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Reviews: Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 8 - Paavo Järvi

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Reviews: 7

Site review by akiralx March 13, 2007
Performance:   Sonics:  
Sadly I canít sum up much enthusiasm for this release. The playing is excellent and the recording very present and transparent Ė but it rather highlights the small scale of the performances, particularly the major work.

Fast tempi are fine in the Eroica, as conductors like Scherchen and Bernstein showed in their old recordings, and even more traditional readings from nearer our own time, like the VPO ones from Abbado and Rattle, are as alert rhythmically, but here there is a distinct lack of drama which canít be entirely explained by the small orchestra.

Compare Harnoncourtís acclaimed recording with another chamber orchestra and frankly one is in a different world. Iíve heard quite a few versions of the Second symphony with more sweep and power than this, which canít really be right.

There are some nice woodwind touches in the Funeral March, but all in all this is a pretty pallid interpretation. Comparisons to Vanskaís fine version on BIS are inevitable and entirely to the disadvantage of this release.

The Eighth fares better, but many listeners will find the unremittingly hectic tempi rather wearing, especially with the timpani as closely balanced as here. One misses the charm of the work as shown in, say, Jochumís recently reissued version with the Concertbebouw on Philips. Also Jarviís practice of playing the last three movements virtually attacca is slightly odd.

Site review by Geohominid September 28, 2009
Performance:   Sonics:    
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

http://www.HRAudio.net/showmusic.php?title=3859#reviews

Site review by Adrian Cue June 26, 2011
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

http://www.HRAudio.net/showmusic.php?title=3859#reviews

Review by Daland June 15, 2006 (12 of 13 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
An excellent recording in every way - bold, brilliant, full-blooded and exciting. The tempi are on the brisk side, but not too much so. Paavo Järvi allows the music to breathe and displays a keen sense of the long line - so crucial in the Eroica. His attention to detail never interferes with his overall conception. His reading of the Eighth Symphony is, if anything, even more thrilling. The orchestra, made up of 40-odd players, responds to the manner born, the woodwind and horns being especially notable. I find it quite astonishing that a relatively small outfit can sound so heroic.
Sonically, this recording can hardly be bettered. There is transparency, brilliance and a real sense of space (in marked contrast to the Vänskä SACD featuring the same two symphonies). This is hardly surprising as the recording project was in the hands of Polyhymnia International.

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Review by AmirKessner September 9, 2007 (14 of 15 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is a revelatory disc. Of the (too?) many dozens of discs I've purchased recently, this is one of the most exciting.

If, like Mr. Leach above, you look for what Bernstein (once my prime preference), Scherchen, Abbado et al. provide, you're not going to find it here. Instead, you'll find a fresh view -- a Brave New World. If you're familiar with "period instrument" performances, you'll know better what to expect. This is a very period-aware performance, albeit with modern instruments, sometimes with period-like sonorities.

It's all about youth, exuberance, power, excitement, freshness, heroism, sorrow, innovation -- in short, Beethoven of this period. But this does not at all imply any loss of accuracy. On the contrary -- you can often guess the written dynamics from what you hear. Each sf, sfp, sotto voce and each accent is followed naturally, without exaggeration.

Clarity is another issue here -- I've never heard so many new details in this symphony. Even the grace notes and 1/32 notes in the bass in the funeral march, often smeared, are articulated cleanly and clearly, to great effect.

The recording is excellent without drawing attention to itself, only to the rich, varied and beautiful sonorities of the superlative orchestra.

Kudos to Jarvi -- the more I hear from him, I like his interpretations more. The recording quality of his other recordings, on Telarc and on Pentatone, is also very good indeed.

WARMLY recommended!!!

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Review by Domimag November 6, 2007 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Listened SACD multi-channel :

It is a fantastic SACD ! It's a real pleasure to listen this performance on multi-channel. Sound is clear and dynamic, soundstage wonderful. Jarvi use an orchestra with a "beethovenian" size, about 40 musicians and we hear all composer's score. In short, one of the top five SACD I have.

Now the performance : Jarvi is a genius and the new pope of Beethoven symphonies ! I had several performances of these opus (3 and 8 symphonies). I have to say it will be hard now to put another CD or SACD. Compared to my Abbado, Harnoncourt, Zinman, Vanska... for my taste, Jarvi is leading easily. If you prefer a more "classical" performance, Vanska is a very good choice too (and well recorded in SACD).
Lille, 6 november 2007.

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Review by Oscar May 29, 2008 (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Paavo Jarvi and this Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammer Philarmonie, have developed an intense and productive relationship.

Their two recordings for Pentatone (Stravinsky and R.Strauss) were great succeses.

Now, they have embarked in their Beetoven Symphonies project, and they are at a good starting point with this excellent issue.

Naturally, their Beethoven is benefiting from the latest in musicological research and performance practice: transparent textures, sharp differenciation of timbres and tempos etc, so as to bring the modern featrures of Beethoven composing (at his time).

Both symphonies get crisp readings, full of drama (but not overdone) and the sound P.Jaarvi gets from the orchestra is very "tactile" you can reach out and touch the individual strings !

The sound is sharp, athmosperic and with excellent definition.

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