MUSSORGEKY: Songs and Dances of Death. The Nursery. PROKOFIEV: Four Pieces,
Op. 4. RACHMANNOFF: Prelude in C sharp minor, Op. 3 No. 2. Prelude in G
mnor, Op. 23 No. 5. She is as Beautiful as Noon. Everything Passes.
WAGNER: Prelude to Parsifal. BRAHMS: Double Concerto in A minor, Op.
102. Symphny No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98.
MAHLER: Symphony No. 1 in D "Titan." Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection"
Pianist Garrick Ohlsson and mezzo Ewa Podles, both powerhouse performers, joined forces for a concert at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw for this concert. No specific date or concert information is provided. It is a rather short program (65 min). Ohlsson's solos are Prokofiev's Four Pieces, Op. 4 (including the fantastic Suggestion Diabolique) and two familiar Rachmaninoff preludes. Podles is in magnificent form in the two Mussorgsky song cycles. The two Rachmaninoff songs are given as encores—why weren't there more? What is there is of outstanding quality. Audio is two-track only, and subtitles are provided only in Polish and English.
Since 1991 the Berlin Philharmonic has given a concert May 1st t commemorate the anniversary of the orchestra's ffounding. Each concert is given in a different venue. Most of these have been issued on DVD and many have been mentioned on this site: 2014 BARENBOIM (REVUEW), 1999 HAITINK (REVIEW), 197 BARENBOIM (REVIEW). 1998 ABBADO) (REVIEW) and 2013RATTLE (REVIEW)..Now we have the 2007 concert recorded in the ,Kabelwerk Oberspree, an icon of industrial power for more than a century. It turned out to be excellent acoustically, and was packed with an enthusiastic audience. The concert began with the Prelude to Parsifal, a work that was included on the orchestra's first concert in 1882, Of course the Brahms Double Concerto and Symphony No. 4 are staples of the repertory. All are given superlative performances, with Lisa Batiashvili and Truls Mork ideal soloists. In spite of the enthusiastic reception, there was no encore. Audio is excellent, full and rich.This was a memorable concert in the BPO's history.
Paavo Järvi (b. 1962), son of Neemi Järvi, has a distinguished career. He is Music Director Laureate of the Cincinnati Symphony (which he led from 2001-2011), In 2006 he became conductor of the Frankfort Radio Symphony, a position he held until last year, and now is music director of the Orchestra of Paris. He has become known for his interpretation of Mahler, and this generous DVD contains two performances recorded at he Rheingau Music Festival, Symphony No. 1 August 23, 2012, Symphony No. 2 June 26-27, 2010. Symphony No. 1 was performed in the Kurhaus Wiesbaden Friedrich-von-Thiersc-Saal, Symphony No. 2 was presented Klosster Eberbach, a huge church. Symphony No. 1 doesn't reach the heights of many other performances, but Symphony No. 2 is impressive. However, it seems because of limited performance space in the church, a rather small chorus is used, and performers seem rather cramped. The Frankfort orchestra is first-class in every way with outstanding brass and rich strings. Their sound has been captured very well on Symphony No. 1, and also impresses in the Resurrection in spite of the manifold difficulties of recording in a very resonant acoustic. A 20-minute bonus presents Järvi's discussion of the music. These are the first DVD issues in this Mahler series. In the meantime, you can watch them on YouTube, although you won't experience them with the clarity and impact of DVD.
R.E.B. (February 2015)