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12th October 2018

Bachtrack

Frank Kuznik

Bychkov and the orchestra left no doubt that a new era was underway with a glorious performance of Mahlerʼs Resurrection Symphony. Authoritative, colorful and full-blooded, it also had unexpected moments of whimsy and light, agile playing that contrasted nicely with the heavy intensity and high volume the conductor favors. Mahler is considered a native son in the Czech lands, but under Bychkovʼs baton his music sounded more universal and accessible without losing any of its distinctive personal dimension.

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11th October 2018

KlasikaPlus

Jan Průša

The Czech Philharmonic is in wonderful form.  Hard work is bearing fruit, and Semyon Bychkov is certainly making a contribution to this, bringing to Prague new opportunities for learning, and this is also offing him the chance to gain a feeling for the Czech way of playing. There is an obvious resonance between him and the players.  Already from the first movement, Allegro maestoso, it was clear that there was no friction anywhere.  The whole composition had been thought through carefully by Bychkov, as was clear right from the beginning.

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11th October 2018

iDNES.cz

Věra Drápelová

The interpretation itself was first-class. The difficulties of ensemble playing with the vast forces, including the instruments offstage, came off without a hitch, and the energy with which everyone was playing held the listeners’ attention, drawing the audience into the composition… We should mention that the Czech Philharmonic will also be performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Bychkov on its upcoming American tour.  It will perform it on 28 October, the national holiday celebrating Czech statehood, at New York’s Carnegie Hall.  And Bychkov makes no secret of the fact that he wants to present Mahler to the world more as a composer with roots in the territory of what is now the Czech Republic.

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11th October 2018

Český rozhlas

Petr Fischer

Semyon Bychkov has officially taken over the Czech Philharmonic, and he is off to a very good start.  With Mahler’s Second Symphony, he showed the direction in which he wishes to lead the orchestra in the years to come.  The conductor’s Russian origins have caused some critics concern about how Czech music will sound in the future when played by the leading Czech orchestra, but maestro Bychkov has shown himself to be a careful reader of the score and of composers’ intentions, so from the very beginning we can also put right out of our heads any such nationalistic worries about Bychkov’s interpretations of Czech music.  Bychkov structured Mahler’s Second, nicknamed the Resurrection Symphony, like a massive cathedral of music, which was also heard in accordance with the composer’s wishes from the hallways of the Rudolfinum.  The winds and percussion placed there sounded like harbingers of an earthshaking, fascinating divine mystery towards which we all (perhaps) are somehow being drawn unconsciously.  Bychkov paid attention not only to the expansion and reinforcement of the orchestra, but also in particular to the precise shading of individual instruments, which make themselves heard as individuals, and from this there emerges an harmonious, energetic whole…  Bychkov also has a dynamic understanding of Mahler, and at the opening concert, the Czech Philharmonic went along with him very accommodatingly, so shadings could be heard on a very subtle scale.  The orchestra handled the individual degrees of shading and Mahler’s hypersensitivity with tenderness…  The opening concert of the Bychkov era with the Czech Philharmonic might be a portent of a new path.  Clearly, the conductor will be putting effort into careful, detailed preparation, will want more variability of colour and tempo from the orchestra, and will not be afraid of vast symphonic structures; to the contrary, he will be seeking them out, because it is in the way that they are built that an orchestra shows itself for what it really is.  Mahler’s Second gave us an indication that we can have great expectations.

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