Rameau, Betsy Jolas, Ravel, Poulenc – Classical Source

Alertness and playfulness were the hallmarks of the LSO’s Suite from Poulenc’s Les Biches, taking in its stride the ambivalence of its outwardly elegant score with gestures of innuendo and sexual knowingness in the ballet’s scenario.
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Rameau, Betsy Jolas, Ravel, Poulenc – The Times

Other delights? His thrilling encore, his transcription from Rachmaninov’s The Bells; the LSO’s gorgeous finesse; the Rameau dances; and Ravel’s La Valse, powerfully whirled by Rattle towards the cataclysmic last bars. We need more concerts like this.
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Weber, Mendelssohn & Schumann – The Arts Desk

The extra energy and communication Gardiner gets from having all the players bar cellos, basses and timps standing – an idea expanded from Mendelssohn the conductor’s practice in Leipzig of keeping violins and violas on their feet – are never for a moment in doubt.
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Schumann & Beethoven – Sunday Times

The players seem to lean in on their phrases, lending them a new incisiveness and propulsion, breaking free from too homogenous a blend. You could hear the different sections more clearly — violas suddenly vivid, woodwind contrasts defined as with a new belief in themselves — and rapid passagework in the strings gained a particular crispness that evidently had to do with not being able to sit back in the chair. Manfred was as darkly captivating as it should be, yet had a lightness and an airiness.
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Schumann & Beethoven – Classical Source

The Largo had a lovely improvisatory quality, with the LSO woodwinds on dreamy form, and the Finale hit the spot with some spirited brilliance.
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Schumann & Beethoven – The Observer

I heard the second of two concerts, featuring (in addition to a terrific account of Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto with Piotr Anderszewski as soloist) the Manfred overture and “Spring” Symphony No 1. That season may not yet have arrived, but this urgent, bristling performance nearly convinced you otherwise.
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Schumann & Beethoven – Seen and Heard

Here and throughout the work his tempi were perfectly chosen. The Larghetto was infused with a lovely, romantic warmth, with some particularly beautiful phrasing, the Scherzo had a vigorous but still lilting rhythm, with the two trio sections perfectly pointed, and the finale, played like the opening movement with the repeat observed, had an appealingly and particularly high-spirited dance-like quality to elevate one’s spirit.
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Schumann & Beethoven – The Times

Gardiner denied the orchestra pauses for breath between movements, so batons were passed at high speed between superbly drilled musicians: airy, supple cellos, moonlit trombones, warmly chattering violas.
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Weber, Mendelssohn & Schumann – Classical Source

Full of strong and varied ideas, this is music that exhilarates, charms and is also smile-inducing. It received a sparkling and shapely outing, the soloists’ virtuosity serving the music – Kristian Bezuidenhout playing a handsome-looking and -sounding fortepiano and Isabelle Faust allowing herself some vibrato, especially in the heartfelt slow movement, in the manner of a song-without-words.
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Schumann & Beethoven – Bachtrack

... the overall performance was a terrific demonstration of intimacy, unity and vigour, an alternative from Romantic readings of might and contrasts.
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Weber, Beethoven & Schumann (Antwerp) – Bachtrack

Carl Maria von Weber’s Overture to Euryanthe proved an ideal curtain-raiser ... Opening in real swashbuckling style as in vintage Hollywood scores, Gardiner and the LSO immediately grabbed attention with their highly theatrical reading and made every second count.
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Schumann & Beethoven – The Arts Desk

Gardiner’s vivid continuity was a virtue in the scherzo with two trios, and violins took advantage of being on their feet to trip the light fantastic in that loving finale.
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Bartók & Bruckner – Classical Source

Again, in the Finale the ensemble was rhythmically taut and vigorous, clinching Rattle’s dynamic interpretation of this work whilst at the same time respecting its timbral variety and richness.
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