European Tour 2017 Recap & Press Reviews

European Tour 2017

Press Reviews

Edinburgh International Festival | BBC Proms (London) | San Sebastián | Santander |

Eindhoven | Utrecht | Antwerp | Paris

“This entire journey, from the very first concert at Edinburgh International Festival to the last concert at La Seine Musicale in Paris, felt like an amazing crescendo! We are stronger than ever, having been the artistic ambassadors of our city and our country. The Orchestra is playing at an exceptional level, and I am so excited to continue building on it together for our next five extraordinary weeks of celebration at Music Hall, as well as into the future of the CSO. We all are united in pride demonstrating the very best of whatCincinnati and the United States has to offer.” Music Director Louis Langrée


“Please, come back soon.”– The Times

“This touring programme showed us what we have been missing. There’s that almost inordinate precision and sparkle…and an intense clarity of colour and line, so telling in the early stages of Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. And how about the sonic ballast, partly fuelled by the muscular buzz of double basses, placed on risers, facing the front?” – The Times

“Bernstein’s arrangement of his film score for On the Waterfront into a symphonic suite provided the orchestra’s different sections an opportunity to show-off. Elizabeth Freimuth expertly performed the opening, haunting horn solo, while menacing timpani and scurrying strings created considerable tension in the following fast section…The central lyrical section revealed another side to the orchestra, where conductor Louis Langrée drew utter sweetness from the strings. The arrival of the fantastic brass then made for a climatic and monumental close.”  – The Herald (Scotland)

“Indeed the CSO’s brass section proved to be a major highlight of the evening with its even intonation and broad rotund sound.” – Bachtrack

“Louis Langrée, at the helm of an orchestra he knows perfectly well…has infused the repertoire with a new vitality, proposing a vision of America distant from the clichés…[Short Ride in a Fast Machine] offers a summary of the remarkable qualities of the Cincinnati Orchestra, capable of interpreting the most complex confrontations of colors, timbres and rhythmical patterns imagined by the composer with clarity and homogeneity… Langrée is an alchemist who constantly seeks, through a subtle mix of the different ingredients, to bring out the essence of the work… The French conductor and his orchestra can serenely make their way back across the Atlantic: they leave behind them the best possible image of America.” – Bachtrack

“It was infectious to walk into the auditorium and see the large orchestra on stage eager to get started. Louis Langrée has been their Music Director since 2013; a Frenchman with an impressive CV. Equally impressive in the list of the Orchestra’s players is just how many are funded in their chair sponsorship scheme.” – Edinburgh Guide

“From the white tie and tails worn by the musicians to the choice of programme, which paired classic American works with core Germanic symphonic repertoire, there was a sense of tradition here and adherence to the rituals of the concert hall.” – The Guardian

“The French conductor tended to split the difference, eliciting sweet tone from his strings without underplaying the jagged thrust of dramatic passages, although what impressed most was the sophisticated crispness of the attack.” – Classical Source

“That the CSO gives the first hearing [of the new edition of Gershwin’s An American in Paris] is not a surprise: a long collaboration unites the orchestra to this work since Gershwin made the trip to Cincinnati in March 1929 to attend a performance under the baton of Fritz Reiner.” – Concert Classic

“It was an impatiently awaited moment, it enabled us to find an exceptional phalanx visibly stimulated by the great journey that it has just accomplished, but above all the work acquired under the leadership of the French leader since 2013…It is hoped to find the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in France without delay.” – Concert Classic

“It is clear that the creation of such a work [Gershwin’s An American in Paris] in Paris by an American orchestra and a French conductor currently expatriated in the United States is a strong symbol of the universality of music…” – ConcertoNet

“Louis Langrée starts the famous Gershwin piece with beautiful dynamics but also a true elegance. The colors often approach the French music of Ravel, who was also attracted by jazz at that time.” – ResMusica

“The 56 year-old Alsacian, a regular of the great ensembles, who has conducted the Met several times and is also the music director of the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York…whose mind never ceases to jump from one idea to the other, sells so well his new adopted city that it is hard to resist the temptation to go and spend our next vacation there. ‘During my first three years here, I conducted 12 world premieres and numerous American premieres. Modernity is always opposed to tradition. And [here in Cincinnati], the tradition is to hire new composers and commission works regularly. The tradition of modernity.’”  – Libération

“Perhaps we are mistaken, but we think that only real Americans can play this way, and that even talented people from Warsaw or Seoul will never get this finesse…” – Humo (Belgium)

“Not a member of the American ‘Big Five,’ the orchestra plays on a level of quality which many ensembles living on their reputation could envy…Supported by the amazing enthusiasm of the Proms’ audience in the Royal Albert Hall boiling arena, the London performance was a triumph, from the glossy non-aggressive sound of the brass section and percussion in Bernstein and Copland, or the string section expressivity in Tchaikovsky, not mentioning the exceptional principal horn Elizabeth Freimuth. As if it were to deny the flashy and soulless American orchestral sound stereotype.” – Le Figaro

“Velvety string qualities, vigorous attacks, eloquence of soloists (stunning horn player!)…Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Louis Langrée reveals every detail without losing the guiding line and delivers a tumultuous and dark but dignified Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5. As an encore, his musicians offer an exhilarating “Candide” Overture preceded by a ‘Let’s have fun!’ by Louis Langrée.” – Les Echos

“Thus, explains Louis Langrée, a spark in the look, [Cincinnati’s] orchestra was not founded by a great music-loving patron but by the inhabitants themselves. ‘An ocean separated them from their native land. Practicing and sharing music was a way not to break the link altogether.’ This original ‘citizenship’ of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra seduced its new music director. Because it relies on ‘impressive energy and enthusiasm…’ – La Croix

Bernstein, Copland, Tchaikovsky – the composers of this BBC Proms are always good for earwigs. This time, however, it plays only a secondary role: here they are appearing with works that address the question of how people can become active in difficult situations and can assert themselves.”  – Deutschlandfunk Kultur

“In European circuits it is rare to have the presence of American orchestras, so the public will have the opportunity to enjoy the brilliant sound of one of the six oldest orchestras in the USA and the oldest in Ohio. Founded in 1895, the CSO is the first to be heard on the radio in 1921. It is headquartered in Cincinnati Music Hall and has a great historical tradition.” – El Diario Montanes

“His understanding with the American orchestra is evident: the music flows between them and there is an easy and immediate communication between baton and music stands.”– Platea Magazine  


“’These words are now just as relevant as when they were written,’ said Dance, and joked that they are ‘too long for a tweet.’” – Actor/narrator Charles Dance for Noticias di Gipuzkoa

“The closing session yesterday with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra also left paperless the Kursaal Auditorium box office.” – Orain Gipuzkoa

“…this 70-year-old British actor [Charles Dance] who was part of the Royal Shakespeare Company, came on the scene to recall in Lincoln Portrait the President of the United States that abolished slavery. He did it with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and director Louis Langrée. Among all, these days closed the San Sebastian Fortnight with this work of Aaron Copland and more, such as the Tchaikovsky Fifth Symphony or the ‘New World’ Symphony of Dvořák…” – El País


“The concert with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra that closed the Quincena Musical on Wednesday turned out to be one of the most outstanding of this edition [of the Festival]…The Cincinnati Orchestra played with so much energy and rhythmic precision…” – Gara

“Louis Langrée managed to maintain that tension stalking all through the development of [Bernstein’s On the Waterfront Suite], including the middle section where romantic lyricism seems to become the protagonist” – Gara