deft (though not note-perfect) in animated sections, and she set a blistering pace for the finale and held to it.
But the Largo seemed a bit of a blank, despite Ms. Fliter’s insertion of a few ornamental figures. The lull came as a surprise, for on Ms. Fliter’s recordings, meditative or purely lyrical passages account for some of the most compelling moments. Still, she showed abundant personality in the outer movements, and she is clearly a substantial artist.
An occasional showiness on Mr. Jarvi’s part came to the fore not, oddly, in a gaudy moment but in a quiet one. In an otherwise lovely encore, Sibelius’s “Valse Triste,” he reduced a string passage to a pianissimo on the very edge of audibility. (Pianissimos of any kind had not been prominent in the Beethoven.)
That the passage remained audible at all was a tribute to the Rose Theater, which proved a knockout for a listener who had previously encountered only staged productions there. It seemed an ideal match for an orchestra of more than 40, lending crystal clarity to solos but also brilliantly projecting yet comfortably containing the many outbursts, which could almost be felt as well as heard.
These performances could not have had anything like the same impact in the traditional Mostly Mozart haunts: Avery Fisher Hall (even as modified for the festival) or the dry-as-dust Alice Tully Hall (at the moment returned to dust). You didn’t have to agree with everything in the interpretations to be caught up in the visceral thrill of it all, as the audience obviously was.
The Mostly Mozart Festival runs through Aug. 25 at Lincoln Center; (212) 721-6500.