Apr 2, 2014

Rachmaninov/Beethoven – Cologne Philharmonie, Germany

“… the WDR Symphony Orchestra puts so much passion and Russian soul into this melody that even the most seasoned listener is bound to get goose bumps. Jukka-Pekka Saraste has a way with Rachmaninov. Without losing sight of the elaborate overall structure of the movements, he draws attention to the crescendo effects, sensual harmonic modulations and rousing rhythms. …
After the interval the WDR SO presented Beethoven as master of subtle humor… Saraste ensured that no one missed out on the details of colours and moods, carved out of the fresh theme of the opening movement with chamber music-like delicacy, keeping the orchestra on the go during the changes of emphasis. … Judging from the applause everyone seemed to have very much enjoyed the contrasts between Rachmaninov’s classy tonal language and Beethoven’s tongue-in-cheek breaking of the rules.”

31 March 2014
Gunild Lohmann, Kölnische Rundschau