New York, NY— The extensive and essential discography of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is augmented with the issue of its latest recording, which features Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 and Josef Suk’s Serenade for String Orchestra in E-flat major, Op. 6.
The recording will be released on Friday, April 8, 2016 on BR-Klassik, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra’s in-house recording label. The performances of the Eighth Symphony, led by Mariss Jansons, Chief Conductor of the BRSO, are drawn from concerts, recorded live on January 29 and 30, 2016 in Munich at the Philharmonie am Gasteig.
The recording is complemented by a studio recording of Suk’s Serenade by the Orchestra and Mr. Jansons made in Munich on January 25, 2016.
Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony occupies a special place in the composer’s achievement. The genial work, written in summer 1889 at Dvořák’s country house at Vysoká, exudes a uniquely bucolic quality and unrestrained lyricism which has rightly resulted in the work being termed his “Pastoral” Symphony. A reflection of the natural world bestows particular color in solo woodwind writing. As Dvořák wrote to his publisher, “I keep on admiring the delightful birdsong…after all, most composers are stimulated to work by the songs of birds in the forest, which inspire them with the most beautiful melodies.” For its tunefulness, the composition demonstrates the tendencies of advanced 19th-century symphonists in a tonal scheme that encompasses deft alternation of minor and major modes, notable in its first two movements, and a plan overall whose aim, in the words of the composer, was to bring his “thoughts to expression in a manner different from the usual forms.” No less distinct is a third movement whose scherzo belies an exuberant waltz and a final movement cast in a combination of variation and sonata form.
Josef Suk’s Serenade for String Orchestra in E-flat major, Op. 6, takes as its point of departure the Bohemian-inspired musical idiom of Dvořák. Suk, a violinist, pianist, and student of Dvořák and later his son-in-law, would become the second violinist of the acclaimed Czech String Quartet. An assured handling of orchestral string writing is evident in this piece, written at the age of 18—an admixture of virtuosity and folksong—and influenced likely by the model of Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings, Op. 22.
The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mariss Jansons perform Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 in two concerts as part of a six-city North American tour: on Saturday, April 16 at 8 pm at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, MI and Tuesday, April 19 at 8 pm at Carnegie Hall. The programs also include Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op 35, with Leonidas Kavakos and John Corigliano’s Fantasia on an Ostinato. The orchestra and Mr. Jansons return to Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, April 20 at 8 pm to perform Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60 “Leningrad.” Additional tour dates include concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC on April 12, in Chapel Hill on April 13, Montreal on April, 15, and Chicago on April 17.
Since assuming the position of Chief Conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2003, Mariss Jansons has shaped an orchestra critically admired for its burnished sound, clarity, finesse, and exuberance. About the orchestra’s 2006 appearance at Carnegie Hall, the New York Times noted, “By now the record is indisputable. The conductor Mariss Jansons is one of the best orchestra builders around….he has energized and lifted the players…The playing was always musical and expressive, but never indulgent or mawkish. Overlapping contrapuntal lines were projected with utter clarity. Mr. Jansons has a characteristic way of shopping a phrase so that even a line in the violins tapes off, decreasing in volume, the sound increases in nervous intensity.” Also in remarks about the orchestra’s sound, The Telegraph reported, “There’s something refreshing in the way Jansons refuses to micro-manage the players, preferring to bring forth by some subtle empathy their own musicality. …the overall sound was gorgeously refulgent.”
The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra’s extensive discography encompasses Dvořák’s sacred oratorio Stabat Mater, Op. 58, and recent releases by the Orchestra and Mr. Jansons of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades (Pique Dame), and a recording that pairs Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Mr. Janson’s recording of the Shostakovich symphonic cycle, completed in 2005 with several orchestras, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, is considered a standard among recent recording collections. In February 2006, Mr. Jansons’ album of Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony won a Grammy in the category “Best Orchestral Performance.” He has received ECHO Klassik awards including “Conductor of the Year” in 2007, and “Best Recording of the Year” in 2008 for his recording of Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and The Miraculous Mandarin, as well as the Suite No. 2 from Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Mr. Jansons won a 2010 ECHO-Klassik “Orchestra of the Year” award for their recording of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony.
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Mariss Jansons, Chief Conductor
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904): Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 [37’05]
1. Allegro con brio [10’09]
2. Adagio [10’30]
3. Allegretto grazioso [6’25]
4. Allegro, ma non troppo [10’41]
Josef Suk (1874-1935): Serenade for String Orchestra in E-flat major, Op. 6 [25’43]
5. Andante con moto [5’03]
6. Allegro, ma non troppo e grazioso – Poco meno mosso [5’06]
7. Adagio [8’16]
8. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo presto [7’18]
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