Concert Reviews

Nov 24, 2019

MAHLER 9 – GOTHENBURG CONCERT HALL, SWEDEN

13 & 15 November 2019
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

“Finnish star conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste, renowned for his interpretations of Mahler’s music, introduced the first movement with an almost impressionistic sound; sparkling and shimmering. The melodies and the rapid turns were articulated with such feeling that one couldn’t help being swept away.”

“A highly sensitive performance — as luminous and clear as star dust”

18 November 2019
Monika Tunbäck-Hanson, Gp.se

Nov 8, 2019

MAHLER 8 – OSLO OPERA HOUSE, NORWAY

4 November 2019
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra & Norwegian National Opera Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Choir, Norwegian National Opera Chorus & childrens choir

“Jukka Pekka Saraste demonstrated a liberating musical serenity, allowing Mahler’s genuine message to take centre stage. The Finnish Conductor was concise and secure at all times, a necessary condition for this work to be successful. The strings played with breathtaking beauty, and the expression of the winds shifted from sweetness to raw power as needed. The finale was formidable, eliciting an overwhelming response from the audience. 

The effect of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony is deeply persuasive when everything works, when we as listeners experience that the multiple elements that make up our existence each has its own place. This lends inspiration, reflection, and insight. We need more of this.”

6 November 2019
Espen Selvik, Dagbladet.no

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Jul 15, 2019

MAHLER – COLOGNE PHILHARMONIE, GERMANY

5 July 2019
WDR Sinfonieorchester, Alban Gerhardt, Igor Levit, Pekka Kuusisto

“No matter what comes next, the Cologne audience will miss the man. … It has been impressive to witness how much the string group’s density of sound and intensity of phrasing has improved during his time. … Finally, Mahler’s Fifth. This was clearly a home game, where the orchestra returned the input invested with all possible vigour and brilliance. … A conductor with less style and taste might be tempted to show off, but the Maestro remained down to earth.”

8 July 2019
Markus Schwering, Kölner Stadtanzeiger

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Jun 29, 2019

JANACEK – MAISON DE LA RADIO, PARIS, FRANCE

20 June 2019
Orchestre National de France, Radio France Choir

“Jukka-Pekka Saraste takes an Intellectual, conscientious approach to every work … in addition to mastering not only Brahms and Beethoven, he also excels in Mahler, Bruckner and Sibelius.”

“Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass…was excellently chanelled by Saraste”

24 June 2019
Vincent Guillemin, ResMusica.com

May 26, 2019

SIBELIUS – DE DOELEN, ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

17 May 2019
Rotterdam Philarmonic Orchestra, Pekka Kuusisto

“Saraste achieves a spectacular balance in the orchestra, using the sound of the hall to bring about a light, almost playful quality, never weighing the music down”

17 May 2019
Yannik Eisenaecher, artstalkmagazine.nl

May 8, 2019

PROKOFIEV/SIBELIUS – MUNICH NATIONAL THEATRE, GERMANY

28 & 29 April 2019
Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Truls Mørk

“A Matter of Superlatives…
Jukka-Pekka Saraste was an ideal partner who proved on the conductor’s rostrum that someone other than General Music Director Kirill Petrenko is able to elicit the finest dynamic nuances from the State Orchestra. … After the interval, Saraste’s stirring interpretation of Sibelius’s Symphony No 2 was equally convincing.”

2 May 2019
Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur

Mar 21, 2019

SHOSTAKOVICH/GERSHWIN – MUSIIKKITALO, HELSINKI, FINLAND

15 March 2019
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Joonas Ahonen

“…an unbeatable performance of Shostakovich’s fourth symphony. One powerful climax after another led to the final blow, followed by fading heartbeats”

“In Saraste´s interpretation everything was in place…the best performance I have ever heard in concert, and I have heard many”

16 March 2019
Jukka Isopuro, Helsingin Sanomat

Feb 20, 2019

MENDELSSOHN: ELIJAH – THEATER AN DER WIEN, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

16 February 2019
ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Christian Gerhaher(Elijah), Maria Bengtsson, Maximilian Schmitt, Ann-Beth Solvang, Kai Rüütel

“Leading the Radio Symphonieorchester Wien, Jukka-Pekka Saraste furiously breathed life into the dense score with great clarity and urgent intensity, yet holding the orchestra back sufficiently to let the singers shine.. A fine musical evening, its power originating from its starkness.”

18 February 2019
Judith Belfkih, Wiener Zeitung

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Nov 28, 2018

SHOSTAKOVICH/BRUCKNER – GREAT FESTIVAL HALL, SALZBURG, AUSTRIA

14 November 2018
WDR Sinfonieorchester, Alban Gerhardt

“…this shows how exciting Beethoven can sound without period instruments.”

“The outstanding sound of the orchestra was most apparent in the funeral march, which was a triumph not least thanks to the fabulous woodwinds. And have you ever heard the three horns in the Scherzo played more brilliantly? At any rate, this Beethoven interpretation seemed to work like a charm.”

15 November 2018
Salzburger Nachrichten, Florian Oberhummer

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