Thursday, October 29, 2009

Die Titanen sterben aus

Von Jürgen Otten
29 Oktober 2009
fr-online.de

Wie groß die Nöte in Musik-München sind, das konnte man neulich in der Süddeutschen Zeitung lesen. Eine ganze erste Seite widmete sich das Feuilleton der Causa Christian Thielemann, oder besser: der Frage, was nach ihm kommen kann, darf, soll und/oder muss. Wie berichtet, verlässt der Dirigent - nicht ohne zuvor ein riesiges publizistisches Schaumbad eingelassen zu haben - am Ende der Spielzeit 2010/11 die Isarmetropole, um sich fürderhin in der sächsischen Provinz um seine Lieblinge zu kümmern, die da, neben Anton Bruckner, vor allem Richard Strauss und Richard Wagner heißen.

Die Gültigkeit der Tradition


In Dresdens Semperoper findet er dafür ein angemessenes Spielfeld. Die "Wunderharfe", wie die Sächsische Staatskapelle huldvoll genannt wird, hat mehrere Bühnenwerke der beiden Richards in die Welt gesetzt, und das Wort von der Tradition gilt dort nach wie vor viel.

Wer aber setzt sich auf den vakanten Posten in München? Die Frage ist so im Grunde nicht zu stellen. Denn präziser muss sie lauten: Wer ist überhaupt imstande, Chefdirigent der Münchner Philharmoniker zu werden? Wer besitzt die nötigen Qualitäten? Wer ist bereit, den ästhetischen Horizont, der bei Thielemann so eng war wie ein Nadelöhr, wieder zu weiten? Wer beherrscht sowohl den Kanon der großen klassischen und romantischen Symphonien von Mozart bis Mahler, und wer hat darüber hinaus Interesse und Sachverstand für die Musik danach, die ja doch immerhin ein ganzes Jahrhundert und ein bisschen mehr umfasst?

An dieser Stelle wird ein zentrales Problem evident. Dirigenten, die beides können, Haydns Vierte und Rihms Erste, Brahms´ Zweite und Hartmanns Dritte (vom französischen Repertoire und den zeitgenössischen Werken mal ganz zu schweigen), sind rar gesät.

Insofern glich das "Dirigenten-ABC", das die SZ ihren Lesern präsentierte, beinahe mehr einer Satiresammlung denn einem ernst gemeinten Bewerbungsformular, zumal einige renommierte Persönlichkeiten, so beispielsweise Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach und Riccardo Muti, fehlten.

Denn nicht nur wurden dort hochmögende Dirigenten aufgeführt, die - wie etwa Simon Rattle, Riccardo Chailly und Paavo Järvi - auf Jahre gebunden sind (Rattle mit gerade frisch unterzeichnetem Vertrag bis 2018, Chailly bis 2015, Järvi bis 2013), sondern auch jene, die als Experten für eine schmale Richtung in der (Neuen) Musik Beachtliches geleistet haben, aber als Generalmusikdirektoren eines großen Symphonieorchesters undenkbar wären; zumal bei einem Klangkörper, den einmal ein Sergiu Celibidache in höchste Höhen führte. Wohin das Ohr hört, es herrscht Mittelmaß. Große Dirigenten, die das Format und die Aura etwa eines Claudio Abbado haben, findet man kaum mehr. Man findet große Könner, wie Mariss Jansons und Paavo Järvi, wie Sakari Oramo und Esa-Pekka Salonen. Man findet Dirigenten, die fantastisch Oper dirigieren können wie Kirill Petrenko und Vladimir Jurowski, wie Antonio Pappano und Kent Nagano. Man findet enorme Begabungen, wie Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons und Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Was aber vergeblich sucht, ist ein Dirigent, der über jenes Charisma verfügt, dass noch einen George Solti, einen Günter Wand oder einen Kurt Sanderling auszeichnet. Die Titanen sterben aus.

Was in Berlin rumort


Das spürt man nicht nur in München. Besonders laut ist dieses Lied in der bundesdeutschen Kapitale zu hören. Während bei den Philharmonikern und beim Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin alles in Butter ist, während die drei Musiktheaterbühnen der Stadt mehr als passabel ausgestattet sind (einzig Carl St. Clair als Nachfolger des genialisch-präzisen Petrenko ist an der Komischen Oper den Beweis seiner Extraklasse bislang schuldig geblieben), rumort es zumindest bei zwei Berliner Symphonieorchestern gewaltig. Besonders heikel stellt sich die Situation beim Deutschen Symphonie-Orchester dar. Nach der Entscheidung Ingo Metzmachers, am Ende dieser Saison zu demissionieren, sieht sich das DSO in der Not, relativ kurzfristig einen Nachfolger zu finden. Das Problem ist nur: Woher so schnell jemanden nehmen, der für höchste Qualität bürgt?

Die Macht an der Spree


Die Auguren verkünden, es hätten schon einige Kandidaten abgesagt. Was wenig erstaunt. Die, die für glanzvolles Niveau garantieren, warten auf prestigeträchtigere (und höher dotierte) Positionen oder haben sie bereits inne.

Misslich auch die Lage am Gendarmenmarkt. Die Ehe zwischen Lothar Zagrosek und dem Konzerthausorchester ist mit Schmackes in die Brüche gegangen. Gleichwohl hat "Zag", wie er auf Plakaten für sich wirbt, einen Vertrag bis zum Ende der Saison 2010/2011. Man muss also nolens volens noch fast zwei Jahre miteinander aushalten; wie das gut und ohne weiteren Qualitätsverlust gehen soll, wissen allein die Götter.

Unüberhörbar aber das Gezwitscher von den Dächern des Schinkelschen Musentempels: es bestehe Grund zu leiser Hoffnung. Ivan Fischer war kürzlich in der Stadt, um die Berliner Philharmoniker zu dirigieren. Wieder einmal zeigte sich, welch ein exzellenter Dirigent der Ungar ist. Doch wird er sich, so man ihn für die schwierigen Aufgabe gewinnen kann, weder mit der Chefrolle beim Orchester noch mit den derzeit gültigen finanziellen Konditionen begnügen. Fischer will gestalterische Macht.

Aber so sind die Spielregeln. Wo Qualität selten ist, hat sie umso mehr Freiheit, wenn sie erscheint. Auch in der Berliner Causa ist das so. Den Trumpf zur Zeit hält Fischer in der Hand. Das Orchester braucht ihn mehr als umgekehrt. Er hat ja schon zwei Chefpositionen. In Budapest und in Washington.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A New Take on Gershwin

Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer, October 27, 2009


Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Concert Hall

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra performed its second concert of the tour in Tokyo’s Bunka Kaikan Concert Hall in the Ueno neighborhood. Tour soloist Krystian Zimerman joined for his first performance of the tour, in Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” and Paavo Jarvi conducted Bernstein’s “Divertimento” and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 1.

The hall, built in 1961, has excellent acoustics, and the orchestra’s strings sounded much richer, especially evident in the Rachmaninoff.

I found the Gershwin the most interesting interpretation of that work I’ve ever heard. It was partly genius and partly quirky, and I wished I’d had the opportunity to interview the Polish pianist about his inspirations. His touch and voicing of chords — on his own polished Steinway grand — were stunning, and I love the way he brought out the inner voices, or made a bluesy inflection here or there.

Then there would be a frenzied section, with propulsive runs that landed on wrong notes. He sometimes added a grace note or two, and also a keyboard-spanning glissando. The slow, jazzy bass theme played in the right hand was so slow it lost momentum. But some of his view sounded wonderfully spontaneous, and may have fit the jazz idiom better than most of the homogenized versions we hear.

He also appeared to be having fun, as did Jarvi and the orchestra. The pianist swiveled on his bench to hear Richie Hawley perform his famous opening “smear,” and what a smear it was. With Hawley’s superb contributions heard prominently throughout, I felt it was almost a mini double-concerto at times. And Jarvi never missed a beat.

The Rachmaninoff was sheer joy in this acoustic space. The strings shone, from the bass depth — something that was missing in last night’s hall — to the sweet sound of the cello section under principal cellist Ilya Finkelshteyn.

The crowd — which packed the 2300-seat hall — wouldn’t let Jarvi and the orchestra leave until they had played two encores. With those — and at least 15 minutes of clapping and cheering — the concert ended a half hour later.

Subway art: on the Ginza Line


Paavo Järvi alustas Cincinnati orkestriga reisi Jaapanis

Priit Kuusk 27.10.2009 uudised.err.ee

Cincinnati Sümfooniaorkester ja peadirigent Paavo Järvi alustasid eile kontserdireisi Jaapanis, kus antakse kokku seitse kontserti.

Orkester viibi Jaapanis juba alates laupäevast. Ameerika orkestri reisi korraldajaks on kontsern Japan Arts. Esimesed kontserdid antakse 26. ja 27. oktoobril kahes Tokyo kuulsas saalis, 3677-kohalises NHK (rahvusliku raadiokorporatsiooni) Hallis ja 2303-kohalises Bunka Kaikani saalis.

Paavo Järvile on see tänavu juba kuues kontserdireis oma orkestriga: märtsikuul käidi Deutsche Kammerphilharmoniega USA-s, eraldi veel Pariisis ning suvel Salzburgi festivalil, maikuul Frankfurdi Raadio orkestriga Kesk-Euroopas ning suvelõpul Hollandis, Itaalias, Tšehhimaal ja Eestis, sh ka meie kontserdihooaega avamas.

Jaapanis on Paavo Järvi juhatanud külalisena Jaapani enda orkestreid, aga käinud seal mitmel korral ka oma orkestritega.

Behind the scenes photos of CSO's first-ever Japan broadcast

Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer, October 26, 2009


Paavo Jarvi leads a rehearsal in NHK Hall for live broadcast

I spent a long day with the CSO at NHK Hall Monday for their historic first-ever broadcast — live on NHK radio and taped for TV broadcast on Nov. 9. The CSO was performing on a popular NHK Music Festival series, one of three international orchestras (the others were the Leipzig Gewandhaus with Riccardo Chailly and the Orchestra of La Scala with Daniel Barenboim. ) The festival also features Valery Gergiev conducting the NHK Symphony, which is in residence here, as well as chamber music.

One thing I like here: Concerts begin at 7 p.m. The Japanese began to pour into the hall around 6 p.m., some bringing their meals, and others going to the cafeteria where we ate (you choose plastic food and order it in a machine… ).


Hall banners announce Tokyo's NHK Music Festival


The broadcast crew doing a dry run during afternoon rehearsal, in the broadcast booth


How it looked on TV monitors, with subtitles of concert pieces already in place

I was treated to a interesting tour of the broadcasting booths by senior producer Kazuaki Sasai, met the director of the series (Kazutaka Shirota), and met a fellow music journalist, Sachio Moroishi, who served as announcer for the program. Unfortunately for us, it will not be streamed on the Web, but Mr. Sasai would be delighted if CET picked it up for broadcast here. Here’s the story.


The CSO rehearsal seen from a high-def TV monitor (courtesy NHK)



Monday, October 26, 2009

CSO wows Japanese TV

By Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer • jgelfand@enquirer.com • October 26, 2009

TOKYO – “Lights, camera, action.” The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is familiar with those words – but not in Japanese.

On Monday night in NHK Hall in Tokyo, Japan, Paavo Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphony launched their seven-concert tour of Japan with a history-making concert: The orchestra’s first-ever nationwide broadcast on Japanese television.

The all-American program drew a large crowd, who cheered and called Järvi back for multiple bows until he provided an encore, Leonard Bernstein’s splashy Overture to “Candide.”

The all-orchestral concert was aired live over NHK radio network and will be broadcast on NHK television on Nov. 9.

“To shoot music is similar to shooting a baseball game,” said Kazuaki Sasai, senior producer, who produces up to 70 programs annually on NHK. “A batter hits the ball, the ball goes to the outfielder, and the cameras know what to follow.”

Six cameras were trained on the musicians, and a web of microphones hung over the orchestra. A hush fell over the crowd as chimes announced the broadcast’s beginning, and the program’s announcer, music journalist Sachio Morioshi, concluded his introduction on camera in a box near the stage.

Järvi opened with Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” with the brass section standing, and the musicians gave it a brilliant, near-flawless performance. One was immediately struck by the razor-sharp clarity and presence of the sound in this hall.

Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” was deeply emotional, and the strings had a sonic beauty all their own.

But it was Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story” which energized the audience in the evening’s first half. This piece sounded astonishingly alive in this hall, and Järvi was galvanizing as he led with both momentum and swing.

He seamlessly navigated from Bernstein’s beautiful tunes such as “Somewhere” and “Maria” to the high-energy mambos and rumbas. The percussion section turned in a sizzling performance.

The program concluded with Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.” With Järvi leading from memory, it was a performance of momentum, lyricism and powerful, ringing cutoffs.

The evening's standouts included English horn Christopher Philpott’s stirring rendition of the Largo theme, and the glowing sound of the strings in the softest moments.

Behind the cavernous hall seating more than 3,000, part of the NHK Broadcasting Center, were tens of people working in editing and mixing rooms, as well as a control room with a wall of monitors showing the orchestra onstage. The final product will be broadcast in high-definition, says Sasai.

The producer and his team began preparing the broadcast's shooting angles and timings 10 days ago, and the taping will undergo little editing. What Sasai strives to do is capture the excitement and power of a live concert, rather than shoot many takes, he says.

“American orchestras have great power,” he says. “I think live music is so important for classical music. Even the mistakes can add to the enthusiasm.”

The CSO was performing as part of the NHK Music Festival, this year featuring three international orchestras, each performing a program on a theme of their country. In a rehearsal (including camera crew) during the day, about 200 school children watched, and Järvi met with them for a question and answer session.

“Cincinnati was chosen because we wanted to present a very historical orchestra from the USA, and the program was also a criterion,” said Kazutaka Shirota, event planner for the Japan Broadcasting Corp.

The Cincinnati Symphony will perform on Tuesday night in Tokyo’s Bunka Kaikan Concert Hall, before traveling to Nagoya on Thursday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's Japan or bust for CSO backers

By Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer • jgelfand@enquirer.com • October 22, 2009

Without a group of loyal music lovers, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra would not be touring Japan in the coming two weeks.

The orchestra, led by music director Paavo Järvi, leaves today for seven concerts in four cities through Nov. 5. The tour will be funded through a combination of fees paid by presenter Japan Arts, with nine local couples and a family foundation making up the difference of $200,000 - an estimated 20 percent of the cost.

Some patrons, proud that the hometown orchestra will represent Cincinnati abroad, did not have to be convinced to support the tour. Others were persuaded by the music director that touring was important to maintaining the stature of the orchestra.

"The reason we gave was because Paavo was so passionate about this, and so absolutely convinced us that this needed to happen," says Sue Friedlander of Hyde Park, who with her husband, Bill, has attended the symphony for more than 50 years. "My mixed feelings are, is this really necessary to take the orchestra this far away, or anywhere? But (Järvi) feels that it's very important to not only expose the world to our orchestra, but to expose them to other halls, and other venues and other audiences."

The Friedlanders are among a group of patrons and fans who are packing their bags to meet up with the orchestra for concerts in Tokyo. The tour will include two concerts in Tokyo's famed Suntory Hall - regarded by many as the "Carnegie Hall" of Japan. The CSO will also visit Nagoya and Nishinomiya (near Kobe) and make a return visit to Yokohama.

The orchestra's last tour to Japan in 2003 was partly underwritten by Toyota Motor Manufacturing, North America. But a 12-city, five-country European tour last April, which had no tour sponsor, ended up costing the orchestra $800,000.

Corporate donors are still giving to the arts, although in the current economy, it's often in smaller numbers, and they may be more selective about what they sponsor. The orchestras of Philadelphia and Boston canceled international tours this year because of the economy.

"It's true that the overall corporate sponsorship environment has been affected by the economy," says Judith Kurnick, spokesperson for the League of American Orchestras, a support group. "Whether it's about touring or not, we don't know. But there's no question that everybody is looking much more carefully about what they're able to give and where it goes."

Longtime symphony fan Peter Courlas, a psychotherapist who practices in Montgomery and lives Downtown, was glad to help send the orchestra to Japan. He and fellow donor Nicholas Tsimaras are also traveling to Tokyo to hear the CSO's performances.

"I really feel a sense of pride in the orchestra," Courlas says. "I've been a subscriber for 50 years, and week after week, they've given me so much joy. Paavo and the orchestra have contributed so much to the artistic culture of our city, and with the recession they made considerable financial concessions, wanting to maintain their high standards. It says a lot about their integrity as an ensemble."

After unprecedented cost-cutting measures last season, including musician concessions, staff reductions, administrative and staff pay cuts (including Järvi) and the elimination of recordings, the orchestra's president, Trey Devey, was determined that this tour be funded before today's departure. Originally planned to three Asian countries, the tour was scaled back to Japan only.

Arrangements with tour presenters are not made public. But on average, it costs at least $500,000 per week for orchestras to tour internationally. Tour costs include not only flying the musicians to Japan and paying for their hotels, but also trucking 18,880 pounds of musical instruments and equipment to Chicago, to be flown separately by cargo plane to Tokyo - and back.

"We don't go unless it's fully funded. We were concerned that the amount of money raised wasn't sufficient, and we didn't want to have a deficit situation," says Melody Sawyer Richardson, vice chairman of the board, who also will be traveling to Tokyo. "We're really proud of our orchestra and want to share it with the world."

Patron Chris Neyer of Mount Lookout, who supported the trip with her husband, Tom, president emeritus of Al Neyer Inc., says they agreed because Järvi made it clear that touring is important to him, and she wants him to remain in Cincinnati. The orchestra under this maestro, she believes, makes the region an important draw for businesses wanting to relocate.

"I am proud of the orchestra, but I love it with him," she says. "You have no idea how many big companies come into Cincinnati and ask about the cultural scene. It's very important to drawing people."

And that quality of life in Cincinnati translates to audiences abroad.

"An orchestra represents a set of values about a city," says the League of American Orchestra's Kurnick. "It really communicates that there's a rich, vibrant, not only cultural life, but quality of life. .... What other organization carries the name of the city in a way that is so visible and that makes such an impression?"

To Otto Budig of Indian Hill, president of the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation, it's about civic pride, whether it's for the Bengals, the Reds or the Cincinnati Symphony.

"I'm convinced that our symphony orchestra is one of the finest in the country, if not in the world. But the only way we can prove to the world that we are as good as we say we are is by traveling the world and showing our stuff," he says.

John Palmer, vice chairman of the Ohio National Life Insurance Co., who lives in Indian Hill, and his wife, Farah, are also packing their bags for Japan.

"It's important to show them off, and it's also because they are really so good. These things can be transitory, but they are just strikingly good. At their best, they are fantastic," Palmer says. "It was something that was important to them, and I wanted to support it. It's as simple as that."

CSO, Telarc finish on top

By Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer • jgelfand@enquirer.com • October 22, 2009


Gustav Holst's "The Planets" is the final recording to come out of the historic collaboration of Telarc and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. It is a monumental effort and a testament of the electrifying concerts led by Paavo Järvi in Music Hall in November 2008.

Japanese fans will be among the first to hear the album, which will be sold at the orchestra's concerts during its Japan tour, today through Nov. 5.

The album, Järvi's 16th for Telarc, pairs "The Planets" with Britten's "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," two of the best-known works of the 20th century by British composers.

"The Planets" is a seven-movement suite evoking the seven celestial bodies that were known in 1914. Holst, who dabbled in astrology, depicted each planet according to its astrological character, and the result is seven miniature tone poems. Järvi is masterful at capturing the essence of these "personalities," from subtle, glimmering shades of color to massive, relentless buildups. The CSO musicians execute it all brilliantly.

The recorded sound is spacious and realistic. There's the bracing, almost ferocious power of "Mars, the Bringer of War," written when Europe was on the brink of World War I, which is spectacular in the sonic splendor of Music Hall. It's followed by the shimmering colors of "Venus, the Bringer of Peace," with glowing strings, harp and celesta.

Each planet is vivid with atmosphere: "Mercury" sparkles; "Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity," is bold, with flamboyant fanfares in the brass, a contrast to the noble English tune played so warmly by the strings. "Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age," has a desolate quality, and Järvi's view is spacious and ever-powerful, as the movement builds and then dies away to the tinkle of Asian-sounding bells.

"Neptune, the Mystic" is an otherworldly, floating canvas, performed with wonderful lightness. The distant sound of the wordless chorus (Women of the May Festival Chorus) is exquisite.

The album is paired with Britten's showcase for the instruments of the orchestra, and the musicians give it a colorful reading.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Japan anticipates Järvi's return

By Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer • jgelfand@enquirer.com • October 18, 2009

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is packing up its violins, trombones and bassoons for a tour of Japan that will move 98 musicians and 18,880 pounds of equipment more than 13,000 miles. The orchestra is a seasoned international traveler, accustomed to dealing with anything from delayed flights and missing luggage to illness within its ranks.

As the orchestra leaves Thursday for a four-city, seven-concert tour of some of Japan's finest concert halls, led by music director Paavo Järvi, Japanese audiences can't wait for their arrival.

"People are very excited. (Järvi) is charismatic, and people really adore him. He is well-known in Japan," says Akiko Miyamoto Strickland, executive director of the Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati.

Japan is an important destination for touring artists, and a country that holds classical music in high esteem. A national magazine, "Ongaku No Tomo" (Friend of Music) promoted the Cincinnati Symphony's fall tour a year ago with a cover portrait of Järvi and an extensive interview and glossy photos inside. In April, a Japanese critic flew to Cincinnati to hear the orchestra and conduct interviews. Critics have also traveled to Europe to talk to Järvi about the Cincinnati tour.

Their first concert on Oct. 26 in Tokyo will be televised live on NHK, the Japanese national television station. The hall, part of the NHK Broadcasting Center, is larger than Music Hall, seating 3,677.

Traveling to Japan, says Järvi, "is a very, very important thing for us to do. That's where the market for classical music is still very strong, and it may be the strongest market for me. We're known there, and for me to go with Cincinnati will be very visible."

"Paavo's reputation has increased significantly during the last years after his several tours with the orchestras from Bremen and Frankfurt," says Japanese critic Atsuya Funaki, who has written seven articles about Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphony in anticipation of the tour. "The Japanese audience ... is very much looking forward to hearing the coupling of Paavo and the CSO."

Two venues on the tour, presented by Japan Arts, are re-engagements. Järvi and the orchestra last went to Japan in 2003.

This time, the orchestra will be facing something not usually on its check list - H1N1, the swine flu pandemic. Despite flu warnings, classical music fans have snapped up tickets to Cincinnati Symphony concerts costing up to $255 in Suntory Hall, Tokyo's most famous concert hall. Last week, crowds flocked to concerts there by the New York Philharmonic.

Japan is checking the health of arriving passengers by using a scanning device similar to an X-Ray machine, to determine whether people entering the country have a higher-than-normal temperature.

President Trey Devey says the orchestra is prepared, and always travels with a tour physician.

"The CSO is always mindful of health and safety issues when going on both domestic and international tours," he says. "This tour will be no different."

Like the U.S., Japan's economy is in recession. But classical music is held in such high regard that fans have likely been saving up for months to buy tickets, says Eiji Hashimoto, professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Tickets to concerts in Suntory Hall, the "Carnegie Hall of Japan," are $66 to $255 (at 89 Yen to the dollar).

"It is very difficult during the current economic downturn. But their basic philosophy is that one cannot get a valuable thing without paying for it," says Hashimoto, a harpsichordist who has toured extensively in his native country. His 2005 book, "A Performer's Guide to Baroque and Post-Baroque Music," is in its fifth printing there.

"European classical music, for many people in Japan, is a part of their lifestyle. They enjoy it so much that they acquire selected concert tickets way ahead of time, and they look forward to the occasion and cherish their memories of the concert for a long, long time, " Hashimoto says.

The orchestra is performing with two tour soloists: Sayaka Shoji, a popular Japanese violinist performing Sibelius, and Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman playing Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Shoji gave a preview of her performance in Music Hall this weekend.

"In terms of classical music, it has a short history (in Japan), but we support a lot of great orchestras in Tokyo," says the violinist, adding that Tokyo alone has 10 professional orchestras. "Sometimes there are three or four of the world's best orchestra on the same day."

Also touring Japan this month are the New York Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus and Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra.

Partly because music is a required subject in school, Japanese audiences are knowledgeable and often skew younger than American classical music fans.

"Japanese audiences, particularly many young people, are very eager and attentive," says Hashimoto.

"They are very concerned about details. They know the pieces they hear or listen to the pieces on CDs ahead of time, so they are well acquainted with the pieces they hear."

And many families want their children to excel in music. CCM faculty members Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff travel to Japan twice annually to teach piano students at a Tokyo conservatory with 2,000 students.

"I think a majority of Japanese families who can afford it want their family to study piano, because they see music as a tool to help kids work harder in school," Elizabeth Pridonoff says.

Where every tour has afforded a chance for the orchestra to sell recordings abroad, this tour will feature the CSO's final recording for Telarc, Gustav Holst's "The Planets," in stores this month. Telarc stopped producing records last year.

"I hope to just consolidate our reputation, because it's been a few years since we were in Japan," says Järvi. "The first time we went there was a huge success. And every time I go back, people still talk about that tour and remember it very well.

"Meanwhile, we've had 10 recordings come out since then. When you go there, and you create a certain buzz, then people keep an eye open to see what else is coming out of Cincinnati."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Paavo Järvi valmistub Cincinnati orkestriga Jaapani reisiks

17.10.2009 15:05, uudised.err.ee

Cincinnati Sümfooniaorkestri muusikadirektor Paavo Järvi on sügisel olnud Cincinnati publiku ees juba kolme erineva kavaga. Orkester valmistub peatseks kontserdireisiks Jaapanis.

Cincinnati Sümfooniaorkestri (CSO) viimastes kavades mängitakse kodusaalis publikule läbi eelkõige need teosed, mis tulevad ettekandele 26. oktoobril Tokyost algaval Jaapani reisil.

17. septembril kõlasid jaapani kavast Cincinnati Music Hallis Aaron Coplandi Ameerikas väga populaarsed "Fanfare for the Common Man" ja Leonard Bernsteini "Divertimento", samas mängis noor hiina virtuoos Lang Lang Beethoveni II klaverikontserdi ja Bernsteinist kavas veel "Sümfoonilised tantsud" muusikalist "West Side Story" ning avamäng ooperile "Candide".

25.- 27. septembril tegi Paavo Järvi CSO-ga Erkki-Sven Tüüri VII sümfoonia USA esiettekande, ka helilooja oli ise kohal.

2. ja 3. oktoobril dirigeeris Paavo Ameerika Big Five’i hulka kuuluvat Chicago Sümfooniaorkestrit sealses Symphony Center’s. Tal paluti juhatada koguni kaht erinevat kava Bernsteini ja Barberi palade, Bartóki Orkestrikontserdi, Richard Straussi orkestrilauludega (solist Renée Flemingiga) ning "Till Eulenspiegeliga". Ka Frankfurtis tuli Järvil vahepeal (8.- 9. oktoobril) kaks kontserti anda, kus kavas oli ka Johannes Brahmsi "Saksa reekviem".

15.- 17. oktoobril mängib CSO oma peadirigendi käe all kolme teost, mis kõik on Jaapani turnee kavas: Samuel Barberi "Adagio", Jean Sibeliuse Viiulikontsert ning Sergei Rahmaninovi II sümfoonia. Solistiks on kõigi aegade noorimana – 16-aastasena Genua Paganini-konkursi (1999) võitnud jaapanlanna Sayaka Shoji. Jaapanis mängib Sayaka Sibeliust nii Nagoyas kui Tokyos.

Priit Kuusk

CSO, Jarvi perform radiant Japan send-off

By Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer • jgelfand@enquirer.com • October 16, 2009

Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 has one of the most beautiful love themes ever written. When the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra played that theme, which comes in the third movement, you could only sit in awe at the sonic beauty of this orchestra in this hall.

Perhaps they sounded so great because the orchestra is primed for a tour of Japan, which starts next week, and Thursday’s program was a preview of the music they’ll be performing. Or maybe it was their intriguing new seating arrangement, which repositioned the brass and percussion, and brought the back wall forward. The result was a remarkable presence of sound, which made me wonder whether the orchestra has been sitting in the wrong configuration all these years.

Paavo Järvi, who will lead the orchestra in seven concerts in four Japanese cities, chose a program that was as heart-on-sleeve romantic as it was brilliant, and seemed designed to show off the strings. They have never sounded warmer, and the program was an inspiring send-off.

He opened with Barber’s famous “Adagio for Strings,” last performed by the orchestra three days after 9-11. This was a raptly beautiful performance – meditative, spiritual and deeply moving, and the strings had an unparalleled silken sound.

The evening’s soloist was a 26-year-old Japanese virtuoso named Sayaka Shoji, who performed Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D Minor. She will take that concerto on tour with the orchestra next week.

Although she was born in Japan, the violinist studied in Germany. Shoji’s violin, a 1729 Stradivarius, once belonged to the legendary violinist Mischa Elman. She is a strikingly individual musician, who plays with a combination of pristine beauty and fierce intensity. She projected a great deal of electricity as she tackled Sibelius’ fiendishly difficult passages and soaring melodies, while Järvi and the orchestra captured the aura of the majestic north.

The violinist’s sound in Sibelius’ opening rhapsodic theme was hushed and mysterious, and she took some time to settle in to the movement’s many moods. Her cadenza was impassioned and agitated, and she finished the first movement like a shot.

Her view was emotionally charged in the slow movement, with a throbbing, almost vocal lower register. As she launched into the finale, she dug into the strings. The effect was gypsy-like, and her playing was both spontaneous and fiery.

After intermission, Järvi brought freshness and warmth to Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 in E Minor. It was a performance of terrific sweep through those big, voluptuous melodies, while it still had clarity and lightness. The third movement’s clarinet solo, glowingly performed by principal clarinet Richie Hawley, was deeply interior, as the movement spiraled to a stirring climax. The finale was galvanizing, and the musicians responded with superb playing.

The concert repeats at 11 a.m. today and 8 p.m. Saturday in Music Hall. Tickets: 513-318-3300, www.cincinnatisymphony.org. Saturday’s concert includes a free tour send-off party afterward in the lobby.

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Soukoukai" for the CSO at Music Hall

Mary Ellyn Hutton
Posted: Oct 16, 2009
MusicInCincinnati.com

There is a farewell party (soukoukai) this weekend at Music Hall.

It's for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which departs on a two-week tour of Japan Oct. 22.

The party, with live music and complimentary desserts, follows Saturday night's CSO concert (Oct. 17) conducted by music director Paavo Järvi. Admission is free and the audience is invited.

The musical part -- which is what the partying is all about -- began Thursday evening with the first of three concerts previewing the tour. The program was a sampler of what the orchestra will perform in four cities in Japan, Tokyo, Nagoya, Nishinomiya and Yokahama.

And a rich program it was, with Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2, the Sibelius Violin Concerto and Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings.

Guest artist, at Music Hall and on the tour, is the superb young violinist Sayaka Shoji, 26, who followed up her impressive 2008 CSO debut with a stunning performance of the Sibelius Concerto. Shoji performs on a Stradivarius, the 1729 "Recamier" on loan to her from Japanese industrialist Ryuzo Ueno. But instruments, no matter how fine, do not play themselves (as great artists seemingly have to reiterate) and the sound the tiny violinist drew from her priceless instrument was so ravishing and well-crafted as to put many a violinist performing today in the shade.

Her vibrato-less entrance in the Sibelius had a soft, limning quality, as if emerging from a distance. Her sound warmed gradually as she approached the violin's first forte passage high on the lowest string of the instrument (G). She demonstrated the daunting technique that helped her win first prize in the prestigious International Paganini Competition at the age of 16 (the first Japanese and youngest violinist to do so). However, her technical arsenal was totally allied to the needs of the music, as in the way she brought out lines in her double stops and negotiated smooth, perfect octaves.

Shoji's tone took on a licorice color in the Adagio, which again featured extended passages in the highest positions on the G string. Interaction with Järvi and the CSO was close, and ensemble was transparent, allowing for soloist and orchestra to truly complement each other and yield a comprehensive listening experience.

These observations applied in equal measure to the bustling finale, where she thrilled the audience with her acrobatics and artistry. It's a safe prediction that Sayaka Shoji, who was born in Tokyo but grew up and began her career in Italy, will be an enormous hit performing with the CSO in her native country.

Järvi's tour package for Japan includes romantic music, American music and music inspired by America, like Dvorak's "New World" Symphony. Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 fits the first category in toto. The CSO played it wonderfully for him, with full, rich strings, eloquent winds and calibrated strength in the brass. He conducted the first movement gently -- every sigh was observed -- and also with muscle, bringing it to an appropriately slam-bang conclusion.

Järvi called for a big Russian sound in the second movement (Allegro molto) and total romantic immersion in the third. This is the famous Adagio, which began with principal clarinetist Richard Hawley's long-breathed solo and built unrelentingly to its shattering climax, edged beautifully with flutes. The Allegro vivace finale glittered with energy and optimism and prompted an encore, Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 6 in D-flat Major. (I have heard Järvi conduct Rachmaninoff's Second with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Walt Disney Hall and found it nowhere near as exciting as this CSO Music Hall performance.)

Barber's Adagio for Strings made rapt listening to open the concert. If there is such a thing as absolute zero in Music Hall -- zero noise, that is -- it was reached at least twice during this performance, once after the cutoff following the big string ascent and again at the end, where Järvi let the silence (an integral part of musical expression) linger for a long moment before dropping his hands.

Repeats are 11 a.m. Friday (Oct. 17) and 8 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 18) at Music Hall. Tickets begin at $10. Call 381-3300, or order online at www.cincinnatisymphony.org

Janine Jansen spielt Beethoven und Britten

CD der Woche | 13.10.2009 07:15 Uhr
NDR Kulture

Vorgestellt von Friederike Westerhaus



Es war ein Herzenswunsch von Janine Jansen, die Violinkonzerte von Beethoven und Britten einzuspielen. Für sie seien es vielleicht die genialsten Konzerte der Geigenliteratur, sagt sie. Der Beethoven nötigt den meisten Geigern ungeheuren Respekt ab, viele warten lange Jahre, bis sie sich reif genug für dieses Konzert fühlen. Janine Jansen stellte sich der Herausforderung schon jetzt – mit Erfolg.

Historisch informiert und trotzdem ohne Angst vor romantischem Ausdruck, ein Ansatz, in dem Janine Jansen, Dirigent Paavo Järvi und die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen zu einer hörbaren Einheit finden. Die Frische und Natürlichkeit, die die Geigerin an dem Orchester lobt, strahlt sie selbst genauso aus. Ihr Beethoven klingt ebenso vital, voller Drive und dabei klug durchdacht. Mit Paavo Järvi teilt sie die Lust am Experimentieren und den Mut zum Risiko und zu Extremen. Das zeigt sich auch im Britten-Violinkonzert mit dem London Symphony Orchestra.

Schlüssiger und spannungsreicher Zugriff

"Unspielbar", das sagte einst der berühmte Geiger Jascha Heifetz über dieses Konzert. Janine Jansen meistert auch die hoch virtuosen Passagen absolut souverän. Noch schwieriger als die Technik mag die Gestaltung dieses über 30minütigen Werks sein, dessen Dramaturgie viel komplizierter ist als die des Beethoven-Konzerts.

Aber Janine Jansen und Paavo Järvi haben einen schlüssigen, spannungsreichen Zugriff gefunden, der auch verstecktere Verläufe in der Musik sehr gut nachvollziehbar macht. Den Beginn der finalen Passacaglia spielt die Geigerin suchend, nicht wütend oder definitiv. Umso berührender – ja, schockierend – wirkt das Ende: ein Aufschrei voller Verzweiflung und Schmerz.

Auch mit dieser CD beweist Janine Jansen ihre erstaunliche Gabe: Werke aus unterschiedlichsten Epochen wirklich stilsicher zu spielen, aber immer voller Emotionen und sehr persönlich.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Take Off with the CSO

Mary Ellyn Hutton
Oct 15, 2009
MusicInCincinnati.com

Japanese violinist Sayaka Shoji made a star-bright impression in March, 2008 when she debuted with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.
She returns to the CSO with the Sibelius Concerto at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 15), 11 a.m. Friday (Oct. 16) and 8 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 17) at Music Hall.

The concert, to be conducted by CSO music director Paavo Järvi, is a preview of the CSO's upcoming tour of Japan (Oct. 22-Nov. 4) and also includes Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings and Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2.

Shoji will reprise the Sibelius Concerto on the tour Oct. 29 and Nov. 1 in Nagoya and Tokyo, respectively.

Tokyo born, but raised in Italy, Shoji lit a fire when she won the International Paganini Competition in Genoa in 1999. She was the first Japanese and, at age 16, the youngest violinist to do.

Tickets are $10-$95 and for the Thursday concert only (Oct. 15 ), include complimentary pre-concert buffet in the Music Hall ballroom.

CSO staff and crew members will tell their favorite "tour" stories at a pre-concert "Classical Conversation" with CSO assistant conductor Vincent Lee one hour before the Friday and Saturday concerts (Oct. 16 and 17).

Those who attend Saturday (Oct. 17) are invited to a post-concert "soukoukai" ("farewell party") in the Music Hall lobby.

Järvi will sign copies of his latest CSO CD, Holst's "The Planets" at all three concerts.
Call (513) 381-3300, or order online at www.cincinnatisymphony.org.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Neu auf CD: Bruckners 9. Sinfonie

Paavo Järvi spielt mit dem hr-Sinfonieorchester den Gesamtzyklus ein


Von Anton Bruckner dem „lieben Gott“ gewidmet: die 9. Sinfonie, eingespielt von Paavo Järvi mit den hr-Sinfonieorchester.

Foto: hr
Abdruck: honorarfrei

Das hr-Sinfonieorchester hat unter der Leitung von Paavo Järvi Anton Bruckners 9. Sinfonie auf CD eingespielt. Nach der Siebten ist dies die zweite Bruckner-Sinfonie des Gesamtzyklus‘, den das Orchester auf dem Label Sony RCA veröffentlicht. „Ich liebe Bruckner”, hat Paavo Järvi zu Beginn des Vorhabens erklärt. Die neunte und letzte Sinfonie berührte den Chefdirigenten des hr-Sinfonieorchesters in besonderer Weise: „Wir alle wissen, dass diese Sinfonie eine Verbindung zum Göttlichen hat, ist sie doch ‚dem lieben Gott‘ gewidmet. Aber ich werde das Gefühl nicht los, dass diesem Werk etwas Mysteriöseres, etwas Spirituelleres, Prophetischeres innewohnt als jeder anderen Sinfonie von Bruckner, die ich kenne.“

In der 9. Sinfonie hinterlässt der spät zu öffentlicher Anerkennung gelangte Sinfoniker ein eindrucksvolles musikalisches Vermächtnis. Obwohl Bruckner fast ein Jahrzehnt – von 1887 bis zu seinem Tod 1896 – an dem Werk arbeitete, hat er sie nicht vollenden können. Vom groß angelegten Schlusssatz, den Bruckner resignierend und hoffend zugleich „dem lieben Gott" gewidmet hatte, existieren nur umfangreiche Skizzen. Dass die Sinfonie auch in ihrer unvollendeten Dreisätzigkeit aber wie eine mächtige Einheit erscheint, verdankt sie nicht zuletzt dem gewaltigen Adagio des dritten Satzes, das in seiner Ausdruckskraft, kompositorischen Dichte und Kühnheit einen ebenbürtigen Gegenpol zum monumentalen Kopfsatz schafft und das Bruckner selbst für das Schönste hielt, das er je geschrieben hat.

Das hr-Sinfonieorchester hat eine lange Bruckner-Tradition. Für die Ersteinspielung der Urfassungen seiner 3., 4. und 8. Sinfonie erhielt das Orchester unter dem damaligen Chefdirigenten Eliahu Inbal den begehrten „Grand Prix du Disque“. „Als ich meine erste Bruckner-Sinfonie in Frankfurt dirigierte“, sagte Paavo Järvi, „merkte ich sofort, dass dieses Orchester eine sehr starke Verbindung zu Bruckner hat. Nach dieser Erfahrung war mir klar, dass ich diese Werke mit diesem Orchester einspielen möchte und dass der Zeitpunkt für mich genau richtig war – weil ich jetzt so weit bin, diesen Zyklus aufzunehmen.“

Das hr-Sinfonieorchester ist eines der innovativsten und flexibelsten sinfonischen Ensembles in Deutschland. Mit seinem breiten stilistischen Repertoire und seinen Konzert- und CD-Produktionen genießt das Orchester internationales Renommee. Unter Eliahu Inbal hat es sich als eines der führenden Bruckner- und Mahler-Orchester etabliert und unter Hugh Wolff zugleich den Ruf eines profilierten Haydn- und Beethoven-Orchesters erworben. Paavo Järvi ist seit 2006 Chefdirigent des hr-Sinfonieorchesters und bereichert das Orchester um neue spannende Facetten.

Die CD, die als SACD-Produktion neben der normalen, auf jedem CD-Player abspielbaren Stereo-Fassung auch eine fünfkanalige Surround-Sound-Fassung enthält, kann im hr-shop und über den Fachhandel bezogen werden. Bestellnummer: RCA – Sony Music 8697542572, Gesamtzeit: 65:39 Minuten.

Ein Rezensionsexemplar kann bei bschulz@hr-online.de oder Telefon 069/155-4549 angefordert werden. Um ein Belegexemplar wird gebeten.


Hessischer Rundfunk
Pressestelle

Bertramstraße 8
60320 Frankfurt am Main
Telefon (069) 1 55-4549
Fax (069) 1 55-2126
bschulz@hr-online.de

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Selig sind, die da Leid tragen



Von Harald Budweg

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Stark wie eh und je: das hr-Sinfonieorchester.

11. Oktober 2009 Wenn ein Jubilar sein 80. Lebensjahr vollendet, sich als rüstig erweist und noch Lebensfreude ausstrahlt, so dürfte dies ein Grund zum Feiern sein. Das hr-Sinfonieorchester hat sein Abonnementprogramm in der Alten Oper gerade in den Dienst seines 80-Jahre-Jubiläums gestellt. Auch wenn der Name dieses Ensembles im Lauf seiner Geschichte immer wieder wechselte: Der Klangkörper wurde im Oktober 1929 gegründet und erlebt heute vielleicht seine künstlerisch prägnanteste Blütezeit, die von 1974 an dank harter Arbeit vom damaligen Chefdirigenten Eliahu Inbal vorbereitet wurde. Dessen Nachfolger Dmitri Kitajenko und Hugh Wolff verstanden sehr wohl, daran anzuknüpfen und diese Qualität konsequent weiterzuentwickeln.

Dass es für den heutigen Chef Paavo Järvi eine Freude ist, mit den Musikern des Rundfunkorchesters zu arbeiten, hat dieser schon öfter betont. Das „Freitagskonzert“ zum Jubiläum zeugte davon, auch wenn es zunächst seltsam anmuten mochte, diesen Feiertag ausgerechnet mit einem so besinnlichen Werk wie Brahms’ „Ein deutsches Requiem“ zu begehen. Andererseits: Es bedarf keiner zirzensischen Aktionen, wenn man sich seiner Qualität bewusst ist. Järvis besonderes Interesse für Brahms hatte sich schon in seinen Interpretationen der Sinfonien manifestiert, und es besteht kein Zweifel, dass auch dieses Chorwerk für seine Interpreten anspruchsvolle Aufgaben bereithält.

Keine 50 Kehlen

Paavo Järvi und dem hr-Sinfonieorchester ist eine exemplarisch zu nennende Interpretation gelungen: Eine minutiös ausgefeilte Dynamik und eine wohlproportionierte Klangregie waren deutlich erkennbare Merkmale einer intensiven Beschäftigung mit dem Werk. Das größte Ereignis des Abends war jedoch die Leistung des vorzüglich intonierenden Schwedischen Rundfunkchors: Nicht einmal 50 Kehlen stark, lässt diese handverlesene Singgemeinschaft an Ausdruckskraft nichts vermissen, doch noch erstaunlicher wirken die substanzreichen, im Legato blitzsauber ausgesungenen Pianissimi. Die kontrapunktisch kunstvollen Chorpassagen des Requiems erklangen vorbildlich transparent. Etwas weniger homogen wirkten die solistischen Partien: Ludovic Téziers Stimmtechnik befähigt den Bariton zu melosgetränkten Passagen von überwältigender Schönheit. Im Gegensatz hierzu wäre das Herzstück des Requiems, das Sopransolo „Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit“ in der Interpretation von Natalie Dessay, etwas inniger und ruhevoller, vor allem mit weniger Vibrato vorstellbar gewesen. Andererseits beeindruckte die Sängerin mit ihrer Fähigkeit, ihre Phrasierungen selbst in höchster Höhe ausdrucksvoll zu nuancieren.

Ein wenig bekanntes Jugendwerk von Olivier Messiaen hatte Järvi dem Brahms-Requiem vorangestellt: „Le tombeau resplendissant“ (1931). Der Komponist hat später zu diesem Stück Abstand gehalten, hat sich kaum jemals um eine Drucklegung oder Schallplattenaufnahme bemüht. Die Musik zeigt einige Merkmale seines späteren Personalstils, offenbart sich dabei jedoch als ungehemmt expressiv und enthält durch Hinzufügung eines mottoartigen Gedichts eine biographische Zutat, die Messiaen später womöglich unangenehm berührte. Was hat dieses Stück mit Brahms’ Requiem zu tun? Wenig, doch in Messiaens Gedicht erscheint kurz vor Schluss die Zeile „Selig sind, die da Leid tragen“. Mit diesen Worten beginnt auch das Werk von Brahms.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Вооруженным глазом

Исполнительская сенсация последнего времени — Бетховен под управлением Пааво Ярви. На днях эстонский дирижер удивлял публику в Бонне, родном городе классика

Гюляра Садых-заде
Для Ведомостей

15.09.2009, 173 (2443)


Традиция исполнять на фестивале, посвященном вечно насупленному гению, все его симфонии родилась, понятно, не вчера. На прошлом фестивале, к примеру, все симфонии Бетховена исполнял Курт Мазур, 84-летний маэстро, обремененный многолетней привычкой играть Бетховена пышным и плотным романтическим звуком. Но музыка Бетховена в подобных исполнениях давно повисла на ушах; интерес к нему начал падать — и это стало большой проблемой для интерпретаторов. Были, впрочем, еще и аутентисты, как Филипп Херрвег с его «Оркестром Елисейских Полей». Раздав музыкантам инструменты бетховенского времени, Херрвег изощрил и утончил звучание бетховенского оркестра. Нежно дышащая фразировка, волюнтаристски свободная ритмика приблизили аутентичного Бетховена к его предшественникам.

Ценность интерпретации Ярви заключается в том, что он предложил как бы третий путь: новый тип слышания Бетховена. Конечно, во многом слышание Ярви шло от заданного состава: Бременский камерный оркестр — это не симфоническая махина, он гибче. И звук у него суше — тем более вибрато бременские струнники отнюдь не форсировали. На первый план неожиданно вышла перкуссия: сильнее выпятились героические литавры, звонче дребезжали тарелки и треугольники. Симфонии Бетховена обнаружили забытое генетическое родство с тембральным окрасом военных оркестров эпохи наполеоновских войн. Чеканные маршевые ритмы, фанфары, звончатая, осветленная фактура, серебристо-яркий колорит, бойкие темпы — все вместе оказывало на публику воодушевляющее воздействие. Так что стоячих оваций во все четыре вечера цикла было не избежать.

Четвертая, Пятая, Седьмая симфонии неслись бодро, резво, вприпрыжку. Более канонично была проведена Девятая. Отделка деталей поражала скрупулезной дотошностью. Сухая, отрывистая, идеально выверенная фразировка — не забыть, как легко взлетали скрипки, втыкаясь, как кнопки, в верхнюю ноту фразы. Это было не обычное исполнение, но род научного исследования, предпринятый с дирижерской палочкой в руке: ни один микрон авторского текста не остался без внимания. Ярви смотрит на Бетховена в микроскоп, как бы вооруженным глазом, при этом не теряя ни грана энергетики и драйва. Работа над циклом симфоний Бетховена стала в некотором роде и победой над самим собой: Ярви успешно преодолел свою интровертную природу, став гораздо более открытым эмоционально.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Камерная филармония Бремена: оркестр правдоискателей

Оркестр "Немецкая Камерная филармония Бремена" (Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen) называют в числе десяти лучших оркестров мира. Уникальная структура ансамбля во многом определяет его музыкальное качество.

Сегодня название оркестра "Камерная филармония Бремена" у всех на слуху - в первую очередь, благодаря циклу симфоний Бетховена, сыгранному и записанному под управлением Пааво Ярви. Один не очень информированный российский коллега написал в этой связи о "провинциальном немецком оркестре, достигшем высокого уровня благодаря личности дирижера". Это не так. Скорее, наоборот: эстонский маэстро решился связать свою европейскую судьбу именно с этим коллективом - и сделал правильную ставку.


"Камерная филармония Бремена" неоднократно входила в десятку лучших оркестров мира, наряду с филармоническими оркестрами Берлина и Дрездена. Уникален этот коллектив и по другой причине: созданный единомышленниками, он и сегодня в большой степени существует на их энтузиазме.

Не хлебом единым

Первоклассный музыкант, который добровольно соглашается получать приблизительно на треть меньше денег, чем мог бы. Таких не бывает? В "Камерной филармонии Бремена" их почти полсотни. Один из них – скрипач Тимофей Бекасов. "Это уникальная команда, - говорит он. - Не знаю, где такую еще найти. Это одна семья, которая живет своим делом".

В 1980 году около двух десятков студентов самых разных консерваторий Германии решили объявить войну "пресыщенному оркестровому истеблишменту". Молодые музыканты не хотели просиживать штаны в госоркестрах, не желали плясать под дудку дирижеров, которых не они себе выбирали, играть музыку, которая их не интересует. В некотором смысле это напоминает создание знаменитого "Персимфанса" – революционного "первого симфонического ансамбля без дирижера". Без дирижера бременские музыканты тоже играют, и нередко. Удивительная слаженность ансамбля вообще является главной отличительной чертой этого оркестра. Как говорит о них знаменитая пианистка Елизавета Леонская: "Дело в том, что они все преданы музыке. Они замечательные камерные музыканты. И, с полной увернностью, что так оно и должно быть, они сидят в этой маленькой формации и играют симфонии как квартетную музыку".


Ансамбль правдоискателей


В 1983 году ансамбль с успехом выступил в нью-йоркской штаб-квартире ООН. Затем добрым гением "Камерной филармонии", тогда еще франкфуртской, а не бременской, стал Гидон Кремер. Он пригласил ансамбль на свой фестиваль в Локхаус. Завязались контакты, появились первые поклонники.


Главной эстетической установкой оркестра было и остается стремление к максимальной подлинности. Для этого музыканты исследовали и экспериментировали, углублялись в материю, приглашали дирижеров – специалистов по той или иной эпохе. "Мы хотели, чтобы Бетховен действительно звучал как Бетховен, Вагнер – как Вагнер, а Чайковский – как Чайковский, - говорит директор оркестра Альберт Шмидт. - Чтобы не было некоего "усредненного" для всех исполнения, без особых различий. На первых порах мы получали копейки, и весь проект казался авантюрой"

Лишь приблизительно на седьмой год своего существования оркестр вышел на "уровень выживания". Впрочем, до сих пор, несмотря на славу, доход музыкантов значительно ниже, чем у их коллег в госоркестрах. "Мы получаем то, что зарабатываем, - подчеркивает Тимофей Бекасов. - Для того, как мы работаем, мы получаем очень мало. Нам постоянно приходится экономить, мы не можем позволить себе лишний день порепетировать, не можем во время гастролей устроить себе выходной. Но ничего, дело житейское. Нам хватает."

Отсутствие высоких доходов сторицей компенсируется творческой свободой и правом участвовать в принятии стратегических решений. Каждый из музыкантов является совладельцем оркестра. Все основные решения, касающиеся репертуара, записей, выбора дирижеров, концертных площадок и так далее, принимаются на общих собраниях оркестра, которые проходят раз в шесть недель. Ради этой личной свободы музыканты готовы идти на некоторые жертвы.


"Бременские музыканты"

В 1993 году оркестр, уже прославившийся как "ансамбль правдоискателей", принял приглашение "прописаться" в Бремене. Здесь же у него основная репетиционная площадка - в школе одного из "социально неблагополучных" районов Бремена.


Дверь, разделяющая школу и пристройку, в которой репетирует оркестр, принципиально не закрывается. Музыканты – частые гости в классах, школьники – на репетициях и специально для них устраиваемых фестивалях. Постоянный контакт с молодыми людьми, многие из которых и слыхом не слыхивали о классической музыке – хорошая школа для каждого из музыкантов.

"Потому что этот контакт не опирается на общественную аксиому, что, де, классика – это обязательно хорошо, - говорит Альберт Шмидт. - В общении с молодежью нам постоянно приходится ставить перед собой принципиальные вопросы, касающиеся смысла и сути того, что мы делаем, и отвечать на них. Это очень полезно для нашей работы."

Автор: Анастасия Рахманова
Редактор: Ефим Шуман

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cinci Symphony Opens 2009-10 in Fashion

By Mary Ellyn Hutton
MusicalAmerica.com
October 2, 2009

Since Paavo Järvi became music director in 2001, the Cincinnati Symphony has played more music by Estonian composers than any American orchestra – hardly surprising, since Järvi is himself Estonian. Arvo Pärt and Erkki-Sven Tüür are particular favorites, especially the latter, whose new Symphony No. 7, “Pietas,” a co-commission with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, opened the season Sept. 25 in Music Hall. Premiered in Frankfurt last June under Järvi, the piece was here receiving its first U.S. performance.

It was a fresh look at a composer who began his career as the leader of a progressive rock band. Yet Tüür embraces the rigors of mid-century modernism. He seeks to reconcile what he calls “intellectual” and “emotional” energy. He describes himself as a musical “architect” -- to build a house, it must have a structure – and has written a series of works called “Architectonics” (1984-92) that explore a “metalanguage” of compositional techniques.

“Pietas” is a 40-minute, through-composed work that employs chorus (courtesy of the Cincinnati May Festival) and uses texts on the theme of compassion (“pietas”) by Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, St. Augustine, Mother Teresa, Deepak Chopra and Jimi Hendrix. It is dedicated to the Dalai Lama.

Instead of movements, it uses waves, each broken by a quote or quotes from one of the texts. The waves grow in length and intensity, anticipating and reflecting the content of the words. The drama is in the orchestra, which represents the world. The voices provide commentary.

Tüür uses both tonal and atonal harmonies to optimal emotional affect. There are several bars in each movement in which a sustained, unison pitch relieves accumulated tension (Tüür calls them “access pitches” and they play a structural role, too, in binding the work together).

The orchestral writing is ravishing. Percussion play an important role, but every section and timbre of the orchestra is exploited. Tüür likes to reproduce acoustically the sounds of electronic processing, and creates extraordinary effects using multiphonics in the winds and quarter-tone fluctuations to give pitches a sting.

The symphony opens with high woodwind trills, glockenspiel and vibraphone, underlined by a double bass drone. This mood seems quizzical, with lots of froth and layering as the basic motivic materials are introduced. It comes to a stop with a cluster of brass and a fortissimo chord, after which the chorus enters with, “We are what we think; all that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make our world” (Buddha). Gandhi’s “You must be the change you want to see in the world” is haloed by a gentle passage for solo violin and viola.

The second wave grows more combative and discordant, culminating in Hendrix’s “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace” and Gandhi’s “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” sung staccato for added bite.

Things get really ugly in the third wave, where low winds and brass coil down against a big tuba solo that conjures the dragon Fafner from Wagner’s “Siegfried.” Woodwinds cackle and trumpets pierce the texture like air-raid warnings. Here Tüür creates an extraordinary effect. Following “Fill your mind with compassion” (Buddha), the brasses blow through their mouthpieces like a gust of cool wind, temporarily lowering the heat of the fray. The calming effect is intensified with the faraway sound of rain stick.

The fourth wave, the longest and most complex, follows quotes from St. Augustine (“The measure of love is to love without measure”), Mother Teresa (“If you judge people, you have no time to love them”) and Deepak Chopra (“The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers”). There is painful pleading by three oboes as the tension grows, further enhanced by “coiled springs” (three automobile suspension springs struck with a hammer) and tubular bells. String textures thicken, and there is a kind of ascension reminiscent of Messiaen. This is followed by a repeat of the wind/rain stick effect.

At the end the chorus and orchestra achieve unity as they join forces on “We are what we think” (Buddha), which evaporates into soft strokes of tam-tam, bowed vibraphone and a blur of flutes.

The Cincinnati audience was of two minds: those who gave it a polite reception and moved on to the more familiar parts of the program (Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Alina Pogostkina) and those who seemed genuinely intrigued. I was of the latter camp.