07th Apr - 09th Apr 2019

James Conlon and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln: Shostakovich Symphony No. 7

“Especially the reconciliatory aspect of the Leningrad Symphony, its quality in inner transparency had much greater effect in the phenomenal interpretation by the Gürzenich Orchestra than the “hefty cinema for your ears” that the program notes had promised. This was already ensured by James Conlon’s emotionally restrained approach, the 1989-2002 Cologne music director’s rejection of any blowoff bravado. He was back at the helm of the Gürzenich Orchestra for the first time since 2005, unchanged not only in his looks but also in his guarded self-assuredness, totally lacking any vanity, with which he lead the massive orchestral apparatus.”  – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

“It is always nice to meet again with old friends. Thirty years after his debut as music director and Gürzenich Kapellmeister, James Conlon visited his Gürzenich Orchestra with a program that both orchestra and conductor should enjoy, Shostakovich 7. (…)  James Conlon handled this orchestral SUV calmly, as an old-school conductor who gave impulses, with restrained tempi, but who was present whenever a key entry was required. Only towards the finale did the conductor’s strikes rain down with massive force, the combatant awoke and even his hair started shaking. When it was over, he gazed at his audience – satisfied.” – Kölnische Rundschau

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