Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jansons Raises the Vienna Voltage

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jansons Raises the Vienna Voltage

Article excerpt

Byline: STEPHEN PETTITT

VPO/Jansons Royal Festival Hall

LOOK closely at the ranks of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and you'll see a sight to gladden the heart. In addition to the female harpist, long the VPO's sole concession to gender equality, there's a second woman, tucked away at the back of the second violins. Strange to tell, her presence has not caused standards to collapse. In fact, the first of the VPO's two London concerts this week proved they are playing as well as ever. For this, they had not only a female second violinist but also last night's conductor, Mariss Jansons, to thank.

Jansons does not try to go against the grain of the orchestra's character - one rooted in a warm sound that under some conductors can mean polished but polite performances - but neither is he in undue awe of it.

Instead, he uses it as a foundation, moulding it to his own visions, inspiring these proud players with his passion for and understanding of whatever he is conducting. …

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