, November 2013
What is my overall impression of this cycle? It is splendid, superb actually. Tempos are judicious, instrumental balances are impeccable, playing is accurate and spirited, and the singing in the Ninth Symphony is beautiful and totally committed.
Jansons conducts the first two symphonies with a sense they are youthful works by a composer whose musical depth was still developing. Both performances are excellent in their precision and lively spirit…
The Fifth is also quite fine…
The Sixth Symphony is a stunning performance here…Jansons delivers a performance with essential details seemingly chiseled to perfection. The first movement has energy and playful bounce, and truly evokes images of the country. Just as crucially, Jansons effectively conveys the sense of serenity and peace in the second movement, without making it seem overlong or repetitious. With brisk tempos, deft accenting, and all imaginable gradations of dynamics, the music comes across with irresistible bucolic character. The peasant celebration is joyous and characterful and the storm has real impact. The finale comes across with a mesmerizing beauty to triumphantly crown this splendidly joyful performance.
The Seventh is hardly less successful. When the Vivace main theme begins, the orchestra plays with energy, bounce and exuberance…The second movement…works just fine here…The remaining movements are also very convincing, especially the effervescent and ecstatic finale.
The Eighth has a good measure of gravitas in this performance.
Jansons’ Ninth Symphony may well be the best performance of the work I have ever heard…I would opt for this performance of the Ninth for the sheer vitality and consistency of the reading. The whole symphony unfolds convincingly from first note to last.
The camera work is absolutely excellent throughout all performances and the sound reproduction vivid and powerful, fully state-of-the-art. © 2013 Classical Net Read complete review