27th April 2017
An opportunity to enjoy the sound world of Vienna shining with happiness…
It would have seemed logical to record Franz Schmidt’s more popular Symphony No. 4 but here, Bychkov and the Vienna Phil have chosen to record the lesser known Second Symphony, and on first listening, it’s easy to understand why. This Second Symphony draws on the late Romantic tradition and the aesthetic world of Vienna can be heard throughout all the movements… the vibrancy of the city of Vienna through which a feeling of happiness pervades. Of course, this brightness does not reflect hope for the future but nostalgia for a good old age… and finding an ideal sound to draw out this world is key…
The sense of nostalgia for a Vienna of old is also felt in Strauss’ Dreaming by the Fireside with Bychkov and the Orchestra painting a beautiful picture of the past heavenly days.
27th April 2017
Last Friday 21 April, Sony Classical released Semyon Bychkov’s recording of Schmidt’s Symphony No. 2 and Strauss’ Dreaming by the Fireside with the Vienna Philharmonic. Schmidt was a cellist in the Vienna Philharmonic and Bychkov explored his Second Symphony at the request of the Orchestra. This CD release is a...
15th April 2017
What gave this new production its gravitas was the musical ensemble full of veteran names and embellished by a significant debut. Conductor Semyon Bychkov held the reins over everything the Staatsoper offered – soloists, on and off-stage orchestras, mixed chorus, additional chorus and children’s choir. He did not hold back and with his technique could have easily whipped all the instrumentalists surrounding him to a virtuoso performance. Instead, the gentle tempi he chose made perfect sense as did the balance between the sections, drawing the colours out naturally and supporting the strong cast with great attention. There was only one section where Bychkov dominated and that was with the double choir at the end of Act 3… here, having waited patiently for his moment, he built the sounds produced by the orchestra and choir to a powerful level, demonstrating the wrath of God with musical and theatrical splendour
9th April 2017
Like the main theme in the Prelude to Wagner’s Stage Consecration Festival Play, Semyon Bychkov also emerged from nowhere to begin Parsifal, without applause. Immediately the strings’ simplicity and softness, and the warmth of the brass, portended a special performance.
The acoustic of the Vienna State Opera is divine, and thanks to the conductor and orchestra’s musical awareness, the principal singers never needed to push to be heard… Bychkov conducted a patient but never dragging interpretation. He and his musicians demonstrated great endurance and specificity throughout over four hours of music