WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
USA Tour October 05
Best of all, the orchestra played like a dream for Bychkov, making Strauss's most painfully beautiful score sing eloquently in every measure.
New York, November 05
Bychkov led his forces to produce a performance bursting with the energies, colours and rhapsodic melody of Strauss at his peak, high style.
SFCV.org, October 05
A huge element of the evening's success was the sweeping and detailed conducting of Semyon Bychkov and the lush intricately variegated, supremely smooth playing he elicited from the WDR Symphony Orchestra of Cologne. The transformation scene was played slowly and prayerfully, as though it were the last and most beautiful music in the world and should never be allowed to end.
Washington Post, October 05
Gratifying about Mr. Bychkov was that he engaged in no funny business. He did not try to be profound or sensual; he let the score be what it naturally is. He was content to let the music unspool. The love music between Daphne and Apollo was thrilling, and nerve-wracking, in part because the conductor straightforwardly moved through it.
The New York Sun, October 05
In the First Symphony, Bychkov placed a premium on harmonic transparency (with violas seated up front at right, to heighten inner voices). For all the emphasis on detail, the work's iconic opening didn't lack heft, with depth, brooding basses and throbbing timpani to the fore. The slow movement surged like a sea of pure feeling, as the strings shone sad but bright, like eyes through welling tears. The strings never swamped the texture though, with the finale's bras chorales clear as bells.
The Star-Ledger, October 05