by Nicholas Kenyon
26 September 2010
When I asked a conductor why Bizet's teenage Symphony in C was so rarely played, he said: "Because it's so fucking difficult!" It needs perfect athleticism and agility, here provided in abundance by the Orchestre de Paris under its new conductor, Paavo Järvi. The final allegro, made so memorable in Balanchine's ballet of the same name, crackles with wit. The domestic charms of Jeux d'enfants are gently explored. The early Roma suite is even less often played and perhaps less distinctive, though Järvi makes it atmospheric. Bizet's death before he was 40 is a musical loss to set beside the early deaths of Mozart and Purcell.