6th October 2017
The result was thrilling, confirming Bychkov’s stature as one of the most significant conductors of our time… The ease with which the many difficulties of the two scores [Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich] were resolved has to be attributed to how Bychkov works: he is a conductor who puts the symphonic discourse first, rather than the dramatic effects or musical polish, and who interiorises all the passages of the score, creating an expressive continuity between passages which allows the small imprecisions of the execution to slip by unnoticed while giving more freedom of phrasing to the musicians…
…The execution of the Tchaikovsky first [Symphony] was unforgettable […] the most successful movement was undoubtedly the second, and the apparition of the popular theme played by the horns after a masterful preparation was the pinnacle of the whole concert. The Scherzo was more scholastic, similar to a light and magical Mendelssohn, even if the waltz of the Trio redeems it. Even with beautiful musical ideas, the Finale is the least clear movement of the four […]. Bychkov was particularly smart to speed up this last movement, transforming its grandeur into a freeing vitality, akin to a dance.