Mariss Jansons has been enormously successful in his live recordings of late- and post-Romantic symphonies, and he has made a strong case for 19th century orchestral music in general, though his catalog of performances with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra on BR Klassik shows little representation of modernist works, aside from Britten's War Requiem in 2013 and Stravinsky's Petrushka in 2015. Flash forward to 2018, with this fairly routine pairing of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps and the suite from L'Oiseau de feu, and it might indicate a trend, perhaps because Jansons has nearly exhausted the heavily Germanic repertoire he has championed since the millennium and needs fresh material. His performance of Le Sacre du printemps doesn't rank with the all-time greats because it doesn't offer any revelations or details in the score or original interpretive ideas, but it has sufficient rhythmic energy and instrumental color to be counted as a respectable reading, and would be worth following with a score. The performance of L'Oiseau de feu similarly has everything in place to make it acceptable, though anyone looking for an exciting and innovative interpretation should look elsewhere, because Jansons' offering essentially accords with Stravinsky's 1967 recording of the suite with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, so it may be regarded as a standard performance with a pedigree. With this release, Jansons may be preparing to pursue a different direction from his customary material, but he needs to explore pieces beyond Stravinsky's great ballets to make his intentions known.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Le sacre du printemps|
|L'oiseau de feu, Suite de ballet, Der Feuervogel: Ballettsuite für Orchester|