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30th October 2018

The Inaugural Tour continues

Semyon Bychkov’s inaugural tour with the Czech Philharmonic started in London on 24 October with a special centenary concert at the Royal Academy of Music attended by the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, followed by performances at the end of the month at New...

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30th October 2018

New York Times

Joshua Barone

This was a moving and intelligent reading of the “Resurrection,” dramatic in the opening and finale, sweet and playful in the inner movements, and sublime in the setting of “Urlicht,” sung by the mezzo-soprano Elisabeth Kulman.

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30th October 2018

There are three orchestras considered great Mahler ensembles: the Vienna Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic…..there is another that deserves to be in this company: the Czech Philharmonic.

Bychkov’s way with Mahler is natural in that everything seems just right — unforced, organic, even effortless.

This was Mahler delivered with utmost musicality, care, and understanding. Every tempo felt perfect, from the deliberate walking pace to start, to the slow ländler of the second movement, to the speed of the vocal phrases in the phantasmagorical final movement. Dynamics were exquisitely refined and shaped, with rises and falls that felt like the orchestra was slowly breathing. Even big moments, like the great dissonant crisis and crashing cadence in the first movement — places where most conductors show their stuff — were the natural, logical result of where the score had come to.

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16th October 2018

Pravda

Pavel Unger

Three weekend evenings brought to a close the seventeen-day music festival, which Bratislava experienced for the fifty-fourth time.  Friday brought one of the festival’s anticipated highpoints, the guest appearance by the Czech Philharmonic, the Prague Philharmonic Choirs, and soloists in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (“Resurrection”).  At the helm of the massive forces was Semyon Bychkov, the current chief conductor of an orchestra capable of competing with the world’s top-tier ensembles.The guest appearance by our neighbours left nothing to be desired.  At each hearing this ninety-minute gem in five movements shocks listeners with its inventive instrumentation, wealth of original colours, and combinations of musical ideas.  This music is neither fancifully abstract, nor does it tell a story, although perhaps Mahler’s Second Symphony can also be read in this way.  Above all, it is a deep philosophical study of the realm of life, death, and redemption.  Semyon Bychkov plunged into the depths of this world, revealing its hidden recesses, and inspiring all of the vast forces to give a perfect performance.  The choir (emerging from the quietest possible dynamic level) and the two soloists Christiane Karg and Elisabeth Kulman made a fascinating impression

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