A few Reviews

January 16, 17, 18 and 19, 2013


Orchestre de Philadelphie

Philadelphia and New York

Ravel: La Valse
Szymanowski: Concerto for violin No. 2
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5
Leonidas Kavakos, violin

A Foot-Stomping Night at Carnegie Hall

“The concert, following Mr. Nézet-Séguin’s acclaimed Carnegie debut with the orchestra in October, was phenomenal. The ensemble, famous for its glowing strings and homogeneous richness, has never sounded better.”

“But Mr. Nézet-Séguin drew such intensity from the music that it seemed almost expressionistic.”

“The Philadelphia Orchestra seems to have found its ideal music director.”

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, January 18, 2013


New York sous le charme de Yannick Nézet-Séguin

« Jeune et charismatique, Yannick Nézet-Séguin a transmis son plaisir contagieux à l’auditoire du Carnegie Hall, jeudi soir. »

« Il a dirigé les trois pièces sans partition. Du haut de ses 5,5 pieds, il commande la scène et ses mouvements fougueux se fondent avec la musique. On ne dirait pas qu’il dirige, mais qu’il danse. Son plaisir est contagieux. »

Marie-Joëlle Parent, Le Journal de Montréal, January 18, 2013


Under Yannick, a fresh treatment of the familiar

“The program evolved into a provocative package, allowing familiar music to be heard with refreshed ears.”

David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 18, 2013


January 31 to February 10, 2013


Japan Tour

Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest

Tokyo A, B, Kanazawa A, Osaka A, Fukuoka A, Hiroshima B, Nagoya B, Sendai B

Program A

Schumann: Genoveva Overture
Prokofiev: Concerto for violin No. 2
Brahms: Symphony No. 4
Sayaka Shoji, violin

Program B

Beethoven: Concerto for piano No. 4
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2
Jan Liesicki, piano

“He showed the world the power with which music can greatly move.”

“The sound that was spun off gave the feeling of Brahms in a new era.”

Yunko Yoshida, Asahi Newspaper, February 4, 2013

“The sound that this combination brings forth is firm, young and vivacious, filled with elasticity and, what is more, overflowing with a soft touch.”

Michio Tojo, Ongaku no Tomo, February 18, 2013

“Just because the conductor listens well, such moments of inspiration occur everywhere. And at those very moments, powerful surging waves burst naturally from within the orchestra.”

Akeo Okada, musicologist, Asahi Newspaper, March 15, 2013

“Nézet-Séguin expresses a wide variety of ideas in Schumann’s Genoveva Overture while letting the music breathe with vivacity.”

“The warm communication of the musicians with the conductor brings forth music with a strong density.”

Mitsunori Eto, Mostly Classic, February 20, 2013

February 22, 2013


Orchestre de Philadelphie

Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage, New York

Gabriela Lena Frank: Concertino Cusqueño (NY Premiere)
Ravel: Concerto for piano in G major
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

“Mr Nézet-Séguin, at the ripe age of 37, has become a force to be reckoned with on the classical scene. His vibrant presence at the podium suffused a program bursting with unusual and challenging sounds with an unmatched excitement.”

“The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance was raw and riveting: stripped of any sense of eloquence or pretension, the audience was bestowed with percussive melodies and jaggedly intersecting meters and a driving narrative.”

Rebecca Lentjes, Bachtrack, February 22, 2013

“Nézet-Séguin presented a very impressive Rite of Spring at Carnegie Hall. He was well in control of every aspect of the orchestra; he had a hand in all the variety of colors, textures and moods coming from it.”

Resnicow Schroeder, Huffington Post Arts and Culture, February 27, 2013

March 14 to April 6, 2013


VERDI: La Traviata

Metropolitan Opera, New York

Violetta Valéry: Diana Damrau, soprano
Alfredo Germont: Saimir Pirgu, tenor
Giorgio Germont: Placido Domingo, baritone
Staging: Willy Decker
7 representations

“Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Met orchestra managed to make one of opera’s most familiar scores sound fresh and exciting.”

Mike Silverman, Associated Press, March 15, 2013

“Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin breathed new life into the familiar score, with gossamer string playing suggesting Violetta’s fragility. His fleet tempos grippingly communicated the opera’s theme of ‘time running out’ (…)”

James Jorden, New York Post, March 18, 2013

“(…) Yannick Nézet-Séguin assuring equally inspired and inspiring leadership on the podium (…)”

Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times, March 18, 2013

“The orchestra also rose to these grand gestures (…) moments like the lead-up to Violetta’s great ‘Amami, Alfredo’ outburst gave a taste of the delirious lushness and dramatic pullbacks of speed (Yannick Nézet-Séguin) seemed to be aiming for throughout.”

Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, March 18, 2013

March 24, 2013


Orchestre Métropolitain

Maison symphonique de Montréal

Verdi: Requiem
Amber Wagner, soprano
Karen Cargill, mezzo-soprano
John Mac Master, tenor
Andrew Foster-Williams, baritone-bass
Chœur de l'Orchestre Métropolitain

“This Verdi Requiem was a great success on many levels.”

Arthur Kaptainis, The Montreal Gazette, March 26, 2013

« Avec des gestes tranchants ou plus discrets, selon le cas, il obtient une interprétation tour à tour explosive et apaisante, fidèle à cette partition qui tient à la fois du sacré et du théâtral et oscille entre le “tutta forza” et le “estremamente piano”. »

Claude Gingras, La Presse, March 25, 2013

Requiem foudroyant

« Car on rentre ici dans de vraies et grandes idées, un travail de fignolage majeur sur les textures, parfois de l’impalpabilité des attaques (entrée du Lux Aeterna), dans la lecture polyphonique (avant “Quantus tremor” du Dies Irae) ; dans l’éloquence des couleurs. »

Christophe Huss, Le Devoir, March 25, 2013


March 2013


Brucker 6

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Orchestre Métropolitain
March 2013

“This is one of the best of the lot, impeccably paced and played with utter conviction. The players sound far more engaged than the Montreal Symphony Orchestra has of late, and Nézet-Séguin manages to find a rich breadth of dynamic range without ever making the score sound gaudy.”

John Terauds, Toronto Star, March 25, 2013

“From the bold and passionate opening movement through the languorous Adagio, a lively Scherzo and the exuberant Finale with hard Haskell prolific use of brass, the orchestra demonstrates a deep engagement with the music, displaying rich tonal colours and a full dynamic range. This is indeed music making with a true sense of grandeur. It seems that everything Nézet-Séguin and the OM choose to play turns to gold, and this disc is no exception. It’s a must-have for devotees of Bruckner’s music, and it may even sway those who up to now have stayed away. Highly recommended.”

Richard Haskell, The Wholenote, May 2013

May 10, 2013


Orchestre du Centre national des Arts d’Ottawa

Orchestre Métropolitain («2 orchestres, 1 chef»)

Maison symphonique de Montréal

Richard Strauss: Suites of the Woman without a Shadow and of the Rosenkavalier. The words of Zarathoustra.

Le grand bain sonore

« Les choses étaient si bien rodées qu’on se disait que Yannick Nézet-Séguin aurait pu faire jouer la Suite du Chevalier à la rose à l’envers, tant le corpus orchestral répondait à la moindre de ses inflexions. »

« Constatant bien vite cette latitude, le chef québécois en a usé et s’est fait plaisir dans les transitions et les rythmes de valse, qui tentaient de retrouver l’onctuosité un peu décadente, ce Schmalz typiquement viennois. »

Christophe Huss, Le Devoir, May 13, 2013


L’événement Strauss

« …les deux orchestres sonnaient avec une parfaite homogénéité, comme une immense formation autonome. »

« Nézet-Séguin nage dans cette musique avec une telle volupté et il entraîne avec lui musiciens et auditeurs avec un tel enthousiasme que personne ne peut résister »

Claude Gingras, La Presse, May 11, 2013


May 23, 24 and 25, 2013


Orchestre de Philadelphie

Verizon Hall, Philadelphia

Dvořák : Slavic Danses nos 1, 10 et 8 Janáček: Sinfonietta Brahms: Concerto for violin Schumann: Symphony no 2, 3rd movement Gil Shaham, violin

“Yet, what made the performance most unusual was its approach to beauty.”

“This is one of those heaven-sent appointments.”

David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 25, 2013

“So far, Yannick seems to be the right man for the job.”

Tom Purdom, Broad Street Review, May 28, 2013

“The famous Philadelphia strings sounded as warm as I have ever heard them, and Yannick’s conducting was free-handed and sentimental. He shaped the piece (Schumann) delicately, and in a nod to the great Leopold he did so without a baton.”

Eric Simpson, The New Criterion, May 28, 2013

“The evening’s performances displayed the high level of technical brilliance Nezet-Seguin has restored to the Orchestra’s playing and his ability to reach out across the footlights to engage his audience in the music-making.”

*Michael Caruso, Chesnut Hill local, June 6, 2013 *

June 26 and 27, 2013


Staatskapelle de Berlin

Konzerthaus, Berlin

Mozart: Concerto for piano in A, K.488
Szymanovski: Symphonia concertante
Shostakovich: Symphony no 5
Piotr Anderszewski, piano

« L’orchestre a atteint les hauteurs habituelles dont il est capable. »

Clemens Goldberg, Kulturradio, June 27, 2013
Bühne (Berlin)

« Il est le chef d’orchestre que tout le monde rêve d’avoir en ce moment. »

« Comme s’il peignait une toile, Nézet-Séguin y est allé de coups de pinceaux, magnifiquement soyeux et brillants. »

« Sa version du Chostakovitch faisait ressortir l’immense beauté de cette musique, sans la moindre affectation. Elle n’en a pas moins produit un effet bouleversant. »

Ulrich Amling, Tagesspiegel (Berlin), June 28, 2013

« Magie sur scène sans baguette. »

« Une sonorité qui rapproche de la vérité »

Martin Wilkening, Berliner Zeitung

« Pour tout dire, pendant le concert, nous fûmes totalement livrés à la magie atmosphérique de Nézet-Séguin. »

Felix Stephan, Morgenpost (Berlin)

(Translated in French by E. Morf and L. Bouchard)

August 2013


MOZART: Così fan tutte

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Deutsche Grammophon

« Voilà un second volet de l’intégrale mozartienne signée Nézet Séguin à Baden Baden qui tient dignement sa place aux côtés du précédent Don Giovanni qui montrait la même ardeur expressive, le même sens théâtral finement ciselé. »

Classiquenews.com, September 7, 2013

August 2013


Orchestre Métropolitain

Festival de Lanaudière, Amphithéâtre Fernand Lindsay, Joliette

Wagner: Lohengrin
Brandon Jovanovich, tenor
Elsa von Brabant: Heidi Melton, soprano
Friedrich von Telramund: Andrew Foster-William, baritone-bass
Orturd : Deborah Voigt, soprano
Heinrich der Vogler: Robert Pomakov, bass
Chœur de l’Orchestre Métropolitain (François Ouimet and Pierre Tourville, dir.)

Nézet-Séguin’s first full Wagner opera—masterful

"Nézet-Séguin sustained everything in masterly fashion. His best moments were intimate ones, in which he drew a sweet glow from the strings, buoyed by subterranean tension. Bigger moments were more thrilling than usual because you knew what they’d grown out of, musically an emotionally."

David Patrick Stearns, Philly.com, August 14, 2013


Festival de Lanaudière : triomphal Lohengrin

« La plus grande réussite est celle de Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Abordant son tout premier opéra de Wagner et complètement transfiguré par le sujet - témoin les écrans géants! - notre génial jeune chef a amené ses troupes augmentées, soit l’Orchestre Métropolitain et le Chœur de l’OM, à une puissance et une profondeur de son et une qualité d’expression collective et individuelle jamais égalées encore dans le passé. »

« Tout sonnait parfaitement bien et vrai, et ce, à chaque instant : des cordes très nourries et très justes, des cuivres d’une force incroyable se répondant de part et d’autre de la scène ou venant de l’arrière, des timbres lugubres de basson et de clarinette basse en accord avec certaines situations, des chevauchées à perdre haleine du chœur et de l’orchestre réunis et, en total contraste, des moments de délicate intimité, comme la célèbre Marche nuptiale. Extraordinaire. »

Claude Gingras, La Presse, August 12, 2013


Nézet-Séguin has Wagner’s number at Lanaudière

"Nézet-Séguin, as athletic as ever, surely played a role in maintaining audience interest, but his real success was on the other side of the podium. It would be hard to imagine a more radiant treatment of the opening pages or a more electrifying Prelude to Act 3. The Orchestre Métropolitain—at its heart an opera orchestra—was in magnificent form, the strings lustrous, the brass warm, the woodwind chorales rich and lucid. Setting aside a few shaky stage trumpets, this ensemble was every inch a match for the OSM we heard in Mahler the night before. Maybe more than a match."

Arthur Kaptainis, The Montreal Gazette, August 12, 2013


« A passionate interpretation of burning sincerity »

BBC Music Magazine