Monday, October 25, 2010

Jarvi's Bruckner CDs may be his best yet

By Edward Reichel
Deseret News
October 23, 2010

Paavo Jarvi, the longtime music director of the Cincinnati Symphony and, since 2006 the music director of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, has an extensive discography, mainly of late 19th and early 20th century music.

And these RCA recordings of Anton Bruckner's Seventh and Ninth Symphonies are quite possibly Jarvi's best to date. He brings depth and perception to his interpretations and captures the essence of each work — in short, he puts his fine interpretive sense on display here, something that has occasionally been lacking in his earlier recordings.

Jarvi's tempos tend to be on the expansive side, but he makes it work. These are thoughtful, inward looking performances played by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, an orchestra that has become one of the best in Germany. The ensemble plays with rich expressions and a warm romantic sound, especially from the brass.

Having the brass play with resonance and a mellow tone is vitally important for a successful Bruckner performance. And Jarvi doesn't let them overpower the rest of the orchestra in these live recordings — something that not every conductor can achieve.

Particularly striking is Jarvi's account of the Adagio from the Seventh. This is one of Bruckner's most beautiful and profoundly moving pieces of music, and Jarvi captures the movement's emotional intensity, inward strength and sincerity with luminous eloquence.

These are recordings that put a new perspective on what unquestionably are Bruckner's two best known symphonies.

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