Schoenberg Gurrelieder at the BBC Proms – Daily Telegraph

Performances are understandably rare, but few venues are better suited to accommodating them than the Royal Albert Hall, making this Prom a spectacular highlight of the season and an obvious draw.
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Schoenberg Gurrelieder at the BBC Proms – Evening Standard

Simon Rattle and his magnificent massed ranks of musicians – the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus plus the CBSO Chorus and Orfeó Català – indeed seemed to shake the celestial vaults here, though miraculously there was still something in reserve for the work’s apotheosis.
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Schoenberg Gurrelieder at the BBC Proms – Planet Hugill

Though Rattle drew large scale sounds from his forces where necessary, with a resounding climax and some thrilling moments on the way, he was also determined to bring out the beauties of Schoenberg's orchestral writing, often paring the sound right down. It was beauty, transparency and elegance of the orchestral playing which really impressed.
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Schoenberg Gurrelieder at the BBC Proms – The Independent

Combined choruses from London, Birmingham and Barcelona gave their collective all, while the London Symphony Orchestra responded with an energy though also dexterity that bodes well for when Rattle becomes Music Director next month.
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Schoenberg Gurrelieder at the BBC Proms – Seen and Heard

Then there was Sir Simon Rattle. In this kind of repertoire he is at his very best, and at his best there is none better than he as an inspirational generator of performance energy in front of large choral and orchestral forces. The manner in which he conjured up and maintained an exotic, hypnotic atmosphere throughout the varied episodes of the work was quite extraordinary. No passage in its 110-minute length flagged; every episode was characterised with compelling richness and complete understanding of Schoenberg’s unique demands.
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Schoenberg Gurrelieder at the BBC Proms – Financial Times

But the real strength of this performance was the way that Rattle managed to meld the work’s disparate elements into a cohesive whole, so that the choral climaxes felt like a natural consequence of all that had preceded them.But the real strength of this performance was the way that Rattle managed to meld the work’s disparate elements into a cohesive whole, so that the choral climaxes felt like a natural consequence of all that had preceded them.
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Schoenberg Gurrelieder at the BBC Proms – The Arts Desk

But what a miracle Rattle made of those portions of the score completed in 1911 after the discovery of a new Expressionism, above all the summer-wind sequence with Quasthoff and the cosmic cabaret as Klaus the Jester bowls forth to complain of his part in the wild ride.
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Schoenberg Gurrelieder at the BBC Proms – Bachtrack

It was also clear that the orchestra were enjoying themselves immensely under Rattle’s baton, and that the feeling was mutual. As an indication of what’s to come, this performance was an absolute treat.
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Schoenberg Gurrelieder at the BBC Proms – The Guardian

The results were as viscerally exciting as any orchestral performance I can recall – from the languorous trumpet solo and velveteen strings of the Prelude, via taut col legno clatters and abrupt, resonating pauses, to cymbal shivers, sinuous unison cellos, and occasional flashes of silver-screen glissandi in the violins.
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Schoenberg Gurrelieder at the BBC Proms – Classical Source

Rattle and his orchestra-in-waiting – he assumes the LSO’s music directorship next month – pulled it off with astonishing panache, in a way that was, importantly, hugely supportive of the singers, mainly because his preference for nuance and separation of texture over orchestral bulk gave the über-expressive Germanic vocal lines a chance to make their mark.
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