Mariss Jansons

Conductor

Mariss Jansons

Jansons was born in Riga, the son of conductor Arvid Jansons. His mother, who was Jewish, gave birth to him in hiding after her father and brother were killed in the Riga ghetto. In 1946, his father won second prize in a national competition and was chosen by Yevgeny Mravinsky to be his assistant at the Leningrad Philharmonic. When his family joined him in 1956, young Jansons entered the Leningrad Conservatory, where he studied piano and conducting, although his father urged him to continue playing violin. In 1969 he continued his training in Vienna with Hans Swarowsky and in Salzburg with Herbert von Karajan.

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Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Mahler: Symphony No. 5


All Mahler scholars have agreed from the very start that Gustav Mahler embarked on an entirely new path with his Fifth Symphony. Even for his immediate contemporaries, such as the conductor Bruno Walter or the music critic Paul Bekker, the Fifth marked the beginning of a new creative phase, and Mahler himself was also keenly aware of this – which is why he was all the more upset by the fact that his work was not understood at its premiere in Cologne in October 1904 and, even later, met with a largely negative reception. In 1905, following an unsuccessful performance in Hamburg, the composer complained: "The Fifth is an accursed work. No-one understands it.” It was only after Mahler’s death in May 1911 that people slowly began to appreciate the piece. The Fifth ranks today as one of Mahler's most popular symphonies. This is due in part to Luchino Visconti's 1971 film adaptation of Thomas Mann's novella ‘Death in Venice’, which used the symphony’s world-famous Adagietto to great effect: the movement enjoyed unanimous approval from the very start, and has now advanced to become Mahler's ‘greatest hit’ and the most famous work in his entire oeuvre. In its structure, the symphony does not follow the classic four-movement form, but presents us with five movements in three sections. Conceptually, Mahler relies on methods he had already tried and tested in the work’s great predecessors, the Second and Third Symphonies. The centerpiece of the work is a lengthy scherzo full of grotesque humour, inspired by Jean Paul, while its resting-point is the Adagietto, which certainly bears many of the hallmarks of Mahler's slow movements. The harsher sound of this symphony ushered in a new creative phase for Mahler – one that he developed further in the Sixth. The maximum use he makes of the tonal means available already clearly anticipates the Ninth, in which he begins to abandon tonality altogether and encompass the transcendental aspect of the music. This Munich concert event of March 2016, now released as a CD by BR KLASSIK, is an outstanding interpretation of one of the most important compositions of the international symphonic repertoire of the early 20th century.

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BR Klassik - 900150

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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'

Live recording, Aula Paolo VI, Vatikan in Rome, 27.10.2007


Hollow pathos is not his thing. From an artist like Mariss Jansons, Friedrich Schiller’s ode An die Freude has a far deeper significance, which also fully encompasses the doubt and profound hope embodied in this text. And thus, in Jansons’s recording of the Ninth Symphony, the choral finale does not degenerate to a merely superficial jubilation, but rather becomes a delicately balanced, wisely developed drama. On October 27 2007, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks played Beethoven’s Ninth in the presence of the Pope in the Vatican. The recording of this memorable concert is now being released by BR-KLASSIK.

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BR Klassik - 900156

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Mahler: Symphony No. 9

Mahler: Symphony No. 9

Live-Recording: Munich, Philharmonie im Gasteig, 20./21.10.2016


Gustav Mahler's Ninth Symphony is primarily regarded as the composer’s reaction in the summer of 1908 to the diagnosis of a heart ailment, which he received just before writing the first sketches for the work. Mahler was deeply distraught and cannot have known how few years he still had left to live. His processing and exploration of his life experiences, and of valedictions, the meaning of life, death, salvation, life after death and love, always took place in and through his music. The Ninth Symphony was composed between 1909 and 1910 in Toblach, in a kind of creative frenzy, and was first performed in Vienna on June 26, 1912 by the Vienna Philharmonic, under the baton of Bruno Walter. Mahler had already died on May 18, 1911, and was no longer able to experience the premiere of his last completed work. Willem Mengelberg, the first ardent conductor of the composer’s works, wrote in his score: "Mahler's soul sings its farewell!" Mahler's Ninth Symphony represents the culmination of a development process. The progressive chromaticism and maximum utilization of the tonal are here taken to their limits - and, for the first time, beyond them. Indeed, the two movements that frame the work, in particular, depart from the tonal entirely, pointing clearly to the dawn of a new musical epoch. Alban Berg even called this symphony "the first work of New Music". The Munich concert event of October 2016 is now being released on CD by BR-KLASSIK – it is an outstanding interpretation of one of the most important compositions of the international symphonic repertoire of the early 20th century.

“What is special is the care [Jansons] the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the engineers have taken with the quieter music: those haunting, shadowy transitions in the Andante; those remote, blanched contrapuntal episodes in the finale. And the final fade-out must surely be among the most fine-spun on record” BBC Music Magazine, June 2017 ****

“Mariss Jansons’s Munich Mahler scores highest for warmth, intelligence and emotional centredness.” Classical Ear, 23rd March 2017 ***

“As ever, Mariss Jansons produces an exquisitely moulded performance, with every transition beautifully managed, and every dynamic scrupulously observed. The orchestra plays with refinement.” Daily Telegraph, 25th March 2017 ***

“Mahler’s Ninth is wonderfully rich in nuance in this recording. The playing of the BR-Orchester under Mariss Jansons is filled with emotion, and yet never threatens to let sentimentality gain the upper hand. This has a great deal to do with the thoroughly musical care taken by Jansons, who is never swept away by the symphony’s programme.” FonoForum, April 2017 *****

“I can’t think of a Ninth with less neurasthenic edge and a more inviting legato character. The playing [is] of predictable finesse…its restrained expressivity and cultured sound provide easeful balm for difficult times” Gramophone Magazine, May 2017

“Mariss Jansons here directs a memorable live account of Mahler 9, drawing stunning playing of considerable intensity from his Bavarian orchestra. Immaculately prepared, as usual, I admire Jansons’ masterly control of tempo, dynamic and scale. Beautifully recorded too at the Philharmonie, Munich” MusicWeb International, March 2017

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BR Klassik - 900151

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Mariss Jansons conducts Richard Strauss

Mariss Jansons conducts Richard Strauss

The 100th release of BR-KLASSIK Label!


Strauss, R:

Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24


At the age of just fifteen, the budding composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949) lost his way during a summer hike on the Heimgarten in the Bavarian Alps, and ended up in a thunderstorm. The next day, he fantasized about the experience on the piano. - Twenty years later, that memory had matured into a concept describing a one-day hike in the form of a symphonic poem, and in 1915 – a further fifteen years later – Strauss finally completed his masterpiece. The hike begins in the darkness before dawn, and after sunrise the ascent goes through a forest, past a stream and a waterfall, through meadows and pastures, and up to a glacier. The hiker then loses his way, and after several risky moments arrives at the summit, where he also experiences a vision. The weather then suddenly worsens, and the descent is accompanied by heavy rain and fierce thunderstorms. The eventful day - summarized in just sixty minutes of music - ends with a sunset, and darkness returns.

"An Alpine Symphony" is probably Strauss' most famous symphonic poem. Its content is easily understandable, and the work became especially well-known for its gigantic orchestra. The music is far from heavy-handed, however, with many of the passages orchestrated like chamber music. Like a kind of greeting from the Bavarian Alps, as it were, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and its chief conductor Mariss Jansons have placed this masterpiece, and the music of Richard Strauss in general, on the programme of their forthcoming tour of Asia in late 2016. The live recording of “Alpine Symphony” concerts planned for October 2016 in Munich’s Philharmonie im Gasteig is enhanced on this latest CD from BR-KLASSIK by the addition of Strauss’ symphonic poem "Death and Transfiguration", first performed in 1890; the recording here is of concerts performed in Munich in February 2014. – We thus have two very recent interpretations of two of this great German composer’s most important tone poems on one CD.

Live-Recording Munich, Philharmonie im Gasteig 10.2016 (Alpine Symphony); 02.2014 (Death and Tr.)

“Live recordings…with character and excitement. The Alpine Symphony storm is impressively gutsy.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ****

“Beauties, thrills (heroic trumpets) and – appropriately – highs abound in Jansons’s unerringly symphonic approach that journeys and paints pictures and does so compellingly” Classical Ear, 11th April 2017 *****

“Jansons holds the tension throughout as part of a sensitive, deeply-thought reading to leave the listener in a reflective mood…the music provides a moving experience.” classicalsource.com, April 2017 *****

“The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra bring a burnished, polished sound to every strand of Strauss's kaleidoscopic score, and BR-Klassik's engineering is a marvel of presence, clarity and detail.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“A highly desirable album performed by an orchestra who knows this music so well.” MusicWeb International, 18th January 2017

BR Klassik - 900148

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BR-KLASSIK Greatest Moments

BR-KLASSIK Greatest Moments

CD Sampler plus Catalogue 2016


BR Klassik - 900003

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Rhapsody

Rhapsody

Live-Recording, Munich, Herkulessaal, October 2015


Chabrier:

España

Enescu:

Romanian Rhapsody in A major, Op. 11 No. 1

Gershwin:

Rhapsody in Blue

Denis Matsuev (piano)

Liszt:

Hungarian Rhapsody, S244 No. 2 in C sharp minor

Ravel:

Rapsodie Espagnole


This latest CD from BR KLASSIK contains five great rhapsodies, devised and elaborated by very different composers from different regions, with a lot of imagination and local flavour. With his rhapsody "España" the Frenchman Emmanuel Chabrier focused on the Iberian music and folk music so popular at the time, as did his more famous compatriot Maurice Ravel with his "Rhapsodie espagnole", the four-movement structure of which still harks back to long-outdated symphonic forms. From the Hungarian-born Franz Liszt we have the famous "Hungarian Rhapsody" No. 2, and from the Romanian composer George Enescu the scarcely less famous and popular "Romanian Rhapsody". The American George Gershwin created what was probably the most famous example of the genre in the 20th century with his "Rhapsody in Blue" for piano and orchestra… The Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under their chief conductor Mariss Jansons are a guarantee of outstanding interpretative quality for these large-scale rhapsodic musical works. The Russian pianist Denis Matusev – internationally famous ever since he won the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow in 1998 – proves to be a sovereign and stylistically confident interpreter of George Gershwin’s concertante masterpiece, with its numerous jazz elements. The live recording of this concert was made in October 2015 in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz.

“Ravel’s achingly sensuous Rapsodie espagnole receives the finest performance here, infused with infectious warmth that is sensually beguiling.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2016 ****

“[the Ravel] is played with a satisfying balance of exactitude and flair…[the Gershwin is] full of fire and fun, despite the occasional overindulgence” Gramophone Magazine, October 2016

“This disc is a bit of a guilty pleasure.” MusicWeb International, 21st October 2016

BR Klassik - 900146

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Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27

Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27

Recorded Live at Concertgebouw Amsterdam on 28-29 and 31 January 2010


The RCO's performance history of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony is strangely uneven. Already three years after its completion the symphony was performed by Willem Mengelberg in a programme that also boasted the composer as soloist in his own Piano Concerto No. 3. After that the symphony was performed again in 1921 and then there's a gap of 59 years. From 1980 on no less than 10 conductors (including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Kirill Kondrashin and Kurt Sanderling) put it on the RCO's music stands.

Its latest RCO incarnation proved to be an ideal performance.: with Mariss Jansons at the helm, heart and mind of this piece were totally balanced and the opulence of the RCO's sound at the Concertgebouw was perfectly suited to Rachmaninoff's most beloved symphony.

“Jansons shapes its sumptuous melodies with restraint and detail, making the climaxes more than usually explosive. There’s great clarity in the playing, especially in the long slow movement with its huge clarinet solo...There’s no indulgence and plenty of excitement in this live recording from 2010.” The Guardian, 10th July 2016 ****

“The Concertgebouw strings have rarely sounded lusher, though Jansons never wallows in sentiment, and the wind soloists, notably the yearning clarinet in the adagio, are outstanding...With Tchaikovsky, this is the music in which the young Jansons made his name. He surveys it now with Olympian scope.” Sunday Times, 17th July 2016

“very beautiful, very pleasant … good recorded sound as well.” CD Review, 9th July 2016

“This is a conductor who is fully in tune with Rachmaninov bringing a performance that is unsettled, stormy and full of restrained emotion.” The Classical Reviewer, 17th July 2016

“Jansons has always been more interventionist. While his speeds have slowed a little and the Concertgebouw acoustic imparts a softer grain, much is as it always has been: the rubato personal and touching, the sudden pianissimos positively breathtaking (unless you judge them to be overdone), the textures shimmery and iridescent, flecked with woodwind colour others miss.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2016

“A detailed account.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2016 ***

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RCO Live - RCO16004

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Beethoven: Symphonies 1/2/3

Beethoven: Symphonies 1/2/3

Live from Suntory Hall, Tokyo, 2012


Beethoven:

Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21

Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36

Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 'Eroica'


Individual release from the previously released complete edition (107537).

Ludwig van Beethoven was the first hero of bourgeois musical life. Although Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had already made the transition from the older feudal and ecclesiastical traditions to the new culture of public concerts, periodicals and amateur music-making, Beethoven was the first composer to see himself as an artist who represented this bourgeois music culture as an individual, rather than simply supplying music for it, as composers had previously done for the church or the aristocracy.

Beethoven‘s first three symphonies can be seen as experiments in the heroic style. What is intimated in the First Symphony (1800) in a new firmness of musical tone and the replacement of dancelike, elegantly fl owing intonations by scherzo and march, takes on more concrete form in the Second Symphony (1803). This is a monumental symphony – a fact that escapes today’s listeners for the simple reason that it was followed by the Third, which is even more expansive in its design. This Third Symphony (1805), called “Eroica”, is approximately twice as long as any symphony by Haydn and one of most popular orchestral works by Beethoven.

Special Feature: Mariss Jansons rehearses Beethoven (Bonus film, 44 mins)

Sound Formats: PCM Stereo, DD 5.0

Picture Format: 16:9

Subtitles Bonus: GB

DVD 9 / NTSC

Running Time: 116 mins + 44 mins (Bonus)

FSK: 0

Region Code: 0

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus Musik Mariss Jansons Complete Beethoven Symphonies - 102175

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Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 100

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 100

Recorded Live at Concertgebouw Amsterdam on 17-19 and 21 September 2014


In this recording of Sergei Prokofiev's masterful Fifth Symphony, Mariss Jansons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra find themselves on familiar ground. Already in 1948 (four years after the world premiere) Eduard van Beinum introduced it to the orchestra. A long line of famous conductors followed, including André Previn, George Szell, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Valery Gergiev. The fact that this music is part of Mariss Jansons' musical DNA, may explain the feeling of authenticity in this recording.

“Jansons treats the score with a deep, exalted sort of heroism that speaks beyond any immediate politics of the piece. We get beautiful playing from the great Dutch orchestra: lines unfolding graciously with that majestic Concertgebouw sound, which glowers and glows from the bottom up and in which Jansons takes plenty of time to wallow.” The Guardian, 21st April 2016 ****

“With a wonderful if rather too plush-sounding hall and a glorious orchestra, Jansons secures a soft-grained interpretation that should satisfy his admirers” Gramophone Magazine, June 2016

“This Jansons version is one of the finest I’ve encountered. His is a version that demonstrates the symphony’s stature. It’s a great shame that the playing time is so meagre but, for once, that’s a secondary issue: the quality of the performance, interpretation and recorded sound trump the issue of the playing time.” MusicWeb International, May 2016

“this is wonderful, sensuous, lush sound … Jansons has a great sensitivity to style.” CD Review, 9th July 2016

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RCO Live - RCO16002

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Mariss Jansons conducts Dvorak & Suk

Mariss Jansons conducts Dvorak & Suk


Dvorak:

Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88

Live Recording, Munich, Gasteig, Philharmonie 29. – 30.01.2016

Carnival Overture, Op. 92

Live Recording, Munich, Gasteig, Philharmonie 29. – 30.01.2016

Suk:

Serenade for String Orchestra in E flat, Op. 6

Studio Recording, Munich, 25.01.2016


Dvořák's lyrical and cheerful Eighth Symphony, which premiered successfully in Prague on February 2, 1890, is one of the famous Bohemian composer's most often-played works. He succeeded here "in writing a work different from my other symphonies, with individual thoughts elaborated in a new way". Every movement and every melody in this music reflects the fact that it was wholly inspired by the landscape of Bohemia. Dvořák's close familiarity with and love of Slavonic folk music can be clearly heard, as can his deep preoccupation with the symphonies of Tchaikovsky: the rhapsodic Adagio and the waltz-like Scherzo, for example, in their melodic inventiveness as well as their formal structure, are both highly reminiscent of the famous Russian composer. – Alongside Dvořák's much-performed Ninth Symphony, his Eighth is a further masterpiece of late 19th-century instrumental music. Josef Suk's Serenade for Strings of 1892 is far more than a mere time-filler on this CD. The first successful composition by this budding Czech composer – who was Dvořák's pupil and son-in-law – is audibly influenced by the musical and aesthetic ideas of his teacher and mentor, but is also a highly individual work in its own right and an important example of the genre. In the recordings of the two concerts performed in the Philharmonie im Gasteig on January 29 and 30, 2016, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Mariss Jansons successfully demonstrated that Dvořák's traditional yet visionary symphonic writing continues to retain all its validity today: the interpretation is sensitive, dynamic and majestic. Suk's Serenade for Strings was recorded in a studio only a few days beforehand.

Exciting live atmosphere (Dvořák) combined with a studio production (Suk).

Programme contains important works of late 19th-century Czech instrumental music.

Recording of a concert that took place as recently as January 29 and 30, 2016 together with a studio production on January 25, 2016

The Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under its chief conductor Mariss Jansons, regularly praised for his special sensitivity where Slavonic music is concerned.

“Tempi are relaxed and phrases are lovingly caressed, dabbed with generous applications of rubato…another virtue is the sheer beauty of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra’s playing, not only in terms of tonal refinement but internal balance” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

BR Klassik - 900145

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