Sibelius, Hans Abrahamsen & Nielsen – Seen and Heard

In a mixture of broad sweeps and gestures of scalpel-like precision, Rattle used his baton to coax a dark opulence from the orchestra’s strings, and a delicate playfulness from the finely balanced ensemble of woodwind players.
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Half Six Fix: Abrahamsen & Sibelius – The Observer

It was brilliantly played, with Rattle the helmsman at his assured best. Look out for more of these Fixes. You could become addicted.
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Half Six Fix: Stravinsky, Golijov & Bernstein – Sunday Times

At the Barbican, the London Symphony Orchestra and their music director, Simon Rattle, have also been venturing beyond traditional formats, not removing themselves as far into the unknown as LCMF might like, but at any rate offering a new kind of Half Six Fix programme — hour-long concerts at that time, with informal introductions by Rattle (very engaging), programme notes available on phones, information projected on screens and “youthful appeal” to the fore.
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Sibelius, Hans Abrahamsen & Nielsen – Bachtrack

And then to crown this fine reading, the LSO at full throttle battled it out in the finale with two superb timpanists. As Nielsen himself said, “Music is life and, like it, inextinguishable”.
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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.
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Sibelius, Hans Abrahamsen & Nielsen – Evening Standard

[Sir Simon Rattle's] control of this organic single-movement structure was sovereign and the final resolution — on paper a mere semitonal step — potent.
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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.

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Sibelius, Hans Abrahamsen & Nielsen – Classical Source

Simon Rattle shaped the melodies of the opening with care and great breadth and it was clear that this would be an expansive reading; the rich tone of the LSO strengthening this impression.
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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.
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Sibelius, Hans Abrahamsen & Nielsen – The Arts Desk

With the London Symphony Orchestra often playing like some commanding and relentless force of nature, Sir Simon Rattle steered two mighty avalanches of Nordic sound into a concert of granitic authority last night.
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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.
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Sibelius, Hans Abrahamsen & Nielsen – The Guardian

... the energy of Nielsen’s symphonic writing still suits Rattle well and he responded to the Inextinguishable’s intensity and conflict with tremendous gusto, which the LSO conveyed with irresistible force.
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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.

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