Neeme Järvi conducts Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” Suites

06 Mar 2010

Berliner Philharmoniker
Neeme Järvi

  • Johannes Brahms
    Academic Festival Overture in C minor, op. 80 (11 min.)

  • Johannes Brahms
    Tragic Overture in D minor, op. 81 (15 min.)

  • Carl Maria von Weber
    Oberon: Overture (12 min.)

  • Edvard Grieg
    Peer Gynt Suites, op. 46 & op. 55 (41 min.)

  • free

    Neeme Järvi in conversation (12 min.)

There are not many conductors more frequently listed in recording catalogues than Neeme Järvi. He has made over 400 recordings over the years, many of them rarities from Scandinavia. Nordic music is also on the programme for this guest appearance by Järvi with the Berliner Philharmoniker – but on this occasion with one of the most popular works of the symphonic repertoire.

A love for the music of Northern Europe has accompanied Neeme Järvi all his life. His 1990 debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker included Arvo Pärt’s Third Symphony, and this was followed by further guest appearances with works by Wilhelm Stenhammar and Carl Nielsen. But it isn’t the exotic charm of this music that attracts Järvi – quite the opposite: he wants to show that it is “a part of both Europe and global culture”.

No work demonstrates this better than Edvard Grieg’s famous Peer Gynt Suites which form the centrepiece of this concert. The Norwegian folk music taken up by Grieg radiates an unmistakably Scandinavian flavour. But when it comes to style and form, the composer remained, in his own words “a German Romantic of the Schumann school”. In this concert, overtures by Brahms and Weber clearly show just how much Grieg’s music in fact resembles German music.

Neeme Järvi is chief conductor of the Residentie Orkest (The Hague), conductor laureate and artistic advisor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and first principal guest conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. Born in Tallinn (Estonia), Neeme Järvi first studied at the Estonian Academy of Music in Tallinn, then completed his studies at the conservatory in Leningrad with Nikolaj Rabinowitsch and Yevgeny Mravinsky. In 1963 he took up the post with the Estonian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. In the same year he founded the Tallinn Radio Chamber Orchestra. Between 1966 and 1969 Neeme Järvi was chief conductor of the Estonian National Opera. Engagements at the Gothenburg Symphony and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra followed. After his emigration to the United States of America in 1980 he lead American orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1982 he became principal conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony and held this post for over 22 years. Concurrently, he lead the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (1984 – 1990) as well as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (1990 – 2005). Neeme Järvi he has made frequent guest appearances with most of the world’s leading orchestras and has received many international awards in recognition of his services to music. His debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker took place in June 1990 with works of Pärt, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. The last time the orchestra played under his baton was in September 2007 with works of Béla Bartók and Hans Rott.

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