Maestro, 81, renews

Maestro, 81, renews


norman lebrecht

November 17, 2020

The veteran Polish conductor Marek Janowski has extended his contract with the Dresden Philharmonic to 2023.

They sweetened the offer with a Ring cycle and a Japan tour.


  • Herr Doktor says:

    Doesn’t he consider himself German of Polish descent? (And having heard him conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra live a number of times, I have to say I’m not a big fan.)

  • BP says:

    Great, underrated conductor.

  • F. P. Walter says:

    His digital readings of the Ring with the Staatskapelle Dresden are among the tautest, most incisive, and coherently paced ever recorded. Those who find him “dry and boring” aren’t listening to his music-making, merely to others equally ill-informed.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Or, maybe we are listening, and just don’t think it’s that good. If others get something out of his music-making, I’m happy for them. In my experience, Janowski is nothing more than an indistinguished Kapellmeister, nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps there are things he is great at doing. However, I have not heard them. And that does include by the way his Dresden Staatskapelle Ring, which I sold off many years ago. I didn’t think it worth keeping alongside my other 8-9 complete Ring cycles.

      • Gregor Tassie says:

        If you dont like his Ring cycle, then who is your favourite Ring cycle Herr Karajan or Solti???If so perhaps you should see a doctor ….

    • Joel Sennesh says:

      DEAR FPW:

      I agree with you. His Ring cycle is incisive and wonderfully played and sung. You can see him perform the Eroica with the NHK and see how he focuses on the musicians. His Berlin Philharmonic visits always feature unusual choices-I remember a Bruckner Mass # 2 that was a great listening experience. MJ is “old gold”.

    • Nick Schleppend says:

      I would add shimmering, powerful, transparent and lyrical to the list of adjectives describing the Janowski Ring. It’s right up my alley. Of course, a lot of the credit must go to the unsurpassed Staatskapelle Dresden.

  • Alan K says:

    He conducted a magnificent Bruckner 7 with the NSO of Washington DC a couple of years ago. The Principal Trumpet observed “he was on fire”

    • Herr Doktor says:

      If you like your Bruckner subject to constant gear changes and oftentimes whiplash, Janowski is your conductor. If you believe on the other hand that there is a long line in this music that emerges with patience, an understanding of the music’s arc and structure, and being sensitive to maintining proper orchestral balances, he is definitely not your man. Enough said.

      • Musicien says:

        I played and recorded several Bruckner symphonies as a Principal of a major European orchestra with Janowski. He was very well liked by musicians, audiences, and critics alike, whether we played Bruckner, Ravel, Debussy, Dutilleux, or Stravinsky. This was true whether we played in our home city or on tour. He was no-BS and was always true to the composer’s intentions which makes for a great conductor. His long and storied career speaks for itself.

  • Gustavo says:

    Probably one of the last Kapellmeister who considers Sinfonia domestica and The Ring as standard repertoire.

  • Transfigured Beats says:

    Great Conductor- especially when he conducts opera.
    no doubt about that!

    Er ist ein großartiger Dirigent!
    Noch alte Kapellmeister Tradition-Generation.
    Orchestererzieher wie Karajan und Böhm.

    • A.L. says:

      Agree he is a great conductor of the Germanic rep. His new recording of “Cavalleria rusticana”, however well played, leaves a lot to be desired due to some odd tempo choices on Janowski’s part. That and not very good singers.

  • henry williams says:

    lucky he has good health at his age.
    god bless him

  • Hilary says:

    Magnificent Bruckner 6 last year with the Berlin Phil. A few weeks earlier I heard Rattle conduct the same piece with the LSO.