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24th May 2018

CLASSICAL SOURCE

David M. Rice

Bychkov drew out Berio’s dazzling colors as well as tender and mysterious moments, the musicians responding perfectly to his direction…Bychkov gave Alpine Symphony an enthralling outing. Rather than approaching it as episodes representing a day of hiking in the Alps, Bychkov treats the ostensible program as a metaphor for a human lifetime – pleasure and pain, triumphs and tribulations, and ultimately fading into the infinite.

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24th May 2018

NEW YORK TIMES

James R. Oestreich

That “Sinfonia” of Luciano Berio (1925-2003) happens to be a brilliant if unwieldy masterwork. It was commissioned by the Philharmonic for its 125th anniversary in 1968 and dedicated to Leonard Bernstein, the orchestra’s music director at the time. A harbinger of musical postmodernism, it uncannily captured the capacious spirit of its era and dedicatee… [Bychkov:]“Of course the language is different, but the aspiration is the same, to express the universe in various facets. And that’s why the voyage through the history of music interested Berio so much. He is addressing the world as he sees it and as it has already been seen by others.”

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23rd May 2018

THE NEW CRITERION

Jay Nordlinger

It was one of those nights at the opera.” Well, Tuesday night was one of those nights in the orchestra hall—a great night. A night to remember. I’m talking about the New York Philharmonic, guest-conducted by Semyon Bychkov, the Russian born in 1952…Ladies and gentlemen, this was a great performance—a great reading, a great account. Is it possible to be bowled over by a piece so familiar? Yes, when it’s played or sung right…On Tuesday night, Semyon Bychkov and the New York Philharmonic left nothing on the table. They got from the symphony everything it has—which is a lot.

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22nd May 2018

The New Criterion

Eric C. Simpson

Last week, I heard the New York Philharmonic give one of the best performances of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony that I’ve heard in some time…. The true meaning of the piece has been debated ever since, but a keen listener can hear in the music the frustration, fear, rage, and deep grief of the composer. Semyon Bychkov’s gripping performance with the Philharmonic left little doubt as to how he reads the piece.

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