Neeme Jarvi's new disc of Massenet

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Wallingford
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Neeme Jarvi's new disc of Massenet

Post by Wallingford » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:06 pm

How endearing it is that one of our living conductors dedicated to resurrecting obscure orchestral treasures should complete a trilogy of discs devoted to Romantic French conposers--indeed, a trio whose music is ofttimes written off by hordes of listehers as "superficial". And to top it all off, being recorded with the classic French orchestra presently helmed by Jarvi--the Suisse Romande Orchestra (founded by Ernest Ansermet).

First, Neeme Jarvi gave us a much-welcomed disc of Saint-Saens, which included all four tonepoems. Next, the maestro gave us a disc of Chabrier, perhaps to supplant those done by Paray and Ansermet. Now, he has brought out a disc of Massenet, perhaps the strongest of the three collections--not without one or two reservations, but from the standpoint of both idiomatic stylistic sense and recorded sound, it impresses.

I am a tad miffed that Jarvi should pass up the opportunity to give us his take on the orchestral suite Scenes alsaciennes (this work having boasted fine, distinctive mono performances from Mitropoulos and Toscanini), though admittedly it's not in too dire a need to be restored: Naxos has a token disc, and a few other labels also, I believe. Other than this little complaint, what's on the disc is given consistently engaging and charming treatment, and such powerful recorded sound to boot. I was a bit put off by the lack of aggression and/or spectacular sound in the previous, Chabrier disc. Of this trio of masters, Chabrier's style has the most virility, and Jarvi's orchestra rather downplayed this characteristic. But for Massenet, the treatment is full force, and the recorded sound has much better sonic "bloom"--even the tympani (never one of the Suisse Romande's more powerful instruments) has real bite.

Thie repertory on this Chandos-label CD includes:

Fantasie for Cello and Orchestra
Phèdre: Overture
Suite for Orchestra no 4: Scènes pittoresques
Don Cesar de Bazan: Entr'acte Sevillana
La Vierge: Le Dernier Sommeil de la Vierge
Le Roi de Lahore: Overture
Les Erinnyes: Scene religieuse (this later became the Elegy from Le Cid)
Suite de ballet from Le Cid: Andalouse
Last edited by Wallingford on Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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SONNET CLV
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Re: Neeme Jarvi's new disc of Massenet

Post by SONNET CLV » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:49 pm

Massenet remains a composer of whose music I have much left to discover, but I did a while back purchase the Decca Massenet Edition Box set (23 discs including the major operas, songs, and orchestral works), and I have not been disappointed those times I've dipped into the man's music. Massenet surprises, and always for the good. I'll certainly consider adding the Jarvi discs to my collection.

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Re: Neeme Jarvi's new disc of Massenet

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:40 pm

SONNET CLV wrote:Massenet remains a composer of whose music I have much left to discover, but I did a while back purchase the Decca Massenet Edition Box set (23 discs including the major operas, songs, and orchestral works), and I have not been disappointed those times I've dipped into the man's music. Massenet surprises, and always for the good. I'll certainly consider adding the Jarvi discs to my collection.
Good, because I have no intention of adding them to my collection... :mrgreen:
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lennygoran
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Re: Neeme Jarvi's new disc of Massenet

Post by lennygoran » Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:30 am

Chalkperson wrote: Good, because I have no intention of adding them to my collection... :mrgreen:
Why not-it would alphabetically fit in nicely right in front of the Meyerbeer's! Regards, Len [fleeing] :)

John F
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Re: Neeme Jarvi's new disc of Massenet

Post by John F » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:49 am

Sir Thomas Beecham used to program "Le Dernier Sommeil de la Vierge" in his concerts. Here's part of his recording:



He liked French music and had a flair for it. Haven't heard Järvi's disc but this isn't what I'd expect from him.
John Francis

bigshot
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Re: Neeme Jarvi's new disc of Massenet

Post by bigshot » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:19 pm

Jarvi is one of the rare cases where the offspring greatly exceeds the parent.

Wallingford
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Re: Neeme Jarvi's new disc of Massenet

Post by Wallingford » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:09 pm

bigshot wrote:Jarvi is one of the rare cases where the offspring greatly exceeds the parent.
I'm more or less willing to let this critic's comment suffice for my own: Paavo may have more stick technique, but it's Neeme who has the best overall control of the orchestra.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

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Re: Neeme Jarvi's new disc of Massenet

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:16 am

Wallingford wrote:
bigshot wrote:Jarvi is one of the rare cases where the offspring greatly exceeds the parent.
I'm more or less willing to let this critic's comment suffice for my own: Paavo may have more stick technique, but it's Neeme who has the best overall control of the orchestra.
Disagree, the old man's dead boring, the kid makes fine discs,
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