BBC Proms 2019: Koechlin, Varèse & Walton – The Times

Thanks to its vast cast, Amériques isn’t performed that often, even less so in this original version of 1921, and even more rarely with the scintillating flair of the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle.
Read full review (subscription required)

BBC Proms 2019: Koechlin, Varèse & Walton – MusicOMH

It was an exemplary performance, again, with timbre and dynamic to the fore, with the orchestra negotiating Varèse’s fiendishly entangled counterpoint and giddy changes of instrumentation.
Read full review

BBC Proms 2019: Koechlin, Varèse & Walton – The Arts Desk

Gerald Finley’s operatic narration (the bass-baritone pictured above), reaching its stylistic high water-mark in the punchline about Babylon’s merchandise – “slaves, and the souls of men” – though still appropriately creepy, with perfect orchestral colouring, for the writing on the wall (the choral “slain” was spine-tingling, as it must be).
Read full review

Edinburgh Festival 2019: Adams & Rachmaninov – The Scotsman

The London Symphony Orchestra musicians gave their all – lustrous strings in the desolate slow movement were especially memorable – in a performance that conjured all the ecstatic euphoria that the work is capable of. It was startling, gripping and unforgettable… Quite simply an exceptional evening of breathtaking music making.
Read full review

BBC Proms 2019: Koechlin, Varèse & Walton – Bachtrack

Rattle and the LSO understood the ebb and flow of the work and with even more extra brass than normal – left over from the Varèse – everything led to the well-earned final outburst of joy.
Read full review

BBC Proms 2019: Koechlin, Varèse & Walton – Seen and Heard

In both these no doubt difficult works [Koechlin and Varèse] the playing of the LSO had extraordinary energy, finesse and obvious total confidence under Rattle’s inspirational leadership.
Read full review

Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara) – Seen and Heard

... the audience acknowledged with such thunderous applause that Harding led a lingering version of The Flying Theme from E.T. as an encore. The mere announcement of it had the audience cheering and sighing with delight.
Read full review

BBC Proms 2019: Koechlin, Varèse & Walton – Daily Telegraph

Together with the weighty, dignified recitation of the story from baritone Gerald Finley, the electrifying playing from the orchestra, and Rattle’s superb sense of timing, [the three choirs] made for a performance of dizzying excitement. Rarely has Belshazzar’s humbling by the Almighty seemed so satisfying.
Read full review

Cheltenham Festival – The Guardian

Howard’s musical narrative charted Cheltenham’s evolution from country backwater to bustling spa thanks to the discovery of mineral springs three centuries ago, moving from rural calm to bubbling gurgles and gradually more explosive surges towards a fuller orchestral plushness.
Read full review

BBC Proms 2019: Koechlin, Varèse & Walton – The Guardian

At its best, Koechlin’s music is unlike any other of its time. It is also the kind of multilayered, quick-witted music in which Rattle and his orchestra excel.
Read full review

The Cunning Little Vixen – Sunday Express

A life-enhancing evening.

BBC Proms 2019: Koechlin, Varèse & Walton – Classical Source

[Varèse Amériques] remains a testament to the recklessness of the creative spirit, Rattle urging the 140-strong LSO through to a peroration whose visceral onslaught remains jaw-dropping almost a century on.
Read full review

The Cunning Little Vixen – Opera Online (FR)

Aux images mentales de la mise en espace se greffe l’euphorie d’écoute d’un London Symphony Orchestra toujours optimiste et admirablement dirigé par Sir Simon Rattle.
(To the mental images of the setting is added the euphoria of listening to a London Symphony Orchestra always optimistic and beautifully led by Sir Simon Rattle.)
Read full review