WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Beethoven: Symphonies No 3 And 8 / Paavo Jarvi

Release Date: 07/31/2007 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 713066   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

Back Order: Usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks.  
SuperAudio CD:  $14.99
Back Order

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Unbelievable! Just when you thought you'd heard it all, along comes a new Beethoven symphony disc that proves once again that there's no such thing as a definitive performance, and that the music still has more to say than even the most diehard collector has yet heard. The Eroica is probably the most difficult of all the Beethoven symphonies to play and conduct, requiring endless reserves of stamina and a powerful interpretive imagination, and those are exactly the qualities in evidence here. The fact is that we live in a wonderful time if you're a fan of classical-period orchestral music. The authentic-performance-practice movement has convincingly demonstrated the validity of many of its precepts
Read more not so much in the number of outstanding performances it has delivered, but by showing how with proper attention to questions of balance, texture, accent, and phrasing, it's possible to improve the overall quality of results. In short, Beethoven's music responds better to this approach.

So take this extremely propitious interpretive paradigm, and add to it the playing of arguably the greatest chamber orchestra in the world, led by a conductor with exciting but always idiomatic and musically apt ideas, and you get a joyous, athletic Beethoven at his very best. The first thing you notice about this swiftly paced, irresistibly urgent Erocia is the exceptional clarity of texture. For example, listen to the woodwinds (bassoons particularly) at the start of the first-movement development section, or in the rugged, minor-key variation at the center of the finale. It's impossible to praise the playing highly enough: the solo oboe in the funeral march is simply magnificent, as are the horns in the trio of the scherzo.

Järvi deserves just as much credit. He creates an incredible amount of tension in the first-movement development's dissonant pile-up, and plays the heroic main theme in the coda as Beethoven scores it, but without any sense of anticlimax. Best of all, he offers the most physically exciting account of the coda since Szell, and no praise can be higher than that.

The Eighth Symphony is equally splendid: in the outer movements especially you just might think you're hearing the music for the very first time. Beethoven's scoring seldom has sounded less clogged, with each layer of texture distinctly audible and in perfect balance. Järvi builds the development section to a positively explosive climax at the moment of recapitulation, but you can actually hear the main theme as it enters in the bass. The second movement is notable for its wit, the chirping winds complemented by violin playing of stunning finesse. Careful observance of Beethoven's dynamics makes the whole thing especially delicious. Järvi captures the mock pomp of the minuet with just the right emphasis at a tempo that never drags, while the finale is simply insane, an unforgettable romp that banishes forever the notion that the Eighth Symphony is in any way slighter or less engaging than its formally larger and more popular predecessor.

The performances are complemented by SACD stereo and surround sonics that have the music leaping from the speakers. On evidence here, this cycle (which Järvi is currently taking on tour) is going to be absolutely stupendous. It's wonderful to see a major label going to bat for it, and it deserves to sell like the latest Harry Potter novel. I don't care if you already own three or four dozen recordings of this music: you really do need this one.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 "Eroica" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen
Period: Classical 
Written: 1803; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 8/2005 
Length: 45 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Symphony no 8 in F major, Op. 93 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen
Period: Classical 
Written: 1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 8/2005 
Length: 24 Minutes 8 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Always something new September 4, 2018 By Richard C. (Los Angeles, CA) See All My Reviews "The 3rd is arguably Beethoven's greatest work. After listening to dozens of recording and live performances of it, it's satisfying to hear yet another creative interpretation. The flutes added a dimension I hadn't heard before." Report Abuse
 A delightful interpretation of the 8th December 3, 2013 By George F. (Falls Church, VA) See All My Reviews "At a faster tempo than most renditions of Beethoven's 8th, Parvo Jarvi manages to come up with a delightful interpretation of it. This is not one of the most exhilarating Beethoven symphonies, but after listening to this performance I moved it up close to the top. Jarvi uses a wealth of delightful phrasing that makes the 8th a delightful, entertaining, and charming piece. It seems to me that other respectable conductors have gone over this material without recognizing the treasures that are hidden in it. No matter how many great conductors have interpreted Beethoven, it is amazing that it is always possible to come up with a fresh insight." Report Abuse
 Beethoven 3rd Disaster October 4, 2013 By j. taylor (Glen Allen, VA) See All My Reviews "This guy should never be turned loose with a baton. He conducted the third and first movements of Beethoven's 3rd in the same tempo, that of a man who was afraid he was going to miss his bus. He turned the second movement into a show tune with a completely inappropriate tempo. The only thing missing was Jazz Hands. I couldn't even get to the last movement." Report Abuse
Review This Title