Rameau, Betsy Jolas, Ravel, Poulenc – The Arts Desk

With that swaggering trumpet once more to the fore, the LSO relished every mouthful of this gloriously sly and smart neo-classical confection: a bit like Grieg’s Holberg Suite, but with added cocaine and crème-de-menthe.
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Rameau, Betsy Jolas, Ravel, Poulenc – Financial Times

Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G shot out of the blocks like a champion racer — impressive that Trifonov’s fingers can get round the notes at that speed, even more so that the LSO’s first trumpet could keep up.
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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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Rameau, Betsy Jolas, Ravel, Poulenc – Evening Standard

... there is no better way to end a concert than with Ravel’s La Valse. Rattle caught the opening’s menace perfectly, building inexorably from there to its auto-destructive climax.
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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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Rameau, Betsy Jolas, Ravel, Poulenc – Bachtrack

The LSO saved their best till last, for this was superb in both sensuous atmosphere and devastating execution.
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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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Rameau, Betsy Jolas, Ravel, Poulenc – The Independent

Showcasing the versatility of the LSO, the rest of this evening is pure pleasure.
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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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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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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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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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