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Mahler: 4 Movements / Paavo Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio SO


Release Date: 07/14/2009 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 16576   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Gustav MahlerBenjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MAHLER Totenfeier. Symphony No. 10: Adagio. Blumine. mahler-Britten What the Wild Flowers Tell Me Paavo Järvi, cond; Frankfurt RSO VIRGIN 16576 (61:04)


"Paavo Järvi is beginning to rival his father in productivity. He used to be pretty busy with the Estonian NSO (Virgin) and the Cincinnati SO (Telarc). Now Read more he has just finished his stupendous Beethoven symphony cycle with the Bremen Chamber Philharmonic on RCA (feature article in 31:4), and on Virgin he puts out one recording after another with the Frankfurt RSO. The latest in that line is a disc of four single movements of Mahler.


The first movement of Mahler’s Second Symphony was used by the composer as a stand-alone piece under the name of Totenfeier . It sounds especially daring with Järvi, partly because it is taken out of the symphony’s framework we are familiar with, and partly because Järvi’s is a particularly carefree rendition, unburdened with having to save anything up for four following movements. In that combination, the composition sounds particularly gutsy, laugh-out-loud daring; heck, it sounds positively ludicrous.


Then follows the Adagio from Symphony No.10, an equally long and imposing first movement that is played well enough, but not as delineated as others—Michael Tilson Thomas’s or Michael Gielen’s, for example. That’s daunting music to follow up with the whimsical Blumine that was originally part of the First Symphony but got dumped by Mahler after the third performance. I prefer to hear the movement on its own, rather than as part of a Hamburg version of the First Symphony, and I certainly prefer hearing it like this than out of context, tacked on to a performance of the revised, 1906/10 version. It isn’t particularly deep and meaningful Mahler, and that’s how Järvi plays it; like a youthful afterthought.


What the Wild Flowers Tell Me is Benjamin Britten’s Mahler-proselytizing orchestration (downsized, for reasons of economy) of the second movement of the Third Symphony. It isn’t Järvi’s performance that is slight, but presumably the difference in orchestral size.

Points of disgruntlement might be the placing of Blumine after the dominating Adagio, or the slack performance of that Adagio and Wildflowers , or the absence of “Purgatorio” which would have fit in quite nicely—but the bold Totenfeier and the airy Blumine make up for that, I find."


FANFARE: Jens F. Laurson
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Works on This Recording

1.
Totenfeier, symphonic poem in C minor by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1888; Austria 
2.
Symphony no 10 in F sharp minor/major: 1st movement, Adagio by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Austria 
3.
Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan": Blumine by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1888; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes: Composition written: Leipzig, Germany (1888).
Composition revised: Germany (1896). 
4.
What the Wild Flowers Tell Me by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941 
Notes: This work is Britten's arrangement of Mahler's Symphony no 3, 2nd movement. 

Sound Samples

Totenfeier (Symphony No.2)
Adagio
Blumine (Symphonie No.1 in D)
What the Wild Flowers Tell Me (arr. Britten)

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