May 9, 2016
29 & 30 April 2016
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, Kölner Domchor, Female voices of the WDR Rundfunkchor, Wiebke Lehmkuhl
“Happy the man able to witness this superb evening with the WDR Symphony Orchestra. Under the baton of Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Mahler’s Third gained plenty of drive. The Finnish conductor’s view of the score was defined by structural foresight and multi-dimensional sculpting. Whilst he let the double-basses play in a burrowing way, in the upper registers a certain elegance prevailed; a sense of wide breath. Fierce eruptions were wildly carved out, but never uncontrolled. Under Saraste, Mahler appeared stringent and was performed with virtuosity, with great moments of intensity in the final movement.”
2 May 2016
Matthias Corvin, Kölnische Rundschau
Apr 11, 2016
Apr 10, 2016
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
Apr 8, 2016
— How did you first get interested in Sibelius?
It was actually the Fourth Symphony that made the biggest impact on me, and I think contact with some interpretations, for example Paavo Berglund, reinforced my interest, and the way he was conducting made me convinced that there’s an incredible truth in the music, which I didn’t discover so early in the other symphonies – with No. 2, for example, it took a long time before I was completely ready for it.
— What was the first work by Sibelius that you ever conducted, and what was the occasion?
It must have been No. 2, when I was in the music camp of Lapua, and had a youth/student/festival orchestra at that music camp.
Feb 29, 2016
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
Jan 20, 2016
Jukka-Pekka peforms at the 32nd International Music Festival of the Canary Islands
Dec 20, 2015
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
Dec 1, 2015
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
Nov 9, 2015
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