STRAUSS Der Rosenkavalier
Salzburg Festival (August 04)
Fortunately Christian Thielemann had cancelled his scheduled appearance and was replaced by Semyon Bychkov, so that instead of high-cholesterol overindulgence we got conducting with the psychological insights of a gripping drama, real people with real feelings etched out in vivid, telling colours in the pit. Bychkov kept a tight rein on his forces, held tempi brisk and textures transparent, and never let usforget for an instant what the piece is all about. Close your eyes, and there was no spurious pageantry, no ornamental wallowing, no vapid posturing.
Opera Now, August 04
Semyon Bychkov's tempi were brisk (Strauss would have approved) but he knows when to indulge sentiment and the Vienna Philharmonic follwed him in exposing the endlessley rich detail of the score.
Sunday Telegraph, August 04
Perhaps the true magic of this Rosenkavalier lies therein, Carsen, together with Bychkov and the Vienna Philharmonic has created a genre painting full of shimmering colours, forms and figurations without forcing it into a ready-made frame.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, August 04
Bychkov, one could say, offered re-awoken Karajanism. Sometimes in the superlative: with his temperamentally ebullient style, in the ever spiralling tempi of the orchestral introudction, in the deep melancholy of Marschallin's time-philosophising at the end of the third act and in the monumentally arching, almost gilded female trio in the third act. Bychkov's sensuous sound proved itself extensive and impressive, particularly at such musical climaxes. These were judiciously interspersed with relaxed, parlando sections and generously arched phrases. Bychkov's readings constantly engage our interest.
Frankfurter Rundschau, August 04
Semyon Bychkov was superb, feistily yielding his baton and melding the orchestra and the soloists so well that it was sometimes difficult to distinguish the exact instant when a purposely dissonant violin faded into a superb soprano voice.
Andante.com, August 04
Staatsoper Wien (June 04)
Bychkov's art is that which conceals art, and this performance (June 22) was all the more impressive for its refinement.
Opera, Septemeber 04
Turning into a tree has never felt this good. Strauss makes the transformation one of sensual ecstasy, a rapturous return to nature. Underneath, Daphne was a tree all along. The Vienna State Opera orchestra under Semyon Bychkov is a similar force of nature.
Sudden storms have elemental power, the individual instruments with which Strauss defines his different figures have voluptuous, distinctive characters. Bychkov underlines the intimacy and mystic resignation of the score.
Financial Times, June 04
A Musical Triumph in the Vienna Staatsoper!
The way Bychkov makes the score shine with the best orchestra in the world, the way he sensitively and discriminatingly understands the leitmotivic thoughts with woodwinds and strings,the care with which he has the singers perform testify to respect and mastery.
Kurier, June 04
Jubilation for the protagonists, euphoric approval for the conductor Semyon Bychkov and the orchestra, from a musical point of view the premiere of Richard Strauss' opera Daphne on Sunday was a triumph.
Kurier, June 04