RCA: Paavo Järvi's Bruckner 7th review by Gary Lemco

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RCA: Paavo Järvi's Bruckner 7th review by Gary Lemco

Post by Lance » Wed May 26, 2010 11:38 pm

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“A vast and rewarding enterprise
from first to last this Järvi Seventh.”


BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 7 in E Major. Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. Paavo Järvi, conductor

RCA 88697389972, 67:27 ****

Paavo Järvi comes to the 1883 Bruckner Seventh Symphony in E Major [recorded November 22-24, 2006] by way of the Leopold Nowak edition. More to the point, however, he extends the tradition of the original founder of the Frankfurt ensemble, Hans Rosbaud, by his willingness to approach the E Major as a constant work-in-progress whose thematic periods can be approached in a variety of organically wrought means. Järvi’s streamlined style in the first movement—its emphasis on the lyric bases of the three thematic groups in hymnal syntax and Wagnerian harmony—resembles the kind of bright radiance that Gunter Wand achieved without the burden of piety that weighs down much of Sergiu Celibidache’s legacy in Bruckner.

Even given Järvi’s basic propulsion in the rhythmic surface, the tendency of the orchestra to build upon an organ diapason creates an internal tension between monumentality and bucolic transparency of texture. The colors in Järvi’s orchestra ring with extremely etched contours, the flutes moving into the low strings with a deliberate shading of the Old Masters, say Rembrandt. The sonic mix—courtesy of Ruediger Orth—captures the alternately vehement and serene ecstasies of this mighty score, whose first movement certainly echoes motives from Valhalla. The leisure of the transition to the recapitulation, on the other hand, shimmers with the kind of internal, fluid patience that we ascribe to the noble Furtwängler readings of this score. The coda ushers in that Elysian sweep and grandeur that utters “Himmel hoch!” in every bar.

The Adagio, of course, does pay direct homage to the memory of Richard Wagner, a warmly radiant valedictory, which culminates at bar 177 and whose inflamed stretti will eventually recede into an ethereal pianissimo. Järvi manages to maintain a taut pulsation within the vast or vaulted architecture of this expansive movement, though for me the weight of the first two movements tends to make even the most lyric outpouring top-heavy. Still, we seem to move through a number of Wagnerian labyrinths, and declamations from Daland or Kundry seem immanent. The Valkyries ride in their idiosyncratic march-waltz in the Scherzo, the fourths and fifths chirping or fox-hunting as is their wont. The passion swells in mock demonic fury, only to relent in Schubertian hues for the trio section. The da capo features some splendid trumpet work in syncopation. The Finale—in the manner of the ouroboros—recycles materials in the first movement in an energetic, concise manner. Collaboration between principal flute, strings, and French horns floats seamlessly toward the ultimate peroration in which Wagner’s mortality his epic posterity converge. Has the whole progress been a Rhine Journey? A vast and rewarding enterprise from first to last this Järvi Seventh. ♫

—Gary R. Lemco

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Re: RCA: Paavo Järvi's Bruckner 7th review by Gary Lemco

Post by Chalkperson » Thu May 27, 2010 12:36 am

It's a great 7th, I have the 9th too, but, I have not played it yet...
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Re: RCA: Paavo Järvi's Bruckner 7th review by Gary Lemco

Post by val » Thu May 27, 2010 2:46 am

It was a big surprise to me, since I never liked much Paavo Jarvi.

But this is a splendid version, perhaps the second best - with those of van Beinum, Jochum and Furtwängler - after the extraordinary interpretation of Karl Böhm with the VPO.

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Re: RCA: Paavo Järvi's Bruckner 7th review by Gary Lemco

Post by absinthe » Thu May 27, 2010 10:04 am

Hmm... some review that, from a clearly competent wordsmith. Trouble is, most of his metaphors don't make much sense.

The colors in Järvi’s orchestra ring with extremely etched contours, the flutes moving into the low strings with a deliberate shading of the Old Masters, say Rembrandt.

Colors ring with extremely etched contours? What?
flutes moving into the low strings with a deliberate shading of the old masters? Rembrandt?
How do they do that? What makes it like Rembrandt's handling of shade?

And... is it good Bruckner?

Järvi’s streamlined style in the first movement—its emphasis on the lyric bases of the three thematic groups in hymnal syntax and Wagnerian harmony

What's a streamlined style.... oh, don't tell me: his rostrum is art deco?

As for
The sonic mix—courtesy of Ruediger Orth—captures the alternately vehement and serene ecstasies of this mighty score, whose first movement certainly echoes motives from Valhalla.
In other words they use a microphone? Because I think they'll find Bruckner provided the assorted ecstacies so it's up to the conductor to capture them. I'm no great fan of interventionist recordists.

Still, more Bruckner is always welcome streamlined or not!

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Re: RCA: Paavo Järvi's Bruckner 7th review by Gary Lemco

Post by maestrob » Thu May 27, 2010 10:17 am

Chalkperson wrote:It's a great 7th, I have the 9th too, but, I have not played it yet...

Yep! Same here.

Fabio Luisi's Bruckner IX, which I do have, is quite good.

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Re: RCA: Paavo Järvi's Bruckner 7th review by Gary Lemco

Post by Cyril Ignatius » Thu May 27, 2010 5:22 pm

I've seen Paavo Jarvi conduct several of Bruckner's symphonies with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He is a very good Bruckner conductor, and personally holds very high regards for Bruckner's music. And Cincinnati is one of the really fine Bruckner orchestras today.
Cyril Ignatius

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