…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.
This is the second volume in a series from Neeme Järvi and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande dedicated to the orchestral music of the Swiss-born composer Joachim Raff. Although he was a highly popular and prolific composer during his day, his works quickly fell out of the repertoire after his death and are largely forgotten today. The idiomatic performances by Neeme Järvi and his Swiss orchestra in Volume 1, described as ‘peerless’ by BBC Music (*****), suggest that they are the perfect performers to reinvigorate interest in Raff’s music. This second volume features the rhapsody, Abends, and a number of overtures and preludes alongside Symphony No. 5. Subtitled Lenore, the fifth is one of Raff’s so-called programme symphonies, the only one based on a precise extra-musical source: Gottfried August Bürger’s poetic ballad of the same name. The shorter works show very different sides of Raff’s compositional personality.
Bratsche! It’s not often that the German word for ‘viola’ comes with an exclamation mark attached, but the cover of Antoine Tamestit’s new release heralds something worth celebrating. Among the latest of the new star violists to record Hindemith, Tamestit brings his wonderful musical intelligence to bear on some of the greatest music written for the instrument. Tamestit has selected four contrasting works that reflect that composer’s expressive range: one of the solo sonatas, one of the sonatas with piano, and two very different works for viola and orchestra.
At a mere five minutes, Arvo Pärt's Summa is actually the shortest composition on this CD. But, for its sheer, austere beauty, the work makes a fitting introduction to this orchestral disc. Pärt's trademark "tintinnabulation" style is in full effect on this sublime recording. Each of these works sounds simple and minimalist, yet also achingly profound. In Pärt's Symphony No. 3 (the earliest piece here, dating from 1971), the roots of his groundbreaking technique are just beginning to take shape: the ringing of bells, the calculated tension, and the hints of early music all add to the three-movement work's drama.
"Neeme Järvi was one of the busiest stars on the international conducting scene. (…) From the early '60s, Järvi took a leading role in the musical life of his homeland. In 1963 he assumed the directorship of the Estonian Radio & Television Orchestra, his first important post. He also founded the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, and for 13 years was the chief conductor of Opera House Estonia in Tallinn. From 1976 to 1980 he was chief conductor and artistic director of the Estonian State Symphony Orchestra, then in its infancy. By the late 1970s his fame had spread throughout the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and he received favorable notices for his appearances in the West…