DEUTSCHE KAMMERPHILHARMONIE BREMEN, JANUARY 2017
With Brahms’s symphonic legacy the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen shows its strengths, with its small string ensemble and muscular strong sound. Whereas the silky-smooth strings sound of big symphony orchestras often lose out, here the intricate braid of voices can be heard without it being a mere structural inter-penetration. There is little trace of old-fashioned motifs, but a sharp rebellion can be heard with all the means of contrapuntal art, which makes the scherzo and finale a breathless experience … [Jürg Huber, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 27 January 2017]

Järvi’s intrepretation (of Brahms’ Symphony No.1) is refined. Impressive is the transparent, clearly differentiated sound form, exhibiting the finest subtleties. Without hustle and bustle, Järvi flows dynamically forward leaving little room for pathos. [Annkathrin Babbe, Nordwest Zeitung, 21 January 2017]

Probably no other orchestra has played the symphonies and concertos of Johannes Brahms as often in the past few years (as the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie) – with more than 60 performances of the cycle to audiences as far afield as St Petersburg, Vienna and Tokyo. In Die Glocke, the second Bremen Brahms cycle distributed over multiple seasons began (on Thursday) with Symphony No. 1. Again, the musicians’ inherent understanding of the music is especially emphasized in the characteristics of the Symphony and its chromatic development, the interplay between the instruments, the aggressive boldness of the introduction and the “Alpine Horn Solo” played by flute and horn. … Järvi’s approach is transparent and economical … Again fascinating worlds lay between the sound-sensitive playing of solo voices (in particular, oboe, clarinet, violin) and the brilliantly pointed rhythmic energy in the finale. [Markus Wilke, Weser Kurier, 21 January 2017]

TONHALLE ORCHESTRA, ZURICH, DECEMBER 2016
Paavo Järvi stepped quietly onto the podium, the musicians of the fully-filled Tonhalle orchestra shine, and even before the performance applause has completely ebbed, the 53-year-old Estonian gives the upbeat into the first movement of Robert Schumann’s “Rhenish” Symphony. With full swing he launches into the main theme which seems to fly in a great arc over the first bars … The work comes together and culminates in masterly style, gradually revealed through Järvi’s interpretation – sometimes more clearly, sometimes subliminally – by showing, for example, the contrasting interrelation, recurring accompanying figures, and the dark colors of this music. The abyss of the fourth movement, with its gravitational trombones, then becomes all the more compelling and opens up into a touching moment of the sublime. All the more convincing is the light-hearted gesture of the attacca played final: a conciliatory return to light fields. [Moritz Weber, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 18 December 2016]

… Paavo Järvi took the vivacity of the Rhenish Symphony’s first movement literally, conducting with impetus … an impulsive, heart-warming lust for life and happiness … For me this was a solid interpretation in the best sense of the word [Rolf Kyburz, Bachtrack.com, 17 December 2016]

PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA, LONDON, NOVEMBER 2016
Nielsen Symphony No. 2 “The Four Temperaments”
Absolute precision, full-bodied sound, a lethal punch — this sterling performance rejoiced in them all, right from the turbulent opening bars … Sharpness of character was the special glory of Järvi’s tour around the temperaments. The Phlegmatic movement hovered in his hands with delicious sluggishness. Impetuous anger raced through the Choleric opening allegro, the mirror of the introspective Melancholic adagio. Shoulder movements reached their height in the Sanguine finale’s reckless high spirits, punctured towards the end with slow and sad reminiscences, beautifully engineered. [Geoff Brown, The Times 15 November 2016]

The latest concert in the Discover Carl Nielsen series curated by Paavo Järvi and the Philharmonia Orchestra captivated the ear with music that was strikingly original, magisterial and downright quirky … With Nielsen as good as this I look forward to the next instalment of the Discover Carl Nielsen series. [David Truslove, Backtrack.com, 16 November 2016]

Paavo Järvi’s great appreciation of Nielsen was manifest in ‘The Four Temperaments’ … [Anthony Hodgson, Classicalsource.com, 10 November 2016]

Järvi’s expressive approach to the melancholy Andantino was a masterpiece of eloquent phrasing … and this contemplative reading of so serious a movement made a suitable contrast with the wild Finale …