Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Paavo Järvi and Bruckner

A Review of the new RCA Red Seal Release by Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony
By Mary Ellyn Hutton
Since becoming artistic director of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony in 2006, Paavo Järvi has been exploring the symphonies of Anton Bruckner, a composer squarely within the orchestra's mainstream and tradition. The Symphony No. 7, first disc in an anticipated complete cycle (Nos. 9 and 3 have been recorded for future release), offers considerable insight.As compared with brassier, more foreceful versions, this one is aimed directly at the heart. There is no better illustration than the soft, opening bars of the first movement, which Järvi takes at a gentle, relaxed tempo, shaping them with exquisite care into something between searching and reflection. The movement as a whole occupies an exalted plane, ending with the greatest dignity on a broad, smooth E Major chord.The Adagio, completed in response to the death of Bruckner's idol Richard Wagner, is deeply felt, brushing the heavens at its cymbal-laced climax and ending with a soft, touching farewell.The Scherzo is classically balanced, with the kind of gleeful, planetary spin typical of the composer. The finale is bright, happy and affirmative, the way composer apparently felt when what became his most popular symphony was written and premiered. Recorded in surround-sound SACD format. Available at http://www.sonybmgclassical.de/

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