“Les débuts impressionnants de Nathalie Stutzmann avec l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Londres”

Nathalie Stutzmann, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Choir at curtain call.

Nathalie Stutzmann, the LPO and the LPC at curtain call.

Nathalie Stutzmann a fait ses débuts à la tête de l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Londres au Royal Festival Hall le 25 mars avec un succès à la fois critique et populaire (visitez le compte Twitter de Nathalie pour lire les nombreuses réactions enthousiastes partagées par les membres du public), livrant une interprétation “impressionnante” et “habitée” (Seen and Heard International), d’une “profonde perspicacité” (The Guardian) ne laissant “aucun doute quant au buzz qui a été engendré” (Classical Source).
Nathalie avait dédié le concert aux victimes et personnes touchées par l’attentat terroriste de Westminster le 22 mars, en s’adressant au public dans un discours en début de soirée. “Puissent leurs âmes trouver le réconfort et l’apaisement dans cette offrande” a-t-elle dit.

Découvrez quelques unes des critiques en anglais :

Seen and Heard International | Colin Clarke

Nathalie Stutzmann’s Impressive Conducting Debut with the LPO
It was fascinating to see Natalie Stutzmann (…) in the role of conductor. (…) Stutzmann’s conducting technique is exceptionally clear, and everything she touches emerges as incredibly musical. (…) Taken together, the Strauss and the Mozart Requiem make for a relatively short concert, but one that packed huge emotional punch (…). The joy provided when the music was ongoing [gave] the whole a fitting and poignant tribute to those who lost their lives and were injured last week. One looks forward to Stutzmann’s return to a London podium with some impatience.”

Strauss – Death and Transfiguration:
No better beginning (…) than Richard Strauss’s typically graphic description of death and the journey to the afterlife in his Tod und Verklärung (“Death and Transfiguration”). Stutzmann had clearly worked hard on dynamic range with the orchestra, from the near audibility of the opening to the crushing climaxes, raw in sound and emotion. The LPO’s soloists were uniformly excellent; leader Pieter Schoemann’s solo contributions were given with a tone that had just the right amount of edge. All of the tempo changes were managed perfectly, with no sense of hangover from the previous tempo. Details like hard-edged timpani underscoring fateful brass, but using soft sticks for the hero’s heartbeat, all contributed to the impression that this was a most considered interpretation. The post-mortem section, full of radiance and hope, was beautifully done, the end a perfect combination of discipline and glow. Placing the double-basses, not behind the cellos as normal, but rather allying them with the low brass, added to the sound’s richness.

Mozart – Requiem:
Stutzmann plumped for the familiar Süssmayr completion, but there was no hint of the routine from the forces at hand, in particular the London Philharmonic Choir. Perhaps some of that came from Stutzmann’s tempi, which tended towards the rapid side. The trombone lines in the opening ‘Requiem’ certainly brought the idea of church music to the concert hall; but those trombones’ virtuosity was really called upon in the ‘Kyrie’ fugue, a challenge the three LPO players rose to magnificently (specifically, Mark Templeton, David Whitehouse and Matthew Lewis). Again, the ‘Dies irae’ was taken at an exciting speed; and in sympathy, the ‘Tuba mirum’ was a nice two-in-a-bar. (…) Four distinct personalities, therefore, and yet, when the quartet [Kateryna Kasper, Sara Mingardo, Robin Tritschler, Leon Košavič] came together as a unit, the sound was perfectly balanced, as if individuals melded into a quartet whole. One suspects Stutzmann’s influence here.

Time and time again, Stutzmann’s attention to orchestral detail came through, the orchestra reacting to her direction with incredible flexibility, shading each panel appropriately. Light shone through the ‘Domine Jesu’ as if through a stained glass window; the pure blaze of the ‘Sanctus’ took away the stained glass and allowed us to sit in pure spiritual radiance, while the ‘Benedictus’ had an easy grace.

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Classical Source | Nick Breckenfield

(…) there was no doubt as to the buzz that was engendered. I hope that Nathalie Stutzmann was signed up immediately for return visits to the London Philharmonic.

Strauss – Death and Transfiguration:
This was Stutzmann’s conducting debut with the LPO and it was clear by the way she kept the layers of the Strauss light and distinct that she knows exactly what she wants. This was music-making that inhabited the score from within, eschewing heavy brushstrokes. In what was as fascinating as cohesive a reading, Stutzmann carefully graded the climaxes to bring the work, full-circle, to its quiet close.

Mozart – Requiem:
There was an indelible impression of Stutzmann generating a single collective will, with the Choir relishing a singer being in charge and an aptly matched quartet of soloists. This Requiem – as much for the living as for the dead – flowed powerfully, from the mournful bassoon and basset horn keening at the outset, through the thrillingly articulated semiquavers of the ‘Kyrie’ and the outstanding trombone and baritone duet of Tuba mirum (David Whitehouse and Leon Košavić respectively) and so on. The Choir sang magnificently, with a thrilling ping to the tenors’ entries, while their collective standing and seating was impeccably negotiated. In short this was an account for which every facet had been thought through.

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The Guardian | Tim Ashley

Nathalie Stutzmann, conducting with great insight, dedicated the evening to victims of the Westminster attack. It is hard to imagine a finer tribute.

Strauss – Death and Transfiguration:
(…) a performance of great clarity and insight. Speeds were extreme and rhythms precise, which made the opening heartbeat syncopations almost clinically unnerving. The central crisis erupted with frightening power. The closing transfiguration, which can easily turn bombastic, was, for once, admirable in its restraint.

Mozart – Requiem:
Once again, terror and compassion combined with precision, whether in the finely honed instrumental solos or the criss-crossing choral counterpoint. The London Philharmonic Choir sang with great dignity and immaculate dynamic control.

La “baguette réellement enchantée de Nathalie Stutzmann” dirigeant Tannhäuser de Wagner

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Nathalie Stutzmann a conclu son aventure Tannhäuser à Monte-Carlo avec la retransmission en direct sur Culturebox le 28 février. De très belles critiques célèbrent sa direction de l’opéra de Wagner à la tête de l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo :

Was ein Glücksfall am Pult möglich gemacht hat. An der Spitze des mit gallischem Esprit spielenden Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo steht nämlich die Altistin Nathalie Stutzmann. Die singt zwar immer noch, hat sich in den letzten Jahren aber auch eine Dirigentinnenkarriere aufgebaut. Und dieses Wagner-Debüt ist Wucht und Wonne zugleich. Weil es Stutzmann vom ersten Ton an versteht, dieser Musik einen ganz anderen, eben nicht teutonischen Klang zu geben. (…) Und Stutzmann lässt das jetzt mit einer delikaten Sinnlichkeit, mit sirrenden Streichern und wollüstigen Holzbläsern erklingen. Dieser Wagner klingt erotisch ohne Schwulst, er tänzelt und lockt, setzt auf Intensität und Pianoverführung, liebt helle Farbe, leichte Rhythmen. Das Deutsche, Dunkle, Schwerfällige, mit dem es hier sonst gern durchs Bacchanale stampft, es fehlt völlig. (…) Somit ist diese „Tannhauser“-Sensation am Mittelmeer perfekt. Und Bayreuth für 2019 wirklich im Zugzwang. (voir la traduction anglaise)
Die Welt

Là, on ne peut que louer la direction de Nathalie Stutzmann, parfaite de style, de couleurs, de dramatisme, de sens de l’architecture wagnérienne, superbement tendue par une battue attentive qui marque avec bonheur le détail instrumental d’un orchestre visiblement heureux de sa confrontation à Wagner (…).
L’Avant-Scène Opéra

Saluons d’emblée la baguette réellement enchantée de Nathalie Stutzmann, extraordinaire magicienne, qui galvanise ses choeurs, son orchestre et ses solistes par une direction inspirée, exaltante, large de souffle tragique, enthousiaste. Energique et nuancée, selon les circonstances, sa direction a mis habilement en lumière la vraie nature de cet opéra de transition, annonçant ouvertement au troisième acte, l’ « impressionnisme » de Parsifal.
Le Podcast Journal

Enfin, on saluera la direction passionnante de Nathalie Stutzmann à la tête d’un Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo en forme olympique. Dès l’entrée des cordes sans vibrato de l’Ouverture, le ton est donné: on aura droit à une lecture «historiquement informée» sur instruments modernes, à l’image de ce qu’ont fait Abbado, Rattle ou Jansons dans Beethoven. Fort heureusement, cette option sera défendue sans dogmatisme, avec une conception très chambriste pour mieux faire ressortir les dialogues entre pupitres et les alliages de timbres inédits de l’orchestre.
ConcertoNet.com

Am Pult – die nächste Überraschung des Abends – die als Altistin berühmt gewordene Nathalie Stutzmann. Sie dirigiert nun und nimmt Wagners musik mit Elan, bedacht auf den Zusammenhalt großer melodischer Bögen. Und sie gönnt sich einige RitardandoAuftakte, die man gern als unidiomatisch bezeichnen würde; allein: Man singt den „Tannhäuser“ in Monte Carlo nicht auf Deustch, sondern in französischer Sprache ! (voir la traduction anglaise)
Die Presse

Nathalie Stutzmann, qui revient pour la deuxième fois à l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo en tant que chef d’orchestre, est très applaudie. Attentive aux chanteurs, elle rend cependant l’orchestre plus présent que de coutume par un son exceptionnel. Sa direction est vivante et contrastée, plus narrative que psychologique. Elle arrive à créer des atmosphères bien différenciées et à maîtriser les ensembles, en évitant la pompe wagnérienne exagérée. Les cuivres de l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo ont un niveau sonore noble et plein, sans jamais forcer. Les cornistes sont remarquables dans la musique de chasse à la fin du premier acte.
Classicagenda

Placée à la tête de l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, la chanteuse et cheffe d’orchestre Nathalie Stutzmann constitue également une excellente surprise : elle s’avère l’efficace ordonnatrice de la soirée. Sa lecture précise, attentive aux chanteurs, rend justice aux richesses d’une partition dont elle fait sonner les moindres subtilités.
Opera Online

Quant à la direction de Nathalie Stutzmann, (…) elle est d’une constante et paisible beauté, avec une très belle gestion des silences, des thèmes (magnifiques échanges Elisabeth/Tannhäuser au début du II), une intégration parfaite de la harpe et même des castagnettes ! Elle séduit dès l’Ouverture (…).
ResMusica

Nous ne tarirons pas en revanche d’éloges sur la direction musicale de Nathalie Stutzmann (…). Son travail sur l’orchestre philharmonique de Monte-Carlo et sur les chanteurs du plateau, plus précis encore que celui réalisé avec son Elisir d’amore, n’obère pas sa patte toute féminine qui devient un atout précieux dans sa lecture, certes adoucie, de la partition : la célèbre ouverture n’en fait pas moins entendre d’émouvantes et d’éclatantes sonorités avec des cuivres rutilants de majesté tout en conservant l’élégance de ces enchevêtrements thématiques repris par les pupitres.
Musicologie.org

Bonne surprise, en revanche, avec la direction de Nathalie Stutzmann, que l’on n’attendait certainement pas dans ce répertoire. Imposant des tempos allants, [elle] mène ses troupes à bon port, sans craindre de déchaîner parfois toute la force de l’orchestre, par exemple au final du deuxième acte.
Forum Opera

Dans la fosse Nathalie Stutzmann effectue un très beau travail à la tête de l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo. Belle énergie et belle écoute avec le plateau sont perceptibles.
Bachtrack

Il y a même aussi une contralto, mais dans la fosse : c’est en effet Nathalie Stutzmann qui dirige la soirée, avec un beau mélange d’enthousiasme, de compétence et de sens des couleurs.
La Libre Belgique

A gloriously engaging Brahms from Stutzmann

The Business Post | Dick O’Riordan

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The French-born Stutzmann – world-famous as a contralto, but now equally so as a conductor – had just been revealed as the orchestra’s new principal guest conductor.

The news came as a surprise to many. Stutzmann appeared here only once before when, barely a year ago, she took charge of a heavyweight agenda of Wagner and Mahler, so there were probably many who did not know what to expect with a hefty schedule of Brahms. They did not have to wait long.

Stutzmann’s handling of Brahms’s Concerto for Violin and Cello, a rare enough work here, was gloriously engaging. Her deft handling of the orchestra against the stunning interweaving of sound and moods by Israeli violinist Itamar Zorman and German cellist Leonard Elschenbroich produced a deeply affecting performance.

Securing Stutzmann’s services up to the end of 2019 has really excited RTÉ, not least music supremo Aodán Ó Dubhghaill.

“Nathalie’s performance last year was a clincher,” he says. “It was apparent from the outset that an easy and natural chemistry had developed between her and the orchestra while, on the other side, the audience intuitively sensed this and responded in the warmest terms.”

Stutzmann responded in kind, saying she was truly impressed with her introduction to the orchestra last February.“After just a few minutes of rehearsal, it was immediately clear this was an ensemble of generosity, spirit and real character – an orchestra made of flesh and blood.”

So what can audiences expect? Stutzmann is probably best in describing that. Here is what she told a recent interviewer:

“There are two types of performers, those who strive their whole lives to reach a point which displays to full effect the difficulty of their art – they have their audience. Then there are those who try to make what they do seem effortless – I belong in that category. It is less of a spectacle perhaps, but I prefer that the audience gets to the essence of the music. I don’t want them to stop at their impression of the performance but to lose themselves in the beauty of the music.”

That’s exactly what happened last weekend.

A fruitful partnership: Nathalie Stutzmann delivers a convincing Brahms 2 in Dublin

Backtrack | Andrew Larkin

Two things impressed me with Stutzmann’s conception of Brahms’ Symphony no. 2 in D major after the break: her super sharp rhythmic delineation and these unexpected, unforeseen moments of shy tenderness which I have never witnessed from the NSO or in the context of this piece in any other recording. The latter happened twice, towards the end of the first movement and in the Adagio second movement. In both cases it was if I was hearing the work in a new way as I was transported by the exquisite delicacy of the moment. The second movement was the highlight for me with so much to delight in: from the stillness of the cellos’ melody or the long unbroken lines of music which Stutzmann lovingly unfurled basking in the movement’s warm harmonies. None of this takes away from the carefree insouciance of the pastoral third movement or the pulsating excitement of the finale which Stutzmann took at a rollicking fast pace. All in all, it was a thoroughly convincing Brahms 2 and what has all the hallmarks of an extremely fruitful partnership between Stutzmann and the NSO for the next few years.

Lire l’article complet sur le site de Backtrack

“Stutzmann is a different kind of conductor”

The Huffington Post | Laura Goldman

© Seiji Ozawa's Mito Chamber Orchestra

© Seiji Ozawa’s Mito Chamber Orchestra

One of the most anticipated highlights every year of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s holiday calendar is Handel’s Messiah. The world seems a little less divided when the audience stands up and sings the chorus of Hallelujah in unison. The Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, led by Joe Miller, will perform the oratorio with the orchestra this year on December 18 at 2pm at the Kimmel Center. French conductor and vocalist Nathalie Stutzmann will be making her Philadelphia Orchestra conducting debut. She has previously conducted the “Messiah” in Detroit and at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC to great acclaim.

Stutzmann is a different kind of conductor. She believes her victory as a conductor comes when she finishes a rehearsal and the back of the orchestra is smiling as they play. She said, “If I give them the pleasure to play, if I remind them why they want to make music, if they are happy to play, they will give me everything.”

Lire l’article complet sur le site du Huffington Post

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