PAAVO JÄRVI AND THE MOSTLY MOZART ORCHESTRA: ‘MAGNIFICENT … IN EVERY WAY’

Following last week’s performance at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, the Huffington Post must have written what is every artist’s dream review: “At the close of Friday night’s Mostly Mozart concert in Geffen Hall, Paavo Järvi and the Festival Orchestra brought down the house with Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony—and how many times do you get to say that of anyone these days? You might think that everything that could be done with this piece had already been done a thousand times over, but you would be wrong. “Without reaching or pulling anything out of shape, Järvi took a piece that’s usually programmed as a familiar makeweight and clattered through in a quaintly calisthenic manner (“Well, it’s not the Fifth, you know.”), and played it as if it were bran-new, fresh as paint, and thrillingly important. Tempi were perfectly judged: a rocket-ride of a first movement, erupting out of a truly mysterious introduction; a real, singing Adagio, with heart-stopping rubato; a zingy scherzo-menuet, torquing down perfectly to a floaty, sly trio; and a lightning-quick, hilarious finale with a mock-breakdown just before the end that got a spontaneous Chris Matthews-style shout of laughter from somewhere audience-left. (If Järvi ever gets tired […]

Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra

David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts PÄRT: La Sindone MOZART: Concerto for Clarinet in A major, K 622 with Martin Fröst BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.4 in B flat major, Op.60

Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra

David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts PÄRT: La Sindone MOZART: Concerto for Clarinet in A major, K 622 with Martin Fröst BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.4 in B flat major, Op.60

Verbier Festival and Academy

Salle des Combins DEBUSSY: Iberia BRAHMS: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor Op.102 with Leonidas Kavakos and Alexander Buzlov PROKOFIEV: Symphony No.5 in B flat major, Op.100

THEARTSDESK AT THE PÄRNU MUSIC FESTIVAL 2016

theartsdesk.com: Where would you go to hear the most electrifying and collegial orchestral playing in the world? It used to be Lucerne while Claudio Abbado was alive. Now that the Lucerne Festival Orchestra has become like any classy superband, the answer is Pärnu in the south of Estonia. It’s a modest town of nearly 40,000 inhabitants, but its numbers treble in the summer, with visitors flocking to the eight-mile, south-facing white sand beach and the wooden villas in beautiful parkland (David Oistrakh and Shostakovich travelled westwards to Pärnu for their summer holidays). It also boasts a 900-seater concert hall, its 2002 inauguration having much to do with the championship of Estonia’s musical royal family, the Järvis. … The jewel in the Pärnu festival crown is the heady mix of top western and Estonian players in what after five years has now become the Estonian Festival Orchestra. Is the Lucerne parallel far-fetched? Not when you consider the calibre of the instrumentalists … This is a string sound you’d go a long way to find … Yet the highlight and denouement was always going to be Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony … I have never, anywhere, heard an orchestral unison that bore through the […]