Concert Reviews

Dec 12, 2014

MAHLER – GOTHENBURG CONCERT HALL, SWEDEN

11 & 12 December 2014
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

“A mesmeric Mahler Sixth”

“In Jukka-Pekka Saraste’s hands, Mahler’s Sixth Symphony is an unrelenting work which left the audience gasping for air at its stunning conclusion”
Five stars

12 December 2014
David Karlin, Bachtrack.com

Dec 9, 2014

BERLIOZ/DEAN/PROKOFIEV – BARBICAN HALL, LONDON

5 December 2014
BBC Symphony Orchestra, Håkan Hardenberger

“The BBC Symphony Orchestra had the music’s measure under Saraste’s exacting direction, whether the clarity of the cacophony or the unsettling stillness…there was much to compel during the emotional assault and strange suggestiveness that this great and graphic music exerts”

5 December 2014
Colin Anderson, Classical Source

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Dec 1, 2014

STRAUSS/BRUCKNER – Theater am Marientor, Duisburg, Germany

27 November 2014
WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Paul van Zelm

“Saraste does not build Bruckner 7 like a resonant cathedral, but rather lets the “large symphonic snake”, as it was named by the music critic Eduard Hanslick (1825-1904), run past the listener without any excess pathos or dynamics. […] Saraste´s sober interpretation does not lack force nor spatial width. And Bruckner´s instrumentation mastery is even clearer thanks to every single bar’s clarity of sound.“

“It is fascinating, how softly the slow movement of Bruckner subsides with the sound of the Wagner tubas, and how distinctively yet smoothly the strings react to that. Saraste holds the brass instruments under control, so that he manages to create an almost perfect balance between the instrument groups. And that without any loss of greatness and vigour.”

29 November 2014
Pedro Obiera, WAZ

Oct 1, 2014

Rihm/Reinecke/Schubert – COLOGNE PHILHARMONIE, GERMANY

5&6 September 2014
WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Xavier De Maistre

“A standard interpretation would not reveal the sense of this particular passage…to the listener – as its signals would remain buried in the depth of the score. Not so with a conductor of Jukka-Pekka Saraste’s stature… His interpretation of Schubert’s late work stems from Mahler – he unearths what is agitated and disturbing, and makes a compositional logic tangible which, while not that of Beethoven, does not miss out on the lyricism and the flow of the melodies.”

8 September 2014
MaS, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

Sep 21, 2014

Rihm/Schubert – Berlin Philharmonie, Germany

17 September 2014
WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Trio Jean Paul

“Diligence is the first duty of the interpreter if he wants to reveal the work in all its “ubiquitous abundance”. The Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste takes precision as a starting point and achieves a reading which is musical in the best sense. ”

19 September 2014
Sybill Mahlke, Tagesspiegel

Jun 1, 2014

DVORAK/BRAHMS – Great Festival Hall, Salzburg, Austria

22 May 2014
WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Vilde Frang

“Brahms as it should be”

23 May 2014
Christiane Keckers, Salzburger Kulturzeitung

May 15, 2014

LUTOSLAWSKI/BRUCKNER – Konzerthaus Berlin, Germany

2,3&4 May 2014
Konzerthausorchester Berlin

“A curiously exciting reading which never got boring…the final movement in particular developed a tremendous energy. The Konzerthausorchester convinced with a present string sound, wisely restrained brass and soulful woodwinds….

Saraste is a conductor of subdued emotionality who does not require superficial effects to tout this music, which is impressive enough as it is.”

5 May 2014
Benedikt von Bernstorff, Der Tagesspiegel

Apr 14, 2014

SCHUMANN/BRUCKNER – ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL, LONDON

9 April 2014
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Renaud Capuçon

“In Saraste’s lithe reading, the wraithlike clarinet and oboe, heroic solo horn, handsome trombones and firmly accented strings combined in a drama rich with Wagnerian characters, faint echoes of Beethoven, and hints of the greater landscapes to come in Mahler’s symphonies.”

11 April 2014
Anna Picard, The Times (UK)

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Apr 2, 2014

Rachmaninov/Beethoven – Cologne Philharmonie, Germany

27&28 March 2014
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, Anna Vinnitskaya

“Jukka-Pekka Saraste at the conductor’s stand endeavored to have some of the fourth symphony’s spirit resonate with the entire concert. This concerned the intonation, concise despite all the sumptuous violins, the clarity of lines and details, and altogether the relinquishment of the kind of perfumed sentiment, the bath of milk and honey, which sometimes makes Rachmaninov so unpalatable. …

Saraste continued his involvement with Beethoven by bringing the dramatically sharpened surface and the reverse parts of the fourth symphony into an exciting relation – supported by the WDR musicians with their rousingly splendid playing.”

31 March 2014
Markus Schwering, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

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