Thursday, August 31, 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Two guys drinking beer ;-)

Paavo with his friend Esa-Pekka Salonen backstage after one of the Baltic Sea concerts (Photo: Mary Ellyn Hutton)

Our friend, Cincinnati Post music critic Mary Ellyn Hutton sends word that she snapped this picture which she calls "two guys drinking beer" while visiting Stockholm to write about the Baltic Sea Festival for Musical She writes: "It was quite a phenomenon though it rained buckets most of the time. Believe it or not, I was the only music critic there from the entire Western Hemisphere. I was shocked, actually. Press was mostly from Sweden with a few from Russia, Germany, Austria, Holland and one from Portugal. I guess it is far away and Americans are loathe to travel now (???). [My husband] John and I are addicted and figure when our number is up, it will be up. At least we will die happy." And, we may add, having heard a lot of fine music, too.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Cultural leaders: Paavo Järvi

The Cincinnati Enquirer featured profiles about local cultural leaders this morning and, of course, Paavo was prominently featured:
Cultural leaders: Paavo Järvi
Cincinnati Symphony

Under music director Paavo Järvi, 43, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra fans have experienced the most electrifying concerts they've seen in decades. But his first concert as music director, three days after 9/11, was the most subdued welcoming of a maestro any orchestra has ever had. In the ensuing economic downturn, Järvi has had an uphill battle to attract listeners.

Gradually, he's succeeding. But today, Järvi is also the marketing image of the orchestra, a powerful figure who can inspire donors to write checks as easily as he can inspire 100 musicians.

Järvi's contacts are bringing the best of the world's talent to Cincinnati. Case in point: In February, Russian superstar Valery Gergiev will guest conduct here - one of two orchestra gigs he's accepted this year on this continent.

Through whirlwind tours to Europe, Japan and Carnegie Hall, Järvi has placed the Cincinnati Symphony firmly in the international arena. In April, the orchestra will perform five concerts in California - another opportunity to showcase the symphony's highly praised recordings.

Why he's worth it: "He represents one of the jewels of Cincinnati, the CSO. The orchestra of the caliber we have attracts people, businesses and investments to Cincinnati. Someone like Paavo is a wonderful icon for the orchestra.

"There's also a wonderful synergy between Paavo and the audience. ... He literally takes us and excites us and educates us about pieces that we're not used to." - Diane "Dee Dee" West, of West Chester Township, treasurer, CSO board

Thursday, August 24, 2006

CONCERT REVIEW: E’ grande musica con le Settimane

Look what I just found. A brand new review of Paavo and DKAM's concert in Stresa Tuesday night!
E’ grande musica con le Settimane
Corriere di Novara, 24 agosto 2006

Una Prima sobria, senza festeggiamenti finali, il concerto delle Settimane Musicali di Stresa e del Lago Maggiore di sabato 19 agosto presso il Palazzo dei Congressi. Sul palcoscenico la Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, sul podio il maestro estone Paavo Jarvi, al pianoforte il giovane artista finlandese Olli Mustonen. In programma Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra numero 9 in si bemolle maggiore detto “Jeunehomme” dal nome della concertista francese per la quale era stato scritto, di Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, e Sinfonia numero 5 in do minore di Ludwig van Beethoven. Il Concerto numero 9 è un’opera matura e monumentale in cui l’invenzione musicale si associa alla spontanea semplicità. Da autentico “ribelle” inizia soltanto l’esposizione introduttiva per poi entrare improvvisamente nel vivo del dialogo musicale. Il pianista in diverse occasioni irrompe inaspettatamente ed il dialogo è rapido e vivace. Le idee musicali sono spesso sostenute dal pianoforte: l’Allegro sprigiona fresca vivacità inventiva, l’Andantino si espone negli archi con una bellezza irreale, il Rondò è esuberante e confluisce in un tenero Minuetto. Particolare l’interpretazione pianistica giocata su una preziosa ricerca timbrica ed il dialogo perfetto per sintonia tra il Maestro e l’Orchestra. Nel secondo tempo è stata suonata Sinfonia numero 5 di Beethoven, un’opera di straordinaria genialità che alla sua prima suscitò perplessità e giudizi dubbi da parte del pubblico e della critica. Venne presentata assieme ad altre nuovissime composizioni dello stesso autore nel dicembre 1808 in un concerto straordinario con Beethoven al pianoforte in una delle sue ultime apparizioni pubbliche. Un dialogo dualistico, drammatico nei conflitti tematici in cui l’uomo si scontra in una lotta senza fine. Anche in questo caso Beethoven, come Mozart, si ribella alle convenzioni e nella sua genialità supera il linguaggio comunicando le ragioni più profonde. Opera di grande autorevolezza e capacità assertiva appare come “il più grande ritratto che Beethoven ci dà di se stesso”. L’Orchestra ha interpretato con grande sensibilità ed incanto, con un approccio non convenzionale e una perfetta sintonia con il maestro Paavo Fjarvi.

--Angela Maria Vicario

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

CD REVIEW: Beethoven Symphonies No. 3 and 8

Here's a review from of the SACD version of Paavo and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen's recording of Beethoven's Symphonies No. 3 and No. 8, released by BMG Japan last May.
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 "Eroica", Symphony No. 8
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Paavo Jarvi (conductor)
BMG (Japan): BVCC-34139

Review by Daland June 15, 2006 (4 of 4 found this review helpful) Performance: Sonics (MC):

An excellent recording in every way - bold, brilliant, full-blooded and exciting. The tempi are on the brisk side, but not too much so. Paavo Järvi allows the music to breathe and displays a keen sense of the long line - so crucial in the Eroica. His attention to detail never interferes with his overall conception. His reading of the Eighth Symphony is, if anything, even more thrilling. The orchestra, made up of 40-odd players, responds to the manner [sic] born, the woodwind and horns being especially notable. I find it quite astonishing that a relatively small outfit can sound so heroic.

Sonically, this recording can hardly be bettered. There is transparency, brilliance and a real sense of space (in marked contrast to the Vänskä SACD featuring the same two symphonies). This is hardly surprising as the recording project was in the hands of Polyhymnia International.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

RADIO ALERT: Salzburg Festival Broadcast

OE1, the Austrian radio channel, will broadcast a recording of Paavo and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen's August 15 performance as part of the Salzburg Festival on Wednesday, August 23, at 11:05 pm, Salzburg time (5:05 pm ET). You may listen via streaming audio by clicking here: Ö1

The program includes: Mozart's Symphony in C Major, No. 28 KV 200;
Rihm's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (Stephen Isserlis, cello)(Commissioned by the Salzburg Festival - World Premiere); and Mozart's Serenade in D Major, "Haffner".

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Paavo Makes Magic

From artist Ryan Strander's website, PJ waves his magic wand and sees Music Hall in the crystal ball! Click here to see the full-size version.

Paavo Meets the Mayor of Bremen

Albert Caspari, one of our European friends, kindly sent us some of the lovely photographs he took of Paavo at a reception held last Monday in Bremen's Town Hall and invited us to share them with you. More than 300 people attended the reception at which the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie also played an hour-long concert. Paavo gave a short speech, mainly thanking Bremen people for their fantastic support.

Since we are not presently at home and are having technical difficulties uploading these photos to the Paavo Project right now, we recommend you view them on Albert's blog here. Albert's blog focuses on all things Estonian and can be read at Estland.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

RADIO ALERT: DKAM Concert to Air on August 20

Paavo conducts the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen with special guest, pianist Lars Vogt on Sunday, August 20, from 12:05 to 2:00 Bremen time (6:05 - 8 am Cincinnati time) on Nordwestradio. You can listen to it via streaming audio here.

This all-Beethoven concert, recorded on May 12, 2006 at the Glocke in Bremen, includes: Symphony No. 1 in C Flat, op. 21; Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat Major, op. 19 (Lars Vogt, piano); and Symphony No. 2 in D-Flat, Op. 36.

For additional details visit the Radio Bremen website.

Paavo's in Italy!

I must say, with as much travel as Paavo is doing these days, I'd venture a guess that he's almost worn a hole in the bottom of his shoes! ;-)

Today he is leading the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen in a concert in Stresa, Italy, as part of the international festival celebrating the «SOLITUDINE DEL GENIO» (Solitude of the Genius) in homage to the anniversaries of Mozart, Schumann and Shostakovich.

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 9 in E Flat Major, K271 (“Jeunehomme”), (Olli Mustonen, piano)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, op. 67

Saturday, August 19, 9 pm
Palace of the Conferences
Stresa (Verbania)
Tickets: 20-55 euro
Telephone: 0323.31.095

Friday, August 18, 2006

CONCERT REVIEW: Die Noten der Seele

Here is a review from DER STANDARD of Paavo and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen's concert in Salzburg, featuring the World Premiere of Rihm's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra with Stephen Isserlis, soloist.
Die Noten der Seele
Wolfgang-Rihm-Neuheit für Violoncello und Orchester in der Felsenreitschule in Salzburg
Von Heidemarie Klabacher
DER STANDARD, Print-Ausgabe, 17.8.2006

Salzburg - Schon die ersten Takte der zwischen Heiterkeit und Melancholie changierenden Haffner-Serenade D-Dur KV 250 erwiesen sich als symptomatisch für den ganzen Abend mit der Deutschen Kammerphilharmonie Bremen unter Paavo Järvi: Pulsierende Energie und musikantische Lust unterwandert von bedrohlichen Einwürfen, oft aus den tiefen Lagen grollend; heitere, der Welt und den Menschen zublühende Offenheit und im nächsten Augenblick scheuer Rückzug. Vielschichtig und spannend. Im Andante? Da seufzten zwar markant die Bratschen (selten deutlich) ein Weh in die Welt - das aber von der Heiterkeit der hohen Streicher aufgesogen, geheilt wurde.

Rasant, aber präzise das Rondo und fulminant das Finale: Das Expressive wurde oft zurückgenommen - quasi eine emotionale Achterbahn. Beim Konzert in einem Satz für Violoncello und Orchester von Wolfgang Rihm hob Solist Steven Isserlis in der Felsenreitschule zu einer expressiven Kantilene meist in den höchsten Lagen an.

Wie schon bei Mozart zeichneten Järvi und Orchester die unzähligen Stimmungswechsel fein nach. Da endet etwa eine kleine Cellodoppelgriffpassage in einem schwebenden Einklang, in den das Englischhorn eine Pastorale hineinmalt. Dann wieder greifen Geigen einen hohen Celloton auf und führen die Spannung weiter, während der Solist in tieferer Lage quasi mit dem Zuhörer ausatmet. Transparent musiziert in jeder Phrase und Stimmung wirkte auch der farbenreiche Holzbläsersatz in den idyllischen wie den heftigeren, fast jazzigen Passagen. Sicher ein repertoiretaugliches Stück.

CONCERT REVIEW: Rätsel bei Mozart und Neuer Musik

And here's a review from Die Presse of DKAM's perfomance with Paavo at the Salzburg Festival the other night
Rätsel bei Mozart und Neuer Musik
Von Daniela Tomasovsky
Die Presse, 17.08.2006

Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie unter Järvi: Mozart, Rihm.

Während die Zuseher darauf warten, dass das restliche Orchester und der Dirigent auf die Bühne kommen, beginnen die anwesenden Musiker bereits zu spielen. Nach den ersten Takten von Mozarts Marsch in D-Dur (KV 249) eilt eine Bratschistin aufs Podium, schaut schuldbewusst. Halb belustigt, halb erbost sehen einander die Zuseher an, einige Takte später ist alles klar: Das ist ein bewusst geplanter Überraschungscoup, nach und nach trudeln nun alle restlichen Musiker ein, zum Schluss Paavo Järvi.

Auch eine Möglichkeit, den oft verschmähten Eröffnungsmarsch in die Haffner-Serenade einzubauen. Die knapp einstündige Serenade spielen die Musiker dann mit sprühender Energie und erkennbarer Musizierlust, obwohl Järvis Dirigat etwas unambitioniert wirkt: Er scheint Mozarts Partitur zu lesen wie ein Schüler seinen Faust. Besonderer Gestaltungswille wird dabei nicht erkennbar. Manchen Passagen mangelt es an Feingliedrigkeit, anderen fehlt die Akzentuierung. Aber wenn man kurz zuvor noch Mozart unter Riccardo Mutis Leitung gehört hat, liegt die Latte vielleicht allzu hoch. Souverän meistert Daniel Sepec das heikle Violinsolo.

Herzstück des Abends ist die Uraufführung von Wolfgang Rihms "Konzert in einem Satz für Violoncello und Orchester" - ein Auftragswerk der Salzburger Festspiele. Es ist Rihms drittes Cellokonzert, besonderes Augenmerk scheint der Komponist diesmal auf die Form und die Instrumentation gelegt zu haben: Die feinsinnige Kommunikation zwischen Cello (grandios: Steven Isserlis) und Orchester sticht besonders hervor - zeitweise liegt der Solopart als höchste Stimme über dem Orchester, dann wieder werden Cellopassagen von sehr ätherischen Orchesterklängen hinterlegt, bei sehr ungestümen Orchesterstellen pausiert wiederum das Cello.

Beeindruckend sind Rihms technische Fertigkeiten und seine Erfindungskraft - inhaltlich bleibt das Werk aber für die Zuhörer schwer fassbar. Vielleicht ist das auch beabsichtigt: Anders als bei seinen meisten Werken, z. B. den zwei vorangegangenen Cellokonzerten ("Monodram. Musik für Violoncello und Orchester" 1983, "Styx und Lethe. Musik für Violoncello und Orchester" 1998), hat Rihm diesmal auf einen metaphorischen Titel verzichtet.

Friday, August 11, 2006

PJ's August 2006 Schedule

Since I am still in the hospital and unable to work on the new webpage for Paavo's schedule until I get home, I thought I would post his August schedule here in case you might be in the neighborhood!

Tuesday, August 15
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Salzburg Festival
Salzburg, AUSTRIA

Mozart: Symphony in C Major, No. 28 KV 200
Rihm: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (Stephen Isserlis, cello)(Commissioned by the Salzburg Festival - World Premiere)
Mozart: Serenade in D Major, "Haffner"

This performance is broadcast on Ö1 on the 23rd of August 2006 at 11:05 pm Salzburg time.

* * * * *

Saturday, August 19
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Stresa, ITALY

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 9 in E Flat Major, K271 (“Jeunehomme”), (Olli Mustonen, piano)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, op. 67

* * * * *

Friday, August 25
Baltic Sea Festival
Stockholm, SWEDEN
7:30 pm, Berwaldhallen
Estonian National Symphony Orchestra

Debussy: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Erkki-Sven Tüür: Symphony No. 4, "Magma" (Evelyn Glennie, percussion)
Lepo Sumera: Symphony No. 6
Stravinsky: Firebird Suite (1919)

Tickets: 85-370 SEK

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Paavo on his native soil

Mary Ellyn Hutton has spent a lot of her summer vacation time this year in the Baltics and sends this dispatch, published in today's Cincinnati Post about Paavo's visit to Estonia earlier last month.
PÄRNU, Estonia - Conductor Paavo Järvi has many scripts to follow on his travels around the globe.

One is as music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Another is artistic director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, with whom he toured Japan in May with their newly recorded cycle of Beethoven symphonies.

Yet another is unfolding in his native Estonia. As artistic advisor of the Estonian National Orchestra, Järvi has made a series of acclaimed recordings, including Sibelius Cantatas (Virgin Classics, 2004), Estonia's first Grammy-winner.

Son of famed conductor Neeme Järvi, he has taken on another role recently, joining his father as a teacher of young conductors at Neeme Järvi's Summer Academy in Pärnu, Estonia.

"I have done occasional master classes in places where I have been a guest conductor, but nothing like this, which is quite organized and quite a specific course," said Järvi, 43, over a late-afternoon snack at one of Pärnu's outdoor cafes.

Held in July in conjunction with Pärnu's distinguished David Oistrakh Festival, the week-long master course is a prime opportunity for young conductors to hone their craft, he said.

"There are very few opportunities for young conductors to have a chance to conduct an orchestra and have actual interaction with an experienced conductor. Every person who comes here will have a chance to conduct in concert as well, as an active participant. It's an opportunity that you just can't get anywhere."

In Pärnu - a picture postcard town on the Baltic Sea famed for its spas and white sand beach - a dozen or so students work in front of an orchestra for allotted time slots each day, typically two 15-minute sessions each. The conducting sessions are videotaped and critiqued by the teacher before the entire class, and each student is assigned to conduct a portion of the two student-led Oistrakh Festival concerts. Classes and concerts are held in Pärnu's brand new Concert Hall, a five-story, glass-walled sparkler on the bank of the place Pärnu River.

There were 15 students this year, from Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United States. Although he has taught in Pärnu twice before, this was Järvi's first time as sole instructor with his dad. (Finnish guru Jorma Panula and Russian conductor Alexander Dmitriev have assisted Neeme Jarvi in the past).

Järvi taught July 6-9, his father July 10-12.

Pärnu, a former Hanseatic League city founded in 1251, is uniquely hospitable for a conducting course, said Järvi. "This is a secluded place, not a show business environment. Here you can actually do work and feel like you can make mistakes. It's a charming city that is not over-developed yet, with nice places to eat and walk."

Järvi sat score in hand during the conducting sessions, often striding to the podium to raise or clarify an issue with the student. His manner was serious, but congenial. "We are all friends here," he said, to one very nervous conductor.

He was also uncompromising. "I will not say 'this is great,' if it is not great. Go somewhere else for compliments. Here you are going to get what you need to hear."

As soon as something went wrong or struck Järvi as "not working," he immediately pointed it out and offered a solution.

There is "no formula" for what makes a good conductor, said Järvi, who presided in T-shirt and jeans, often barefoot during video sessions.

"Conducting is very personal," he said. "It depends on each individual - the way they are built, the way they think and are taught, how old they are and so on."

What Järvi looks for is "somebody who can communicate something. In a course that lasts four or five days, you can be most useful by helping people show what they mean. There are people who have very much talent, but don't know how to express it, others who have more experience but don't have much to say.

"I try to catch my very first impression, because that is what musicians go by. They don't have time to analyze too many things while they are playing 50 notes in a bar."

Jarvi's goal was to give the students a "second opinion."

"It is very hard to get an objective point of view in conducting because first of all, it's hard to get a chance to conduct at that stage in your life. Second, they have a certain standard set by their teachers, that this is the way to do it. It's good to have a reality check and see how it works in an environment when your teacher is not there."

Järvi dismisses the godlike image of the symphony conductor. (Conductor joke: What's the difference between God and a conductor? God doesn't think he's a conductor.)

"Too much is made of this kind of mystical quality of conducting," he said. "There are certain things that, yes, cannot be explained, but the things these guys don't know yet are not some sort of mystical, religious or other-worldly abilities. They don't know enough repertoire. They don't listen enough. They don't have enough experience. There is so much to learn, so much music to just know."

Despite growing up surrounded by music and having his father as an example - "my one really great advantage," he said - the first thing Järvi learned as a conducting student at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia was "how little I knew, not even repertoire so much as elementary musical issues - harmony, analysis, score-reading, everything."

Despite Jarvi's candor and high standards, no egos were crushed during his four days in Pärnu, and the students applauded him warmly after their July 9 concert with the Pärnu Festival Orchestra. The program comprised Mozart's Overture to "The Marriage of Figaro," Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals," Romances for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 40 and 50, by Beethoven, and Mozart's Symphony No. 38. Soloist in the Beethoven was Järvi's wife, Tatiana Berman, a sporting collaborator in rehearsals and an exquisite performer in concert.

For Järvi, "one of the great joys" of coming to Pärnu is working with his father.

"I love his enthusiasm. I use the word 'infected' with music.... It's a virus, a disease, the incredible joy that comes from making music."

There is no father-son rivalry, he said. "People can't believe we don't have this sort of Freudian thing.... It's a better story the other way."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I just wanted to let everyone know that the reason I haven't been blogging lately is because on June 29 I suffered a stroke affecting my left side and have been in hospital ever since. Needless to say, this makes blogging -- typing --(and many other things -- like walking, climbing stairs, cooking, washing, etc!) difficult or impossible to do these days and that's part of why there hasn't been much updating going on here lately. It looks like I may be here (at Drake Center in Cincinnati) for at least 3 more weeks for rehabilitation therapy before being able to go home. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you. I am looking forward to going home, as well as to re-designing my Paavo Project website once I can get back to my own computer and learn how to use Adobe Dreamweaver. I also have several years' worth of photos of PJ with CSO guest artists from seasons 1-4 to add to the site!