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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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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Bartók & Bruckner – The Arts Desk

A deeply personal and emotionally complex reading, delivered to the highest standards by the LSO.
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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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Bartók & Bruckner – Daily Telegraph

Rattle and the LSO had been at their considerable best in Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. Right from the searching phrases of its opening, the strings played with yearning edge, retreating into eerie stillness at the first movement’s close.
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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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Sibelius, Hans Abrahamsen & Nielsen – The Times

Rattle roused the LSO to an intense performance, but overall there was more brain than brawn as he adroitly navigated the choppy waters and ultimately took us to the promised land.
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Bartók & Bruckner – Sunday Times

The antiphonal richness of the double string orchestra was happily carried over into the Bruckner, where first and second violins were opposite each other and their intricate interplay could be the better highlighted. The seconds are assigned almost the more dominant role in this work — and lucky the LSO to have so compelling a section leader as David Alberman.
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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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Bartók & Bruckner – The Times

The adjustments continue: a gradual refinement of an already refined tone; experiments with the layout to lend a cleaner gleam and glow ... This is what an orchestra sounds like when every member is listening intently.
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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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Bartók & Bruckner – Classical Source

He may have come relatively late to Bruckner, but Simon Rattle has now conducted most of the later Symphonies and here tackled the Sixth (1881) which even some of this composer’s keenest advocates have avoided. The result proved to be a highlight of his LSO tenure so far.
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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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