CD Reviews

Feb 15, 2013

Daniel Müller-Schott plays Britten & Prokofiev

Orfeo – C847121A

“[Müller-Schott and Saraste are] inclined to approach the work as a standard romantic concerto. The tone is rich and warm, the orchestral sound founded on the strings, with wind and brass more distant. Müller-Schott makes the music sing…Saraste backs him up wholeheratedly, though the WDR Symphony Orchestra’s very decent playing is short on rhythmic cut-and-thrust.”

Gramophone Magazine, February 2013

Feb 15, 2012

Jukka-Pekka Saraste conducts Sibelius & Lutosławski

LPO – LPO0057

“This has to be one of the best recordings around of Sibelius’s Fifth. And Lutoslawki’s Concerto can never have been more brilliantly played.”

Classic FM Magazine, December 2011 ****

“Pohjola’s Daughter is very well served here. Jukka-Pekka Saraste’s 2008 RFH performance is electric – fast and exciting where it needs to be, with the darkest, most sinister of openings…Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra makes an unusual coupling. Saraste’s reading is sleazier, grimier than I’ve heard it, moving with a menacing swagger.”

The Arts Desk, 19th November 2011

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Jan 21, 2012

Stravinsky: The Firebird & Scherzo fantastique

Profil Medien – PH11041

“Saraste directs a brilliant performance of both works, skilfully recorded so as to do justice to the suitably fantastic orchestration of this fantastic tale…The ‘Khorovod of the Princesses’ may sound more ‘Western’ than it does in Russian performances but it is gracefully and well done, and Saraste is excellent at keeping the sense of drama driving forward throughout the ballet’s length.”

Gramophone Magazine, January 2012

“Jukka-Pekka Saraste coaxes silvery, shimmering colours, glittering strings and wind and a lively, effervescent pace from the orchestra’s highly precise playing … Jukka-Pekka Saraste combines orchestral precision in the blending of the sounds and moods with a technically impeccable shading of the instruments and tone.”

Jul 28, 2011

Mahler: Symphony No. 6 in A minor ‘Tragic’

Simax – PSC1316

“The team’s foothold on the first three movement is sure and unexaggerated…But it’s the finale, to which all roads must seem to lead, where Saraste pulls all the stops out – utterly compelling…String welters in the wake of the first two hammer blows…have never sounded clearer…Perhaps the sound is a shade reverberant…but it allows all the details in Saraste’s magnificently thorough interpretation to shine through.”

BBC Music Magazine, June 2011 *****

“He inherited a band that, under Jansons, had become one of the finest in Europe. Standards have slipped not one iota. He negotiates the forbidding psychological and musical terrain of this symphony with the same mix of passion, flair and intelligence Jansons showed, the impact of the work magnified by a sure grasp of its sprawling forms, clarity of inner detail and well-judged tempi.”

Sunday Times, 15th May 2011 ****

“You can certainly hear right into the tumult, so clear and open is Saraste’s layering of the texture”

Gramophone Magazine, July 2011

Mar 28, 2011

Mahler: Symphony No. 9 in D major

Profil Medien – PH10035

“Mahler is all about weighing and balancing the extremes…and Saraste’s judgement in such matters is sharp and instinctive…[he] creates great atmosphere in [the] “lost” moments, time and pulse suspended like an out-of-body experience…it’s the tension between defiance and resignation that really shows Saraste’s perception and understanding.”

Gramophone Magazine, Editor’s Choice, March 2011

Mar 28, 2010

Silvestrov – Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5


“A symphonic logic that Jukka-Pekka Saraste amply conveys in these responsive performances. Wholly natural sound… and informative notes round out an impressive release.”

Gramophone Magazine, March 2010