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18th October 2018

Věra Drápelová

Bychkov wishes to emphasise the Czech classics, but he also wishes to promote modern music.  [In Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony] The Orchestra played with verve and lyricism, and it clearly saw eye to eye with its new Chief Conductor

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18th October 2018


Petr Veber

The Chief Conductor led the music [in Berio’s Sinfonia] insightfully, and the London Voices, an eight-member amplified vocal group, sounded wonderfully prepared with secure intonation, and they also made their entrances in the rather complex structures with confidence.  The Orchestra carried out the unusual task well, and the result was colourful and interesting

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17th October 2018 

Boris Klepal

Berio [in his Sinfonia] conceived the orchestra and vocal ensemble as equal partners, creating multiple layers of music, but at the same time he made uncompromising demands on the individual performers.  Semyon Bychkov was able to rely on both the singers and the orchestra to bring this off. He then moulded them into a beautifully balanced-sounding ensemble…

Chief Conductor Semyon Bychkov led the orchestra without sentimentality or attempts at exaggerated lyricism.  The symphony [No. 7] proceeded without haste, but straight ahead with a nearly fateful inexorability.  Already in the first movement one was again vividly reminded of how much Dvořák shares in common with Brahms…  Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic emphasised this Brahmsian aspect and played Dvořák like a first-class, single-minded Romanticist

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16th October 2018


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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