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Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, November 2020

…Soloists Kate Royal, Christine Rice, and Tuomas Katajala rush to the rescue and save the day. They and the Malmö Festival Chorus are quite excellent. Trevino leads them and the Malmö Symphony Orchestra in a more than respectable and, for the most part, very satisfying Ninth. © 2020 Fanfare Read complete review



Steven Kruger
Fanfare, November 2020

I’m especially fond of Trevino’s take on the Fourth Symphony, where, like Karajan, he makes much of the tutti chords leading from the eerie introduction into the Allegro, holding them back with massive timpani rolls. And I agree with Trevino’s comment that the first movement of the Ninth Symphony should not be about “ebb and flow.” It charges forward nicely here.

This is a fine debut for Trevino… © 2020 Fanfare Read complete review




Michael Tanner
BBC Music Magazine, October 2020

The opening of the First Symphony immediately shows the impact on Trevino of historically-informed performance.  … The orchestral balance is often heavily in favour of the winds, especially the woodwinds…

…I must say that my enjoyment grew with successive symphonies…

…This set is very well worth having, and in excellent sound. © 2020 BBC Music Magazine Read complete review




Michael Quinn
Limelight, September 2020

Trevino reveals himself as a lean, lithe, fresh-sounding Beethovenian.

Captured live during Trevino’s first season at the helm of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra and recorded (and presented here) in numerical sequence, it heralds the young American baton-wielder as a Beethovenian of considerable abilities. The dominant accent is lyrical and fluid with zesty tempi, characterful playful and a pointedly employed penchant for the dramatic. Throughout, Trevino’s interpretative choices discretely accommodate lessons learned from his predecessors even while espousing an agreeable freshness all their own.

Spirited vocal contributions from soprano Kate Royal, mezzo Christine Rice, tenor Tuomas Katajala, bass-baritone Derek Welton and the MSO Festival Chorus in the rousingly excitable Choral finale are lithely supported by Malmö’s impressive musicians. A deserved nod, too, for Ondine’s crisp, clear and communicative engineering. © 2020 Limelight Read complete review



Peter Quantrill
Gramophone, August 2020

…Trevino retains the kind of rhythmic spring and lucidity proper to Haydn’s ‘London’ Symphonies. I also like the rustic energy of the Scherzo—proto-Brucknerian in the best way—and the pointing of the B section’s timpani tattoo, subtly different each time. © 2020 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Max Christie
The WholeNote, July 2020

Trevino loves the middle voices, and makes sure we hear them. He gives the strings license when supplying repeated rhythmic fill to celebrate the meeting of gut and horsehair. And he helps the players achieve the most startling crescendi. It’s lovely to hear Beethoven that isn’t all bumps and bruises, although the brass and (classical) timpani provide just enough of those. The low strings in the recitativo of the finale of the towering Ninth Symphony serve notice, if any were needed, that the entire band, from trunk to transmission, are an ensemble worthy of the ace driver on the podium. © 2020 The WholeNote Read complete review



Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, June 2020

Tackling Beethoven’s nine symphonies for a complete recording is a mountain conductors and orchestras are thrilled to climb, and American Robert Trevino leads his Malmö Symphony Orchestra in this latest shot at the Mount Everest of symphonic music. For the most part, these are engaging, impressive performances: best are the first, second, fourth, seventh and eighth, more conventional compared to the towering third, iconic fifth, impressionistic sixth and the indomitable ninth, which sounds most impressive in the final movement, as bass Derek Welton, tenor Tuomas Katajala, mezzo Christine Rice and soprano Kate Royal lead the joyous chorus. © 2020 The Flip Side



Jed Distler
ClassicsToday.com, June 2020

The conductor observes all repeats, eschews the traditional brass reinforcements in the Ninth’s Scherzo, and opts for the trumpets continuing their phrases in the Eroica first-movement coda. …Robert Trevino’s stylish flair, astute musicianship, and good taste are never in doubt. © 2020 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2020

Sixty and more years ago a recording of the complete Beethoven symphonies was only entrusted to the world's legendary conductors and their famous orchestras.

Ondine have now bestowed that honour on the fine Swedish provincial orchestra from Malmo and their young American conductor, Robert Trevino, the recordings made in concerts given in Malmo last year. From the opening of the First Symphony he sets out his bold and stimulating view that he will continue throughout the cycle. It uses a large orchestra without any pretence of creating a period instrument approach, or to enter the recently fashionable world where performances are known as ‘historically aware’. His tempos are often very brisk, even in the slow movements, and, as we hear throughout that first disc, he enjoys the Malmo’s forceful horn department. His approach to the scherzo in the First is full of joy, the trio section never allowed to linger, the finale continuing hardly without a pause. Thrusting forward the first movement of the Second symphony sets the scene for much that is to follow on this first disc, just a little relaxation allowed in the Larghetto before a whirlwind finale. The outer movements of the ‘Eroica’ are played at white-heat, yet, within that temperature, the dynamic shadings remain, the accuracy of the violins in that respect requiring admiration. Trevino’s trenchant approach to the finale is both exciting and faithful to the score, the horns again going well beyond the ‘call of duty’. The disc’s playing time of eighty-five minutes allows the Fourth to be coupled with it, and it comes as no surprise that this symphony receives much the same approach, the woodwind hardly given time to shape phrases in the finale. The often portentous attitude to the famous opening bars of the Fifth is here avoided, but is the movement too rushed? More circumspect in the second and third movements before a high voltage finale. Peace and space resides in the Pastoral symphony until we reach a massive view of the storm scene, and we are offered more punchy playing in the opening of the Seventh, any reference to a ‘dance symphony’ disappearing in the Allegretto. The orchestra here, and throughout the Eighth, respond untiringly to Trevino’s exacting demands. And so we reach the zenith with his account of the Ninth. It is a circumspect view where everything is geared to a resplendent choral conclusion, the soloists—Kate Royal, Christine Rice, Tuomas Katajala, Derek Welton7mdash;seizing thei. moment with immense exultation. Having ‘once upon a time’ being given the highly unenviable task of comparing all the available complete versions, I came to the rather obvious conclusion that I would want to select individual symphony recordings to create my ideal cycle. Yet if you want to live on a high adrenalin level, the boxed Ondine release has much to recommend it in an unadorned sound spectrum that conveys the enormity of Beethoven’s achievement. © 2020 David’s Review Corner



Robert Benson
ClassicalCDReview.com, June 2020

Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden. Their orchestra was founded in 1925 and has had numerous Music Directors including Vernon Handley , James DePreist, Pavo Järvi, Chrisopher König, Vassily Sinaisky, and Marc Soustrot (2011-2019). American-Mexican conductor Robert Trevino is now the Principal Conductor. He already has appeared with many major orchestras in a wide range of repertory. Checking the personnel list in the program notes, it is obvious this is a full-size orchestra. Thus far Trevino has made few recordings, and now has an exclusive contract with Ondine; this set of Beethoven symphonies is their first collaboration—and it is impressive in every way. This is a virtuoso orchestra, and they play superbly. These are live recordings made October 2019 in Sweden’s Malmö Live Konzerthus, which obviously has excellent acoustics. From a sonic multi-channel standpoint, this is one of the finest sets of Beethoven’s symphonies. Another plus is that the five disks are priced for the cost of two. I look forward to future Ondine releases by this excellent orchestra and its exciting young conductor. © 2020 ClassicalCDReview.com





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