Andris Nelsons on tour takes Germany by storm

Andris Nelsons on tour takes Germany by storm


norman lebrecht

May 21, 2015

He may have failed to win the Berlin Philharmonic last week, but the Latvian conductor is earning rave reviews on his timely tour with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

This just in from Stuttgart:

Da ist er: Andris Nelsons, 36, weltweit zurzeit einer der gefragtesten Dirigenten, und schon beim ersten Stück seines Stuttgarter Abends beweist er, warum er zu den heißesten Kandidaten für das Amt des Berliner Chefdirigenten zählte und immer noch zählt. Genauer, detailversessener und interessanter kann man Beethovens Werk kaum darbieten, und spätestens wenn der Lette mit zwei Fingern seiner linken Hand einen Flötentriller nachformt, ahnt man, wie sehr er das liebt, was er tut.

Nelsons ist einer, der brennt. Ein Gefährdeter also, und es mag auch damit zu tun haben, dass er den renommiertesten Posten in der deutschen Orchesterlandschaft im Vorfeld ablehnte: Für die Berliner Philharmoniker, so sein offizielles Argument, fühle er sich einfach noch nicht alt und reif genug.

A quick summary: One of the hottest conductors on earth, he’s on fire.

Catch him in Dortmund tonight.

nelsons nobel


  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    ==He may have failed to win the Berlin Philharmonic last week

    Well no conductor failed and none succeeded. Who knows, AN may be unanimously voted in in 6 months time ?

  • Andrew R. Barnard says:

    I think Thielemann was the only conductor who “failed” in the Berlin Philharmonic election.

  • Shalom Rackovsky says:

    He’s getting ecstatic reactions in Boston, and one need only watch his performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker on the Digital Concert Hall to see why. His very recent Mahler 5 was, for me, almost life-changing, and his Heldenleben is the very best I’ve ever seen [and I’m a Heldenleben nut….]

    • Olassus says:

      I don’t think either Mahler 5 or Heldenleben is a measure of great conducting. This is showy music.

      • JayPee says:

        Seems that the Thielemann-faction is now in full-attack mode…

        • John Borstlap says:

          No, Olassus is right. Heldenleben is an embarrassing joke and Mahler V a forced exercise to trump Beethoven and Bach in the same time – except for the 1st allegro theme of the 1st mvt and the Adagietto. One merely needs ears to detect that!

    • Petros LInardos says:

      Lloyd Schwartz, arguably a very respected Boston critic, is not at all ecstatic about Nelsons.

      I attended his early April Boston program that included Ein Heldenleben. The weakest link was the slow movement of Mozart’s last piano concerto, where the soloist, septuagenarian Richard Goode glowed. Not a sign of maturity on the conductor’s side.

      • Freund der Musik says:

        Lloyd Schwartz is indeed a renowned music critic, but he has missed the mark in his reviews of Nelsons’ Boston Symphony concerts – perhaps because he so passionately favored Vladimir Jurowski during the BSO conductor selection process. Schwartz’s commentary clearly places himself at odds with the rest of Boston’s music community, most importantly the orchestra members and the concert audiences, as well as nearly all others who review his concerts.

        I happen to be in agreement with Schwartz’s comment about the Mozart concerto with Goode, but found his recent Heldenleben and his performances of Shostakovich and Mahler symphonies to be sublime.

  • RW2013 says:

    The wiggling fingers to illustrate the flute trill…
    Some critics are easily charmed.
    At least the photo is representative – head in the score, probably reading “express great ecstasy here”.
    Must stay in the U.S. and A.

    • Halldor says:

      Maybe try listening?

    • John Borstlap says:

      Indeed, conductors who feel the need to demonstrate trills are mostly NOT the best ones. But one should listen with eyes closed, Furtwängler, Stokowsky and Gergiev look slightly ridiculous when doing their job.

  • stweart says:

    Head in the score ?
    you’ve obviously not watched him for seven years !

  • anonymous says:

    Thielemann’s latest Bruckner outing was apparently not that impressive — at least to one person:

    • Max Grimm says:

      While I am not a Thielemann fan, I will give him the benefit of doubt, before I give any credence to an assessment of a him conducting Bruckner by a person who admittedly can’t stand Bruckner, calling the music it’s own worst enemy. At that point, it doesn’t matter who is conducting, it’d always be less than satisfactory.

  • Peter says:

    Nelsons undoubtedly is what some call a “musical animal”. But he is also not very mature in many aspects on and off the stage. He can be a great inspiration at times, but is he a leader you can entrust an ensemble like the Berlin Philharmonic? For me he is a most interesting guest conductor, but not chief material.

    • Ellingtonia says:

      Oh for Gods sake you could put a bloody penguin in front of the Berlin Phil and they would still play with the same beauty and discipline so all this intellectual pondering about Andris Nelsons is totally superfluous……………..

  • Wally Francis says:

    I certainly don’t wish to get involved with most of the nonsense the regular “contributors” go on an on about on this site. BUT it is fair to say
    that the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra [CBSO] is now clearly a truly
    world class ensemble giving great concerts, currently with Andris Nelsons in
    Europe, but also at home in Birmingham and beyond. By the way it’s an orchestra
    to be listened to – not watched!!