Stéphane Denève and Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider return from a triumphant 5-date North American tour with the Brussels Philharmonic. Led by their, “formidable music director Stéphane Denève, the orchestra brought both the familiar and the unusual to the hall in a concert of predominantly French works. …Strings played with precision, with textures that range from transparent to luxuriant. …[Brass] and the woodwinds played with a rich palette of tones in the colorfully orchestrated works on the program” (David Fleshler in South Florida Classical Review).
Mr Fleshler adds that, “Denève drew lively, sensitive and tonally rich performances from the Belgian ensemble. …[Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider] brought to the performance [Bruch’s Violin Concerto] a seamless bow arm, a formidable technique and an engagingly old-fashioned melodic style, using the sort of slides from note to note that might have been made by a violinist 75 years ago. …In the dark, climactic chords that punctuate the movement, he brought a majestic bow arm or slashed at them as if he were playing a percussion instrument.”
Natasha Gauthier in Arts File (Canada) notes that, “Szeps-Znaider’s playing is as smooth and sumptuous as buttercream,” adding that “Denève conducted as if watching a film of the ballet in his mind’s eye, ever conscious of the dance and the tragic narrative that are built into the score’s bones. The playing was full of grandeur and lyricism, with crystalline counterpoint from the strings and rich, glowing colour from the brass and woodwinds.”