SHOSTAKOVICH WITH BODYGUARD

In an extensive interview with Paavo Järvi published this week, Gramophone Magazine writes “In the current political climate of unease about Russia’s expanisionist intentions, the decision by an Estonian-born (if now American) conductor to make an Erato recording of three Shostakovich patriotic cantatas might seem provocative, and the enterprise was not without its snags.” “Paavo Järvi pays homage to Stalin” read the headlines of Tallinn’s newspapers in April 2012 and, following this declaration, the conductor was issued with a bodyguard for the performances and recording. Shostakovich Cantatas is released by Erato on 11 May (15 May Germany, Switzerland and Austria). The programme features the cantata, The Execution of Stepan Razin, which is rife with unflattering comparisons between the violence and barbarism of 17th century Tsarist Russia and the communist regime of the 20th century. Featuring alongside the cantata are The Sun Shines on our Motherland (1952) and Song of the Forests (1949) both of which are obviously socialist realist compositions written under Soviet repression. As Gramophone goes on to report “His use of Estonian children’s and adult choirs together with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in works extolling the virtues of communism and Stalin did not meet with universal tolerance, especially […]

Münchner Philharmoniker

Philharmonie im Gasteig, Munich NIELSEN: Overture from Maskarade TCHAIKOVSKY: Concerto for Violin in D major, Op.35, with Joshua Bell STRAVINSKY: Scherzo fantastique, Op.3 SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No.1 in F minor, Op.10

GRAMOPHONE INTERVIEW

The May issue of Gramophone Magazine features a three page special interview with Paavo and his passion for recording. “At a time when some other conductors seem to be focusing their recording activity on single-composer projects or on big landmark ventures, Järvi is bucking the trend in the catholicity of his tastes and the way in which he views recording as an integral part of his daily musical life … One of the key factors behind his diversity of programming is that he is associated with so many different orchestras that have their own traditions, their own sounds, their own strengths.”

“CURIOUS AND INSPIRED”

Following his success conducting Nielsen in London, Paavo Järvi opened his Munich Philharmonic guest conducting dates this week with the same composer’s overture to the opera “Maskarade”. Reviewing the performance the Süddeutsche Zeitung commented “Even today such an important and original composer as the Dane, Carl Nielsen, receives too little attention on the German concert scene. Some of his symphonies are played, but the comic opera “Maskarade” premiered in 1906 is never encountered here. She is something of a national opera in Denmark. Even the overture shows how much wit and surprise there is in Nielsen’s music. Paavo Järvi, not just the busy chief conductor in Bremen (Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie), Paris (Orchestre de Paris) and Tokyo (NHK Symphony Orchestra), but also a welcome guest with orchestras around the world, now offered this work with the Munich Philharmonic as a virtuoso piece for large orchestra.” Following Nielsen, Paavo’s programme took us to the heart of Russia with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, Stravinsky’s “Scherzo fantastique” and Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 1 leading the Süddeutsche Zeitung to to pay tribute to an “inventive, elegant and multicolored” programme in which “Paavo Järvi is so well versed – always curious and inspired.” Performing the Tchaikovsky with soloist Joshua […]

Münchner Philharmoniker

Philharmonie im Gasteig, Munich NIELSEN: Overture to Maskarade TCHAIKOVSKY: Concerto for Violin in D major, Op.35, with Joshua Bell STRAVINSKY: Scherzo fantastique, Op.3 SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No.1 in F minor, Op.10

Münchner Philharmoniker

Philharmonie im Gasteig, Munich NIELSEN: Overture to Maskarade TCHAIKOVSKY: Concerto for Violin in D major, Op.35, with Joshua Bell STRAVINSKY: Scherzo fantastique, Op.3 SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No.1 in F minor, Op.10

NIELSEN BROUGHT TO LIFE

Paavo Järvi returned to London last week to conduct the Philharmonia in the second of four concerts dedicated to the symphonies of Carl Nielsen. The Guardian’s review headline read “Järvi Järvi tames Nielsen’s wild masterpiece. An awesomely executed performance of Nielsen’s fourth symphony sat alongside perfectly pitched Haydn and sparkling Beethoven.” Seen and Heard International wrote “Järvi and the Philharmonia captured the white heat of the opening movement presenting us with an uncontained maelstrom of sound. Järvi synthesised the composite elements into a seamless organic whole, bringing out the angularity of the writing and feelings of disquiet in the more reflective material. Nielsen’s sonic and harmonic shocks, rhythmic asymmetries and unusual textural collages were all brought thrillingly to life … This was great playing from Järvi and the Philharmonia – and it’s good to see these wonderful symphonies by Carl Nielsen receiving so much public exposure.” Classicalsource.com also gave the performance a full thumbs up commenting “ This was a concert to make one realise why one keeps coming back for more.”