Stravinsky ballets – Seen and Heard

And there was a sense of real joy in the LSO’s playing of the opening of the Fourth Tableau, with everybody celebrating the special occasion of the Shrovetide Fair in the highest of spirits.
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Stravinsky ballets – The Times

The last thing you want with this revolutionary piece is to feel it as something normal. In this concert that was impossible. It sprang like a tiger, claws extended, though between the rampaging rhythms Rattle also achieved aching beauty and exceptionally miniaturised quiet.
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The Damnation of Faust – The Observer

When Rattle turned to conduct the young Tiffin singers in the auditorium, the audience saw what the orchestra and chorus see all the time – Sir Simon at work, directing operations with coaxing, smiling assurance, using his special gift to make every performer feel their contribution is vital.
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The Damnation of Faust – Daily Express

Karen Cargill was sublime as Marguerite, her burnished mezzo bringing out the emotional depths of the role. In the ballad of the King of Thule every word was imbued with feeling. Wonderful harmony too in the fusion of voice with the playing of viola soloist Alexander Zemtsov.
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Stravinsky ballets – Classical Source

Cumulatively, there was plenty to stun, plenty of elemental drama, every department of the LSO excelling, the coloration vivid, inevitable, terrifying, snarling, the processional, assault and climaxes relentless.
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2017/18 season opening concert – Daily Express

Suddenly the familiar work, played exquisitely by the LSO, was new and exciting, especially so in the breathless hush at the beginning of the Nimrod adagio.
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Stravinsky ballets – Bachtrack

Only the superlatives, only the full five stars can do justice to an evening which is bound to stay imprinted on the memory. This was a very fine concert indeed.
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The Damnation of Faust – Sunday Times

The rafters were truly — sorry — Rattled.
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Stravinsky ballets – Evening Standard

Rattle and his superlative LSO players did full justice to [The Firebird's] ravishing sonorities, capturing also its enchanted quality.
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2017/18 season opening concert – Sunday Times

This brief, vigorous piece [Birtwistle Violin Concerto], its orchestration jewelled with an array of tuned percussion, demonstrated the mastery of the doyen of British composers: still cutting-edge, even if he now revels in melodic flights of fancy, ideally suited to Tetzlaff’s rapt, expansive style.
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Stravinsky ballets – Financial Times

But the real challenge in this 1913 piece is to be simultaneously precise and unkempt, and that’s where this performance really scored. There was no recoiling here from Stravinsky’s pounding rhythms, nor from his extreme decibel levels: credit, especially, goes to the outstanding percussion and brass sections.
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Stravinsky ballets – The Observer

Petrushka fizzed like a good champagne, while Rite of Spring exhausted us with its primal violence. Rattle conducted from memory throughout.
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Stravinsky ballets – The Arts Desk

Well, last night, with no celebratory overload around the main event, the homecomer was flying like a firebird, and taking a newly galvanized orchestra with him, at the start of another genuine spectacular.
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