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Simon Thompson
MusicWeb International, October 2016

Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody is a particular treat. The orchestra revels in the colour it provides, and it’s conducted with just the right amount of swagger. …there is a lovely bounce to España, with the feeling that everybody is letting their hair down, with swing and sparkle to spare.

Denis Matsuev’s rather heavyweight approach to the keyboard makes this a big-boned Rhapsody in Blue, but Jansons keeps everything moving with admirable skill, and the best thing is hearing how much the wind players are enjoying themselves…

The Bavarian strings do a great job of conjuring up the oppressive heat of a Spanish evening in the opening of Ravel’s Rapsodie Espagnole, so powerful that neither the Malagueña nor the Habañera ever seem quite able to escape its clutches. Only in the Feria does the music manage to revel in the celebratory swing of Ravel’s lilt, finding a new sense of energy and colour that seems to come straight from the street of a local fiesta.

There is a deliciously big, thick sound for the Liszt. The string section sounds augmented (though it probably isn’t) and they sound as though they’re loving every minute of the slow opening section. …all guns are blazing thrillingly towards the end. This is easily the best orchestral Hungarian Rhapsody I’ve heard in years. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Andrew Farach-Colton
Gramophone, October 2016

Jansons is much more at home in the Ravel, which is played with a satisfying balance of exactitude and flair. A palpable feeling of passion runs through the ‘Prélude à la nuit’, while the ‘Feria’ is articulate yet aptly volatile. Enescu’s enchanting (and vastly underrated) First Romanian Rhapsody begins with a similar sense of freshness and spontaneity—the BRSO musicians are clearly enjoying themselves here… © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Blair Sanderson
AllMusic.com, August 2016

Jansons and the orchestra play the European rhapsodies with high energy and use them to show off the ensemble’s virtuosity. But in Rhapsody in Blue, the attention is drawn to pianist Denis Matsuev, whose spontaneous performance is the highlight of the album. …Matsuev flirts with improvisation in his free and jazz-like interpretation. The CD’s reproduction is exceptionally vivid and full of presence, making this album a fine showcase for what Matsuev, Jansons, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra can do. © 2016 Allmusic.com Read complete review



Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, August 2016

Jansons provides a satisfactory performance of this brilliant score [España] although I can’t help thinking that additional exuberance and vitality would have improved matters.

Enescu wrote a pair of Romanian Rhapsodies for orchestra. They are a convincing infusion of Romanian folk rhythms and have captivated audiences for decades. …first Rhapsody is acknowledged as the finer of the two. Here Jansons provides a performance of ample vigour.

In his lifetime, Liszt wrote a set of nineteen Hungarian Rhapsodies for solo piano orchestrating six of them in collaboration with his pupil Franz Doppler. By far the most popular is No. 2…which Jansons conducts with considerable aplomb, using a different orchestration by Karl Müller-Berghaus. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Hank Zauderer
My Classical Notes, August 2016

…conductor Mariss Jansons has excellent skills in leading an orchestra. …he is always prepared, knows the music cold, and has excellent eye contact with his players. © 2016 My Classical Notes Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, July 2016

There is a lot of gorgeous and opulent orchestral playing in this Rhapsody program conducted by Mariss Jansons. © 2016 Pizzicato





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