Review highlights for Paavo Järvi and the Tonhalle Orchestre-Zürich’s first recording in their new Tchaikovsky cycle on Alpha Classics
“CDs of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies are legion, but interpretations of this kind are very rare. Tchaikovsky in Switzerland? Yes, and it’s hot … It is certainly not a Tchaikovsky 5th like the others, but a flood of musical lava carried by a passionate commitment. You have to listen to the intensity with which the indications “marcato”, “widely” or “fierce” are translated to understand that beyond the notes Järvi and his orchestra embody the destiny of a Tchaikovsky laminated by fatality …”
Le Devoir (Canada) ★★★★ 1/2
“It’s been a long time since we’ve heard an interpretation this committed, this exciting, and this emotionally powerful. The first movement reveals at the outset Järvi’s determination to keep the music moving purposefully forward, while leaving himself some room to linger romantically at such juicy moments as the transition between the first and second subjects. His account of the slow movement is gorgeous, achingly lyrical … But it’s the finale that really brings home the bacon.”
“When listening to music there is normally no obligation to wear a seat belt. But then you don’t usually have to deal with Paavo Järvi’s Tchaikovsky either … Järvi, who grew up under socialism, knows the fragility of atmospheres from his own experience and conveys it perfectly. Because as soon as you let yourself be carried away by the music, the mood changes. You fall, without a safety belt. Although, if you think about it, you don’t want one either.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland) ★★★★★
“ … full-bodied, massive, on the dark side, with temperament, but without the typical Russian overheating and torn world-weariness This is a cultivated yet strong Tchaikovsky interpretation, light and yet emphatic, melodic but never kitsch, dense but also structurally clear, passionate also tender.
Rondo Magazine (Germany) ★★★★★
“… See how the strings sing with a truly overwhelming luminosity, in the bars that precede the passage marked “poco meno agitato” of the first movement, with their mezza di voce so expressive that one would swear to hear them sigh. And what tenderness in the measures that follow, bathed in an almost unreal fervor!”
Le Figaro (France)
“This first release includes Francesca da Rimini (Symphonic Fantasy after Dante), one Hell of a performance, an opera for orchestra, incisive, intense, suitably fiery and tempestuous, vivid, raw – explicitly recorded with plenty of bass shudders – contrasted with a central clarinet-led (played winsomely) section as the illicit lovers get together with passion to spend before the doom-laden ‘no way out’ denouement.”