News/Reviews

Mar 19, 2017

New premieres of Lindberg’s 2nd cello concerto

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Jukka-Pekka performs the UK and German premieres of Magnus Lindberg’s cello concerto no. 2.
 
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Mar 18, 2017

RACHMANINOV/TCHAIKOVSKY – ALTE OPER, FRANKFURT, GERMANY

5 & 6 March 2017
Frankfurter Opern- Und Museumorchester, Anna Vinnitskaya
“Time and again, Saraste hauled off ravishing dynamic climaxes, without any danger of overstretched accentuation, as can be experienced so frequently elsewhere. The sonic image remained transparent despite its abundance.”

7 March 2017
Gerhard Schroth, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
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Feb 23, 2017

SIBELIUS/STRAVINSKY – COLOGNE PHILHARMONIE, GERMANY

17 & 18 February 2017
WDR Sinfonieorchester, Karita Mattila

“Jukka-Pekka Saraste has rarely seemed more inspired than on this evening. He furnished the three excerpts from the stage music for the play “Kuolema” by Arvid Järnefelt, including the famous “Valse triste”, with illustrative urgency. His involvement with Igor Stravinsky’s burlesque “Petrushka” suite seemed almost even stronger. His accurate, steadfast leadership of the orchestra…was combined with a richly colourful energy of sound and a dramatically sharpened impulsiveness. He lent Stravinsky’s music an expectionally strong development … One left the concert with a tingling sensation.”

20 February 2017
Christoph Zimmermann, Kölner General-Anzeiger/Kölnische Rundschau

Feb 16, 2017

JUKKA-PEKKA SARASTE ON IDAGIO

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Jukka-Pekka Saraste releases twenty exclusive recordings with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln on the classical music streaming service Idagio
 
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Jan 20, 2017

BEETHOVEN/SIBELIUS – HEINZ HALL, PITTSBURGH, UNITED STATES

13 & 15 January 2017
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

“And then came the fourth movement, full of energy: Mr. Saraste appeared to be wielding a magic wand, sweeping his hands through the air and prompting the most lively, piquant playing of the work.

I had the same thought after listening to the Sibelius, also conducted from memory. The opening movement, full of moments of tension and release, still feels like a foreshadowing of the finale, encountering a wandering bassoon solo or effervescent plucking of strings along the way.

So the finale feels like a true arrival, and the orchestra nailed it, A fully stocked horn section initiated that swan theme with restraint but purpose, heightening the majestic effect of the second statement.”

14 January 2017
Elizabeth Bloom, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Dec 18, 2016

SIBELIUS/SCHUMANN/BARTOK – SALLE METROPOLE, LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND

12 & 13 December 2016
Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Alisa Weilerstein

“It is always a joy to re-encounter Jukka-Pekka Saraste at the head of the OCL. At the age of 60, the Finnish conductor has nothing to prove anymore. He instils his long experience with symphonic phalanxes into the musicians whilst entirely complying with the contingents of a chamber orchestra. His delicate and expressive gestures as well as his rejection of pathos allow him to illuminate the various facets of Bartók’s Divertimento for Strings. …. The Lover by Sibelius, played at the beginning of the concert, exuded the same subtlety. A beautiful evening …”

14 December 2016
Julian Sykes, Le Temps

Dec 14, 2016

STRAVINSKY – BARBICAN HALL, LONDON, ENGLAND

7 December 2016
BBC Symphony Orchestra

“Saraste’s concern for clarity paid many dividends (feathers ruffled), yet there was no lack of lyricism, tenderness or exquisiteness, and some passages were related directly back to Tchaikovsky; here were forest murmurs, lightness of touch for swiftness and plenty of drama, too, leading to an ‘Infernal Dance’ that was wild, not in speed but in temperament, menace accrued. Significantly, Saraste knocked a few minutes off the average Firebird-1910 timing, but that’s no indication of how each segment was persuasive and that everything belonged to everything else. Solos were full of character and the triumphal ending was glorious.”

“Saraste guided an impressive reading, alive to the Sturm und Drang and onomatopoeic aspects of the first movement… As virile and well-drilled as the opening Allegro spiritoso was, there was room for manoeuvre, as there was in the slow movement, turned and decorated to a nicety and warm-hearted. The Minuet was muscular, the piquant Trio at-one with its surrounds, and the Finale was ideally moderate in tempo so as to give the shortest notes a chance. There was no lack of joie de vivre, however, and this really was a thoroughly agreeable and ‘modern’ rendition of marvellous music.”

7 December 2016
Colin Anderson, Classical Source
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Nov 19, 2016

Dirigentenforum 2016

DIRIGENTENFORM des Deutschen Musikrates zu Gast beim WDR Sinfonieorchester
27.11.2013
Kleiner Sendesaal des WDR
D-Köln

Ciarán McAuley
Jukka-Pekka Saraste

Masterclasses with Jukka-Pekka and WDR Sinfonieorchester
 
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Oct 26, 2016

BRUCKNER: SYMPHONY NO. 8

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“Saraste leads the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln in this performance for radio broadcast, and he states that it is a privilege to conduct this orchestra, which made many great Bruckner recordings under Günter Wand. If there is a little of Wand’s style in Saraste’s expansive phrasing and warm orchestral blend, it may be because he grew up listening to Wand’s recordings, so it’s fair to say that he is keeping a great tradition alive. The performance rates high marks for Saraste’s scrupulous interpretation and the orchestra’s committed playing”

AllMusic, Blair Sanderson, October 2016

Saraste’s very personal Bruckner

“The Finnish conductor has a rather relaxed, unagitated approach to Bruckner’s monumental music. His phrases are generous, he elicits a round, warm sound with a slightly dark timbre from the orchestra, takes a little edge off the effervescant sound mass and entirely refrains from a triumphant attitude.

…Bruckner’s Eighth gains a rhythmical sharpness here. This becomes most evident in the Scherzo, but no less in the three remaining movements. Saraste uncovers structures frequently buried by other conductors. Yet, he does not do this out of pure lust for dissection and never loses sight of the entirety of the work.”

Pizzicato, Guy Engels, December 2016

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