Philadelphia Orchestra makes a spectacular showing at Kravis Center

Posted on Feb 14, 2017

Philadelphia Orchestra makes a spectacular showing at Kravis Center

“Under principal guest conductor Stéphane Denève, the orchestra gave stirring performances of two popular Russian works Tuesday at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, playing with precision, interpretative unity and luxuriously rich tones (…) The quiet restraint of much of the movement left room for a tremendous buildup to the movement’s climax, with Denève leading a harrowing acceleration, with the music surging forward to fortissimo chords dominated by trumpets,...

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Philadelphia Orchestra hits exquisite balance in Kravis performance

Posted on Feb 13, 2017

Philadelphia Orchestra hits exquisite balance in Kravis performance

“(…) The Philadelphia Orchestra was always known for its sheer beauty of sound, and that was evident Wednesday. They were led by Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève, who not only had magnificent conductor’s hair, but managed to control this thoroughbred stallion with compact but precise gestures — no dancing at the podium for him. (…) The Ravel was given an appropriately Gallic, neo-classic treatment. The orchestra glistened with clarity and restraint....

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Brilliant Prokofiev from the Cleveland Orchestra led by Stéphane Denève

Posted on Nov 5, 2016

Brilliant Prokofiev from the Cleveland Orchestra led by Stéphane Denève

“(…) Although the three works were all identifiably Prokofiev, there was considerable contrast between the three works, and guest conductor Stéphane Denève was impressive in illuminating significant aspects of the composer’s career. (…) Denève made the most of the many contrasted passages in the suite, with textural detail. (…) This concert was the best so far in the current season, with Denève’s incisive conducting, and especially the brilliant...

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Cleveland Orchestra displays breadth, abundant animation on all-Prokofiev program

Posted on Nov 1, 2016

Cleveland Orchestra displays breadth, abundant animation on all-Prokofiev program

“(…) Playing only Prokofiev, the orchestra and conductor Stephane Deneve Thursday night at Severance Hall crafted an evening without not only dull moments but any moments less than scintillating. (…) Deneve is plainly a skilled navigator (…) demonstrated a clear fluency in Prokofiev, sifting out the essence of every passage and leading with a generally crisp, refined touch. (…) Performances as animated and vivid as that delivered by Deneve and the...

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Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra “came in like a lamb and went out like a lion”

Posted on Sep 29, 2016

Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra “came in like a lamb and went out like a lion”

“(…) Conductor Stéphane Denève was also a force of nature, bursting onto the podium to deliver an infectiously enthusiastic introduction (…) Denève moulded a performance of the Pastoral Symphony that was strong both in atmosphere and colour. Dynamics were subtly shaded, tempi carefully judged. (…) There was clear empathy between the Brussels Philharmonic and their conductor, especially apparent in the lovely wind playing. (…) Again Denève and his...

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De l’Orient à l’Occident

Posted on Sep 18, 2016

De l’Orient à l’Occident

“(…) osons dire que nous avons entendu là un concert véritablement enthousiasmant, d’une qualité superlative. (…) Denève dirige avec une liberté généreuse qui convient parfaitement à ce morceau aux accents fauves qui renvoient à Debussy et Ravel (…) Extrêmement attentif dans son accompagnement, Denève déploie toute la sensualité de l’orchestre propre à rendre hommage à ce triptyque subtilement ciselé. (…) Denève dirige l’ensemble...

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Orchestra sparkles with Torke’s jubilant ‘Unconquered’

Posted on Aug 14, 2016

Orchestra sparkles with Torke’s jubilant ‘Unconquered’

“(…) To get the large crowd in the mood for the world premiere of Michael Torke’s “Unconquered” (…) Deneve enthusiastically conducted a spirited orchestra. The crowd loved it, especially applauding loudly after the first movement, and gave it a standing ovation. (…) Deneve was intense, passionate, set strong cues and paced with plenty of room for nuance. (…) The orchestra sounded fabulous.” Geraldine Freedman The Daily...

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John Williams’ spry presence brings Tanglewood on Parade crowd to its feet

Posted on Aug 12, 2016

John Williams’ spry presence brings Tanglewood on Parade crowd to its feet

“(…) For the crowd that appeared to number perhaps 12,000, the gala evening concert — clocking in at two hours 20 minutes, followed by fireworks — guest conductor Stéphane Denève, a familiar presence here in recent years, also scored a hit as he led the TMC Orchestra in a whirlwind romp through Ravel’s “La Valse.” (…)” Clarence Fanto The Berkshire Eagle click to see a...

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An evening of immortality, the Philadelphia Orchestra plays Mussorgsky, Williams, and more on a special night

Posted on May 1, 2016

An evening of immortality, the Philadelphia Orchestra plays Mussorgsky, Williams, and more on a special night

“(…) this was a topsy-turvy Philadelphia Orchestra concert, studded with elements of delight that drew a roar of approval from the sold-out crowd of a decibel level that’s rare. (…) Whistler’s paintings inspired Debussy’s Three Nocturnes, and Denève offered a concise view of the first two (the absent third, “Sirènes,” would have required the addition of female voices). (…) Like the best moments in concertos by Elgar and Walton,...

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RSNO, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Posted on Apr 11, 2016

RSNO, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

“(…) Musically, Deneve presided over a well-played programme where the Auld Alliance connections ran deep (…) Then Deneve turned the whole concert inside out with his electrifying detonation of Ravel’s La Valse, which duly imploded.” Michael Tumelty The Herald Scotland click to see a pdf of the full review Download (PDF,...

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Deneve, Boston Symphony summon summertime spirit

Posted on Mar 19, 2016

Deneve, Boston Symphony summon summertime spirit

“(…) The energetic French conductor Stephane Deneve is back on the podium reprising his success from this past July with Saint-Saens’s “Organ” Symphony, which, if memory serves, uncorked one of the summer’s most vociferous ovations in the Koussevitzky Music Shed. (…) Deneve also clearly has this symphony’s number. On Thursday night in Symphony Hall, his performance was masterfully paced for dramatic effect. He drew out the themes of the Poco Adagio with...

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Philadelphia Orchestra burnishes its storied reputation under Denève

Posted on Feb 27, 2016

Philadelphia Orchestra burnishes its storied reputation under Denève

“(…) Denève, who has conducted outstanding concerts locally with the New World Symphony, paced the score with attention to its long arc, never falling into the choppiness to which some performances succumb. In the melodic moments, the lustrous string sound that made this ensemble legendary was in full bloom. (…) Denève brought out the work’s 20th century spirit rather than linking it to Russian ballet music of the preceding era. The crashing chords heralding...

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Znaider and SF Symphony champion overlooked concerto

Posted on Feb 19, 2016

Znaider and SF Symphony champion overlooked concerto

“ (…) In fact, before Thursday, Feb. 18’s remarkably powerful concert in Davies Symphony Hall, the San Francisco Symphony had never even played the piece [Nielsen’s violin concerto]. So this performance, led by guest conductor Stéphane Denève with a formidable solo turn by violinist Nikolaj Znaider, was both a revelation and a rebuke. (…) After intermission, Denève introduced another, more recent work to the Symphony repertoire. “A Glimmer in the Age...

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Dialogues des Carmélites Revival at Dutch National Opera

Posted on Nov 10, 2015

Dialogues des Carmélites Revival at Dutch National Opera

“(…) Musically, this revival is equally worthy of the 1957 masterpiece about the Carmelite nuns guillotined in 1794 during the Reign of Terror for refusing to renounce religious life. The Residentie Orkest under Stéphane Denève was nothing short of inspired. Wind solos wept quietly. The brass section, crucial in expressing anxiety churning itself into blind terror, distinguished itself, forgetting the odd rogue note, with honed technique and supreme control. Mr Denève...

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Robert Carsen’s shattering Dialogues des carmélites returns to Amsterdam for a last time

Posted on Nov 10, 2015

Robert Carsen’s shattering Dialogues des carmélites returns to Amsterdam for a last time

“(…) Poulenc’s opera is really about the anguish of life and the fear of death. The music is never overly dramatic, yet its impact is immediate and at times, it is extremely realistic. Musical lines always fit Bernardos’ text closely. The score alternates flowing, lushly harmonious melodies with contrasting jarring passages that mirror the anguish of the central character, Blanche de la Force. On Friday, conductor Stéphane Denève proved expert in drawing...

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