Concert Reviews

Apr 10, 2016

SAARIAHO/GRIEG/SIBELIUS – DE DOELEN, ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

2 & 3 April 2016
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Boris Giltburg

“In the opening movement, the strings produced a rarified transparency that evoked images of icy winds blowing over snowy plains. Saraste conducted like a reserved gentleman: always in control with but a few wild gestures and exuding a collected calm, even during Sibelius’ fiercest moments. He expertly layered the composer’s icy tension. Visibly engrossed by the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s sound, Saraste sustained a fragile suspense in his ceaseless momentum as he continued with the second movement Tempo andante.”

“Saraste’s Sibelius swept you off your feet.”

6 April 2016
David Pinedo, Bachtrack.com

Feb 29, 2016

DUTILLEUX/RAVEL – COLOGNE PHILHARMONIE, GERMANY

19 & 20 February 2016
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, WDR Rundfunkchor, Laura Aikin

“A magnificent Ravel with Saraste”

“Ravel’s large-scale piece was a sensational experience, with Jukka-Pekka Saraste on the podium, drawing out the full musical drama from the WDR Symphony Orchestra and the WDR Rundfunkchor. Although this music was originally intended to support a ballet, when played with so much impetus it needs no additional imagery. It all develops in the mind”.

22 February 2016
Johannes Zink, Kölnische Rundschau

Dec 20, 2015

NIELSEN/SCHUMANN/SIBELIUS – COLOGNE PHILHARMONIE, GERMANY

4 & 5 December 2015
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, Johannes Wohlmacher

“The audience was electrified by his energy as soon as he stepped on the podium. With impulsive gestures, Jukka-Pekka Saraste raised a storm from the explosive WDR Symphony Orchestra … with their perfect synergy, conductor and orchestra prove themselves to be a highly versatile chameleon.”

7 December 2015
Rainer Nonnenmann, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

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Dec 1, 2015

SIBELIUS – OSLO CONCERT HALL, NORWAY

12 & 13 November 2015
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Karita Mattila, Jennifer Pike

“The Oslo Philharmonic’s sole Conductor Laureate possesses a closeness and an under-standing for his compatriot’s music which does not render the mysticism alienating – nor the lyrical affected.

Completely free of the sentimentality which lies within, he captures the whole and reveals the paths to the Finnish forests – and the unfathomable depths which carry within them a strong existential appeal.”

13 November 2015
Vaart Land

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Nov 9, 2015

BEETHOVEN/MAHLER – ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL, LONDON

4 November 2015
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Paul Lewis

“Big-boned readings, free of gratuitous effect or personal glory, precisely articulated, planned in the long term, are his hallmark.”

“Saraste proved himself unrivalled in getting his 95 players to respond as one to every nuance of tempo, phrasing, pause and inflexion…The cumulative effect was thrilling, cinematic, enriching.”

“Unleashed, the LPO, more than a few members no doubt remembering the molten Tennstedt days, rose to the occasion.”

6 November 2015
Ateş Orga, Bachtrack.com

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Oct 1, 2015

BRAHMS/SIBELIUS – COLOGNE PHILHARMONIE, GERMANY

11 & 12 September 2015
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, Leonidas Kavakos

“…an unexpected triumph; the audience went wild … Jukka-Pekka Saraste has made it his mission in life to make his compatriot more popular and virtually proselytised his musicians to this effect. The WDR Symphony Orchestra’s sound and playing culture was sensational”

15 September 2015
Kölner Stadtanzeiger

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Sep 30, 2015

BRAHMS/SIBELIUS – Wiesbaden Kurhaus, Germany

10 September 2015
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, Leonidas Kavakos

“Saraste’s familiarity with the Lemminkäinen Suite op. 22 by Sibelius was evidenced by an abundance of sceneries unfolding with exquisite dynamics and tone colours, realised by the WDR Symphony Orchestra with great understanding of this fantastical subject. As ever, The Swan of Tuonela in particular made a lasting impression.”

12 September 2015
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Jul 7, 2015

BRUCH/SIBELIUS – ALHAMBRA, GRANADA, SPAIN

3 July 2015
Orchestre De Paris, Renaud Capuçon

“A night of epic dimensions…Jukka-Pekka Saraste has the very essence of this superb symphonic creation imprinted on his DNA…”

4 July 2015
José Antonio Cantón, El Mundo

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Mar 29, 2015

BRAHMS/SCHOENBERG/TCHAIKOVSKY – COLOGNE PHILHARMONIE, GERMANY

20 & 21 March 2015
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, Minguet Quartet

“In Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony – the “Pathétique” – Jukka-Pekka Saraste assumed a very clear approach…with a very sober tone and subdued emotions, and maybe precisely because of this, achieved an incredibly impressive overall effect. No laments in the outer movements, no worldly melancholy in the waltz, no infernal cheers of triumph in the march. … a surprising performance”

23 March 2015
Gerhard Bauer, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

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