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Mariss Jansons - The Oslo Years [Boxed Set]

Warner Classics

  • £91.80

Format: 26CD BOX SET
Barcode: 0190295242473
Release Date: 23rd October 2020
Genre: Classical

Over Mariss Jansons’ long tenure as Music Director of the Oslo Philharmonic, from 1979 to 2002, the Latvian-born conductor rose to global pre-eminence and the Norwegian orchestra cemented its international reputation. Trained in St Petersburg, and mentored by Yevgeny Mravinsky and Herbert von Karajan, Jansons took up his position in Oslo at the age of 36. “The artistic leader is responsible for the quality of the orchestra,” he said, “He must think of the orchestra constantly”. He praised the Oslo Philharmonic for its “identity and unique sound” and “exceptionally strong work ethic and discipline … without a trace of arrogance, superficiality or routine thought”. The 21CD set comprises all the Warner Classics recordings they made together and reflects Jansons’ special mastery of music of the later Romantic era and the 20th century. Entirely new to the catalogue are 5 DVDs of concerts originally broadcast on Norwegian television and offering works by Sibelius, Mahler, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Strauss and Franck.

#1 December 1st 2020 marks the first anniversary of the death, aged 76, of Mariss Jansons, who in 2013 was described by the Washington Post as “the greatest living conductor.” In a 2005 interview, Jansons expressed his philosophy: "The goal is to enter what I call the cosmic world, where nothing but music exists, no technique, nothing else. You are thinking only about the imagination, content, atmosphere. Then the performance acquires a cosmic dimension. There is no, 'Is this the right note?' or, 'Should I do more crescendo?' This should be done in rehearsal. You come and make music at the highest level."
#2 The orchestras most closely associated with Jansons are the: Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam; Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks; Oslo Philharmonic; St Petersburg Philharmonic; Pittsburgh Symphony; London Philharmonic; Wiener Philharmoniker; Berliner Philharmoniker (he was a candidate for Chief Conductor in both 1999 and 2015).
#3 Jansons was Music Director of the Oslo Philharmonic from 1979 to 2002. Over that time he rose to become one of the world’s leading conductors and the orchestra achieved a new level of excellence and status, both as a national institution in Norway and as an ensemble of international distinction. Jansons was an exceptional orchestral trainer – demanding the highest standards of his players, but also a thoughtful and respectful man who aroused great affection and loyalty. Moreover, he was a vocal and determined public advocate for the Oslo Philharmonic, soliciting the ideological and financial support he felt it deserved from the Norwegian government and establishment.
#4 Born in Latvia in 1943 and trained in St Petersburg (where he was mentored by Yevgeny Mravinsky), Jansons first conducted the Oslo Philharmonic in 1975, when he was 32. The Soviet authorities had just refused him permission to take up a post as Herbert von Karajan’s assistant. His accession to the post of Music Director of the Oslo Philharmonic coincided with the orchestra’s 60th anniversary. Jansons later wrote: “From the very first moments of our meeting in 1975, I have known you as a professional ensemble through and through, with your own identity and unique sound, with an exceptionally strong work ethic and discipline, with an honest dedication, engagement and reverence towards your duties, without a trace of arrogance, superficiality or routine thought.”
#5 “The Oslo Philharmonic’s style and sound reflected so very closely Mariss’ own personality,” says Jansons’ former manager, Stephen Wright, “a clarity and freshness of sound, with a further combination of refinement, range of colours, and passion in their playing – and above all a complete commitment to music-making … Attending their concerts was always a fresh and inspiring experience – similar to viewing great paintings that have been cleaned and beautifully restored.”

Reviewing a Jansons/Oslo Philharmonic concert at Carnegie Hall in 1991, the New York Times wrote of “lyrical phrasing, carefully balanced ensemble work, control of the long line, concentration and, most important, a sense of commitment to the act of music-making that makes one want to listen again”.
#6 The audio recordings in this collection were made between 1987 and 1997 for EMI Classics. They are the fruit of what was, at the time, the company’s most extensive contract with an orchestra, which produced 21 releases. Some of these recordings have not been available for a number of years.
#7 The collection also includes the world premiere releases, on 5 DVDs, of concerts broadcast on Norwegian state television (NRK) between 1985 and 2002.
#8 The repertoire reflects Jansons’ special mastery of music of the later Romantic era and the 20th century. Among the composers on the CDs are: Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Dvořák, Smetana, Wagner, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Dukas, Honegger, Respighi, Bartók, and the Norwegian Romantic composer (and close friend of Richard Wagner) Johan Svendsen. The Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk plays Dvořák’s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. The DVDs offer works by Sibelius, Mahler, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Strauss and Franck.

CD 1 55.23
1 Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32
2 Romeo and Juliet
3 Ouverture solennelle “1812”, Op. 49
Recorded: IV.1987, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 2 40.58
1-4 Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47
Recorded: VI.1987, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 3 67.20
1-5 Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 4
6-10 Symphony No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 15
Recorded: VIII.1987, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 4 58.03
Romeo and Juliet
1-7 Suite No. 1, Op. 64a
8-14 Suite No. 2, Op. 64b
Recorded: I.1988, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 5 48.37
1-15 Pictures at an Exhibition
16 Night on the Bare Mountain
17 Dawn over the Moscow River Prelude to Act I from Khovanshchina
Recorded: VIII.1988, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 6 52.22
1-4 Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 “From the New World”
5 The Moldau (Vltava) Symphonic Poem No. 2 from My Fatherland (Má vlast)
Recorded: XI.1988, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 7 53.49
1-4 Feste romane
5 Daphnis et Chloé – Suite No. 25
PAUL DUKAS 1865–1935
6 L’Apprenti sorcier
Recorded: I. & II.1989, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 8 67.32
BÉLA BARTÓK 1881–1945
1-5 Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116
6-9 Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz 106
Recorded: I.1990, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 9 64.24
1-4 Symphony No. 5 in F major, Op. 76
5 Othello, Op. 93
6 Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66
Recorded: VIII. & IX.1989, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 10 61.50
1-3 Karelia Suite, Op. 11
4 Finlandia, Op. 26
5-8 Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39
Recorded: IX.1990, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 11 51.31
1-3 Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54
4-8 Symphony No. 9 in E-flat major, Op. 70
Recorded: I.1991, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 12 67.36
1 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Prelude to Act I
2-3 Tristan und Isolde: Prelude to Act I & Liebestod
4 Tannhäuser: Overture
5 Götterdämmerung: Funeral March
6 Die Walküre: The Ride of the Valkyries
7 Lohengrin: Prelude to Act III
8-9 Rienzi: Overture
Recorded: VIII.1991, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 13 73.46
1-4 Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70
5-8 Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88
Recorded: I.1992, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 14 58.07
1-3 Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 104
4-12 Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 33
Truls Mørk cello
Recorded: 12–14.V.1992, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 15 60.51
1-4 Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43
5 The Swan of Tuonela, Op. 22/2 from Lemminkäinen Suite
6 Valse triste, Op. 44/1 from Kuolema
7 Andante festivo
Recorded: V.1992, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 16 67.29
1-14 Le Sacre du printemps
15-29 Pétrouchka 1947 Version
Recorded: XI.1992, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 17 57.55
1-3 Symphony No. 2, H 153
4-6 Symphony No. 3, H 186 “Liturgique”
7 Pacific 231, H 53 6.29
Recorded: XI. & XII.1993, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 18 63.17
1-3 Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 3 in B minor, Op. 61
Frank Peter Zimmermann violin
4-7 Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 “Organ”
Wayne Marshall organ
Recorded: I.1994, Konserthus, Oslo (1–7); III.1994, Église de Saint-Ouen, Rouen (organ, 4–7)

CD 19 57.55
1-3 Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52
4-7 Symphony No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 82
Recorded: VIII.1994, Konserthus, Oslo

CD 20 65.04
1-4 Pini di Roma
5-8 Fontane di Roma
9-12 Feste romane
Recorded: X.1995 (1–8); I. & II.1989 (9–12), Konserthus, Oslo

1 BERNSTEIN: Candide: Overture
2 KIM: Elegy
3 ALFVÉN: Shepherd-girl’s Dance from Mountain King, Op. 37
4 TCHAIKOVSKY: Pas de deux No. 14 from The Nutcracker, Op. 71
5 DVOŘÁK: Slavonic Dance in C major, Op. 72/7
6 SIBELIUS: Valse triste, Op. 44/1
7 ELGAR: Wild Bears from The Wand of Youth – Suite No. 2, Op. 1b
8 GRIEG: Morning from Peer Gynt – Suite No. 1, Op. 46
9 BIZET: Farandole from L’Arlésienne – Suite No. 2
10 BACH: Air “on the G String” from Suite No. 3, BWV 1068
11 KODÁLY: Intermezzo from Háry János – Suite, Op. 15
12 MASCAGNI: Intermezzo sinfonico from Cavalleria rusticana
13 VILLA-LOBOS: Toccata from Bachianas brasileiras No. 2
14 TOYAMA: Dance of the Celestials from Yugen
15 TOYAMA: Dance of Men from Yugen
16 DINICU: Hora Staccato
17 CHAPÍ Y LORENTE: Prelude from La revoltosa
18 STRAUSS II: Unter Donner und Blitz Polka schnell, Op. 324
19 GADE: Tango Jalousie from the film Don Q, Son of Zorro
20 THEODORAKIS: Finale from Zorbas
Recorded: V.1997 (1–5, 7–20); V.1992 (6), Konserthus, Oslo

Tchaikovsky: Manfred
Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien
Recorded: 1985 (Capriccio italien) & 1987 (Manfred)

R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra
Franck: D Minor Symphony
Recorded: 1986 (Franck) & 1995 (Strauss)

Mahler: Symphony No. 1 “Titan”
Stravinsky: The Firebird, Suite (1919 Version)
Recorded: 1986 (Stravinsky) & 1999 (Mahler)

Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2
Recorded: 1989 (No. 1) & 2002 (No. 2)

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 7
Recorded: 1997 (No 3) & 2000 (No. 7)

All DVDs in NTSC format – No subtitles, no menu

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Mariss Jansons conductor

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