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David Gutman
Gramophone, June 2018

Orchestral Music - RAVEL, M. / STRAUSS, R. / BERLIOZ, H. (Abduraimov, Munich Philharmonic, Gergiev) (BBC Proms, 2016) (NTSC) 2.110572
Orchestral Music - RAVEL, M. / STRAUSS, R. / BERLIOZ, H. (Abduraimov, Munich Philharmonic, Gergiev) (BBC Proms, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0073V

Behzod Abduraimov’s ‘Rach Three’ is more surprising. We’re used to Gergiev partnering barnstorming Russians like Denis Matsuev in this repertoire but Abduraimov (Uzbek-born, American-based) adds a singing tenderness and a subtler, more varied tonal palette. © 2018 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2018

Fresh from his appointment as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, Valery Gergiev brought his new orchestra to take part in the 2016 London Proms season. It was certainly a curious choice of programme that opened with a cool and rather clinical appraisal of the individual qualities of the orchestra’s principals in Ravel’s Bolero, Gergiev keeping a very steady pace to allow the soloists time to shape their phrases, and avoiding any dash to the finishing post. The concert also marked the return of the 2009 winner of the London International Piano Competition, the Uzbekistan-born, Behzod Abduraimov, as the soloist in Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto. At times his fingers almost became a blur as the mercurial passages flashed by, and throughout he displayed his sheer virtuosity and vast dynamic range. Yet I found the account curiously detached and wanting in love and affection, though for their part the orchestra provided a neat and tidy partnership. It was the great Russian actor, Alexei Petrenko, who spoke the emotive words of prayer to God that play a part in Galina Ustvolskaya’s Third Symphony. It is a deeply moving experience couched in modern sounds, quite brief in length and scored for a curious group of orchestral instruments. Her day has yet to come, but I guess, when it does, she will be granted a place among the 20th century’s most innovative voices. So it came as a change to find the orchestra on home ground in the Germanic world of Richard Strauss, and his suite from the opera, Der Rosenkavalier. I doubt we will hear many performances to equal the sheer passion of expression they generated, the whole orchestra giving of their finest playing, every note savoured, and those magnificent waltz tunes flooded the Royal Albert Hall in pure sonic luxury. The applause was rewarded with a sprightly Rakoczy March from Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust as the obligatory encore. Five months after filming this concert there came the sad news of the death of Alexei Petrenko. Excellent sound and visual aspects. There is also a Blu-ray version on NBD0073V. © 2018 David’s Review Corner





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