Paavo Järvi recently conducted the Staatskapelle Berlin, receiving a glowing review from the Berliner Zeitung. He returns in May to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic in three concerts concerts featuring Schumann’s Overture, Scherzo and Finale in E Major, Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 2 in G minor and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1 in F minor. The soloist is Yuja Wang.
“It really is a bit odd that Paavo Järvi’s name hasn’t been taken up at all in connection to Simon Rattle’s successor at the Philharmonic. The conductor has, until now, seldom appeared as a guest conductor with the orchestra and only as recently as two years ago was he re-invited to perform with them after a long gap. Perhaps Järvi comes across as too unpretentious, too musical; possibly because everything seems a little bit too easy to him. He sparks the public with reliable enthusiasm; and he has an extremely wide repertoire from almost all eras, which he serves with exceptionally good taste.”
“This is what was experienced at Monday’s wonderful concert in the Philharmonie with the Staatskapelle. Järvi’s clarity and the orchestra’s silkily soft sound – these complemented the evening beautifully … Mozart’s G Major Piano Concerto (with Maria Joao Pires as soloist) feather-lightly performed, with such noble, almost tender restraint like one hardly ever hears from this powerful ensemble … Opening the concert was Olivier Messiaens’ early orchestral work “Le Tombeau resplendissant” which the composer wrote in memory of the early death of his mother. A work, with which the conductor Paavo Järvi could prepare the Staatskapelle for what followed: the gentleness of the mystically glowing passages which recurred in the piano concerto and the uncharacteristically rough opening of the Messiaen which lead to Schumann’s Spring Symphony after the interval.
“In recent years Järvi has extensively worked on the Schumann Symphonies which he performed as a cycle with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, of which he has been the director for 10 years: this familiarity with the score is felt in every note. Järvi conducts this first symphony resolutely as a work of joyous abandon. Hefty dialogues between the string groups, a lost dream in the slow movement, slapstick humour in the finale– with Paavo Järvi it all sounds so vibrant and colourful, that one looks back on September’s parlous Schumann – Brahms cycle and thinks: I would also really like to hear this with the Philharmonic.”