Arvīds Jansons: Tchaikovsky & Prokofiev

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5
Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty Op. 66 (Excerpts)
Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1

Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
USSR Symphony Orchestra
Arvīds Jansons

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Arvīds Jansons (1914-1984) was born in Liepāja on Latvia’s west coast. He studied violin from 1929 until 1935 at the Conservatory of Liepāja, then composition and conducting (under Leo Blech) at the Conservatory of Riga from 1940 until 1944, while working as a violinist at Riga Opera. In 1944 he was appointed conductor of Riga Opera, then of the Latvian Radio Orchestra (1947–1952), and in 1952 he was appointed associate conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic under Yevgeny Mravinsky. He toured frequently with them as well as with other Russian orchestras, to the UK and to the Continent, from 1970 onwards. Jansons became principal guest conductor of Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra in 1965 at the personal invitation of Sir John Barbirolli, who knew of Jansons as an expert orchestral conductor but a genius in the rehearsal studio. It was in Manchester that Jansons collapsed and died from a heart attack in 1984 while conducting a concert with the Hallé. Arvīds was the father of Mariss Jansons (1943-2019).

The key point about this release is that Arvīds Jansons’s recordings are extremely rare and will be sought after by collectors.

This 2CD set is the first to release Arvīds Jansons’s recordings with the celebrated Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra · The Leningrad Philharmonic was famous for it’s Tchaikovsky under Mravinsky. Jansons follows their example with intense but highly expressive performances, greeted by enthusiastic audiences at the Royal Albert Hall Proms and at the Royal Festival Hall in 1971.

The elegant performance of Prokofiev’s ‘Classical’ Symphony with the USSR Symphony Orchestra from 1983 on a UK tour has been included as a bonus.

Superb BBC stereo recordings beautifully remastered by Paul Baily, with detailed notes by Jean-Charles Hoffel.