Monday, December 29, 2008

DKAM wins German Founders Award

December 27, 2008 

Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen gewinnt einen der wichtigsten Wirtschaftspreise.

Die Jury des von PORSCHE, ZDF, stern und der Sparkassen-Gruppe ausgelobten Deutschen Gründerpreises hat Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen für die gelungene Verbindung von Unternehmertum und Kultur mit dem Deutschen Gründerpreis in der Kategorie Sonderpreis 2008 ausgezeichnet.

 Winner of the German Founders Award (Deutscher Gründerpreis) 2008.

The jury of the German Founders Award, offered by PORSCHE, the television station ZDF, the magazine Stern, and the Sparkasse savings bank group, has presented The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen with the German Founders Award 2008 in the category Special Award for its successful combination of entrepreneurship and culture.


December 21, 2008

Paavo Järvi und die Kammerphilharmonie Bremen mit einer stürmischen Neunten - Rezension für die Stuttgarter Zeitung (veröffentlicht am 21.12.2008)

Es ist üblich, dass Chefdirigenten ihre Orchester über den grünen Klee loben; nicht immer jedoch findet man den Sinn der Worte im Konzert wieder. Wenn aber Paavo Järvi die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, die er seit 2004 leitet, als „Intelligenz in Bewegung“ apostrophiert, beschreibt er damit genau, was nun auch das Publikum im Beethovensaal zu Beifallsstürmen hinriss. Hier ist man, gerade was Beethovens Sinfonien angeht, verwöhnt: Der legendäre Zyklus von Sir Roger Norrington beim Musikfest 2002 hat die Maßstäbe gesetzt. Mit einer wahrhaft stürmischen Interpretation der neunten Sinfonie stellten sich Järvi und die Bremer Musiker der Konkurrenz: bebend, lächelnd und mit beinahe unfassbarer Phrasierungskunst und Präzision.

Man merkt der Deutschen Kammerphilharmonie ihr Selbstbewusstsein in jedem Takt an: Äußerlichkeiten wie das Sitzen auf der Stuhlkante oder die hohe Aufmerksamkeit, die das bewusst klein besetzte Orchester nicht nur dem Dirigenten, sondern auch sich selbst untereinander schenkt, finden sich in einer Beethoven-Attacke wieder, deren Intensität weit und breit singulär ist. Es ist vor allem der dialogische Charakter, mit dem Paavo Järvi sogar sein Orchester noch immer überraschen kann: Blitzschnell, manchmal fast angriffslustig, aber immer souverän und mit Charme schärft er die Details, ohne das Ganze zu beschädigen. Beethovens 9. Sinfonie als äußerst lebhaftes Gespräch, mal Streit, mal Geplauder – das muss man erst einmal schaffen. Dass kein Pathos aufbrandet, ist gut so, zumal sich der Deutsche Kammerchor dem Konzept ebenso geschmeidig und verblüffend textverständlich anpasst wie die vier Solisten: Perfekt noch in den heikelsten Höhen Christiane Oelzes Sopran, ungewöhnlich markant Annely Peebos Alt, fröhlich-locker Donald Litakers Tenor und zu Herzen sprechend Matthias Goerne in der prominenten Basspartie.

Paavo Järvi, future director of the Orchestre de Paris

December 25, 2008
In 2010, the Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi, winner of two Grammy Awards at the age of forty four, will take charge of the Orchestre de Paris (OP), which he conducted for the first time in 2004. "It was a legendary training," he declares. "I grew up with the recordings of Charles Munch [the first director of the OP set up in 1967] and many others. The soloists here are exceptional. But what is important is that everyone in the "tutti" (the whole orchestra) shows personal commitment."

As his contract with the OP envisages a presence of 14 weeks and 28 concerts per season, he recognises that he will have to make choices. On top of a brilliant international career, he conducts the orchestras of Cincinnati (United States), the Frankfurt radio and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie of Bremen (Germany), and is adviser to the National Symphony Orchestra of Estonia. He has produced an impressive range of records: Ravel, Berlioz, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Debussy, Dvorák, Bartók, Shostakovich, Grieg... Born in Estonia into a family of musicians which emigrated to the United States in 1980, Paavo Järvi worked there with Bernstein, who taught him to enter into the work with freedom.

In 2012, the Orchestre de Paris will move to the Philharmonie de Paris, a new complex located in the Parc de la Villette with an auditorium seating 2,400 (by architect Jean Nouvel). "This could re-establish Paris as the musical centre of Europe", says the American-Estonian conductor with hope.

Monica Valby 

Monday, December 22, 2008

December 20, 2008


Erkki-Sven Tüür: Aditus. Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 61. Igor Stravinsky: Pètrouchka; Scherzo à la russe. (Christian Tetzlaff, v.; Paavo Järvi, cond.).

"Folksy peasants, pure of mind, body and spirit romp about like so many Kansas corn huskers in Eastern European drag." Such was Lillian Hellman's scathing description of the 1943 filmThe North Star. And Hellmann ought to have known. She had written the script. But Hollywood had gotten hold of what was originally envisioned as a stark and serious production. Spectacle took the place of seriousness. In the midst of war, this story of a Ukrainian village resisting Nazi invasion garnered half a dozen Oscar nominations. But much had been lost along the way.

One of the things abandoned was a score by Igor Stravinsky, who had been replaced by Aaron Copland because of contractual and script-related differences. But Stravinsky, seeing no reason for good music to go to waste, recycled part of his North Star score as the Scherzo à la Russe,which guest conductor Paavo Järvi includes on this weekend's Cleveland Orchestra concerts.

Järvi uses the Scherzo as a sort of programmed encore following his not-quite-complete rendition of the 1947 Pétrouchka. Järvi's Stravinsky is both robust and deliberate. He gets better results in the ballet than in the somewhat heavy-handed Scherzo. Not surprisingly, Pétrouchkasounds less modern under his baton than it does on the highly regarded Pierre Boulez-Cleveland Orchestra recording. But what Järvi sacrifices in analytical precision he makes up for in narrative vividness. After hearing this richly colored Pétrouchka, you'll think you've been to see the ballet.

This weekend's concerts also feature Christian Tetzlaff's performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto. And if you heard Gil Shaham perform this music last year at Severance Hall, you might find Tetzlaff equally satisfying, completely different, and, yes, a bit offbeat. Tetzlaff's Beethoven seems far more introverted than Shaham's. There's no flashy virtuosity here: just a provocative reading that brings out the gentle and cerebral sides of the concerto. On repeated hearings, Tetzlaff's discursive Larghetto could prove wearing. So could the rather odd first-movement cadenza for violin and timpani that he's arranged from Beethoven's piano-concerto version of the work. But Tetzlaff's is an interesting alternative approach, easily meriting the encore elicited on Friday by the audience's enthusiasm: the Andante from Bach's Unaccompanied Violin Sonata BWV 1003.

Perhaps the most memorable component of the program was the curtain-raiser: Aditus, by Järvi's Estonian compatriot Erkki-Sven Tüür. In Järvi's recording of the work with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Aditus comes off as ten minutes of unbridled energy. Friday evening's Aditus seemed altogether subtler: a product of careful and ingenious craftsmanship.

When Lillian Hellman lashed out at Samuel Goldwyn over the final version of The North Star, the eminent producer retorted: "My name is Samuel Goldwyn and I do not turn out junk!" Judging from Aditus—as well as the handful of other works by the composer that I've heard—neither does Erkki-Sven Tüür.

I'm Jerome Crossley for WCLV 104/9.

The AllMusic Classical Editors’ Favorites of 2008

Reviewby Uncle Dave Lewis

It is a little surprising that Telarc decided to go with the Vadim Repin portrait of Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky for its recording of Paavo Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphonyin his best-known orchestral works. Painted as Mussorgsky lay dying in a St. Petersburg hospital, it captured the composer at his most dissolute and chaotic, but as it remains the most famous image of Mussorgsky among the limited amount of iconography left for him, perhaps its use was a foregone conclusion. It certainly does not reflect the vision of the music that's inside. This is Mussorgsky at its most pristine, cohesive, and well-tailored; a little like the photographic portrait, with his beard trimmed and waxed moustache turned up at its sides, that Mussorgsky might have preferred as the image we keep of him in our minds. Järvi opts for the standard Rimsky-Korsakov scores of Night on Bald Mountain and the prelude "Dawn on the Moscow River" from Khovantschina, but introduces a little twist inRavel's orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition in that the original French published edition of 1929 is consulted for correction of errors and specifics on phrasing and dynamics. A whole industry of activity has grown up around Mussorgsky's scores, not to mentionRimsky-Korsakov's and others' alleged meddling with them, resulting in a donnybrook that has raged pro and con among musicologists and performers alike for decades. Nevertheless, amid all of that confusion, no one else thought to go back and review the familiar Ravelscore, and there is every reason to. It has been a public domain score, at least in the United States, for decades. Practically every orchestra has a copy filled with markings and changes of various kinds even beyond errors stemming from the original prints themselves.

The differences are quite significant: one familiar error in the saxophone solo in the "Tulieries," which sticks out as a sore thumb in most recordings, simply becomes invisible, yet restores the passage to Ravel's intended transparency. This is but one example offered here; one hesitates to give away the many surprises here, particularly those in "The Old Castle." Although founded by German musicians in a still overwhelmingly German American city, the Cincinnati Symphony delivers a very beautiful "French orchestra" sound here; this owes to some extent from a long association with Erich Kunzel, who was an attentive student of Pierre Monteux, but Järvi has especially refined the French DNA in the orchestra. This really works well for Mussorgsky, as French orchestral tradition and the nineteenth century Russian nationalist school are joined at the hip. Telarc's recording quality is fabulous; timpani rumble ominously, the bass drum pulses rather than sounds and in the low string passages in "Samuel Goldberg and Schmuyle," you can feel the contact the bows make with their instruments. With the exception of listeners who will not tolerate anything other than warts and all Mussorgsky -- the Repin portrait embodied in the unedited form of his scores -- this recording of Mussorgsky's PicturesNight on Bald Mountain, and "Down on the Moscow River" should prove absolutely satisfactory, not to mention inspiring and emotionally moving, listening. It would be great to see this conductor/orchestra combination let loose on what remains of Mussorgsky's scant orchestral literature.

Concerning pre-eminent Russian nationalist composer Mussorgsky, the mid- to late twentieth century was an era typified by attempts to clean the barnacles off his musical hull. His work -- left incomplete both owing to his own reckless lifestyle and the zeal of a non-music reading cleaning lady tidying up in the wake of his passing -- had been through many editing hands with varying degrees of success, and there was a call to bringMussorgsky's music back to the textual purity of his manuscripts. So began the Pavel Lammedition, the David Lloyd-Jones editions of Boris Godunov, some conductors taking up St. John's Night on the Bare Mountain rather than Rimsky-Korsakov's edition entitled Night on Bald MountainShostakovich's editions of the other operas, and many other enterprising re-situations of Mussorgsky' oeuvre. Such an approach served Boris Godunov well, establishedSt. John's Night as quite a separate piece from Night on Bald Mountain, and introduced some positive sidelights to what had been a murky and unclear understanding ofMussorgsky and his work.

However, the proof is in the pudding. Russia was the only nation to adopt the 1869 and 1874 Boris over the Rimsky-Korsakov edition, which remained the standard in the West, as did most other Rimsky-Korsakov retreads of Mussorgsky. Going beyond Rimsky-Korsakovand Boris, one thing clear to all of the Mussorgsky editors over time was that once you start scraping away at the barnacles in Mussorgsky, what you find are more barnacles; in many cases, Mussorgsky simply requires editing and there's just no two ways around it. No one, however, prior to this Telarc recording Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition featuring Paavo Järvi, considered the possibility of cleaning the barnacles from the hull of Maurice Ravel's famous 1922 orchestration of Mussorgsky's piano suite.

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, Limoges Listen to an audio sample
December 19, 2008

Concord Music Group Detonates At "Best of iTunes 2008'

When the editorial staff at iTunes gathered this year to decide their favorite records of 2008, they chose many of the records released this year by the Concord Music Group, representing an incredible range of styles and genres. Jazz, bluegrass, classical, pop, traditional vocals, R&B, Americana, blues and Latin music are all included demonstrating the company's deep, talented and diverse roster of artists.

The Concord Music Group is one of the world's largest independent record companies made up of celebrated labels including Concord, Hear Music (a joint venture with Starbucks), Fantasy, Prestige, Telarc International, Heads Up International, Peak and Stax, just to name a few. 
Best Orchestral Album
#7 Paavo Jarvi & the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra / Prokofiev: Lieutenant Kije Suite, Symphony No. 5 in B-flat

Friday, December 19, 2008


Paavo Järvi juhatab Saksamaal Beethoveni IX sümfooniat

December 17, 2008

Paavo Järvi dirigeerib Beethoveni Üheksanda sümfoonia ettekandeid jõulueelsel Saksamaal, orkestriks ta oma Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremenist.

Ludwig van Beethoveni Üheksandat sümfooniat koos "Oodiga rõõmule" (Schilleri tekst) esitatakse Saksamaal traditsiooniliselt jõulu- ja aastavahetuseaegu. Seekord on seda au juhatada ka Eesti dirigendil Paavo Järvil Bremenis resideeriva kuulsa Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie kunstilise juhina aastast 2004.

Kontserdid toimuvad 17. – 20. detsembrini Bremeni esindussaalis "Die Glocke", Stuttgartis ja Berliinis. Täna õhtul on Bremenis kavas ka Beethoveni avamäng "Maja sisseõnnistamiseks" ning stseen ja aaria sopranile orkestriga "Ah Perfido!"

Kaasa teeb Deutscher Kammerchor, Bremeni orkestri sagedane koostööpartner. Nagu alati, on Paavol väga tuntud solistid –  sopran Christiane Oelze, metsosopran Petra Lang, tenor Donald Litaker ja kõige kuulsamana saksa bariton Matthias Goerne. Homme õhtul Stuttgarti Liederhalles laulab metsosopranipartiid Annely Peebo. 

Juhatanud novembri lõpul kolme kontserti USA tipporkestri Cleveland Orchestra ees, kõlas esindussaalis Severance Hallis kolmel õhtul ka Erkki-Sven Tüüri orkestripala "Aditus".

Jõulueelsed kontserdid Saksamaal jäävad Paavo Järvile selle aasta viimasteks. Uuel aastal on Paavo esimesena oma Cincinnati orkestri ees, kus samuti kavas Tüüri teos "Rada ja jäljed" esiettekandena USAs. Veebruaris toimub aga Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie kontserdireis USAs.

Priit Kuusk

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Producer, May fest and CSO chiefs join Grammy hopefuls

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Friday, December 5, 2008

Paavo Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's all-Mussorgsky album, "Pictures at an Exhibition" (Telarc), received a nomination for Best Surround Sound Album.
Also, Telarc producer Robert Woods was nominated for classical producer of the year, citing the CSO's Mussorgsky and Prokofiev albums, as well as Ravel's "Bolero" by Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops.

CD REVIEW: Mussorgsky

December 11, 2008

Modest Mussorgsky; Pictures at an Exhibition and other orchestral works; Cincinnati Symphony conducted by Paavo Järvi; Telarc 80705

Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky were the same age and were undoubtedly the most important Russian composers of the 19th century. Tchaikovsky was more popular, but the two shared equal depth in mentality and compositions. This recording of only Mussorgsky’s music—and I admit, of his most popular music— proves his excellence. “Pictures at an Exhibition” was originally written for piano only, and as such it is a masterpiece. Many composers have looked at this work and saw it also as a symphonic poem. There are many orchestrations. Ravel’s orchestration is the most famous and most often recorded. Paavo Järvi and the excellent Cincinnati Symphony made a worthy performance of this brilliant music.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Favorite Conductor
Paavo Jarvi is from Estonia. Studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and is now the music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He's a FABULOUS conductor - I'm looking forward to the rest of his career! I just saw him conduct the Cleveland Orchestra. They played the Beethoven Violin Concerto, Stravinsky's Petrouchka, a piece by an Estonian composer, and Stravinsky Scherzo a la russe. All great.