Essential Debussy – Seen and Heard

The celebrated opening phrase of Prélude à l’après-midi, beautifully, enigmatically floated by Gareth Davies, immediately offered a sense of fantasy, even of magic, furthered by responses, whether from other soloists or the orchestra as ensemble.
Read full review

Essential Debussy – Bachtrack

Roth led the LSO in a performance not only of precision, but also of passion. It sounded as if they had had a week of rehearsal or played it many times before, which can hardly be the case. However it happened, the alchemy between the orchestra and its new Principal Guest Conductor worked and gave us the really essential Debussy.
Read full review

Janácek/Berg/Carter/Bartók – Evening Standard

Even in the brilliantly executed virtuoso finale, a terror-stricken apprehension of the future was clearly audible beneath the surface.
Read full review

The Young Debussy – Daily Telegraph

Roth was alert to all these fleeting moments, and made sure we noticed them. But he didn’t downplay the passages of old-fashioned exuberant romanticism, in fact he relished them, as did the orchestra, which was on ravishing form. In all, it was a fascinating experience.
Read full review

Janácek/Berg/Carter/Bartók – Bachtrack

The orchestral interjections between the violin phrases were exciting, the sound coming across in powerful waves and then returning to calm. The ethereal violin ending, followed by a sustained chord with the brightest of orchestral timbres, was breathtaking.
Read full review

The Young Debussy – Bachtrack

Roth has conducted the full opera at Oper Köln so he has it safely in his pouch, and the LSO responded like Wagnerian gods.
Read full review

Genesis Suite/Bartók – Bachtrack

Rattle, the LSO and the LSO chorus treated the score with respect, never hamming up the more obvious sections. The integration of the actors worked well. The visuals were extended by interludes between the musical sections accompanied by an effective aural collage. Overall this was an entertaining and moving experience and all credit to Rattle and McBurney for resurrecting it.
Read full review

Genesis Suite/Bartók – The Observer

Watching Rattle conduct the London Symphony Orchestra, from memory, in the same work at the Barbican last Sunday, it was clear that Bartók’s score courses through his entire being.
Read full review

Schubert/Rameau/Handel/Mahler – The Times

... Rattle and the LSO gave us a refreshingly energised performance of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, so different from the usual fey tiptoe, and a bracing and actually rather “authentic” sounding Suite from Rameau’s Les Boréades. How exhilarating that symphony orchestras have regained their confidence to tackle early 18th-century music.
Read full review (subscription required)

Genesis Suite/Bartók – Daily Telegraph

Completely inside the musical argument, Rattle shaped a performance of extraordinary intensity. Compared with a few years ago, the LSO is a transformed orchestra: its cultivated sound was warm yet searing, and it wore its virtuosity lightly in the finale.
Read full review

Genesis Suite/Bartók – The Times

Trust Simon Rattle to dig out unknown bits of Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Milhaud and other 1940s composers — all packed into one piece. And then to revive that piece with a presentational panache that included not just the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in cracking form and four distinguished thespians (Sara Kestelman, Helen McCrory, Simon Callow, Rodney Earl Clarke) as narrators, but also a film and soundtrack curated by Gerard McBurney from period newsreels.
Read full review (subscription required)

Genesis Suite/Bartók – The Guardian

With Rattle in charge, the LSO is regaining its distinctiveness, not only in its sound but in what it chooses to play – exactly what it and its audience needs.
Read full review

Janácek/Berg/Carter/Bartók – Classical Source

The LSO is playing with a pin-point precision and finesse these days (too often lacking under previous management) and with Sir Simon at the helm its dynamic range is unquestionably the widest of the London orchestras!
Read full review