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Mariss Jansons Conducts Brahms & Janacek [blu-ray]

Brahms / Monogarova / Prudenskaja / Jansons
Release Date: 07/30/2013 
Label:  Arthaus Musik   Catalog #: 108080  
Composer:  Johannes BrahmsLeos Janácek
Performer:  Peter MikulasMarina PrudenskayaL'udovit LudhaTatiana Monogarova,   ... 
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony OrchestraBavarian Radio Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
Blu-ray Video:  $39.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This Blu-ray Disc is only playable on Blu-ray Disc players and not compatible with standard DVD players.

Also available on standard DVD

A ‘star event’: wrote The Guardian about the performance of Johannes Brahms’ Second Symphony with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Mariss Jansons. Recalling that this orchestra is now ‘among the leading ensembles in the world,’ The Guardian asserted that ‘their style is generous, warm and big-hearted, their relationship with Jansons one of mutual adoration.’

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

Leoš Janácek: Glagolitic Mass

Read more Monogarova, soprano
Marina Prudenskaja, mezzo-soprano
Ludovit Ludha, tenor
Peter Mikuláš, bass
Iveta Apkalna, organ

Bavarian Radio Chorus
(chorus master: Peter Dijkstra)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Mariss Jansons, conductor

Recorded live at the Concert Hall of the Culture and Convention Centre (KKL), Lucerne, 2012

Picture format: 1080i High Definition
Sound format: PCM Stereo / DTS-HD Master Audio 5.0
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles: English, German, French, Korean
Running time: 88 mins
No. of Discs: 1

R E V I E W: 3731000.az_BRAHMS_Symphony_2_JANACEK.html

BRAHMS Symphony No. 2. JANÁ?EK Glagolitic Mass Mariss Jansons, cond; Tatiana Monogarova (sop); Marina Prudenskaja (mez); Ludovit Ludha (ten); Peter Mikulá? (bs); Iveta Apkalna (org); Bavarian Radio SO & Ch ARTHAUS 108 080 (Blu-ray: 78:00) Live: Lucerne 3/31/2012

Jansons has recorded the Brahms Second often, with a consistent lack of critical success on these pages. In a review that began inauspiciously with the claim “This is a release that raises troubling questions about what it is that constitutes musical talent,” Bernard Jacobson went on to call his Oslo performances of the Second and Third “somnolent,” “unconcerned,” and “very depressing” (23:4). Jeffrey J. Lipscomb seconded that assessment of Jansons’s way with the Second in his review of the Concertgebouw remake: “All in all, I can’t recall ever hearing a more depressing performance of my favorite Brahms symphony” (29:4). I wish I could break the cycle, but this new performance schleps along in the same ruts. It begins fairly eventfully, with some well-shaped phrases and some excellent coloring that brings out the sweetness of the opening pages. But as soon as the music turns sterner, you sense the droop at the core of Jansons’s interpretive persona, and until the Finale, the performance exemplifies Lipscomb’s quip “the bland leading the bland.” The last movement at least begins and ends with plenty of vitality, but it’s not enough to compensate for the blowzy colors, sluggish rhythms (not much urgency at the center of the third movement), and mushy articulation that predominate elsewhere in this Second.

At first, it appears as if the Janá?ek (played in the standard revised edition, not in Paul Wingfield’s increasingly popular reconstruction of Janá?ek’s original conception) will provide more of the same. With its soft-grained timpani, its gleamingly polished trumpets, its softening of the music’s gestural profile, and its downplaying of its grating contradictions, the “Úvod” makes little impact. But once the chorus enters, the performance reminds us that Jansons can in fact ignite a score. Whether in the pleading of “Gospodi pomiluj,” or the joyous shouts of “Plna sul nebesa” that punctuate “Svet,” or the obsessive ominousness toward the beginning of that movement, or the emergence of sunshine after measure 130 in “Veruje,” Jansons exhibits the same paradoxical ability to honor the momentary lurches in mood shifts while maintaining a sure sense of the larger shape that we hear in his exceptional video of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth.

Could the troubled opening of “Veruje” be weirder—and could the movement’s climaxes emerge more crushingly? Could Jansons do a better job of distinguishing the very different worlds of the chorus and the orchestra in “Agne?e Božij”? Could the details of the scorching trumpet licks in the Intrada come across more vividly? Are there, more generally, too many moments when Jansons stands meekly before Janá?ek’s wilder gestures? Certainly. This is no match for the touchstone performances of the score by An?erl, Kubelík, and Mackerras (especially his Czech Philharmonic version). But Jansons’s reading certainly has its virtues. The vocal soloists are all strong (I especially appreciated the heroic striving of tenor Ludovit Ludha, so different in character from his impressively nerdy performance as Zinoviy in Jansons’s Lady Macbeth), the chorus is first-rate (if, unsurprisingly, a bit vague in pronunciation), and the orchestra plays exceptionally well. Yes, the winds could be tarter throughout—but they surely provide both visceral presence and emotional spirit. Listen, as but one example, to the artfully inflected clarinet solo starting at bar 100 in “Veruje,” especially the dexterously feline handling of the little gesture at the end.

Excellent sight and sound, and more than usually intelligent camerawork. Although I doubt you’ll play the Brahms often, this disc is worthy of consideration.

FANFARE: Peter J. Rabinowitz
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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Austria 
Glagolitic Mass by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Peter Mikulas (Bass), Marina Prudenskaya (Mezzo Soprano), L'udovit Ludha (Tenor),
Tatiana Monogarova (Soprano), Iveta Apkalna (Organ)
Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Brno, Czech Republic 

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