Concert reviews: Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Poulenc, Berlioz and Saint-Saëns, 26 March 2014

On Wednesday 26 March 2014 at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Principal Guest Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin gave a concert comprising Poulenc's Organ Concerto with soloist James O'Donnell, Berlioz's song-cycle Les Nuits d’été with mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly, and Saint-Saëns's Symphony No. 3 ('Organ').

Here are the press reviews ...

'The playing [in the Saint-Saëns] was magnificent and everything was perfectly in place – exuberant rhythms and thrilling climaxes in the outer movements, a most affectingly shaped slow movement, and urgent attack in the scherzo ... This was something very special as part of Yannick Nézet-Séguin's final season as the LPO's Principal Guest Conductor.'
Alan Sanders, Classical Source, 27 March 2014

'Yannick Nézet-Séguin is a master-painter and drew a rich spectrum of colours from the London Philharmonic Orchestra to decorate each of these scores in a distinctive way.' (4 stars)
Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack.com, 27 March 2014

'Under the meticulous direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the London Philharmonic Orchestra's strings formed a pale gold halo around the organ as James O'Donnell navigated the crazy-mirror harmonies of Poulenc's concerto with brisk, unflappable agility. Hung-Wei Huang's shimmering viola solo bridged the vast aesthetic gap between this and Berlioz's song cycle Les nuits d'été. Sarah Connolly's intimately scaled, impeccably phrased, highly literary interpretation was spiked with intelligent and unusual details, her hands as eloquent as her voice, the colours of Sur les lagunes and Au cimitière closely echoed by the players.'
Anna Picard, The Times, 28 March 2014 (online access for subscribers only)

The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and is available to listen again free of charge for 7 days via BBC iPlayer.

Read the concert programme online here