Mariss Jansons

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Considered one of the foremost conductors in the world, Mariss Jansons brought his Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra to Carnegie Hall a few weeks ago for three riveting concerts that drew rave reviews from the critics. He takes a break from his U.S. tour to share with host Gilbert Kaplan an insider’s view from the podium – despite his enormous experience, he still gets nervous before each performance; he believes a conductor’s talent is not just learned but is God-given; and that music would play a more important role today if people were less materialistic and thought more about spiritual development.

His favorite works and artists: Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben, the piece he chose to best showcase his conducting; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, with favorite conductor and mentor, von Karajan, who he feels “made our profession of conducting extremely popular;” Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth – after having suffered a heart attack while conducting a few years ago – he was forced to cancel his opera performances but is excited to be back conducting opera again; and Ella Fitzgerald (“Stairway to the Stars”) who he secretly listened to growing up in the Soviet Union.

Find out whether he would consider the position as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic should it be offered to him.


Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A major, OP. 92. Berliner Philharmoniker. Herbert von Karajan. Deutsche Grammophon 439 003-2.

Jean Sibelius Symphony No. 1 in E major, OP. 39. Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Mariss Jansons. Sony 93538.

Richard Strauss Ein Heldenleben, OP. 40. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Mariss Jansons. RCO Live 04005.

Igor Stravinsky The Firebird Suite. London Symphony Orchestra. Leopold Stokowski. Decca 475 150-2

Dmitri Shostakovich Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. London Philharmonic Orchestra. Ambrosian Opera Chorus. Mstislav Rostropovich. EMI Classics 5 67779 2.

“Stairway to the Stars.” Ella Fitzgerald. Verve B0002690-02.

Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 1 in D major. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Leonard Bernstein. Deutsche Grammophon 427 303-2.

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