BEETHOVEN THE SYMPHONIES
Romantic fire and a crisp, authentic spirit – An epoch-making interpretation
“You know, even after many years one can still find something new in Beethoven’s music,” confided Mariss Jansons to the respected music periodical Fono Forum (February 2013). And the proof can be heard in every measure of Beethoven’s nine symphonies as performed under his direction by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Recorded live at Tokyo’s magnificent Suntory Hall in 2012, this long-awaited complete cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies bears testimony to Jansons’ new understanding of the works, which is reflected in a tauter, brisker pace, and a vigor that is often nothing less than breathtaking. Jansons is very aware of the importance of historical performance practice and integrates it more fully into his performances, but without forfeiting any of the works’ romantic spirit. “I am searching for my path in a synthesis [of both aspects],” says Jansons in Fono Forum.
For the climax of the cycle – the Ninth – Jansons and his orchestra are joined by the eminent soloists Christiane Karg (soprano), Mihoko Fujimura (mezzo), Michael Schade (tenor) and Michael Volle (baritone) as well as by the Bavarian Radio Choir. Here, too, the conductor takes a new, more zestful approach to the mighty work, and invites his musicians to join him. When we reach the final choral movement, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy is practically giving off sparks of excitement. The performance of all nine symphonies also reconfirms Jansons’ avowal that these works are “the very best music ever written. I am absolutely passionate about them.”