Neeme Järvi - Highlights from a remarkable 30-year recording career
Full track-list at end of review
CHANDOS 2for1 CHAN 241-44 [77:23 +77:14]
This amounts to a generously timed and idiosyncratic sampler of Neeme Järvi's work for Chandos. Never forget that he has also recorded for Deutsche Grammophon as well and in the 1950s for Melodiya.
How wide-ranging his schedule has been. The quantity, depth and reach takes the breath away. He made one of the earliest Chandos digital recordings. I still have it: the Prokofiev 6th Symphony with the then SNO now the RSNO. One wonders if that ‘Royal’ will change at some point in light of the constitutional debate. This collection cuts a swathe through Järvi's many Chandos projects: Dvořák orchestral music, Shostakovich symphonies, Wagner orchestral pieces, Halvorsen, Estonian orchestral discs and the non-symphonic Tchaikovsky orchestral series.
Järvi tyros intrigued by the reputation would benefit from this selection as would the long-distance driver intent on challenging musically received wisdoms. This set is great for ‘Innocent ear’ competitions, by the way. The orchestras deployed are numerous: Glasgow’s RSNO, Bergen, LSO, BBC Phil, Detroit, Chicago and the Philharmonia.
Järvi’s supercharged Carnival reminds us how vigorous and seductive his Dvořák can be. Follow this with a chaste Grieg-like Halvorsen piece, a swooningly nonchalant and unhurried Slavonic dance, a jaunty oompah Fatinitza march, a graciously precise Hungarian Dance, a Janos movement with a far too discreet cimbalom and from a Detroit Symphony Orchestra, still haunted by Paray, a dreamy La Valse. Felicity Lott's lovely Morgen is aptly and caringly adumbrated by Järvi. We also get his adventurously unfashionable Weber Jubel and a strongly doneHuldigungsmarsch. The sound is splendid.
The second disc starts with the brash as neon Kabalevsky-dazzle of the Festive Overture by Shostakovich. Remission comes in the shape of the mysterious Debussianisms of Duke Ellington’s Solitude. The Barber overture reminds us of the American Classical series Järvi pursued with Detroit. Shame that stopped. The movement from Still’s Afro-American reels with gaudy energy and show-biz. The Eller, Scriabin and Rachmaninov pieces make common cause. Similar brethren under the skin can be heard in the Prokofiev and Shostakovich fragments. Arvo Pärt opens the door on the ancientry of the Credo - Purcell meets Nyman. The three Tchaikovsky Snow Maiden fragments are magnificent. What we may have been missing is shown to be a real loss.
The recording quality is excellent throughout; remarkable given the dates: 1985-2012. The detailed listing gives the original CD numbers so you can track down the complete work and whole disc as you may well be tempted to do.
Rob Barnett
A generously timed, idiosyncratic and intrinsically satisfying sampler of Järvi's work for Chandos. 

Full tracklist 

CD 1 77:23

Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904) Carnival, Op. 92 (B 169) 9:00
Scottish National Orchestra
Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935)
La Melancolie 2:28
Melina Mandozzi violin
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Antonin Dvorak
Slavonic Dance in E minor, Op. 72 (B 147) No. 2 5:28
Scottish National Orchestra
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Nun seh' ich wohl, warum so dunkle Flammen - No. 2 from Kindertotenlieder 4:51
Linda Finnie mezzo-soprano
Scottish National Orchestra
Franz von Suppe (1819-1895)
March from 'Fatinitza' 2:45
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Hungarian Dance No. 19 in B minor Orchestrated by Antonín Dvorák 2:21
London Symphony Orchestra
Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924)
Finale from 'Tanwalzer', Op. 53 4:07
BBC Philharmonic
Giovanni Bolzoni (1841-1919)
Minuetto 3:58
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967)
Intermezzo from 'Hary Janos Suite' 5:01
Laurence Kaptain cimbalom
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
La Valse 12:10
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Johan Severin Svendsen (1840-1911)
Traume 3:44
Studie zu Tristan und Isolde
Arrangement of No. 5 from Fünf Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme ('Wesendonck Lieder') by Richard Wagner
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Morgen! 4:03
Felicity Lott soprano
Scottish National Orchestra
Johan Halvorsen
Bojarernes Indtogsmarsch 4:30
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826)
Jubel-Ouverture, Op. 59 (J 245) 7:41
Philharmonia Orchestra
Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Huldigungsmarsch, Orchestrated by the composer and Joachim Raff (1822-1882) WWV 97 5:16
Royal Scottish National Orchestra

CD 2 77:14

Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Festive Overture, Op. 96 5:52
Scottish National Orchestra
Duke Ellington (1899-1974)
Solitude Transcribed for strings by Morton Gould (1913-1996) 3:57
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
The School for Scandal, Overture Op. 5 8:55
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 8:43
Arrangement of the second movement from the String Quartet
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
William Grant Still (1895-1978)
Third movement, Animato, from Symphony No. 1 'Afro-American' 3:05
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Heino Eller (1887-1970)
Finale, Cantando espressivo, from Five Pieces for String Orchestra 4:21
Scottish National Orchestra
Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Waltz, Scene 4 (Act II), from 'The Tale of the Stone Flower', Op. 118 3:38
Scottish National Orchestra
Serge Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
Vocalise Arranged for voice and orchestra 6:47
Suzanne Murphy soprano
Scottish National Orchestra
Dimitri Shostakovich
Lyric Waltz from Ballet Suite No. 1 Edited by Lev Atovmyan 2:19
Scottish National Orchestra
Tea for Two (Tahiti Trot), Orchestration of the song by Vincent Youmans (1898-1946) Op. 16 3:32
Scottish National Orchestra
Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915)
Reverie, Op. 24 3:48
Scottish National Orchestra
Arvo Pärt (b. 1935)
Credo 12:38
Boris Berman piano
Philharmonia Chorus
Philharmonia Orchestra
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Three movements from the incidental music to 'The Snow Maiden', Op. 12 9:49
Second Song of Lei 1:25
Melodrama 4:02
Jester's Dance 4:22
Irina Mishura-Lekhtman mezzo-soprano
Detroit Symphony Orchestra