The Brahms Code - Part 1 | DocFilm | DW | 11.10.2019
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The Brahms Code - Part 1

Paavo Järvi: The Estonian star conductor has rediscovered the four symphonies by Johannes Brahms. The film follows him and the orchestra at rehearsals, in the studio and at concerts and presents the highlights of the romantic masterpieces.

Watch video 42:35

Paavo Järvi is principal conductor at both the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich - but his most intensive collaboration is with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie in Bremen. Their collaborations have already inspired both press and audiences with dazzling interpretations of the symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann. Now the conductor and orchestra are focusing exclusively on the four symphonies of Johannes Brahms. "That music - because it is so great - somehow is a soundtrack not only to the time when it was written but it is actually quite a valid soundtrack to our times as well." Järvi says. The charismatic conductor conveys his enthusiasm for the masterpieces and gives important information for understanding them. "There are little hidden codes, which is up to us to figure out what they mean." The conductor and orchestra take a lot of time to reinterpret these well-known symphonies. "When I conduct Kammerphilharmonie or have conducted them in the last couple of years it’s only been Brahms," he says. "And the focus is so concentrated that it has become a second nature. In fact it’s almost a kind of religious ritual for the orchestra: There is always rehearsal before the concert. It doesn’t matter how many times we have done the piece. And these are the moments where you tweak, you do little things, you fine-tune... It’s a luxury that so few orchestras have." Thus the rehearsals have become a musical laboratory. The Brahms Code is director Christian Berger’s the third collaboration with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Järvi. The DW productions "Das Beethoven-Projekt” (2010) and "Schumann at Pier 2" (2012) have already delighted international audiences and won many awards.