Monday, February 14, 2011

Jansons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at Pleyel

Salle Pleyel - Paris, February 14 2011

 You know you are insanely busy when you miss the first half of the year's best concert with the world's best orchestra conducted by the best conductor, accompanying the best pianist -- and the concert occurs in  the city you live...
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Maestro Mariss Jansons

So I missed Leif Ove Andsnes, and I'm really sorry for that, but I am still thrilled to be able to listen to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra taking the best of the Beethoven's 7th under his greatness, Mariss Jansons. Blogging from la Salle Pleyel...
What they do is just a whole level above any other orchestra today. Only the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra gets close, even if not quite up there.

The only thing that comes to mind after such a great concert is one big Thank you!

There's been a lot of Beethoven's 7th  in Paris recently and while this concert can be criticized for its lack of "originality", it gives you at the same time a demonstration why pretty much everyone today agrees that this is the world's best orchestra. They were great before Mariss Jansons became their musical director in 2004, but with him they gained in performances of works by Shostakovich, by Bruckner, while their new performances of Mahler's Symphonies are different from what you can find on their famous recordings with Haitink or with Chailly. At least to me there is more life to their notoriously accurate and impeccably orchestrally balanced concerts.With them (and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, on their good night!) I feel those rare moments when you feel as something has been created that during the concert almost detaches from the orchestra and makes you feel thrilled to sit through the concert sharing a unique moment that no camera, TV, or any recording could approximate.

OK, the 7th was obviously great, and the creepy side of me loved the most the 2nd movement, which for some reason is called "Allegretto". Does anyone understand why? I know you get a bit of it in Beethoven's 3rd, but here that Funeral March gets its glorious color, that I fail to perceive as allegretto.

Here is a video I could find with Jansons conducting another awesome orchestra (Bayerischen Rundfunk Symphonieorchester) -- 2nd movement (Allegretto) from Beethoven's 7th. Make your day richer for these 9 minutes...


  1. So sorry that you've missed Leif! He is amazing pianist, but also extremly kind and intelligent person. His last year recital in Warsaw was wonderful. How I would wish to hear him performing Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 with Berlin Philharmonic! It's going to be on March 16/17/18. And how the Beethoven?

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  3. What is weird with my posting?!

    Hi Katemeiss. It was great, as I expected it to be, and I needed that kind of energy.

    I was boomed to have missed Andsnes. It was impossible for me to come on time :(

    Berliners are great fun to listen too. Enjoy your treat in March!

  4. I've heard this orchestra 5 times and yet to hear a performance worthy to tell my grandkids about.The closest memorable one might have been ironically a Bhvn 7 under Haitink.