Brahms, Debussy & Enescu – Classical Source

As for the Romanian Rhapsody, a masterpiece of notated improvisation, folk-music and strolling-player instrument sound-a-likes (harps as cimbaloms, flutes as panpipes), there was a twinkle-in-the-eye opening from woodwinds, the textures remaining airy as the piece developed into a right old knees-up, Sir Simon leading from the front with textbook gestures and some rather less so, the double basses really swinging.
Read full review

Brahms, Debussy & Enescu – The Times

A pastoral ease and gentle lilt infused the [violin] concerto’s allegro non troppo, and while this movement is on a symphonic scale, these musicians treated it as chamber music. That was the case too in an adagio of the utmost beauty, with the oboist Juliana Koch, her solo true and fresh as a sapling oak, fully deserving of her acknowledgement by the conductor Simon Rattle at the end.

Read full review here

Bartók, Szymanowski, Stravinsky, Golijov & Bernstein – The Times helped to have the London Symphony Orchestra on stonking form, especially the brass and reeds showcased in an incredible “big band” second half drawing on Latin American dance music and 1940s jazz.
Read full review (subscription required)

Brahms, Debussy & Enescu – Financial Times

... thanks to the high-class playing of the LSO each of the Images came across with character enhanced, not wispy or impressionist, but vividly coloured pictures.
Read full review

Half Six Fix: Stravinsky, Golijov & Bernstein – The Observer

At a Half Six Fix concert – rush-hour concerts lasting an hour – members of the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Simon Rattle, stylishly played the Ebony Concerto.
Read full review

Brahms, Debussy & Enescu – Seen and Heard

The LSO’s refinement and seemingly effortless virtuosity was quite extraordinary and this was as near a perfect live realisation of Debussy’s masterly inspiration as one is likely to hear. Every tempo and phrase, every little nuance, was perfectly chosen.
Read full review

Bartók, Szymanowski, Stravinsky, Golijov & Bernstein – Bachtrack

The LSO were superlative in every department and seemed to be relishing the challenge of this work which must have been virtually unknown to them.
Read full review

Brahms, Debussy & Enescu – Bachtrack

In Brahms’ Concerto, it was the very contrast between the attitudes of Rattle and Kavakos that deemed the collaboration momentous. While Rattle’s conception was that of lyricism – edges were curved and tuttis were let to blossom in natural allure – Kavakos’ charisma bore an unadorned directness that rarely contented to dwell on the cushions of the LSO’s plush strings.

Read full review

Bartók, Szymanowski, Stravinsky, Golijov & Bernstein – Classical Source

The two contrasting movements – a slow ‘Ballad’ and then the variation-form ‘Hungarian Peasant Dances’ – immediately showed the secure relationship Rattle and the LSO have developed: a sumptuously supple, deep string sound coupled with characterful woodwind and brass: it marked a perfectly judged ten-minute opener and the ideal soundworld into the Rattle speciality coming next.
Read full review

Bartók, Szymanowski, Stravinsky, Golijov & Bernstein – Daily Telegraph

There's no doubt about it – the LSO and Sir Simon Rattle, its star chief conductor, can certainly lay on a rattling good show. Thursday night's concert was a riot of lusty folk melodies, sumptuous orchestral glitter, star pianists in spangled frocks, and jazzy excitement. 

Bernstein Candide – Daily Telegraph

Alsop’s affection shone in a performance of great verve. She understood where each of Bernstein’s brilliant parodies of operatic style came from, allowed each number to make its fullest impact without going over the top, and drew punchy playing from the orchestra. No less crucially, Simon Halsey’s London Symphony Chorus let itself go to just the right degree.
Read full review

Brahms, Debussy & Enescu - Evening Standard

Both here (in Gigues) and in the elegiac Rondes de Printemps, written under the shadow of death, Rattle produced achingly beautiful textures. 

Read full review

Bernstein Candide – The Times

The rhythms snapped and crackled, the colours were bright and the energy didn’t flag, however many places, from Westphalia to El Dorado to Venice, we visited.
Read full review (subscription required)