Mariss Jansons rehearses Bartók's Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin

Mariss Jansons in Rehearsal with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

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Mariss Jansons — Conductor

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

Program notes

A portrait dedicated to Maestro Mariss Jansons, one of the most important conductors of the century! Watch this rehearsal of Bartók's powerful Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin with the Oslo Philharmonic.

The Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons is recognized as one of the most distinguished musicians of his generation. He now belongs to the international elite of his profession thanks to his passionate conducting of the works of Shostakovich, Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Bartók. He was the Music Director of the Oslo Philharmonic from 1979 to 2000. Under his guidance, it was established as a front-rank orchestra, touring extensively and becoming a firm favourite at many festivals. Jansons was Chief Conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from 2002 to 2014. He has also conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's New Year's Concert three times.

In this film, Jansons rehearses Bartók's powerful Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin with the Oslo Philharmonic. The Miraculous Mandarin is a ballet based on a story by Hungarian author Menyhert Lengyel. Bartók put the story to music, enriching it with a wide range of emotions: seduction, fear, love, rage. It involves a girl who tries to attract men into a brothel by dancing erotic dances; among these men, a bizarre Chinese mandarin. In 1926, as the original ballet was performed in Cologne, the director of the theatre was asked to withdraw it because the work was considered obscene. The superb Suite was composed by Bartók in order to bypass this censorship.

Great conductors in rehearsal:

Featuring some of today’s leading conductors in rehearsal, this series gives a unique insight into the process of creating great music. The conductors’ very different styles and methods; the dialogue between an orchestra and an inspired interpreter; the intensity of the preparations for a concert performance; and the struggle towards perfection are captured in these revealing audio-visual records. Most episodes include a full run-through of the work rehearsed. All include interviews with the conductor who is seen at work, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Roger Norrington, Pierre Boulez and Christoph von Dohnányi.

A closer look: composers and works

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