Saturday 25 April 2015
Artistxite's Review: Shostakovich-Symphony No.7 by Paavo Järvi
"Powerful, Rhythmic Interpretation of the most popular symphony by Shostakovich, that reveals the whole tragic beauty of the piece in its lyrical passages."
The historical background of the seventh "Leningrad" symphony by Dimitri Shostakovich that we know – that of Leningrad encircled by German troops, released by the Red Army - often hides the fact that it is an ambivalent piece. Shostakovich's Trojan horse hides a sarcastic caricature of the ugly side of Stalin's dictatorship behind a curtain of patriotism. Paavo Järvi (like his father Neeme) is an experienced and subtle Shostakovich exegete with exactly the right feel for the multi-layered psychology of this piece. He addresses the embittered ambivalence of the music with strict tempos (similar to Rostropovich and Barshai) and a very rhythmically driven interpretation. In the continuous building of the powerful (and violent) first passage, he reveals the whole insanity of the desperate situation of those weeks of war. The enormous sound of the Russian National Orchestra is unmistakeably in its element here, but it is only in the lyrical Chiaroscuro-like passages of the second and third passages that this truly successful interpretation unfolds its full tragic beauty. Here, Järvi and the Russian Orchestra place musical accents, where others only reach a strange indifference. Bravo! And we should also mention that this PENTATONE production is (as always) recorded with a superb sound.