Kirill Petrenko in Israel: an indelible experience

Kirill Petrenko in Israel: an indelible experience


norman lebrecht

December 17, 2019

Musicians and critics are outdoing one another in superlatives over the Berlin conductor’s performances this week with the Israel Phil.

Amir Mandel, in Haaretz, calls it ‘a musical event that is engraved in memory‘.

The terms ‘riveting’, ‘once in a lifetime’, ‘genius’ and ‘wow’ pop up in other posts.

The programme was Strauss Till Eulenspiegel, Mozart C minor concerto with Tamara Stefanovich and Brahms’ 3rd symphony.

‘One of the most stunning concerts I have heard,’ writes the composer Oded Zehavi.

Stefanovich played Ligeti as an encore.

Eat that, Carnegie Hall.




  • ted says:

    The piano playing was absolutely catastrophic.

  • Eyal Braun says:

    Till Eulenspiegel was an incredible performance, like a huge orchestral “chamber music”. The Brahms was a very lyric view of the piece, close to Bruno Walter famous 1960th recording; again, wonderful pianissimi in the second and third movements. Stefanovich divided opinions.

  • Dullbin says:

    This is expected after decades of having to endure the unmusical and dull Zubin.

  • ezra mayer says:

    Mozart C minor concerto with Tamara Stefanovich was also a kind of once in a lifetime and i hope that this will be my last experience with this piano player.a disaster

  • NYMike says:

    What is the relevance of “eat that Carnegie Hall?” CH doesn’t have a resident orchestra – it PRESENTS orchestras. The next time the BPO appears here, Petrenko will most likely be conducting.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Another Mozart concerto?

  • Zvi says:

    Stefanovich presented a dull piano playing, hardly impressive with tiny coulerless sound. On top of this she played a cadence, probably by her own, juxtaposing all sorts of snippets in C minor from Mozart to Berg including Schubert’s Der Leiermann. “That’s the way she feels Mozart” said a highly regarded musician, “Mozart for modern times” said another. Oh well.

  • Brettermeier says:

    “Eat that, Carnegie Hall.”

    Indelible and edible? Nice!

  • James says:

    Worth noting too that Petrenko will be back, with his own band (as in, the Berliners), early next year.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    ==Stefanovich played Ligeti as an encore.

    Her husband, Pierre Laurent Aimard once played, as an encore to NYPO Emperor Concerto – the Stockhausen Klavierstuck VIII

  • I miss the elegance of Herbert von Karajan, not least to say…Claudio Abbado. I miss their elegance wearing their Penguin -like attire….the Frock.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    If I were in the right spot at the right time, I would prefer a more ‘adventurous’ program than “Till”, Brahms 3 and a Mozart concerto. However, few bands on earth will play those pieces as well or better.

  • Calvin says:

    I confess that, still after four concerts, I am a partial Petrenko skeptic. Very good but, apart of the visual excitement of his conducting style, I have not HEARD anything yet deserving of superlatives. I hope that I am wrong and that he will do great things with and for the BSO.

  • sorin says:

    Conclusion after reading all these comments : K. Petrenko is a musically-correct Дирижёр not worth much listening to – and Tamara Stefanovich is an interesting artist worth listening to.