paavo jarvi

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (Jarvi) – ‘Britten: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Four Sea Interludes, Elgar: Enigma Variations’  An SACD review by Mark Jordan

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (Jarvi) – ‘Britten: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Four Sea Interludes, Elgar: Enigma Variations’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

Sheer ardor may not be Paavo Järvi’s strong suit, but he has a scientist’s precision with the sifting of orchestral textures, and his new Telarc recording reveals details almost completely lost in the murk of other performances of these familiar orchestral works by English masters Benjamin Britten and Edward Elgar – even in performances led by the composers themselves. And Järvi’s sense of wonder never fails to make this music sound fresh and newly discovered. Best of all, Telarc’s engineers have either hit upon the perfect pieces for Cincinnati’s Music Hall, or else they’ve found some new insights to recording there. Whichever is the case, this release marks both Telarc’s and Paavo Järvi’s finest achievement yet in Cincinnati. read more…

Cincinnati Symphony (Jarvi) – ‘Debussy: Prelude а l’apres-midi d’un faune, Nocturnes, La Mer, Berceuse heroique’  An SACD review by Mark Jordan

Cincinnati Symphony (Jarvi) – ‘Debussy: Prelude а l’apres-midi d’un faune, Nocturnes, La Mer, Berceuse heroique’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

There was a time when only French conductors were good at the music of Debussy. If a Germanic conductor such as Leinsdorf or Szell played ‘La Mer’ (“The Sea”), it sounded more like ‘Das Meer’ (or ‘La Merde’ for less charitable listeners). Though the French remain dominant in this music, it says a lot for the stylistic growth of the art that this new Telarc hybrid SACD by Paavo Jдrvi and the Cincinnati Symphony falls more into the French tradition than into the generic modern style. Indeed, Jдrvi’s deployment of his forces suggests an awareness of the old-fashioned “French sound” that has all but disappeared from modern orchestras. On the other hand, those who dislike the dry, pointillist manner of the French style and long for reverb-laden washes of “evocative” sound may not find this to their liking at all. read more…

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (Jarvi) – ‘Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique Op.14’  An SACD review by Mark Jordan

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (Jarvi) – ‘Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique Op.14’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

Cincinnati’s Music Hall is a grand old sprawling building built over what was once the burial site for area paupers. Indeed, it has been pointed out that either accidentally or intentionally, the balcony support posts in the auditorium are vaguely reminiscent of long, thin bones, many of which had to be moved when it was built, as well as in later renovations. What more could you ask for in a recording of Berlioz’ nightmarish masterpiece ‘Symphonie Fantastique’? Well, better acoustics and a more unbuttoned performance, perhaps. read more…

Symphony Orchestra of Norrlands Opera (Jarvi) – ‘Shifting Landscapes’  An SACD review by Mark Jordan

Symphony Orchestra of Norrlands Opera (Jarvi) – ‘Shifting Landscapes’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

The idea of pairing minimalist-influenced works by the living American composer John Adams and the late Estonian composer Lepo Sumera is an intriguing one, if mainly as a study in contrasts. Adams comes across, in these works at least, as a composer who evokes the modern urban world, whereas Sumera uses a similar orchestral vocabulary to capture the feel of Nordic myths and desolate landscapes. Both composers use the repetitive gestures of minimalism as a departure point for adventures that would at times be better described as “maximalism”. In this recent hybrid SACD disc from Germany’s CCn’C Records, they both get passionate advocacy from Kristjan Jarvi, although his level of success in each piece varies. read more…

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