A Spirited Symphony Eight, to say the least!
Beethoven, Ludwig van
Opus 93, Symphony no. 8 in F major
The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Paavo Jarvi, Conductor
March 2, 2009 at 7:30 (& 10:30)
Alice Tully Hall, NYC
Opening Nights Festival
Thanks to A. ( last name Nonymous) for the in-house recording
The Beethoven Symphonies have to be brought out now. Great performances are being tossed about and you've got to hear them! Here's a Symphony Eight, in a living, breathing, rousting version by The Deutche KammerPhilharmonie Bremen led by Estonian conductor Paavo Jarvi, who has CDs available now of these symphonies in must-get studio versions, recorded around 2006. The link (click this) takes you to the orchestra's own page to purchase in Euros, though the cycle is widely available elsewhere.
Mr. Jarvi, as in the studio and evidenced here (although in lesser sound quality), "...clearly prizes highly charged music making, often at top speed, with thoughtful phrasing and sharply punched accents. And the use of valveless trumpets; woodwinds with a bright, astringent sound; and hard timpani mallets, combined with a reduced string section, yielded unusual balances that revealed each score’s inner workings, usually without unreasonably skewing the balance between theme and accompaniment.
When the orchestra plays at its best, these qualities yield refreshing, powerful performances. That was consistently the case in the late-night concert, when the orchestra played hardest, perhaps in the vain hope of coaxing some reverberation from the hall..."
The reviewer goes on to describe the other symphonies played in this manner,- which describes the Eighth presented here as well- as
"... weaving threads of rustic playfulness into an overwhelmingly courtly fabric. But Mr. Jarvi and his players reconsidered that balance, making vehemence and drive absolute values and letting the courtly charm fend for itself. It was a risky approach, but it worked."
from The New York Times review of this concert,'The Mainstream Flows Into Alice Tully Hall and Is Hushed', by Allan Kozinn