Paavo Järvi and the NHK Symphony – Music Of Bela Bartók – September 27, 2017 – Suntory Hall – NHK-FM, Tokyo –
Over to Tokyo this week for an all Bartók concert featuring out-going Music Director Paavo Järvi and the NHK Symphony, recorded in Suntory Hall on September 27, 2017.
Three pieces make up the concert this week – Starting with the Divertimento For String Orchestra – followed by The Dance Suite and finishing with Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta.
Bela Bartók is is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Franz Liszt are regarded as Hungary’s greatest composers. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology.
Bartók’s music reflects two trends that dramatically changed the sound of music in the 20th century: the breakdown of the diatonic system of harmony that had served composers for the previous two hundred years; and the revival of nationalism as a source for musical inspiration, a trend that began with Mikhail Glinka and Antonín Dvořák in the last half of the 19th century. In his search for new forms of tonality, Bartók turned to Hungarian folk music, as well as to other folk music of the Carpathian Basin and even of Algeria and Turkey; in so doing he became influential in that stream of modernism which used indigenous music and techniques.
One characteristic style of music is his Night music, which he used mostly in slow movements of multi-movement ensemble or orchestral compositions in his mature period. It is characterized by “eerie dissonances providing a backdrop to sounds of nature and lonely melodies”. An example is the third movement (Adagio) of his Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. His music can be grouped roughly in accordance with the different periods in his life.
Paavo Järvi is widely recognized as the musicians’ musician, enjoying close partnerships with the finest orchestras around the world. He serves as Chief Conductor of the Tonhalle Orchester-Zürich and the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo, as the long-standing Artistic Director of The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and of the Estonian Festival Orchestra, which he founded in 2011. He is also Conductor Laureate of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Music Director Laureate of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Advisor of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.
In September 2021 Paavo Järvi and the Tonhalle Orchester-Zürich celebrated their first season in the newly refurbished Grosse Tonhalle with a special concert featuring Mahler Symphony No.3. In his third season as Music Director of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Paavo Järvi focused on Bruckner and began recording the composer’s symphonies as well as works by John Adams. Later in the year, Alpha Classics released the complete box set of Tchaikovsky Symphonies, completing the cycle which was their first major recording project together in Zürich.
Paavo Järvi returned to Japan in the Autumn of 2021 for his final season as Chief Conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra. He completed his seven year tenure with performances and a recording of Strauss’ Alpine Symphony, returning to the composer which brought his collaboration with the Tokyo musicians international critical acclaim.
Enjoy the concert.
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