Reviews

from January 23th to February 12th, 2014

Opera

DVOŘÁK: Rusalka

Metropolitan Opera, New York

Renée Fleming, soprano (Rusalka)
Piotr Beczala, tenor (the prince)
Dolora Zajick, mezzo-soprano (Ježibaba)
Otto Schenk, staging
6 representations, from January 23 to February 8, 2014

“The cast and orchestra did a brilliant job in depicting the enchanted opening scene with Nézet-Séguin giving us some exquisitely delicate textures and colouring and three wood sprites providing perfectly blended harmonies.”

“Yannick Nézet-Séguin kept a firm grip on the evening’s proceedings achieving an astonishing variety of shimmering orchestral textures and sonorities and providing a flexible and responsive accompaniment to the singers (the introduction to the ‘Song to the Moon’ was exceptionally fine).  The score oscillates between darkness and light and between intense lyricism and high drama and Nézet-Séguin succeeded in synthesizing all these elements.  I was particularly impressed with Act 2 where the orchestra successfully conveyed the turmoil of the silent Rusalka, and with the courtly dance section which was dispatched with supreme elegance and decorum.”

R. Beattie, Sean and Heard international, 10 février 2014.

An enchanting Rusalka at the MET Opera

“From the charged, subtle opening, Mr Nézet-Séguin kept the orchestra sounding more lively and cohesive than I’ve heard at the Met for some time.”

“Mr Nézet-Séguin led the orchestra to the tragic yet somehow triumphant closing cymbal crashes. Although I typically don’t sympathize with water nymphs, Rusalka’s story—and her music—will remain with me for quite some time.”

R. Lentjes, Bachtrack, January 26, 2014

Source

“With its echoes of both bicentennial boys, Wagner and Verdi, Dvořák’s score is a tremendous vehicle for an ensemble like the Met Orchestra, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin led the musicians in an intense and sumptuous performance. A conductor of singular passion, he produces adventurous readings, but the rewards are usually substantial. So it was on Thursday, as his grandly sculpted, richly charactered direction more than made up for a smattering of ensemble lapses, plumbing every depth of Dvořák’s richly layered writing. He was fabulously attentive to the needs of his singers, and brought out ferocity and tenderness both from all sections of the orchestra.”

E.C.Simpson, New York Classical Review, January 24, 2014

“There’s something else ‘special’ about this production, and that is Yannick himself.  His masterful direction of Dvorak’s lush, Romantic score breathed new life into what would normally be a rather dark, dreary and downright depressing tale of ill-fated humanity.”

“His enthusiasm, passion and interpretation of Dvorak’s score lead to numerous ovations every time he took to the podium between acts.”

“Still it was Yannick who shined. The crowd ultimately went wild for his robust control of the score. His impassioned conducting lead the evening’s performance to great musical heights.”

B. Buttler, Phillymag.com, January 24, 2014

Source

March 20 - 21 - 22, 2014

Concert

Berliner Philharmoniker

Carl Reinecke : Concerto for flute in D major
Mahler : Symphony No. 4 in G major
Andreas Blau, flute
Christiane Carg, soprano

« C’est au troisième mouvement que Yannick Nézet-Séguin a gagné le cœur du public. Ce mouvement de la quatrième symphonie de Mahler comporte l’indication “paisible”. Le chef avait tellement réduit l’intensité que l’on pouvait entendre la tension du public. Plus un seul bruissement ou froissement de programme, plus un seul toussotement. Le public retenait son souffle. » 

V. Blech, Berliner Morgenpost, March 22, 2014

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

March 2014

Recording

SCHUMANN The Symphonies 2 CD

Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Deutsche Grammophon

“These enormously invigorating and brilliantly executed performances, recorded live in November 2012 in Paris’s Cité de la Musique, quash once and for all the old adage that Schumann’s symphonies are deficient in their treatment of the orchestra.”

Erik Levi, BBC Music Magazine

« Le Canadien Yannick Nézet-Séguin, trente-neuf ans, connu pour son tempérament sanguin et sa technique impeccable, en propose une lecture électrisante. »

« Les tempos sont vifs, les gestes francs et les sonorités toujours claires : la musique s’illumine de l’intérieur et laisse voir toute sa richesse polyphonique. »

P. Venturini, Les Échos.fr, March 13, 2014.

Source

Coup de cœur de la semaine

« Cette nouvelle version pourrait faire date dans l’interprétation discographique de ces pièces : le chef québécois Yannick Nezet-Séguin à la tête du Chamber Orchestra of Europe, nous fait entendre des œuvres bouillonnantes, pleines de vie et surtout jamais agressives. »

« Tout est parfaitement articulé et pensé. L’orchestre suit le chef sans ménagement, énergique dans les mouvements rapides mais surtout extrêmement sensible et parfois sombre dans les mouvements lents. Gros coup de cœur qui consacre une nouvelle fois ce chef. »

E. Munera, France musique, March 17, 2014.

Source

April 19, 2014

Concert

Orchestre Métropolitain

Maison symphonique de Montréal

J.S.Bach : Matthäus Passion BWV 244
Tenor (Evangelist) : Lawrence Wiliford
Baritone (Jesus): Alexander Dobson
Soprano : Hélène Guillemette
Mezzo-soprano : Julie Boulianne
Tenor : Julian Kuerti

“We are forever being told that St. Matthew is the more contemplative Passion, but the excitement Nézet-Séguin created in the condemnation sequence (with no baton but sweeping gestures) could fairly be called operatic.”

  • A.Kaptainis, The Gazette, 20 avril 2014.
September 2013

Recording

TCHAIKOVSKY Pathetique CD

Yannick Nézet-Séguin/Lisa Batiashvili
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon

“Nézet-Séguin’s winds and brass project beautifully, and string articulation is ideal. The bass trombone pedal before the first movement’s recapitulation is sensational, making the second subject’s reprise pack an incredible punch, bravely assertive in spite of what’s gone before. I also loved Nézet-Séguin’s tender handling of the little brass chorale in the coda. The second movement’s lolloping 5/4 rhythms are nicely characterised, the plangent trio sweetly melancholy.”

G. Rickson, Theartsdesk.com, January 11, 2014.

Source

“It must be a real treat to sing or play under this sound magician.”

P. Van der Lint, Trouw, Nederlands