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William R. Braun
Opera News, August 2015

These interpretations explore the starkest contrasts and extremes, with beautifully and fleetly coursing violins set against the most bizarre of musical sounds where Mahler asks for “blaring” or “coarse.” Järvi doesn’t telegraph every unexpected change of harmony with a lift or a breath, since Mahler knew how to write these things if he wanted them. Four piccolos playing in unison are meant to be shrill, and Järvi has no urge to make the passage sound polished. Odd tone colors are created all-out, as are desynchronized multiple tempos.

The Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra bucks today’s trend of homogenized woodwind tone—particularly an oboist of distinctive and beautiful coloring. The tricky, unique passage in the Third Symphony for one flute, one oboe and one clarinet playing in unison makes a suitably otherworldly effect. Thus the warmer, more tonal moments are all the more effective. © 2015 Opera News Read complete review

José Luis Bermúdez
Classical Net, August 2015

MAHLER, G.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 (P. Järvi) (Blu-ray, HD) 718104
MAHLER, G.: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 (P. Järvi) (Blu-ray, HD) 719204
MAHLER, G.: Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6 (P. Järvi) (Blu-ray, HD) 729404
MAHLER, G.: Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8 (P. Järvi) (Blu-ray, HD) 729604
MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 9 / Symphony No. 10: I. Adagio (P. Järvi) (Blu-ray, HD) 729804

The Frankfurt Radio Symphony (more properly known as the HR-sinfonieorchester) has a long tradition of Mahler playing, going back to its first principal conductor Hans Rosbaud. There is no question in my mind, after listening to this cycle, that it is in the front rank of Mahler orchestras.

The orchestra has a rich string sound, complemented by wind and brass sections that play with great assurance and are temperamentally attuned to Mahler’s multiple moods and styles. Mahler makes heavy demands upon solo musicians and the principals respond extremely well. [Samuel Seidenberg’s] horn solo is outstanding in the scherzo of the Fifth. But the standard is very high throughout the whole cycle. Highlights include the deliberately clumsy frère Jacques played by the double bass in the third movement of the First; the solos from the trombone and posthorn in the first and third movements of the Third; the horn solo in the second Nachtmusik from the Seventh; and the solo viola in the second and third movements of the Ninth.

Mahler was a great orchestrator and one of the real strengths of Paavo Järvi’s conducting is his skill in bringing out the complex texture of Mahler’s orchestral sound and striking a balance between the different voices. The slow movements display this skill to best effect. The first and last movements of the Ninth and the Adagio of the Tenth are particularly memorable. © 2015 Classical Net Read complete review

Stephen D. Chakwin Jr
American Record Guide, July 2015

The Frankfurt players are first-rate, especially the section principals. The strings have a lovely silken sound, the woodwinds…have plenty of personality. The horns are outstandingly good… The percussion is right on the money.

This is lovely, vibrant Mahler playing very much worth hearing. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Peter Quantrill
Gramophone, May 2015

MAHLER, G.: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 (P. Järvi) (NTSC) 719108
MAHLER, G.: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 (P. Järvi) (Blu-ray, HD) 719204

In the fourth movement of the Third, Waltraud Meier intones ‘O Mensch’ with oracular authority…as though an urgent or pleading approach to the text were beneath her. The Frankfurt orchestra’s response is more secure, and it’s good to see how it plays together, how the first flute breathes in silent sympathy with the oboe solo. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Lawrence D. Devoe, April 2015

This is the Blu-ray premiere for the Mahler Symphony No. 3 and it is one corker of a performance, setting the bar pretty high for any successor. The stars seemed to align perfectly for orchestra, soloist and choruses. Järvi’s treatment of this sprawling account of love, nature and pantheism is spot on. © 2015 Read complete review

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, April 2015

MAHLER, G.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 (P. Järvi) (Blu-ray, HD) 718104
MAHLER, G.: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 (P. Järvi) (Blu-ray, HD) 719204

If one needed to sum up in a few words Paavo Järvi’s style of interpreting Mahler, I would say his way with the music is energetic, spirited and colorful, rarely sounding ponderous or bogged down. Slow music never sounds too slow and fast music comes across as lively and judiciously paced, never hasty. No eccentricities here, then. All four of these interpretations are very good to excellent and can thus compete with the better or even the best versions available. Strongly recommended. © 2015 Classical Net Read complete review

Dave Billinge
MusicWeb International, March 2015

…these are performances of the very highest standard both in terms of musical insight and actual performing standards.

Järvi has an individual take on Mahler performance. This is helped by the lovely wind playing in the marvellous Frankfurt orchestra: particular mention must be given to the first flute Clara Andrada de la Calle, the first clarinet Jochen Tschabrun and the first trombone Oliver Siefert who are simply wonderful players. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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