Revisiting the Concertgebouw
The reviews that I saw auf Deutsch in Germany were glowing. One of the headlines there was "The most German orchestra in America."
I'm including a review from The Netherlands' leading national newspaper, translated by former Cincinnatian Dr. Sten Drop of Rotterdam, who attended the concert with his wife Petra:
"Wenneke Savenye. NRC Handelsblad 10-4-2008
Jansen finds Järvi flawless
Never before has the Cincinnati Symphony orchestra - according to
Paavo Järvi "the most European orchestra of America"- played in the
Concertgebouw. This month the orchestra - founded in 1895 and directed
by illustrious figures like Richard Strauss (oops, he was never a music director, but likely guest-conducted) Leopold Stokowski and Fritz Reiner and Eugene Ysaye- gives 12 concerts in 5 European countries. Nikolai Luganski and Janine Jansen are alternating soloists.
In Amsterdam, Jansen - who made her debut already in 2005 with the Cincinnati
Symphony Orchestra with the Tchaikovsky violin concerto- impressed with her lyric
and intrusive interpretation of the Britten violin concerto in D Minor. Taken by
this melancholic piece, Jansen played the moving opening movement with
stilled profundity and instrumental refinement, but in the sweeping
vivace her musical engagement surfaced again.
In dialogues full of temperament with the sensitive playing orchestra, Jansen reached at some points chamber music clarity. After a spectacular solo cadenza,
Jansen and Järvi and the orchestra unfailingly (flawlessly) were of the
same mind in the macabre melancholia of the passacaglia.
The encore was the sarabande from the 2nd partita for solo violin by Bach.
After Járvi had already had shown in his carefully built-up but too
muscular view of Arvo Pärts "Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten," the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra exhibited a warm-blooded string section, which played with great nuance, and the brass section exploded in golden glory during the sonorous and
expansive interpretation of the 10th Symphony by Shostakovich.
It became clear also in the encore - a sultry (sensual) waltz by
Sibelius- why Järvi considers his orchestra so European: the Cincinnati Symphony
Orchestra combines the sonority and instrumental discipline of many American
orchestras with a remarkable refinement in sound colors and dynamics."
Photos: Paavo Järvi greets guests of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, which is present at three tour concerts. Watch for a story about that tomorrow or ...?
The Chamber's Ellen van der Horst, president, with Paavo and Cincinnati city manager Milton Dohoney
Scenes from the "mall" in front of the Concertgebouw, including the the Rijksmuseum, below (closed because it's undergoing the biggest rebuilding, renovation and modernization program in its history), and the Van Gogh Museum (a corner can be seen). Outside the hall, there were several soccer games going on.