Debussy, Dvorák & Strauss – Classical Source

Orchestrally, inevitably, the poem of the evening was Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune – exquisitely shaped and placed, perfectly timed and framed, Gareth Davies's flute rich in Sicilian warmth yet with a touch of Gregalian chill threatening.
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Debussy, Dvorák & Strauss – Seen and Heard

The LSO’s leader Roman Simovic played his solo part with great gusto and expertise, and the performance as a whole was most satisfying. An excellent concert all round.
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James MacMillan & Shostakovich – The Times

***** The exceptional qualities lay instead in the effortless way he glued together its disparate parts while bravely conducting from a miniature score, and the LSO’s extraordinary finesse.
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Debussy, Dvořák and Strauss – The Times

Roth, his tempos fleet but fluid, led a theatrical, pungent reading that alternated between bombastic climaxes and treacherously exposed section work, with the heady waves of increasingly ecstatic woodwind — the LSO’s winds are on magisterial form — especially evocative. Towards the end of the piece, after a dizzying waltz, the violinists Roman Simovic and Clare Duckworth took flight in a rapt duet, the silken delicacy of which stayed in the mind longer than anything else in Zarathustra or Strauss’s manifesto...The flautist Gareth Davies stole into the Prelude with a sultry glint and Roth — a Debussy specialist — led a performance imbued with voluptuous flair.

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James MacMillan & Shostakovich – Finanical Times

It is a work of high extremes, from the thundering tread of men “marching to the gates of death” to the circling rooks that know the yearning of the soul.
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Debussy, Dvorák & Strauss – Bachtrack

Roth, airborne more than once, set an urgent pace, bending double as bassoons coiled and slithered. Moments of exuberance included the glorious LSO horns in full cry in “Of the Great Longing” and plenty of glockenspiel and triangle bling in “The Convalescent”.
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James MacMillan & Shostakovich – Opera Today

The sight of the eighty or so members of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain crowding around the London Symphony Orchestra and beneath the London Symphony Chorus on the Barbican Hall stage was both tremendous and somewhat troubling. After all, many of these young musicians are little younger than Sorley himself and the millions of others who died in the conflict.
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Ligeti, Bartók & Haydn – Classical Source

There is a complete absence of percussion, and the LSO’s playing of the music’s elaborate skein of highly nuanced expression was a marvel.
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James MacMillan & Shostakovich – Bachtrack

Soloists throughout were outstanding, as was Noseda’s deft negotiation of mood and tempo changes that shaped a cogent and spellbinding performance.
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Ligeti, Bartók & Haydn – Opera Today

Haydn’s good nature brought tears to the eyes; it could hardly have done so without such excellence of performance.
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James MacMillan & Shostakovich – Classical Source

Everyone deserves a mention but the critical contributions of Rachel Gough on bassoon and Christine Pendrill (cor anglais) were notable, as was the mercurial playing of the lower strings and harp – particularly in those strange sections pitting unusual instrument combinations against the mechanical woodblock, castanets and side drum. Exhausting, unsettling and exhilarating.
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Ligeti, Bartók & Haydn – The Arts Desk

This was a demanding programme, The London Symphony Orchestra’s achievement of going from micro-managed Ligeti to deeply complex Bartók, and then straight into lean, vibrato-less Haydn cannot be underestimated. And furthermore, there are individual musicians in this orchestra who will invariably produce their moments of jaw-dropping magic, such as bone-shakingly violent harp glissandi from Bryn Lewis in the Bartók.

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James MacMillan & Shostakovich – The Guardian

Noseda drove the first movement hard, setting a pace for the string fugue that would undo a lesser orchestra [...].

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