Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Anne Shelley
Music Media Monthly, June 2013

JANSONS, Mariss: Music is the Language of the Heart and Soul (Documentary, 2011) / MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 2 (Jansons) (NTSC) 709708
JANSONS, Mariss: Music is the Language of the Heart and Soul (Documentary, 2011) / MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 2 (Jansons) (Blu-Ray, HD) 709804

Beautifully and sensibly constructed, this documentary tells the story of contemporary conductor Mariss Jansons…

…Jansons received the Musikpreis—often called the Nobel Prize of music—from the Ernst von Siemens Musikstifung, an honor he shares with Bernstein, Britten, Harnoncourt, Stockhausen, and his former mentor Karajan, among many other composers, conductors, and performers. Both the documentary and the symphonic performance on this set are evidence that this award is richly deserved, and both are equally fine tributes to Jansons, a respected artist and a thoughtful soul. Highly recommended. © 2013 Music Media Monthly Read complete review

Christopher Abbot
Fanfare, September 2012

JANSONS, Mariss: Music is the Language of the Heart and Soul (Documentary, 2011) / MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 2 (Jansons) (NTSC) 709708
JANSONS, Mariss: Music is the Language of the Heart and Soul (Documentary, 2011) / MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 2 (Jansons) (Blu-Ray, HD) 709804

The video portrait of Mariss Jansons includes commentary from the conductor, vintage newsreel footage and photographs, and encomia from musicians Lang Lang, Thomas Hampson, Rudolf Buchbinder, and Krassimira Sloyanova, and members of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Music of Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Liszt, and Johann Strauss is heard in the soundtrack and in rehearsal in Amsterdam, Munich, and Vienna; Strauss’s visit to St. Petersburg serves as a connective strand throughout the film, most notably to excerpts from the 2006 New Year’s concert in Vienna.

I can recommend this video to admirers of Mariss Jansons, and to those who are curious about this versatile conductor. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

James L. Zychowicz
MusicWeb International, July 2012

Recently released, this two-disc set consists of a documentary about the conductor Mariss Jansons. There’s also a recent Jansons performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony from the Concertgebouw.

Jansons is a familiar presence at the podium as well as on recordings. Robert Neumuller’s documentary offers a vivid portrait of the conductor. Illustrated with historic images from Janson’s childhood, youth, and early career, the documentary also benefits from the firsthand account by the conductor himself. The German-language interview is supported with subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Korean. Jansons’ account of his life includes his experience in Soviet Latvia, along with memoirs of growing up in a musical family. Jansons’ father was a conductor, whose work inspired his son to pursue a career in music. It is useful to hear the son’s perspectives on his father’s achievements. Jansons also discusses his early career, and the excerpts included in the documentary give evidence of his talent. Yet this documentary also offers some insights into Jansons’ artistic temperament, which support the music which he interprets so well.

A case in point is the bonus disc included with the documentary, a live performance of Mahler’s Second. This recording merits attention as a solid contribution to the discography of the work.

The visual aspects of the DVD fit the music, with crisp images, realistic color and well-thought videography. The close-ups of individual players or sections are not random, and the lighting fits well into the entire effort. The camera angles from various parts of the hall give a sense of the physical space, a detail that contributes to the overall effect. Video director Joost Honselaar deserves credit for fine imagery. It makes for a tribute to Jansons work, which is celebrated appropriately in this release. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Bruce Surtees
The WholeNote, May 2012

…[This new video] presents a performance that will satisfy the most ardent and jaded critic…[The orchestra is] at home with the score and the soloists…are well-matched. Of course, the vocal mavens may have their personal opinions about the choice of soloists but, to these ears, there are no good reasons for any petty or insignificant objections. There are no complaints about the state-of-the-art video production…and the audio is equally matched in presence and detail.

I watched the Jansons…and heard a very romantic performance, indicating that the conductor is comfortable with the score and views the work as belonging to its past and not as a portent of things to come. © 2012 The WholeNote Read complete review, May 2012

The documentary is put together neatly and paced well, the historical footage fits nicely into the narrative, and the scenes of Jansons rehearsing with the Vienna Philharmonic for its New Year’s Concert provide some interesting views of the conductor’s techniques and methods for extracting the sounds he wants from an orchestra. Fans of Jansons will find the documentary quite pleasant…The second DVD…should please just about everyone: this Mahler “Resurrection” is a substantial one, with considerable intensity in the first movement, suitable relaxation thereafter, and—in the finale—some really impressive orchestral playing before the uplifting and very well-sung choral passages. The Concertgebouw responds to him with sureness and strength, its particularly fine brass providing all the warmth, excitement and burnished sounds that serve Mahler best. For Jansons fans, this two-DVD set will be a very fine keepsake; listeners in general will certainly appreciate the Mahler Second… © 2012 Read complete review

Hank Zauderer
My Classical Notes, April 2012

Mariss Jansons is one of the leading conductors…I like his conducting style and technique. And I also admire his great energy and terrific eye contact with the orchestra players.

In this DVD, film maker Robert Neumüller observes Mr. Jansons in rehearsal for the New Year Concert with the Vienna Philharmonic, as well as working with the top orchestras he is currently heading, the Royal Concertgebouw and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

This 2 DVD-set includes a performance of Mahler Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” with Mariss Jansons conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra, one of the best orchestra’s in the world. © 2012 My Classical Notes Read complete review

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group