Paavo Järvi

Critical acclaim for Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi and Janine Jansen at BBC Proms

27 August 2013

The BBC Proms concert given by Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi andJanine Jansen on 1 September has been met with great critical acclaim. The programme featured Britten’s Violin Concerto and Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No.3; the date marked the first time that the orchestra and Chief Conductor Järvi have appeared together at the festival.

Writing in The Guardian, Tim Ashley reviewed: “We tend to think of Saint-Saëns’s Symphony as grandiose, and with Thierry Escaich at the organ, the pomp and circumstance of the finale brought the house down. But Järvi also reminded us that beyond the sonic largesse lurks a work of great structural ingenuity and developmental complexity. Music by Bizet – the Galop from Jeux d’Enfants, the Farandole from L’Arlésienne – formed the encores, played with electrifying precision and bags of charm. It was quite a night.”

On the performance of the Concerto, Ashley added: “Janine Jansen inhabits its emotional world with an intensity matched by few. Järvi’s conducting was all the more remarkable for its restraint and subtlety.”  In The Times, Neil Fisher, described: “Jansen attacked [the concerto] as if her life depended on it, every odd quiver and scrape given real dramatic bite.”

Reviewing the remainder of the programme, Fisher added: “The very disciplined Paavo Järvi seems like an excellent fit 
[for the orchestra]... He brought rigour and restraint to both Britten and Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten, and kept his players bubbling away beautifully during Berlioz’s Le Corsaire. I suspect the dash, swagger, and unashamedly grandiose tone of Saint-Saëns’s Organ Symphony was their own.”

Michael Church also praised the concert, writing in The Independent: “With Arvo Part’s Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten Paavo Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris had already demonstrated their fastidious
 control of dynamics, but Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony allowed them to do so again. Thierry Escaich was the organist… his final letting-rip shook the real foundations.”

Following their Proms appearance, during the 13-14 season, Järvi and the orchestra also visit Bucharest and Frankfurt, and undertake extended Asian tours - to Hanoi, Ho-Chi-Minh City and to Japan - as well as a three-concert residency at Vienna’s Musikverein.