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Daniel Morrison
Fanfare, November 2016

Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades is another pinnacle of the Russian opera repertoire. …the new BR recording conducted by Mariss Jansons earns a place on the list by virtue of his superbly precise, detailed, and dramatically effective leadership and of Misha Didyk’s hair-raising, over-the-top but still vocally secure realization of the central role of German. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Daniel Morrison
Fanfare, May 2016

Mariss Jansons takes a rather different approach…favoring steadier and generally more deliberate pacing and an emphasis on exactitude in execution, resulting in unusually clear orchestral articulation, incisive rhythmic definition, and a wealth of instrumental detail. Since Tchaikovsky’s orchestral writing is so keenly conceived to heighten the drama, this more objective approach works very well, and Jansons hardly underplays the dramatic high points, unleashing tremendous power in climaxes.

…the outstanding cast member is Misha Didyk, as German. With its baritonal chest register, evenly produced and well-focused tone, and strong high notes… © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

David Shengold
Opera News, April 2016

…a creditable live performance in good sound, thanks mainly to Mariss Janssons’s knowing and passionate conducting. His Bavarian orchestra may lack some of the surge of the great Russian theatrical ensembles, but it provides remarkably sonorous and unified playing. © 2016 Opera News Read complete review

BBC Music Magazine, April 2016

This is a supremely skilful recording of an exciting live performance. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is beautifully shaped and pin-sharp and the singers are vivid and characterful. The chorus is impressive, too, with a sophisticated sound that oozes drama. © 2016 BBC Music Magazine

Huntley Dent
Fanfare, March 2016

This concert performance from 2014 under Mariss Jansons stands out because, unlike every rival on disc, it isn’t star-crossed. As difficult as Pique Dame is to cast, depending above all on a tenor with heroic stamina—he plays a major part in all seven scenes—and the ability to portray psychological deterioration, Jansons’s entire cast shines. For collectors who have felt compromised by past recordings, rest assured that this Herman and Lisa both deliver performances at the top rank. Jansons conducts with total sympathy for the score’s many mood swings, from frivolity to horror and desperation; the Bavarian Radio Symphony is splendid throughout and is captured in excellent, vivid sound that does full justice to voices and orchestra together. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Charles H Parsons
American Record Guide, March 2016

[Didyk’s] tenor is most mellifluous even while expressing the rather over-the-top insanity of Herman. It’s a brilliant performance. …Diadkova was a major powerhouse mezzo taking on the biggest vocal challenges. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, January 2016

Coached by Stellario Fagone, the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks sing radiantly substantially adding to the success of the production. There’s also a delightful children’s chorus. Jansons controls everything expertly maintaining what one imagines to be his usual calm demeanour. A remarkably fresh and well rounded sound can be heard from his magnificent Bavarian orchestra.

All in all Tchaikovsky’s sinister masterpiece is given a performance of real substance. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Hugh Canning
The Sunday Times, London, December 2015

Jansons’s forces play and sing this creepy psychodrama with tremendous dramatic impact, in a live recording. © 2015 The Sunday Times

BBC Music Magazine, December 2015

One of the most exciting and polished opera recordings of recent years. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine

Simon Thompson
MusicWeb International, October 2015

The Bavarian RSO have taken their famous sound for Beethoven, Bruckner and Brahms, and put it as far away from themselves as they could manage, achieving a sound of rich darkness and a few elements of grit, which I found to be just about perfect for Tchaikovsky’s westernised-Russian-sound-world. They also carry the weight in the love music, and Jansons shapes those encounters with consummate mastery. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Mark Pullinger
Gramophone, October 2015

Superbly paced and played; Mariss Jansons provides his excellent cast of singers the support and vision needed for a memorable performance. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

The Guardian, September 2015

Hearing as refined and lustrous an orchestra as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra play Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score is a treat in itself. © 2015 The Guardian Read complete review

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