Yannick, on this album, is not a natural accompanist

Yannick, on this album, is not a natural accompanist

Album Of The Week

norman lebrecht

September 24, 2021

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

….The pianist in all 16 tracks is Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of the Metropolitan Opera, the Philadelphia Orchestra and another in Montreal, altogether too busy a man to spare much time for piano practise.

Yannick, whom Renée Fleming thanks “for his gifts as an artist, colleague and friend”, is a pianist of no discernible merit except the maintenance of steady tempo. His playing lacks subtlety or surprise. Worse, it lacks colour to the point of mortal pallor. Every shade of beauty released by the singer’s larynx is met by plodding fingers on a monochrome keyboard. Some conductors — Barenboim, Pappano, Levine, Previn — are natural partners in a song recital, a skill acquired in teenaged rehearsal contact with singers. Yannick, fine orchestral leader that he is, is not on this evidence much use as a piano partner….

Read on here.

And here.

En francais ici.

In Czech here.



  • Helmut says:

    Apart a desperate need of hoping to be an “opinion leader” what is actually the point of reviewing on September 24th a release which nobody can listen to before October 8th ?

    Not that this is unusual. It is a pattern.

  • Andrew Constantine says:

    I conducted her last week – her qualities are absolutely undiminished. Simply fabulous! And she’s a delightful person and colleague as well!

  • TheMysteriousViolist says:

    “another in Montreal”. Was it that hard to find out the name of the band?

  • Musicman says:

    He is not much of partner to singers as an opera conductor either. He is, however, a fine conductor of orchestral repertoire.

  • Frank Flambeau says:

    Yannick has long been a target at this website. Odd that Fleming has not been heard complaining, isn’t it?

  • leo grinhauz says:

    only merit of this mediocre cavalier is that he works cheap. The meek have inherited the earth. Good luck making music.

  • IP says:

    Well, there might be something natural about YNS, but it will take a lot of searching for.

  • will says:

    Why should a presumably ‘professional’ conductor be expected to play the piano up to a professional standard? Harpsichord continuo maybe, a few chords here and there, but the Lieder repertoire includes some very demanding piano parts.

    • Ashu says:

      [Why should a presumably ‘professional’ conductor be expected to play the piano up to a professional standard?]

      Right, so they shouldn’t record him.

  • Nicholas Ennos says:

    There was an excerpt from this on Radio 3 this morning and my wife made me switch off the radio because Renee Fleming’s screechy wobblings were hurting her ears.

    • Nijinsky says:

      Next time just throw the radio out the window, it might improve Renee’s Italian, would she catch on, thinking such habits are (Italian)….ANYTHING might help!

  • Jen says:

    He’s not a natural conductor either.

  • Nijinsky says:

    I don’t know why they don’t just get Ritzy: Renee could be Elvira, as Mary Poppins, and her accompanist (the conductor), Don Giovanni as Tenor, and God as well, and she’s immaculately impregnated by him getting ready to give birth to the one everyone is saying Je@#$(@# about [or the Messiah]. Which would work fantastic ALL OVER EUROPE!

    Just a bunch of soupy songs?

    Ho Hum….. Oh bother….

  • Nijinsky says:

    I know Renee Fleming giving birth to something that would damn its father to hell seems a bit odd, but I mean isn’t that what religion is all about, making sure anything too forgiving and non conformist gets damned, why not do it to the very source (God?), and have the savior do it.
    Don’t you want to see such a cherub introduce his father into the flames and get rid of such silly things as tolerance and forgiveness?

  • Nijinsky says:

    Sorry about my attempts at humor. I hadn’t slept, was on a whole rush from it, and…

    You know, it happens.