Last week, MPR's Brian Newhouse took a busman's holiday and heard the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra perform in their Munich concert home. He reports a breathtaking experience when the Orchestra played Bruckner's Symphony No. 6, led by its longtime chief conductor, Maris Jansons. Brian shares more about the experience in his own words:
You may have heard of that Gramophone Magazine article a few years ago that ranked the world's best orchestras. Sure, each listing is arguable, but that's the fun of it. And when the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (BRSO) came in at No. 5, he wanted to see if it really should rank that high.
Boy, does it ever. Want to hear for yourself? You can stream the audio of that very concert here, but only for a week. [Note: Commentary and interviews are in German.]
What made the experience so special? The combination of absolute precision and enormous expressiveness; and the relationship Jansons has with his players: how he both controls every moment of the score and with his hands, body and face, seems to constantly ask his players to create the music themselves, on the spot.
You may love the first half of the concert, which held Schoenberg's Violin Concerto. But if you want to sample the breathtaking Bruckner, drag the play bar forward into the audio at about one hour.