Concert Reviews
Edinburgh International Festival, Usher Hall - Reviews

L'Orfeo, 14th August


Herald Scotland ★★★★★ by Keith Bruce

'Yet another extraordinary evening of opera in the Usher Hall [...] Gardiner and his superb international cast then deliver the goods, with consummate style.'

Il Ritorno D’Ulisse in Patria, 15th August

The Scotsman ★★★★ by Susan Nickalls 

'The English Baroque Soloists were in fine fettle'

Herald Scotland ★★★★★ by Keith Bruce 

'...the moments of unaccompanied singing from various ensembles and songs like the duet of Ulisse and the faithful Eumete (Francisco Fernandez-Rueda) quite exquisite.'

L’incoronazione di Poppea, 17th August

The Scotsman ★★★★★ by David Kettle

'And the musicians produced a gloriously rich, supple tapestry of sound, alive to the singers’ caressing lines. Gardiner had an exemplary cast, too'

General Reviews

The Scottish Daily Mail by Tom Kyle

'The entire production was superbly marshalled by Gardiner himself. [...] This really is the sort of thing for which we have an International Festival.'

 
Prom 31: La Damnation de Faust - Reviews
Berlioz-1
© Chris Christodoulou

The Guardian ★★★★★ by Fiona Maddocks 

'A feindishly fine Faust'

'Berlioz’s strange, exquisite work soared in a thrilling concert performance that left everything to the imagination'

The Independent ★★★★★ by Alexandra Coghlan

'John Eliot Gardiner’s instinct for Berlioz has been honed over many years, and the result here was a performance brimming with detail and colour.'

'Was it Ann Hallenberg’s glowing “D’amour l’ardente flame” ... the easy brilliance of Michael Spyres’ “Nature immense”, or Laurent Naouri’s plausible, clubbable Mephistopheles that was the evening’s highlight? It would be impossible to choose.'

theartsdesk.com ★★★★ by David Nice 

'...he tore through the livelier scenes with the sharpest of edges from his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique'   

The Financial Times 
(prem) ★★★★ 

'One of the delights of Gardiner’s Berlioz has always been that he plays these effects to the hilt: the hellish trombones, the woozy solo bassoon trailing after the students, the plaintive cor anglais haunting Marguérite, every detail told.' 

The Times 
(prem) ★★★★★ by Neil Fisher 

'John Eliot Gardiner, whose Berlioz performances... have becomes Proms highlights, and this thrilling night was no exception.'

'All four soloists were on strong form... Next year he returns to the Proms with the same forces... Don't miss it.'

 
Prom 25 (Late night): Bach & Schütz - Reviews
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Financial Times (prem) ★★★★★ by Richard Fairman

'There is no beating this team on top form.'

'...the Reformation is celebrated in a blazing affirmation.'

The Telegraph ★★★★ by Ivan Hewett 

'...like a gorgeously coloured procession, with bright fanfares of cornets and drums on one side answered by voices and violins on the other.'

'Just on the level of sensuous appeal it was an overwhelming evening.'

'...the excitement of this performance was as much physical as mental, thanks to the superb clarity and dancing energy of the performance.'

The Times (prem) 

'It had stylish ensemble and solo work from Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras and the English Baroque Soloists...'

'...deft and dance-like interprestations from John Eliot Gardiner...'
 
 
Salzburg Festival - Monteverdi 450 Trilogy Reviews
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© Silvia Lelli

Frankfurter Allgemeine by Jan Brachmann

'To anyone who has been unfamiliar with Monteverdi until now, this trilogy should be heard. It will open up a whole new world.'

'Everything is designed to compliment the music and the extraordinary singing.'

'Lucile Richardot as Penelope will be remembered for a long time for those who experienced this performance. Her alto voice, which reaches deep into the ranges of a tenor, and the vehemence of her dramatic language leave physical traces of memory in every bone.'

Hannoveresche Allgemeine Zeitung by Stefan Arndt 

'Gardiner goes all out with Monteverdi’s operas.'

'The English Baroque Soloists accompany discretely and with razor-sharp detail, as does the staging by Elsa Rooke and Gardiner: an appearing minimal effort ensures maximum expression.'

Bachtrack by Ilana Walder-Biezanz

'The playing of the English Baroque Soloists was both crisp and lush.'

'The most glorious singing of the evening came not from individuals but from the chorus. The Monteverdi Choir and the soloists sang the choruses together with beautifully blended sound and perfectly coordinated cut-offs and crescendos.'

 
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