Mariss Jansons is one of my favorite conductors of all time, and the Concertgebouw is one of the very best orchestras in the world. Jansons’ interpretations are always vibrant, unique, and deeply thoughtful. He seemingly contemplates every single bit of information the composer writes on a page of music, and integrates it in some meaningful way into the way the work breathes. When I study a score and then listen to his recording of it, I often hear tiny details that I had previously overlooked.
Here are two videos of Jansons and the Concertgebouw performing Dvorak. These bring back fond memories for me, as I heard Jansons conduct both of these symphonies live.
DVORAK SYMPHONY NO. 9, “FROM THE NEW WORLD” MVT IV
This is a very special performance¬–the last performance Mariss Jansons conducted as music director of the Concertgebouw, ending his eleven-year tenure there. There is such maturity in this interpretation! So often this movement is performed in a very muscular, exciting way. Yet for Jansons, this movement has breadth and majesty. I love it.
DVORAK SYMPHONY NO. 8, MVT III
The nuance of this interpretation is magical-the leisurely tempo, the transparent clarity of all the different lines rippling underneath the melody….as I listened to Jansons’ performance of this symphony, I distinctly remember when he started this movement. I was so surprised to hear it done this way that it immediately brought tears to my eyes. I had heard something entirely new in this symphony I thought I knew inside and out!