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Jens F. Laurson
Ionarts, January 2015

Best Recordings of 2014 – New Release (#3)

Tender, halting, tip-toeing, and then socking the listener with a lightning-quick straight left and the occasional gnarling brassy, timpani-thwacking right to the ribs. Bone dry and pointed, detailed and precise, this is a very different Symphonie fantastique from the souped-up romanticism one gets from many a famous recording. Listening to that recording makes you stop wondering how Mariss Jansons could have forgone his conductorship with the Concertgebouw Amsterdam in favor of focusing solely on his Munichers. In the much appreciated added bonus of Edgar Varèse’s Ionisation, the 13-player strong percussion ensemble is just showing off what precision really means. © 2015 Ionarts

Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, September 2014

This new recording of Berlioz’s iconic masterpiece has a good feel to it…

…[this is] the kind of performance we critics yearn to hear…a fresh approach is brought to an old warhorse, yet does not damage or mar the music.

…[in Ionisation] Jansons finds an unusual way of playing the work, giving it a jaunty, syncopated feeling, and it ends up being quite an enjoyable romp.

Highly recommended. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Michael Scott Rohan
BBC Music Magazine, July 2014

This is a big reading, spacious and detailed, but one that emphasises the unease underlying even the most lyrical passages. The ‘Rêveries’ sound subtly insistent, the idée fixe obsessive; the ball sounds ethereal and half unreal from the outset and even the pastoral shawms in the fields are ominous, the gathering thunder foreboding ahead of the ‘March to the Scaffold’. © 2014 BBC Music Magazine

Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, April 2014

As I have come to expect from BR Klassik, these live performances are quite excellently recorded. The Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, one of world’s greatest orchestras, never seems to rest on its laurels always looking for improvements and different repertoire to try. Under Jansons these players breathe new life into the Berlioz and do so with a deft touch that never feels weighty or overblown. One senses that the percussion greatly relish the Ionisation test which they pass with flying colours. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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