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BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No.5 with Igor Levit
PROKOFIEV: Symphony No.6

“…this is a lithe, joyous Beethoven “Emperor” Concerto, only fitfully grandiose when the passing moment requires. The orchestra under Järvi is as supple and winged as Levit in his solo passages, and this is that rare thing, a true concerto partnership.”
The Arts Desk, David Nice, 9 March 2021

“The score [of Prokofiev’s 6th Symphony] not only requires a cohesive orchestra with extraordinary principal players, but also a conductor with a strong hand and a deep understanding of the circumstances in which the work was created. Paavo Järvi rose to the occasion. He did not seek easy effects, but carefully constructed a firm structure, emphasising continuity.”, Edward Sava-Segal, 8 March 2021

“…At the rostrum, Järvi brought out all the symphonism of the ‘Emperor’ Concerto to life, especially in the second idea, and as Levit began playing, all the intimacy of the music emerged – sounding almost aristocratic in his music-making.”, Gregor Tassie, 7 March 2021

“A concert in the major and minor of E-flat, Paavo Järvi, wisdom, experience and humanity to the fore, bringing to the mix insightful cameos of relaxed after-dinner conversationalist and urbane historical commentator… This was an epic reading [of Prokofiev Symphony No.6], powerful it its profundity, theatre and tension. Russian novel, torn apart history, games and pranks, sarcasm and ballet all rolled into one intense canvas. The Berliners responded magnificently, gold-plated at every turn, safe in their excellence, safe in the hands of a master conductor. Not a journey I would have wanted to miss.”, Ates Orga, 8 March 2021

“Paavo Järvi beglückt die Berliner Philharmoniker und uns digitale Zuhörer mit einem unverbindlichen Beethoven. Der tönt flott, beweglich, aufregend, dynamisch wunderbar flexibel und vor allem zackig und schlank. Aber auch leichtgewichtig und nur scheinbar konfrontativ.”, 8 March 2021


TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto with Gil Shaham
RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No.2

“Le dialogue avec l’orchestre est irréprochable, Paavo Järvi et Gil Shaham semblent être sur la même longueur d’onde, l’un sachant tempérer momentanément ses ardeurs pour laisser celles de l’autre s’exprimer avec plus l’exaltation, ou tous deux se répondant, s’équilibrant, se soutenant selon une entente jamais mise en défaut.”, Sylvain Gaulhiac, 4 October 2020

“On pourrait attendre par la suite un caractère plus slave, plus accrocheur ou plus en gravité de la partition, mais le soliste la maîtrise de bout en bout, et Järvi l’accompagne par un orchestre remarquable par ses bois, flûte et hautbois solos en tête.”, Vincent Guillemin, 30 September 2020

“En revanche, Daphnis et Chloé, au tissu orchestral plus dense, retrouve de belles couleurs ravéliennes sur une dynamique soutenue, dans un phrasé plus descriptif et plus tendu sollicitant tous les pupitres d’un Orchestre de Paris irréprochable de bout en bout.”, Patrice Imbaud, 1 October 2020


PÄRT: “La Sindone“ (revised version 2019)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.7
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No.4 with Lars Vogt

“Was für ein Saison-Auftakt! Wow! Schon lange nicht mehr so toll musizierten Beethoven gehört! Bravi! Arvo Pärts „La Sindone“ als monumental-emotionaler Einstieg, anschliessend Beethovens 7. Sinfonie mit atemberaubenden Tempi. Grossartig!…”
Archimbodis World, 24 September 2020

“Tonhalle-Chefdirigent Paavo Järvi ist ja auch sonst nicht einer, der auf Routine setzt. Aber wie er Beethovens 4. Klavierkonzert mit geradezu diebischer Freude aus den üblichen Gleisen hob, wie er die Musik im Einklang mit Lars Vogt zurückhielt und aufputschte und tanzen liess, wie er Beethovens Esprit betonte, ohne damit Pärts Innigkeit zu übertönen: Das war dieses speziellen Saisonstarts mehr als würdig.”
Tages-Anzeiger, Susanne Kübler, 24 September 2020

“So feurig, so frei von jeglicher Routine hat man das herrliche Werk (Beethovens 4. Klavierkonzert) lange nicht gehört.”
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Christian Wildhagen, 24 September 2020

“That said, the assurance that the Tonhalle Maag is committed to music as fine as this, while carefully observing corona restrictions, was an encouraging sign, and the audience showed its enthusiasm with resounding applause.”, Sarah Batschelet, 25 September 2020

“Corona macht aus einem halben Konzert ein ganzes – das Tonhalle-Orchester eröffnete gestern seine Saison mit umsichtigen Massnahmen und entfesselter Musik.”, Herbert Büttiker, 23 September 2020

“The final Allegro con brio was a real explosive helter-skelter, with Järvi relishing it, taking the movement at a very fast lick. He and the orchestra were rewarded by a standing ovation and lengthy applause. We were all pleased to be back.”
Seen and Heard International, John Rhodes, 26 September 2020


RAVEL: Le tombeau de Couperin
SHOSTAKOVICH: Concerto in C minor for Piano, Trumpet and strings with Benjamin Grosvenor
MOZART: Symphony No.41 in C, K551 (Jupiter)

“Replacing Esa-Pekka Salonen, if without changing the programme, Paavo Järvi opened with Le tombeau de Couperin, Ravel’s tribute to friends lost in World War One, expressive music located through a Baroque lens … The Philharmonia Orchestra responded supersensitively to its unexpected if familiar guest-conductor, Järvi choosing well-judged tempos to keep things bubbling along and on-track without denuding the score’s veiled tears and the need for crisp but not robotic articulation …”
Classical Source, Colin Anderson, 9 September 2020

“The Menuetto allegretto danced, Järvi conducting with a broad smile and big round gestures that gave the music a rolling gait. The final movement is the crowning glory of this symphony, and a suitable finale to Mozart’s symphonic output. Here the natural trumpets soared, the period timps had edge … The climax, when the five themes are combined in triumphant counterpoint, is irresistible.”
The Arts Desk, Bernard Hughes, 10 September 2020


Järvi deftly juxtaposed the gentle, elegant sections with the energetic, joyous passages; there were many light touches to be enjoyed. Many of the orchestral players had smiles on their faces as they played, always a good sign. The second movement impressed with the beauty of the muted string section, the third bounced along gleefully. The Finale, Allegro con spirito, lit up the hall with its spectacular string displays over two octaves, so-called ‘Mannheim rockets’, glistening like fireworks.
Seen and Heard International, John Rhodes, 21 August 2020


“What a difference a year makes. Last July, I was basking on the white sands of Pärnu, Estonia’s summer capital, dotted about with spa hotels and pretty dachas. I was there to attend Paavo Järvi’s labour of love, the Pärnu Music Festival. With international travel the last thing on my mind in the wake of Covid-19, it is still possible to enjoy this summer’s festival tenth edition from a safe distance, with all the concerts streamed on its website, along with the Järvi Academy conducting masterclasses.”, Mark Pullinger, 16 July 2020

“The festival week, in essence, was unchanged in the love and skill of the players, passionately devoted to Paavo Järvi …”
The Arts Desk, David Nice, 25 July 2020

“In der Heimat von Zürichs Musikdirektor Paavo Järvi ist das Unvorstellbare derzeit möglich. Järvis Festival in Pärnu wird zu einem Traum von verlorener Normalität.”
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Regine Müller, 27 July 2020

“Over time, the Estonian Festival Orchestra has become one of the most interesting European orchestras, and they sounded very virtuoso and reflective in Pärnu. The members of the orchestra count musicians from some of the leading orchestras in Europe, but a positive effect of COVID-19 was that there were far more Estonian musicians represented than ever before. And that has been the long-term goal: to bring local musicians to a higher level. So in a strange – but logical – way, the travel restrictions meant that this year’s reorganized festival was more Estonian than ever before, with music by Erkki-Sven Tüür, Tõnu Kõrvits and Lepo Sumera. We heard Estonian soloists, and for one concert no less than seven Estonian conductors performed.”
Klassisk Denmark, Andrew Mellor, 22 July 2020

“Paavo Järvi has made a lot of efforts to create a festival that will not only gain international resonance, but also make a lasting contribution to Estonian music life and maintain its warm, friendly atmosphere. That is why so much attention is paid to the training of young musicians. Young people who take part in master classes and play in the Järvi Academy Orchestra spend a week with professionals and watch the rehearsals of the Estonian Festival Orchestra.”
Diena Latvia, Jegors Jerohomovics, 9 August 2020

“Das Orchester schlage aus dieser Dichte spielerische Funken. … Die Angst, sich anzustecken, verfliegt in seligen Momenten, wenn man erlebt, wie Paavo Järvi Beethoven dirigiert. Das macht ihm derzeit keiner nach. Das ziemlich rechtwinklige, starre Hauptthema im Kopfsatz des ersten Klavierkonzerts federt vom ersten Takt an: ein Marsch voller Grazie, freundlich, biegsam, zugewandt. Allein die Arbeit mit den Hörnern wäre eine eigene Betrachtung wert: Wie sie gereizt schnarren können, sich dann wieder zärtlich an Streicher und Oboen anschmiegen – das ist gestalterische Virtuosität im Detail.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Jan Brachmann, 21 July 2020

“Fundament des Festivals ist sein Orchester (EFO), das innerhalb von zehn Jahren zu einem Topklangkörper reifte und seinem Vorbild, dem Budapest Festival Orchestra, prächtig nacheifert. Der Durchlauf zur Weltspitze ist umso erstaunlicher, als diese Gemeinschaft bloss zehn Tage in Pärnu und auf einer dem Festival folgenden Tournee existiert.”
Schweiz am Wochende, Christian Berzins, 25 July 2020