Brahms, Debussy & Enescu – Seen and Heard

The LSO’s refinement and seemingly effortless virtuosity was quite extraordinary and this was as near a perfect live realisation of Debussy’s masterly inspiration as one is likely to hear. Every tempo and phrase, every little nuance, was perfectly chosen.
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Brahms, Debussy & Enescu – Bachtrack

In Brahms’ Concerto, it was the very contrast between the attitudes of Rattle and Kavakos that deemed the collaboration momentous. While Rattle’s conception was that of lyricism – edges were curved and tuttis were let to blossom in natural allure – Kavakos’ charisma bore an unadorned directness that rarely contented to dwell on the cushions of the LSO’s plush strings.

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Bernstein Candide – Daily Telegraph

Alsop’s affection shone in a performance of great verve. She understood where each of Bernstein’s brilliant parodies of operatic style came from, allowed each number to make its fullest impact without going over the top, and drew punchy playing from the orchestra. No less crucially, Simon Halsey’s London Symphony Chorus let itself go to just the right degree.
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Brahms, Debussy & Enescu - Evening Standard

Both here (in Gigues) and in the elegiac Rondes de Printemps, written under the shadow of death, Rattle produced achingly beautiful textures. 

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Bernstein Candide – The Times

The rhythms snapped and crackled, the colours were bright and the energy didn’t flag, however many places, from Westphalia to El Dorado to Venice, we visited.
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Bartók, Szymanowski, Stravinsky, Golijov & Bernstein – The Times

...it helped to have the London Symphony Orchestra on stonking form, especially the brass and reeds showcased in an incredible “big band” second half drawing on Latin American dance music and 1940s jazz.
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Bernstein Candide – The Prickle

From the chirping violins of the overture to the buoyant movement through the tango, the orchestra delivered exactly what was needed for a semi-staged production: steadfast foundation and character.
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Half Six Fix: Stravinsky, Golijov & Bernstein – The Observer

At a Half Six Fix concert – rush-hour concerts lasting an hour – members of the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Simon Rattle, stylishly played the Ebony Concerto.
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Bernstein Candide – Classical Source

The playing produced that unmistakable sheen of glamour and style, bags of both, and Alsop steered the music faultlessly from low comedy to opera ecstasy with unflagging affection and bite.
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Bartók, Szymanowski, Stravinsky, Golijov & Bernstein – Bachtrack

The LSO were superlative in every department and seemed to be relishing the challenge of this work which must have been virtually unknown to them.
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Bernstein Candide – Financial Times

At the end of what must have been a busy Bernstein year for her, Marin Alsop conducted a lively LSO in music the orchestra must have in its bones.
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Bartók, Szymanowski, Stravinsky, Golijov & Bernstein – Classical Source

The two contrasting movements – a slow ‘Ballad’ and then the variation-form ‘Hungarian Peasant Dances’ – immediately showed the secure relationship Rattle and the LSO have developed: a sumptuously supple, deep string sound coupled with characterful woodwind and brass: it marked a perfectly judged ten-minute opener and the ideal soundworld into the Rattle speciality coming next.
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Bernstein Candide – The Arts Desk

But my, oh my, that music. Those lyrics. That singing. And some really intelligent conducting. Marin Alsop, who studied with Bernstein, brought the score beefy lyricism, biting irony and sensible tempi.
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