1st March 2017
On 30 March, a new production of Wagner’s Parsifal opens at Wiener Staatsoper conducted by Semyon Bychkov. With further performances taking place on 2, 6, 9, 13 and 16 April, the new production by Latvian director Alvis Hermanis stars Christopher Ventris as Parsifal, Gerald Finley as Amfortas and Nina Stemme...
4th February 2017
Happily, Mr. Bychkov is a conductor conversant with Wagnerian excess as well as Tchaikovsky’s own gifts for innovative ideas and sustained melodic lines… The Philharmonic rose to the occasion, with bold performances from the horns and expanded brass section, ringing out the slow-fast opening movement, the covertly andante and the Bruckner-like hunting chorales of the symphony’s scherzo. The most thrilling moment was the all-hell-breaks-loose climax, played as a fugue in the strings, descending stepwise with Bach-like precision. A long drawn-out coda tried the listener’s patience, but even a composer at play must take the time to put his toys back in their boxes.
31st January 2017
Semyon Bychkov’s ‘Beloved Friend: Tchaikovsky and his World – A Philharmonic Festival’ with the New York Philharmonic continues this month with performances of Piano Concerto No. 1 (1879 version) with Kirill Gerstein and Manfred Symphony on 2, 3, 4 and 7 February, followed by the Pathétique Symphony and Francesca da...
29th January 2017
It’s to Maestro Semyon Bychkov’s merit to have decided instead to shed fresh light upon the works of Tchaikovsky… Bychkov kept the music flowing [in Symphony No. 5], avoiding all hints of grandiloquence, overbearing climaxes and strident brass, and emphasizing, whenever possible, cross-currents…
Tchaikovsky has been for decades a “beloved friend” for Bychkov, one he admires, values, but is still able to approach with an open mind and critical eye.