Related Reviews
Serenade Magazine
'...that he should bow out with a performance of such richness and depth showcases many of their finest qualities, and celebrates a recording which is a significant milestone in both their careers.'
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The Herald
5 Stars
'Ticciati has found new ways to approach the phrasing and tempo of these symphonies that produced surprises every step of the way...A top team on top form.'
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Gramophone
A scintillating account of Brahms’s symphonies, in no small part due to the dynamics and detail of the 192kHz/24-bit Linn download.
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American Record Guide
'I think the balances are terrific, as are the Scottish strings and the overall sound of the orchestra. The recording was made in Usher Hall, Edinburgh; that must be part of the reason the sound is so beautiful. And I hear more agility in the playing than I have heard with larger orchestras.'
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ResMusica
'A very beautiful, fascinating, original and audacious interpretation...'
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Hi-Fi News
Sound Quality 85%: 'Ticciati has prepared this cycle as his final SCO project, and these are highly intelligent readings, finely engineered.'
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Classica
Recording of the Month: 'The young British conductor radically revisits Brahms' four symphonies by questioning decades of musical interpretations and rediscoveries.'
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Klassiskmusikk.com
5 Stars
6/6: 'You will, I hope, find these readings exciting and moving in equal measure, and I can hardly recommend them to you strongly enough'
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MusicWeb International
'This, then, is a very fine Brahms symphony cycle from Robin Ticciati and the SCO...a very attractive proposition indeed.'
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All Music
5 Stars
'Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra present a fresh take on the symphonies...Linn's pristine sound quality is a perfect complement to Ticciati's transparent readings. Highly recommended.'
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BR Klassik
CD-Tipp: 'The result is an unbelievably exciting journey through the symphonic world of this composer.'
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BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
Recording of the Month: 'These are revelatory performances that make you listen afresh to this wonderful life-enhancing music.'
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BRF
'Schlanker, lebhafter und klanglich klarer kann man sich die Brahms-Symphonien kaum wünschen als in dieser neuen Aufnahme des Scottish Chamber Orchestra.'
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The Arts Desk
'Magical moments abound...this is the best recent recording of [No. 3] I've heard.'
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Online Merker
'This new recording with the SCO is no less than THE Brahms of our day.'
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Gramophone
'Ticciati's is lean and quite dazzlingly transparent. Listening with score in hand, I marvelled at the conductor's meticulous observance of Brahms's markings. Nearly every instruction regarding dynamics, phrasing and articulation is accounted for.'
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The Guardian
5 Stars
CD of the Week: 'What stands out is the sheer range of sound and colour Ticciati has at his disposal...the playing is unfailingly vivid.'
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The Scotsman
5 Stars
'There is enticing detail in these performances...and there is a truly natural sense of expression that highlights the genuine beauty in Brahms.'
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Kulturradio RBB
CD der Woche: Robin Ticciati liefert eine schöne und raue Interpretation, flott, glasklar und trotzdem schön warm in der Anmutung.
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BBC Radio Scotland 'Classics Unwrapped'
Album of the Week: '...as always the playing is first class from the SCO...It’s a delight to listen to from start to finish.'
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Spiegel
'Alles fließt, alles strömt, diese Fülle präparieren Ticciati und das Scottish Chamber Orchester detailfreudig und präzise heraus.'
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The Herald
'I predict universal praise for the new double set...the whole package takes us through the story of Brahms and his relationship with symphonic form in a way that is a real joy.'
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BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
Disc of the Week: '...think about what you gain in the clarity of texture...brighter, lighter sounds balanced against the smaller string sections...'
more >>
NDR
'Bei ihm klingen die Sinfonien nicht herbstlich und düster - die Betonung liegt auf dem rauen, romantischen Fieber, das in der Partitur steckt.'
more >>
Europadisc
'...with the SCO’s superb musicianship and Ticciati’s unmistakable imagination and energy [this is] a cycle that really is worth celebrating.'
more >>
The Times
5 Stars
'...this is a set that sweeps aside recent rivals, brilliantly illuminating Brahms's inner textures and making the familiar new.'
more >>
iTunes
'...marvel at the delicacy of his phrasing and the litheness of his lines...this is Brahms to savor.'
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Radio Classique
'Un souci d’allègement et de transparence des textures préside à cette lecture...'
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CD Choice
'...this Brahms cycle is a worthy successor to his earlier much-acclaimed readings of the symphonies of Schumann...the sound is still highly impressive, the performances top-drawer.'
more >>
Classic FM
'...that should certainly be in our Hall of Fame.'
more >>
Presto Classical
'A classy leaving-present from one of today’s great conductor-orchestra partnerships as Robin Ticciati says goodbye to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.'
more >>

Robin Ticciati & SCO - Brahms: The Symphonies - Financial Times


09 March 2018
Financial Times
Richard Fairman
4 Stars

Brahms: The Symphonies — ‘highly rewarding’ The Scottish Chamber Orchestra revisits Brahms’ symphonies 20 years later with a new-found flexibility.

It is 20 years since Charles Mackerras made his groundbreaking recordings of the Brahms Symphonies with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. That kind of lean and hungry Brahms, influenced by ideas from period performance, was controversial then and still sounds quite hard-driven now. As his parting gift after nearly a decade in Scotland, Robin Ticciati has decided to take the SCO back to Brahms. A set of the four symphonies is the result — how considerate of Brahms to ensure that they fit so neatly on to two discs — and these recordings take Mackerras’s clarity forward with a new-found flexibility and affection. Elements of period performance style in Brahms have become more frequent in the past 20 years, so what we get here is no longer cutting-edge. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra uses traditional instruments, albeit with 19th-century Viennese horns and small-bore trombones, and it is primarily the smaller number of strings that gives these performances their lithe vitality. In place of autumnal Brahms tinted with deep reds and russet browns we have Brahms in the springtime, lit by light, fresh beams of sunshine. By this point in their relationship, Ticciati and the SCO know each other so well that they have every slightest detail at their fingertips, illuminating phrase after phrase with new meaning. For anybody who is open to an alternative view of Brahms this is a highly rewarding set of the symphonies, well played and well recorded. Ticciati’s willingness to let the music breathe is his key virtue and it is that which ultimately gives his performances their distinctive character — a living, breathing, younger man’s Brahms, ready to win new hearts.


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