Concert Reviews

Dec 17, 2011

Kurtág/Bartók/Sibelius – Barbican Hall, London

16 December 2011
BBC Symphony Orchestra, Hiromi Kikuchi, Ken Hakii

“Saraste and the BBCSO gave superbly concentrated performances of Sibelius’s symphonic thinking at its most distilled in the Sixth and Seventh Symphonies. It was compelling to hear the works together, their scale passages forming a Jacob’s ladder of awe and aspiration in the exuberant momentum of Saraste’s direction.”

19 December 2011
Hilary Finch, The Times (UK)

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Oct 25, 2011

Sibelius/Beethoven/Brahms – Royal Festival Hall, London

21 October 2011
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Thomas Zehetmair

“Saraste is fascinating to watch, especially without a score. He holds his arms high and tends not to use his wrist to indicate the beat, so his whole right arm keeps everything together, while his left arm – always raised, with hand held flat – seems to be able to keep the musicians under check. Although his left palm usually faces down, it can be extraordinarily expressive, moulding the music in mid-air. Saraste, like Bernard Haitink, knows where the music is going and is expert in building the architecture always with an eye to the climax of the piece. Here, after teasing out countless felicitous timbres that made you wonder whether you’d heard Brahms quite like this before, he unleashed the ultimate coda with an extraordinary whiplash of energy that took the breath away.”

25 October 2011
Nick Breckenfield,