BBC Symphony Orchestra / Boulez Notations, Pli Selon Pli
"Pli selon pli is still a major undertaking for any conductor and orchestra. Fischer only took over the concert at a few days notice, when François-Xavier Roth had to withdraw, but no one would have guessed; his performance was wonderfully assured...Fischer’s performance revelled in the energy and textural richness of the Notations, capturing their multilayered elaborations, echoes and reflections…Pli selon pli was equally detailed, and just as viscerally exciting...That movement [Tombeau] which steadily accelerates, accumulating in weight and intensity, was paced perfectly by Fischer"
Guardian, March 2015
"If the protracted scale of Pli selon Pli is a challenge for audience and performers alike, the BBCSO under the impressive direction of Thierry Fischer were fully up to it, as they were in five of the Notations developed for orchestra by Boulez from the original set of 12 for solo piano. Here Fischer and his forces captured the shimmering play of colour as well as the intellectual conviction that characterise these more succinct utterances."
Evening Standard, March 2015
"The overall impression is of poet and composer struggling to affirm the human condition — any condition — in the face of implacable death and unfeeling nature. Fischer conducted Pli selon Pli impeccably, the BBC SO produced some extraordinary cascades of sound"
Times, March 2015
"Pli selon Pli seduces the ear with its sensual array of sounds, among them purring woodwind, softly spoken xylorimba and a luminous, solitary voice…dotted on a vast canvas like twinkling stars in a galaxy. All of which was eloquently conveyed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Thierry Fischer"
Financial Times, March 2015
"Conductor Thierry Fischer (replacing François-Xavier Roth) clearly knows Notations well, and he marshalled the large forces of the BBC Symphony Orchestra into a disciplined army of players, peeling away Boulez’s multiple layers of harmony and tonal complexity…Pli selon Pli is a difficult work to pull off, and by and large Thierry Fischer and the BBC SO succeeded. Fischer’s direction was controlled yet accommodating, and the BBC SO players responded with musicianship of the highest order."
Music OMH, March 2015
Beethoven Piano Concerto Nos 1 & 2 / Aparté AP098 / Louis Schwizgebel / London Philharmonic Orchestra
“sensitively accompanied by Thierry Fischer and the LPO”
Gramophone, March 2015
Salzburg Mozarteumorchester / Debussy, Wagner, Berlioz
“Thierry Fischer showed himself to be not just an enthusiastic motivating force to the 100 or so musicians, but also showed great attention to detail. He infused Berlioz’ symphonic delirium with huge inner tension, plumbed the extreme sounds of the Witches’ Sabbath with as much zest as the lyrical idyll of the Country Scene. This interpretation born of blood, sweat and tears rocked the Festpielhaus to the foundations.”
Salzburger Nachrichten, January 2015
“Thierry Fischer conducted with clear gestures, with thrilling commitment and energetic impetus. He began tenderly with a dreaming magical shimmering effect, particularly in the evocative cor anglais solo, then ramped up the volume and brilliance climaxing in the opulent witches' dance of the finale.”
“Thierry Fischer dirigierte mit klarer Zeichengebung, spannendem Einsatz und energiegeladenem Impetus. Von anfänglicher Zartheit und träumerisch verzauberndem Klangschimmer, vor allem in den suggestiven Englischhornsoli, steigerten sich Fülle und brillierendes Klingen bis zum opulenten Hexenfinale. Glanzvoll auch die Flöten, Klarinetten und Hörner sowie die gesamte Palette in stetiger Steigerung des instrumentalen Ausdrucks. - Jubel und Begeisterung.”
Drehpunkt Kultur, January 2014
Utah Symphony / Beethoven Symphony No.9
“Under Thierry Fischer’s direction, the orchestra played with a rawness and power that belied the ultrafamiliarity the work has achieved in the ensuing 190 years…a thrilling sense of urgency”
Salt Lake Tribune, December 2014
Utah Symphony / Mahler and Haydn
“Fischer didn’t shy from the [Mahler] symphony’s extremes of dynamics, mood and tone, and the result was an edge-of-the-seat reading filled with indelible moments.”
Salt Lake Tribune, November 2014
Boston Symphony Orchestra / Brahms, Nielsen
"Fischer led a a fluid reading of this sinuous score... He showed an instinctual feel for the flow of linked movements, and more broadly, for this score's odd musical syntax, its pairing of strangeness and inexorability... the BSO played with a precision and commitment that made you wish it tackled more Nielsen."
Boston Globe, October 2014
Fischer admirably balanced yet upheld the orchestral forces in [the Bramhs Concerto]. He also commanded glowing string sonority, here and in the other movements, and brought the movement to a taught and powerful close...
He exercised great command of dynamic and tempo contrasts [in the Nielsen], maintaining excellent tension and a strong sense of motivic interplay... It was an expert, skillful performance."
Classical-Scene, October 2014
"Nielsen's exuberant Symphony No.4 showcased the bold interpretative powers of the evening's conductor, Thierry Fischer. With deliberate gestures and a clear sense of direction, Fischer delivered the full Nielsen, pushing the tempo for energetic readings of the outer movements but laying back to let the chamber-music-like textures of the second flow like gentle waves...
Throughout [the Brahms] Fischer wove a silky bed of orchestral accompaniment, coaxing each phrase with the same loving care rendered by the pianist."
Boston Classical Review, October 2014
"Playing of great responsiveness, nuance and drama. The orchestra responded to the music with heightened sensitivity and attention to detail... Fischer's [performance of the Nielsen] burned satisfyingly hot... Fischer strongly emphasized the rhythmic character of Brahms's writing and also drew a wide palate of tonal shadings... His was a solid, lyrical reading that flowed naturally and brought just enough touches to the fore... These concerts mark an auspicious debut for the BSO's newest guest conductor. I look forward to his return, hopefully before too long."
Artsfuse, October 2014
Utah Symphony / Stravinsky, Schönberg, Brahms
"Fischer elicited wonderfully expressive playing from his strings. It was an atmospheric and nuanced reading... His interpretation was subtle and beautifully expressed. Fischer and the orchestra complemented Bronfman's perceptive playing magnificently. It was as if soloist, conductor and orchestra were one; it was the kind of musical collaboration one always dreams of finding but so seldom does. Quite honestly it was a match made in heaven."
Reichel Recommends, 20 September 2014
Utah Symphony / Mosolov, Beethoven, Mahler
"...Fischer's account was broad and brought out the depth and expansiveness of the music... a sensitively crafted reading... Throughout the symphony Fischer elicited playing from his band that ranged from the sensuous to the bold... and everything in between."
Reichel Recommends, 13 September 2014
BBC Proms / BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Duruflé, Ravel and Holt
"In Simon Holt's Morpheus Wakes (Prom 14), the shape-shifting god of dreams takes flight through the virtuosic solo playing (using an alto instrument too) of flautist Emmanuel Pahud, with a spare, pellucid accompaniment from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Thierry Fischer."
Guardian, August 2014
Aspen Music School / Dean, Tchaikovsky and Ravel
“Fischer got the orchestra to dig deeply, a fine performance”.
Aspen Times, July 2014
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande / Debussy, Jarrell & Berlioz
“The programme resembled the conductor – innovative and clear, neat and fiery, classic and adventurous. Thierry Fischer left an excellent impression on the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. After seventeen years of an international career, he has returned with a trump card, with his ardour unquenched but with the benefit of experience.
Fischer astonished those who were new to him by his clear, supple, trenchant, sensual and evocative gestures; by his irrepressible and intrepid vitality; by his hunger for the music, his heady enjoyment of the harmonic and melodic progressions, and the pleasure he takes in the different sonorities, all founded on an excellent technique.
His approach to Debussy was organic and emotional rather than cerebral, its contours beautifully clear. This conductor is not interested merely to produce a glorious sound, he finds beauty even in the depths of melancholy”
“Le programme lui ressemble. Innovant et clair. Net et chaleureux. Classique et curieux. Thierry Fischer laisse une jolie empreinte sur l’OSR. Après dix-sept ans d’activité internationale, le chef est revenu avec un atout majeur dans son jeu: sa fougue intacte, et mûrie.
Fischer a étonné ceux qui ne le connaissaient pas encore. Parce qu’il possède une gestuelle claire, souple, tranchante, sensuelle et imagée. Parce que sa vitalité et son intrépidité sont inébranlables. Parce qu’enfin sa gourmandise des partitions, son ivresse des développements harmoniques ou mélodiques et son plaisir des sonorités s’appuient sur une belle maîtrise technique.Debussy aura bénéficié d’une clarté, d’un galbe et d’une approche plus affective et organique que cérébrale. Le chef ne fait pas «du beau son», il lui rend sa beauté jusque dans la profondeur des déplorations. “
Le Temps de Geneve, June 2014
Detroit Symphony Orchestra / Berlioz, Chopin & Debussy
“Fischer and the DSO offered a polished and focused performance that captured the drama, energy and nuance of the (Berlioz Romeo et Juilliette excerpts)… It is an astounding piece….
The concert opened with Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.” In his DSO debut, Fischer, an animated podium presence…created a dreamy atmosphere of whispered passions.”
Detroit Free Press, May 2014
Utah Symphony / Mahler Symphony 5
“Thierry Fischer led the orchestra in a riveting performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. As he did when conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 a couple of years ago, Fischer had the crowd hanging on every note. His upcoming Mahler cycle promises to be monumental.
Travis Peterson’s glorious delivery of the opening trumpet fanfare led into a performance of remarkable focus and intensity.”
Salt Lake Tribune, April 2014
“The Utah Symphony’s mastery of the classical style as of late has been quite impressive. It sounds incredibly focused with defined, meticulous movement, expertly wielded dynamics, … Haydn’s opening to The Creation
, titled The Representation of Chaos
sounded clean, intense, and restrained…. Mahler’s epic Fifth Symphony concluded the program. The music was often brooding and intense, with an incredible dynamic range… the orchestra performed with the usual high level of professionalism and attention to detail that has been characteristic of the Fischer baton.”Reichel Reccommends
, April 2014
BBC Symphony Orchestra / Mozart and Messiaen
“Thierry Fischer brought authority to Messiaen's final work and gave a fascinating account of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante..Fischer had taken over the concert at short notice after Sylvain Cambreling withdrew, but his performance [of Messiaen Eclairs sur l’au-delà] was as authoritative and lucid as anyone could want..as Fischer showed, the whole work is so sure-footed it carries a powerful charge.
Before the Messiaen, Veronika Eberle and Antoine Tamestit had been the soloists in a fascinating account of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante K364…Fischer gave an almost sturm und drang intensity to the orchestral tuttis.”
Guardian, March 2014
“There can’t be many conductors who know Olivier Messiaen’s Eclairs sur l’au-delà well enough to take over a performance at short notice. Stepping in for Sylvain Cambreling, Thierry Fischer directed the BBC Symphony Orchestra in this late, great expression of awe and delight, birdsong and starlight with such ease and clarity of gesture that one wondered why he hadn’t been booked in the first place.”
Times, March 2014
“In many ways Fischer’s interpretation was rooted in the worldly, whilst also stretching upwards to the supernatural. If the Mozart was poised in stability, this was poised in tension between two worlds… the lyrebird of the third [movement] was feisty and flirtatious in the incisive, colourful flashes Fischer whipped up from the orchestra…Throughout this long spiritual journey, Fischer kept sight of its ineffable goal without effacing any of the distinctive step…”
Classical Source, March 2014
Pacific Symphony Orchestra / Berlioz, Debussy and Ravel
“He took particular care with Berlioz’s textures and rhythms, making sure we could hear all the strange intricacies in them….. The whole evening Fischer had the stringsplaying with a more slender and shiny sound, the brass contained (but bright rather than behemoth when called upon), the woodwinds nicely forward in the sound picture. In short, it was what is known as the French style of orchestral performance, lighter and more lucid than the more common German style. Accordingly, the “Prelude to the Afternoon of the Faun,” which opened the concert, was especially lovely, beautifully quiet and delicate and just a little subdued – an Impressionist painting of a dream rather than the dream itself.”
Orange County Register, March 2014
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra / Mendelssohn, Nielsen and Tchaikovsky
“The hero of the evening turned out to be guest conductor Thierry Fischer… nothing short of spectacular… What stood out, setting a pattern for the evening, was the transparency of the sound Fischer elicited. His reading (of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture) was dynamically restrained, finding other ways to build tension, from the gentle middle to the raucous end of the work….Unexpectedly, the evening’s highlight was Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.5. It’s such an over-programmed warhorse, what could this guy do to make us sit up? Quite a lot, it turns out. As in the Mendelssohn, Fischer’s ability to control the volume was arresting, as he notched it up and down from one phrase to the next. This, together with an equally tight and imaginative use of tempi, gave the work an energy I don’t recall hearing from anyone else. The tone that emerged was translucent, and each emergence of the “Fate” theme was spellbinding.”
Atlanta Journal Constitution, March 2014
“The ASO, under the baton of guest conductor Thierry Fischer, navigated the territory masterfully... Fischer pulled out the details — the clear articulation and orchestral textures — that create the swift and overarching romantic sweep (of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture)….Especially gorgeous were the achingly mournful tones of the opening of the second movement (of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.5), and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, some whimsical, deliciously plump, almost ribald pizzicato notes in the third movement.”
Arts Atl, February 2013
Oregon Symphony / Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4, Lindberg Violin Concerto, Prokofiev Love for Three Oranges
"He showed a tendency toward clear textures and fine details, apparent from the beginning in the terse, witty opener, Sergei Prokofiev’s Suite from 'The Love for Three Oranges'. The piece’s short, mostly bouncy episodes rang throughout the orchestra with tight, springy energy and bright color. Fischer also communicated with elegance and precision on the podium, and his evident rapport with the players, not to mention the obvious good results, amply suggested that rehearsals went well.
After intermission came Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, in a classically-tinged reading full of strong playing from throughout the ensemble and refreshingly free of bombast."
Oregon Live, December 2013
Utah Symphony / Nielsen Symphony No.4
“Under the baton of Thierry Fischer, the orchestra gave a clean, strong performance…From the vigorous, vibrant sections to the more sparse, chamber-like passages, Fischer led the audience on a musical journey with diversity and variety.”
Reichel Recommends, November 2013
Utah Symphony / Nielsen Symphony No.3 & Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3
“Fischer elicited clean lines and articulate expression that complemented what Brautigam was doing at the piano. It was a performance that raised the bar on how to interpret Beethoven.
Fischer conducted it with sweeping gestures that underscored its vastness. His interpretation was nuanced to the extreme and brought depth to the music. It was subtle, daring and evocative.
The orchestra played magnificently, giving Fischer what he wanted..this was Nielsen being given his due and showed that Fischer was on the right track to program the composer’s six symphonies this season.”
Reichel Recommends, November 2013
Utah Symphony / Nielsen Symphony No.2
“Fischer captured the large sonic landscape Nielsen creates in this work with sweeping lines and vibrantly colored expressions. All of the energy and intensity of the music came through wonderfully in Fischer’s creative and nuanced interpretation.”
Reichel Recommends, November 2013
Utah Symphony / Nielsen Symphony No.1
“Fischer conducted the work with large gestures that captured the sweeping lines of the music. His account was articulate, well thought out and brought out the drama and passion of the music, as well as its expansive lyricism and expressiveness.
The orchestra played magnificently, with precision and clarity and gave Fischer what he was after – a romantically conceived and executed reading that didn’t miss anything in terms of emotions and expressions.”
Reichel Recommends, September 2013
Utah Symphony / Berlioz The Damnation of Faust
“Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony wrapped up an outstanding opening month with a stunning performance of Berlioz’s "The Damnation of Faust."...Fischer has assembled one of the finest casts of singers ever to appear in Abravanel Hall, and the Utah Symphony elevated its playing to match them in Friday’s performance…”
Salt Lake Tribune, September 2013
“Unquestionably the best performance of a large choral/orchestral work by the orchestra in a very long time. Fischer is a remarkable exponent of the French composer’s music. He was in charge of the score from the opening measures. He knew exactly what he wanted and he elicited a superbly crafted reading from his forces that was powerful and emotionally charged. Under Fischer’s tenure the Utah Symphony has steadily improved in artistic integrity. And Friday it once again showed it is an orchestra to be reckoned with. Its playing was articulate and well executed and filled with nuance and finely molded phrasings. This was close to being a flawless performance from the ensemble.”
Reichel Recommends, October 2013
Grant Park Orchestra / Martin Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments, Saint-Saens Symphony No.3 and Berlioz King Lear Overture
“The Swiss conductor is the real thing - a musician of clear intelligence, technical skill, and podium personality, drawing performances that blended impeccable balancing, textural clarity and fizzing exhilaration…
This was the most impressive Grant Park podium debut of recent seasons and Thierry Fischer has earned himself an invitation back to Chicago.”
Chicago Classical Review, July 2013
“….a conducting talent Chicago audiences deserve to hear again…minimum of fuss and a maximum of insight…
Fischer pulled out every stop he could in his energetic and full-blooded reading, and the orchestra musicians responded in kind…his orchestra dispatched it at fever pitch.”
Chicago Tribune, July 2013
“He conducts with both clarity and passion…. His connection with the players was clearly two-way…Fischer sold this oft-played piece better than I have ever heard the work live. Fischer believes in this work in the way that Daniel Barenboim believes in Wagner...
Utah is lucky to have this conductor, and several Grant Park players who are members of that ensemble can you tell you so. The players honored him with his own ovation…Let’s hope he’s back.”
Sun Times, July 2013
London Sinfonietta / Kagel Pieces of Compass Rose
“This made for the most provocative, brilliant, intelligent evening of music I can recall experiencing, and I can't speak highly enough of the London Sinfonietta's marvellous performance, conducted with all the necessary humour and passion, and then some, by an ebullient Thierry Fischer.”
One Stop Arts, June 2013
Royal College of Music / Messiaen Turangalîla Symphony
“The Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra under Thierry Fischer did a great job with this joyous ten-movement symphony celebrating time (that passes) and love. Overall, these young professional musicians –for that was the standard attained – gave this music with exhilarating life-force and painstaking preparation, Fischer ensuring a wealth of characterisation and dynamics to sustain 75 vital, sweet and fragrant minutes”
Classical Source, May 2013
Utah Symphony / Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
“Fischer once again dazzled the audience and orchestra. The intervening years didn’t dimish the sparkle and brilliance of his interpretation. If anything, it was even better. Since conducting the piece for the first time, Fischer has had the opportunity to finesse and hone the orchestra nad shape it into a much better ensemble than it was when he was here as a guest conductor…This was a vibrant reading that brought a freshness to this well known music and made it come alive.”
Reichel Recommends, April 2013
“Many concertgoes still remember Fischer’s last performance of this showpiece with the Utah Symphony on his successful audition concert in 2007. No one has taken it on in a Utah Symphony masterworks concert since then. Fischer again demonstrated his mastery of the Berlioz blockbuster in Friday’s concert. His well paced reading brough out a wealth of colour and detail.”
Salt Lake Tribune, April 2013
Northern Sinfonia / Beethoven, Bartok & Martin
“Fischer maintained a hypnotic, driving pulse that suggested that Beethoven's revolutionary achievements encompassed the invention of minimalism.
There were further intimations of Reich, Glass and company in a transcendental account of Bartók's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. Fischer imbued the hazy textures with the quality of rising mist, while the arresting passages for woodblock and detuned timpani stood out like a demonstration of a pea bouncing on a drum.”
Guardian, March 2013
Utah Symphony / Henze & Mendelssohn
“The Utah Symphony hardly ever programs works written in the last 50 years or so, unless they are “accessible”… But thanks to Thierry Fischer things have slowly changed. He’s taken the initiative and introduced works that don’t necessarily have broad appeal…. The (Henze Double Bass) concerto is certainly a challenging work for the ensemble and soloist. And both acquitted themselves fabulously; they made the demands Henze places on them seem easy. The orchestra played with cleanly defined articulation and crisp execution, as well as with nuanced expressiveness. And Yavornitzky executed his part with polish and wonderful musicality. It was a seamless collaboration overseen by Fischer’s perceptive direction.
On either side of Henze’s concerto were two symphonies by Felix Mendelssohn, the First and Fifth (Reformation). Fischer elicited a commanding and articulate account of both works that kept the classical structure intact. The symphony’s playing was precise and well executed. Fischer’s interpretation captured the drama and restless energy as well as the charming lyricism of both. It was transparent and clean and underscored the youthful vigor and energy that courses through so much of Mendelssohn’s music.”
Reichel Recommends, February 2013
Utah Symphony / Elgar, Stravinsky & Mendelssohn
“The orchestra’s superbly polished performance never faltered. Right from the work’s famous opening theme, I heard an incredibly articulate orchestral sound. Each section ably contributed to the nearly flawless communal sound, and the overall interpretation was once again confident, nuanced and meticulous.
Music director Thierry Fischer led the orchestra with a clear, confident command of each score, as well as with economical gestures. Now that the conductor and orchestra are in their third season together, they are starting to operate together at peak effectiveness. The evidence is right there in the sound. To this reviewer, the orchestra has never sounded so confident, so articulate and so precise.
Friday’s concert in Abravanel Hall was simply world class.”
Reichel Recommends, February 2013
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / MacMillan, Mendelssohn & Stravinsky
“Fischer's conducting is concise and considered, with a thrilling knack for holding energy levels at brimming point without letting a drop spill over... more refined than muscular, the sound was gutsy bottom-rich, with extra emphasis on the Serenata's off-kilter pizzicatos and the Tarantella's propulsive walking bass. The Mendelssohn was spruce and radiant with rapid-fire staccatos, weightless phrasing in the Andante and a palpable dance step to the Saltarello.”
The Guardian, January 2013
Essen Philharmoniker / Holt & Tchaikovsky
“Thierry Fischer maintains a deliberately transparent approach – to the benefit of this performance of Tchaikovsky‘s Fifth Symphony. Where others set the orchestral voltage to „high“, the Swiss conductor is careful to keep it at mezzoforte, and this gives him room to create tension within the dynamic range. Rarely have I heard such masterly control of volume and tone, as when the passionate affirmation of the famous Fate motif emerges from the murky depths (marked „piano“) of the opening...This allowed the musicians to demonstrate their tonal shading step by step. Thus Fischer’s conducting allowed the lyricism (as always demanded by their Music Director Stefan Soltesz) to unfold in the most beautiful way, allowing us to enjoy this over-exposured Tchaikovsky symphony with renewed interest.”
Der Western, January 2013
Utah Symphony / Debussy, Bruch & Mendelssohn
“Fischer continues to give a fresh look to pretty much everything he conducts. Extra emphasis given to well-chosen notes, clean articulation and tempos that are sometimes slightly different than expected perked up the ear with refreshing new insights. The symphony’s impeccable preparation allowed a feeling of interpretative spontaneity and momentum, especially during the work’s stormy first movement.“
Salt Lake Tribune, December 2012
“This was a wonderfully balanced and well thought out collaboration made all the more stunning by the orchestra’s voluptuous playing. The same richness in sound and detail to expressions marked Fischer’s reading of Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, Scottish. The maestro elicited well crafted and articulate playing from his ensemble. It, in turn, played with gorgeously drawn out lyricism, deeply etched expressiveness and seamless phrases. Too often performances of Mendelssohn’s works are superficial; the Utah Symphony under Fischer’s baton brought depth and refinement to its performance.”
Reichel Recommends, December 2012
Utah Symphony / Korngold, Mozart & Mahler
“This was more than just accompaniment on the orchestra’s part – the players and Hahn were equal partners. It was a fabulous collaboration that turned this performance of the Korngold into the best that has ever been heard of this work in Abravanel Hall… Fischer’s account underscored the expressiveness of the music. Even the magnificent finale with its five separate themes was clearly defined and executed. The orchestra played radiantly with precision and clarity and showed it can do Mozart’s music justice…. The Adagio from Mahler’s unfinished Symphony No. 10 was also on the program. And this was no ordinary reading of this monumental and tragic movement. Fischer delved into the score and captured the essence of the music. His account was exquisitely crafted and nuanced and yet also vibrant and alive. The orchestra played wonderfully. The strings had a gorgeous, rounded tone, and each section played with passion and expression.”
Salt Lake Tribune, November 2012
BBC NOW / Stravinsky Violin Concerto / Orfeo CD C849 121 A
“The Stravinsky Violin Concerto is little short of a revelation, lean and keen, with the kind of inner clarity that you never get with this degree of immediacy from an average seat in the concert hall. The consequence of this is a heightening of the work’s harmonic daring and wit … It’s the interplay of voices that consistently springs surprises. All credit to Thierry Fischer …”
Gramophone, September 2012
Utah Symphony / Mendelssohn Symphony No. 2 Lobgesang
“His interpretation flowed with finely articulated and nuanced phrasings and delicately crafted expressiveness. The orchestra played radiantly with fluid lines and graceful lyricism.”
Reichel Recommends, September 2012
Utah Symphony / Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No. 2
“And to their credit, neither the soloist or Thierry Fischer, the evening’s conductor, allowed the music to wallow in sentiment. Everything was well balanced and articulated.
The same held true for the Second Symphony. Fischer’s interpretation wasn’t overly sentimental – in fact, he underplayed it, much to the music’s benefit.
The orchestra played wonderfully, with clean articulation and well crafted phrases."
Reichel Recommends, September 2012
BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the BBC Proms / Berlioz Requiem
Simply marshalling such an assembly is a major achievement in itself, and one that Fischer controlled impeccably. The unanimity of colouring from the choirs was as remarkable as their neatness of ensemble. Though its biggest moments are undeniably gargantuan, much of the Requiem is intimately voiced, and it was in their refined expression that Fischer and his forces impressed, as well as in their bold attack upon the passages of apocalyptic grandeur. Scaled with imaginative variety at all levels, this was a realisation that took in every shade of the work's emotional and sonic scale.
Guardian, August 2012
The Berlioz was fierily dramatic from first note to last, with the music literally enacting the libretto’s great events. ‘The Day of Judgment’ was pure brass-and-percussion magnificence as twelve timpani were brought into play, and the choral effects were earth-shaking. The emotions in Berlioz’s world are painfully raw and real, with humanity facing its destiny with a mixture of fear, guilt, and longing; when the chorus sings ‘Call me from the deep abyss’, that is exactly what the bass trombones do.
Independent, August 2012
The restrained moments of the Requiem such as the ‘Quaerens me’, using a reduced chorus, achieved an impressively hushed quality…Fischer and his armies embraced the Grande Messe with a good ear not only for its extravagance but also for its subtleties.
Daily Telegraph, August 2012
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Stravinksy, Martin & Honnegger (Orfeo B0080EG7JQ)
“a superb disc”
The Herald, June 2012
Utah Symphony / Strauss & Beethoven
“Fischer delved deeply into the music and coaxed a nuanced performance from his forces. His interpretation was perceptive and thoughtful and captured the immensity of the score…. this was the kind of performance by the Utah Symphony that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. In his brief time as music director here Fischer has whipped his players into shape and raised the bar considerably higher than it has ever been. This has proven to be a fortuitous collaboration that promises even greater things.
The high standard of playing Fischer expects from his orchestra was also evident in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1. Seldom has an early work by Beethoven been executed better than it was Friday. The orchestra played with crisp articulation and finely honed phrasings, and Fischer once again elicited delightfully nuanced playing from his ensemble. It was a memorable end to Fischer’s season-long Beethoven cycle.”
Reichel Recommends, May 2012
Kioi Sinfonietta / Mozart & Beethoven
“The orchestra (Kioi Sinfonietta), conducted by Thierry Fischer, played with polish and commitment throughout. Mr. Fischer, the music director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, who was making his debut with the Kioi Sinfonietta in these concerts, opened the program with a vivid rendition of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” Overture.... After intermission, Mr. Fischer led a vibrant and subtly shaped interpretation of Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony.”
New York Times, May 2012
Utah Symphony / Mahler
“This was a probing performance of Mahler’s richly detailed score. Fischer’s strategy of honing the players’ articulation through a seasonlong cycle of Beethoven symphonies paid big dividends here. There are a lot of extremes in the Fourth Symphony, particularly in the third movement, and whether the orchestra was pivoting or easing through the transitions, all of them were handled expertly.”
Salt Lake Tribune, April 2012
Utah Symphony / Beethoven
“Fischer and the orchestra gave them another forceful, impassioned performance. The taut tempo in the first movement of the "Eroica" proved especially invigorating.”
Salt Lake Tribune, April 2012
Utah Symphony / Mozart & Beethoven
“(...) the best performance of a work from the classical period I’ve ever heard from the symphony…. immediately alive and vigorous, with incredibly pristine intonation, tight and unified articulations and a beautiful warm balance. Maestro Fischer’s clear and dynamic interpretation of the score was realized nearly flawlessly by the orchestra, and set a high performance standard for the remainder of the evening…
The members of the symphony admirably regrouped and gave the work an impressively vigorous performance throughout all four movements. The music never seemed to languish throughout the 50-minute arc of the piece.”
Reichel Recommends, April 2012
Utah Symphony / Bruckner
“Fischer’s account of the Fourth - really allowed the music to unfold and let him build some tremendous climaxes. He was able to shed light on the work and draw out its essence and capture its heart, soul and spirit. It was a gorgeously expressive and poetic perusal. And despite the somewhat relaxed tempos, Fischer never let the music drag. There was purpose and direction to his reading, and his interpretation was perceptive, thoughtful and intelligent. Fischer knew what he wanted and he got it.
The Utah Symphony played magnificently, giving one of their most luminous performances yet under Fischer’s baton. Because of his attention to nuances in the score, Fischer demanded a lot from his ensemble, and they delivered. At Friday’s concert, they truly lived up to Fischer’s expectations (in his short time here, Fischer has raised the bar pretty high), and they showed that they are an orchestra to be reckoned with.”
Reichel Recommends, February 2012
London Sinfonietta / Rihm
“The Sinfonietta gave us their brilliant best, and Thierry Fischer, maestro for the night, attacked the score with the elegant vim that he usually reserves for conducting French trifles.”
Times, January 2012
“A magnificent whirlwind of sound, performed with tremendous warmth by the Sinfonietta and conductor Thierry Fischer.”
Daily Telegraph, January 2012
“…All superbly conducted by Thierry Fischer.”
Guardian, January 2012
“…Managed impeccably by conductor Thierry Fischer, who showed his powers of concentration and nerves of steel in keeping the players perfectly together and maintaining the silences for just long enough to make everyone feel slightly on edge… The London Sinfonietta excelled in their playing, which was exciting, engaging and expert throughout.”
Bach Track, January 2012
“His last work in the programme managed to combine dense contrapuntal textures with pristine clarity as conductor Thierry Fischer coaxed sparks out of the thrilling ensemble.”
Music OMH, January 2012
Utah Symphony / Beethoven, Wagner & Rouse
“The concert, which also included music by Richard Wagner and American composer Christopher Rouse, showed new levels of stylistic definition and ensemble unity, especially during Beethoven’s programmatically descriptive symphony… The work was highlighted by transparent phrases and authentic, Classical-period articulation produced by the string section’s crisp, shortened bow strokes, clarity from the woodwinds and brass and defined sticking by the George Brown on the orchestra’s new timpani.
Wagner’s music opened and closed the concert’s second half. A transcendent reading of his Prelude to Act I of “Lohengrin” contrasted with the rousing and uncommonly buoyant “Ride of the Valkyries” from “Die Walküre.” The symphony’s brass section energized the music with focused muscle and avoided too much bombast.”
Salt Lake Tribune, November 2011
Utah Symphony / Walton Violin Concerto & Beethoven Symphony No. 7
“The finely crafted balance between the soloist and the orchestra took the art of collaboration to another level.
The series of Beethoven symphonies continues this weekend with the Seventh. A study in rhythm, Fischer captured the exuberance and brightness of the Seventh with his briskly paced account. And the orchestra played with crisp and cleanly defined articulation. It was vibrant, thrilling and kept the audience on the edge of their seats.”
Reichel Recommends, November 2011
“In keeping with his oft-stated philosophy that the orchestra should give listeners the impression that “anything is possible in that moment,” Fischer brought a remarkable feeling of spontaneity to one of Beethoven’s most frequently played symphonies… The sound in the galloping first movement… always exciting and fresh.”
Salt Lake Tribune, November 2011
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Mozart & Beethoven
“…while conductor Thierry Fischer and the SCO had served up a crisp little taster in Mozart’s tiny First Symphony, the purely orchestral highlight of the night was the interpretation of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, where, in terms of pacing and momentum, Fischer got everything right…
… A truly extraordinary performance of the Pastoral Symphony… The second movement was sublime, with its unhurried pace and its immaculate interior-detailing of every curve and line: the nuanced shading of phrases and dynamic contours had me completely entranced; I have not heard a more exquisitely-gauged account of this movement.”
Glasgow Herald, October 2011
“… [Fischer] conjured up a big sound from the small orchestra but found transparency in the inner textures with remarkable clarity from the winds… The whole evening was crowned with a glorious account of the Shepherds’ Hymn, expansive and soulful with playing of utter conviction and assured control from the podium.”
Seen and Heard International, October 2011
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Debussy Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien
“In the last phase of his tenure as principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the contribution made by Thierry Fischer in bringing French music to the concert platform and to radio must be applauded as a major contribution. These forays into unheard repertoire have often been revelatory.”
Guardian, October 2011
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Stravinsky The Rite of Spring & Poulenc Les biches (Signum Classics)
“[Fischer’s] Rite is one of the best I’ve heard… One experiences the excitement that one hopes for in a live performance…
Even though this performance has a strong visceral impact – when it needs to, the music hits one in the solar plexus – there is refinement in the orchestral colours and textures, and a sensitivity to tempo and dynamics which other conductors would do well to note.
…Fischer has thought out this score on his own, and while it is not an eccentric or egotistic performance, it has personality.”
International Record Review, September 2011
“Thierry Fischer’s French sensibility is evident from the very start of this brightly lit and articulate Rite: a provocative and teasing rubato in the opening bassoon solo immediately hints at the sexual and the chic. The verdant “dawn chorus” is crisp and transparent, sophistication clearly taking precedent over primitivism. The whole orchestra vibrates like a tuning fork, the rhythmic snap and incisiveness giving the reading terrific impulse and uplift. Fleet, airy, balletic – these are the watchwords.
The precision of the Welsh orchestra is impressive, the clarity and vitality of the sound throwing up detail that one thought had long since stopped being surprising. But here it is – freshly minted, vivid, and always with the footwork and bodily gyrations of the score as prime motivator.
...The harmonic dissonance is always seductive in Fischer’s hands – making the couping of Poulenc’s Les biches all the more appropriate and provocative... Fischer and his orchestra are again properly bracing and audacious, and the fact that both these performances were recorded live is further testament to the thorough preparation and high quality of the work.”
Gramophone, July 2011
“...Fischer's refinement speaks volumes in the Rite's quieter passages, where the string clusters and gurgling woodwind have a lucid beauty that contrasts finely with the weight of the rest.... The real treat, though, is Les Biches...There is a dark undertow in the performance, with echoes of Offenbach and 18th-century elegance beneath its jazz-inflected, art deco veneer. The tricky choral writing is expertly negotiated, and the playing poised in the extreme.
Guardian, May 2011
“The world doesn’t exactly need another recording of Stravinsky’s Rite, but this live performance from an unexpected source is very, very decent. Thierry Fischer’s augmented orchestra avoids sounding slick, and you can really sense just how strange and shocking this warhorse must have sounded in 1913. There’s so much to enjoy in the sheer sound of this performance – the gorgeous, Impressionistic textures conjured up in the slow opening to the ballet’s second half, or the swift traipse through "The Augurs of Spring", with the offbeat chords sonorous and weighty. And the "Dance of the Earth" is terrific, from the bass drum rumble which starts proceedings to the whooping, barking horns. You can almost feel the delight on the players’ faces at finishing without mishap.
But you should buy this for the generous, unusual coupling with Francis Poulenc’s rowdy, witty 1924 ballet Les biches... the central "Jeu" is one of the most entertaining things you’ll hear all year… As with the Rite, the performance is immaculate.”
Arts Desk, June 2011
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / BBC Prom 18: Beethoven, D’Albavie & Carter
“...a wonderfully atmospheric realisation of Stravinsky’s 1910 Firebird ballet, complete with three harps, two contrabassoons, brass on the balconies, and magical inventions not in the various suites.
The second concert was stimulating all through... [The performances’] combination of lightened timbre, virtuosic dash and sheer intelligence was admirable. [Beethoven’s Symphony] No. 1 went off with the fireworks brilliance it demands, but the reading of No. 7 was profound. Though the modern trend among conductors to override breaks between a work’s movements is regrettable, Fischer’s “attacca” between this one’s first two was, I found, quite shockingly moving. The instant cancellation of the first movement’s closing A-major chord by the second’s A-minor one lurched us into tragedy. There is no “slow movement” — it’s not really slow at all — like the allegretto of this symphony. In its disarming, indeed, charming, way, it enacts the inexorability of fate.”
Sunday Times, August 2011
“...[Fischer] grabbed the Beethoven by the scruff of their necks, propelling the music along with period-instrument-practice alacrity.
There’s no real slow music in either Beethoven’s First or Seventh Symphonies and Fischer clearly pointed to 19th-century developments rather than harking back to 18th-century sensibilities in his brisk, breath-of-fresh-air performance of the First, making sweeping gestures to engender brittle attack from his responsive BBC National Orchestra of Wales players, including old-style timpani and ‘natural’ trumpets (though not, in either symphony, ‘natural’ horns). To end the concert, Fischer conducted an equally strident performance of the Seventh Symphony, suitably breathless and assuredly breathtaking, and greeted with a barrage of cheers from a packed audience.”
Classical Source, July 2011
“Interestingly different flute concertos prove variety is the spice of life... Both here and in the two Beethoven symphonies (nos 1 & 7), the orchestra under Thierry Fischer played with alert, honed energy.”
Daily Telegraph, July 2011
“The BBC National Orchestra of Wales under the baton of Thierry Fischer, gave a robust and enjoyable concert of Berlioz, Fauré and the complete version of Stravinsky's Firebird. If tepid at first, their performance of this 1910 ballet grew to an incandescent climax.”
Observer, July 2011
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / BBC Prom 16: Berlioz, Fauré, Dusapin & Stravinsky
“These were well-rehearsed performances, positive, lively, with ideas of their own and not a note wasted.”
Financial Times, July 2011
“Hinterland was played with the fierce concentration typical of the Arditti Quartet - and attentively directed by Thierry Fischer.
...What impressed in this account was the refinement of the solo wind-playing in a score that, whatever it indebtedness to past models, remains a decisive statement of intent. For his part Fischer was especially adept in the often-lengthy passages of scenic description that can pass for little, not least a vivid account of the ‘Ivan/Kashchei’ confrontation where the deployment of offstage trumpets and Wagner tubas audibly paid off.”
Classical Source, July 2011
“Fischer opened with Le Corsaire, one of Berlioz's splashier overtures, delivered with appropriate panache. After that, Fauré's Pavane was blessed relief, its reticence failing to mask depths of feeling undulled by familiarity: the flute solos, in particular, had a wonderfully woody charm.
There's nothing reticent about Stravinsky's The Firebird. This was a carefully modulated reading but always with the required sense of danger, thanks not least to the deployment of sundry wind instruments around the auditorium.”
Evening Standard, July 2011
“The second half of the concert saw the NOW give a superb version of Stravinsky’s breakthrough piece The Firebird.... Up to now Thierry Fischer had been the epitome of measured calm, patiently shaping the sound of the orchestra, but now showed himself in more urgent, animated and exhortative mood. The NOW were also shown to be in excellent form as they imparted one final orchestral flourish before executing the thrilling climax with confidence and precision.”
Music OMH, July 2011
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir / Frank Martin Der Sturm (Hyperion)
“Thierry Fischer secures a committed response from the Netherlands Radio forces, burnished strings and incisive woodwind hear to advantage in the fabled Concertgebouw acoustic… A near-definitive account of an opera whose take on The Tempest has yet to be equalled for sensitivity and insight.”
Gramophone, Editor’s Choice, July 2011
“Thierry Fischer’ refined and yet muscular conducting, reminiscent of Ernst Ansermet, is the trump card.”
Le Monde, July 2011
“The devoted conducting of Thierry Fischer… At last, this magical opera has the complete recording it has so long deserved and the result is a triumphant success. Fischer’s conducting is quite magnificent: full of attention to detail and ideally paced too. It’s hard to imagine the ravishing and often surprising orchestral colours of this opera being realized so sensitively.”
International Record Review, June 2011
“It's a beautifully organised score with some striking moments… This recording – the first ever of the complete work – certainly serves it well.”
Guardian, May 2011
“Das Orchester unterlegt das vokale Geschehen mit motivischer Verarbeitung, die sowohl den großen symphonischen Zusammenhang stiftet als auch punktuell kommentiert. Dirigent Thierry Fischer lässt spüren, welch dramatisches Potential in dem Werk steckt. Unter den insgesamt ausgezeichneten Solisten sticht Robert Holl als ehrfurchtgebietender und sehr menschlicher Prospero hervor. Unverzichtbar!”
Wiener Zeitung, May 2011
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Berlioz Roméo et Juliette
“Conductor Thierry Fischer wisely insisted on realising it in a single dramatic sweep, with no interval. This way, the music's passionate pulse could be sustained until Romeo's faltering expiry, Juliet's suicide and beyond, to the Montague/Capulet breast beating.”
Guardian, April 2011
Ensemble Orchestral de Paris / Haydn Symphony No. 104
“L’excellent Thierry Fischer et (les cordes de) l’Ensemble Orchestral...allegent et avancent avec une transparence elegante et festive qui se transmit a tout le programme, original, astucieux, coherent: il conduit de la premiere a la derniere symphonie de Haydn en passant par deux pastiches du XXe siècle...on en sort galvanise...”
“The excellent Thierry Fischer and (the strings of) the Ensemble Orchestral... lightened the textures, propelled the music forward with an elegant, festive transparency throughout this original, astute and coherent programme, which proceeded from the first to the last of Haydn’s symphonies by way of two 20th century pastiches... we came out galvanised...”
Le Figaro, April 2011
“...Fischer, vigorous but not brutal, solemn but not heavy, dramatic but not rigid...gave the phrasing and the silences room to breathe; his Haydn was full of invention, anything but dogmatic, fresh proof of the “reconquest” of modern instrument groups in this repertoire.”
Concertonet.com, April 2011
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Stravinsky & Liadov
“The orchestra reveals a host of colors and emotion in this music. The otherworldly Enchanted Lakeis simply gorgeous. Despite adding nearly 2 mintues to the timing of this work in any of my other recordings, Fishcer achieves a sense of peace that is delicate and wonderful without ever sounding like the music is dragging, Kikimora – much like Baba-Yaga in its supernatural story – is also exceptional.”
American Record Guide, February 2011
“Fischer’s re-imagining of the orchestra… is a winning strategy. I like how Stravinksy’s abrupt jumpcuts in the opening scene – provoking an edgy musical montage – are kept taut and alive with anticipation; Stravinsky with authentic sting…
Fischer’s Petrushka is up there with the best on record… The BBC NOW’s spriti of sped-up frenzy is top-notch.”
Classic FM, October 2010
WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln / Mahler Lieder with Christian Gerhaher
“And the WDR Symphony Orchestra (playing Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with soloist Christian Gerhaher) gave an impressive demonstration of how the late Romantic orchestral apparatus can be made to sound transparent and homogenous with well-balanced dynamics, as if they were playing chamber music....
...the WDR SO presented the musical scenes (of Musssorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition) with virtuosic expressivity, evoking vivid and exciting images. The Finale of the Great Gate of Kiev was staged dramatically as a never-ending, ever-renewing monumental apotheosis. “
Online Music Magazine, January 2011
Utah Symphony Orchestra / John Adams Harmonielehre
“Under Fischer’s direction, the Utah Symphony seemed to generate enough electricity to power a city block. Musique d’energie, indeed…
…In Friday’s performance, “Harmonielehre” was like a living entity, pulsing and sparkling and crackling with light and joy. Fischer displayed a profound sense of the piece’s architecture.”
Salt Lake Tribune, January 2011
Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine / Stravinsky, Szymanowski & Mussorgsky
...and there was nothing routine about this performance! ...a former orchestral musician himself, this conductor gained the confidence of the ONBA who, as a result, revived all the colours of the Ravel orchestration.”
Sud Ouest, December 2010
Utah Symphony Orchestra / Berlioz Roméo et Juliette
“As he proved at Friday's performance Fischer is certainly is one of the most perceptive interpreters of this music today.
Fischer gave a commanding interpretation of the work. His account captured the myriad small nuances of the score. He doesn't fall into the trap, so common with many conductors today who attempt Berlioz, of going for the obvious. Instead he probes and goes deeper to find the subtleties of expression that make Berlioz's music memorable. Fischer's interpretation was intelligent, thoughtful and radiantly musical. This was Berlioz in the hands of someone who understands and appreciates the music.
The orchestra played wonderfully. Fischer got a warm and romantic sound from his ensemble, and the most lyrical movements were gorgeously eloquent. Most stunning were the purely orchestral movements "Roméo seul" and "Scene d'amour." Here Fischer captured the ardor of Romeo's love for Juliet through some of the most exquisitely expressive playing yet heard from the Utah Symphony.”
Deseret News, November 2010
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Bach Mass in B Minor
“Certainly this performance directed by Thierry Fischer was intensely dramatic, full of fierce contrasts of tempo and texture, richly expressive and emotionally intense, though without any sense of self indulgence”
Seen and Heard International, April 2010
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra / Saint-Saens, Stravinsky & Ravel
“...a brisk, well-defined performance...incisive playing and considerable poise (Saint-Saens Organ Symphony)…
With technical mastery in the foreground and emotion kept at arm's length, the work has a distinctive bristling charm that this reading highlighted. (Stravinsky Symphony in 3 movements)
It was bracing to hear the lovely theme of the second movement declaimed rather than sentimentalized. The dash and clarity of the outer movements represented a real meeting of the minds between conductor and pianist (Ravel Piano Concerto in G major).”
indystar.com, October 2009
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / BBC Proms 2009: Mendelssohn, Holliger & Prokofiev
"Fischer and the BBCNOW, emulating the lighter sounds of period trumpets and drums, were fleet of foot in it, as they were later in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto....
To end, a short group of dances from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet formed a symphony in miniature, in which the BBCNOW lifted its skirts to give Fischer its energetic best."
Financial Times, August 2009
“The BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Thierry Fischer gave the symphony [Mendelssohn No.1] a good, positive reading, neat, sleek and sufficiently charged with energy.”
Daily Telegraph, August 2009
“The first half of the evening was devoted to Mendelssohn, with a glittering performance of his first symphony, and with Isabelle Faust as the excellent soloist in an exquisitely refined account of his Violin Concerto.”
Independent, August 2009
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / BBC Proms 2009: Berlioz, Beethoven & Jarrell
“Thierry Fischer directed a suitably grandiose performance that relished both the harmonic and textural quirks [Berlioz Symphonie Funebre]…
Soloists and orchestra alike demonstrated impressive levels of concentration in realising an elusive conception [Jarrell Sillages]...”
Evening Standard, August 2009
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / D’Indy (Hyperion)
“Under the direction of Thierry Fischer, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales here plays with poise and utter commitment to this work…Fischer knows all about how to create a refined sound and one senses that this assignment has special meaning for him.”
International Record Review, March 2009
“A performance…full of vitality and warmth with bright brass and energetic strings…”
BBC Music Magazine, March 2009
Utah Symphony / Schubert, Mendelssohn & Stravinsky
“Fischer made a huge impact the last time he was here — and that was repeated Friday night. One of the most dynamic and expressive conductors to have appeared here in a long time, Fischer's musicality is a welcome addition this season.
The concert opened with a gorgeously crafted reading of Schubert's Symphony No. 8 ("Unfinished"). Marked by long fluid lines, this was a wonderfully defined and eloquent performance, with the orchestra playing seamlessly. Fischer showed a fine sense for details, paying careful attention to matters of nuances in dynamics, tempos and expression. He also skillfully captured the moodiness of the work, from the drama of the dark and somber opening movement to the second movement's lightness and lyrical grace. Fischer coaxed richly textured reading from the orchestra, whose playing was well-articulated, cleanly defined and wonderfully executed.
And the musicians played luminously. It's a challenging score with many solo passages, and the players didn't disappoint either. They played with a conviction and a passion that mirrored Fischer's.”
Deseret News, January 2009
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Opening of the Hoddinott Hall
“…[Fischer] directed the Ravel eloquently, provided neat backing to the marvellously assertive young Latvian, Baiba Skride, in Sibelius's Violin Concerto, and supervised a cogent premiere for St Vitus in the Kettle, a work commissioned from Simon Holt for winds, percussion and double basses.”
Times, January 2009
“Conductor Thierry Fischer… realised the instrumental textures and timbres to scintillating effect.”
Guardian, January 2009
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Honegger (Hyperion)
“Here is an excellent introduction to a still underestimated composer.
…Thierry Fischer conjures up a wonderful dream atmosphere…
At the other end of the work Fischer’s handling of the final ‘wind-down’… is deeply moving.”
BBC Music Magazine, Disc of the Month, December 2008
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Stravinsky, Ravel & Faure
“…it [Pulcinella] was transformed on this occasion into the most vivacious of concert scores, conducted by Thierry Fischer with exuberant aplomb.”
Ravel… benefited additionally from Fischer's (batonless) expertise in handling the orchestral detail.”
Glasgow Herald, November 2008
Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra / Frank Martin Der Sturm
Zaterdag Matinee series at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw
“The orchestra, under the direction of Thierry Fischer, was exemplary.”
NRC Handelsblad, October 2008
"… great orchestra...impassioned conducting of Thierry Fischer, and ...great singers. "
Telegraaf, October 2008
"Thierry Fischer’s appointment as chief conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra has generated much interest in how the orchestra will evolve....Fischer has especially improved the ensembles to allow more delicate expression of soft sounds... Delicate expressions of pianissimo as well as other excellent performances proved that the Nagoya Philharmonic has been steadily improving its harmony in ensembles."
Nikkei, 4 September 2008
Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra / Holliger, Rachmaninov & Berlioz
"He presented a sharp and witty performance which gave a new impression of the Nagoya Philharmonic.
Fischer is unique for his clear-cut interpretation of works without any vagueness, and for his smart and urbanized sense that conveys abundant expression without making it too complex.
Keep an eye on the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra's future progress with Fischer, who is clearly pointing out a new direction for its music."
Chunichi Shimbun, July 2008
"The surprising freshness of this piece was supported by the fine performance of the orchestra members who showed both curiosity about the work and empathy with their conductor.
Fischer's movements were large yet purposeful. His body expressed precise visualization of the beat and of the images conveyed by sound."
Asahi Shimbun, July 2008
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / BBC Proms 2008: Messiaen La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ
“Thierry Fischer and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales lashed out in glory on Sunday, slotting into place each aural jigsaw piece with split-second timing and daring.
Fischer’s choirs and orchestra announced Heaven’s gateway with the most gorgeous wave of exultant sound, lifting the Albert Hall dome. Once in a lifetime.”
Times, July 2008
“Their combined efforts paid off in a performance that captured the music’s sensuousness as well as its power.”
Daily Telegraph, July 2008
“Fischer's performance, with the combined forces of the BBC National Chorus of Wales, the BBC Symphony Chorus and the Philharmonia Voices, was fine-grained and precise, too, and he caught much of the necessary radiance and grandeur…”
Guardian, July 2008
“The perfect work for the spacious Royal Albert Hall, it might be thought, and so it proved, at least at first. This rare performance by the combined Philharmonia Voices, BBC Symphony Chorus, and BBC National Chorus and Orchestra of Wales under Thierry Fischer never sounded less than strikingly vivid.”
Independent, July 2008
“This performance, by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Thierry Fischer, was a good one.”
Financial Times, July 2008
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / BBC Proms 2008 / Debussy, Simon Holt (World Premiere) & Mussorgsky
“In performance, there can be a tendency to over-refine Ravel's scoring of Mussorgsky's original piano piece, but Fischer here coaxed something much more robust and well upholstered that served as a reminder that the music's roots are very much in Russian soil.”
Daily Telegraph, July 2008
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Dutilleux Weekend
“Conductor Thierry Fischer balanced the colours beautifully in Dutilleux's Second Symphony, Le Double, where the solo ensemble of 12 orchestral principals made the interplay of forces a subtly dynamic element.”
Guardian, February 2008
Utah Symphony / Rodrigo, Berlioz & Ravel
"… his no-holds-barred reading of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique left the audience shouting its approval and the orchestra giving hearty bow taps and foot stamps."
Salt Lake Tribune, October 2007
"Fischer brought vitality, vibrancy, drive and electricity to his reading. It was insightful and penetrating, and he explored the music in depth, bringing it to life dramatically. Once again, Fischer elicited a nuanced performance from the orchestra, and it, in turn, played at its highest level of musicianship and virtuosity."
Deseret Morning News, October 2007
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Mozart Gran Partita
"Thierry Fischer was aristocratically broad in his pacing of the great work, whose performance by this elite team of players was suffused with warmth and a sense of complete engagement. … Everything in the conductor's vision of the music, with its characterful minuets, bustling allegros, and two divine slow movements, had a radiantly benign profile."
The Herald, October 2007
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / BBC Proms 2007
"Fischer conducted like a florid version of Pierre Boulez: no baton, every bar gripped by hands working with mathematical precision."
Times, August 2007
"[In Fauré's Requiem], Fauré's brand of hedonistic spirituality was conveyed well under Thierry Fischer's serenely unflappable direction."
Evening Standard, July 2007
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Schmitt (Hyperion)
"Thierry Fischer's no-holds-barred approach brings Schmitt's Psalm and Salomé to vivid life. Terrific stuff."
Classic FM Magazine, July 2007
"The performances under Thierry Fischer are first rate."
Guardian, June 2007
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Berg & Shubert
"A highly perceptive and eerily moving performance ... Nothing short of triumphant ... Conductor Thierry Fischer kept a tense and expert eye on all the detailed threads running through this elaborate musical labyrinth."
Scotsman, April 2007
"The symphony, as firmly demonstrated by the SCO with conductor Thierry Fischer, is a wonderful case study in ambiguity and, in a performance of this calibre, provides sizzling aural entertainment ... Conductor Fischer's translucent texturing of the music, and the SCO's pellucid and often dazzlingly articulate playing, effortlessly proclaimed the greatness of the work."
Daily Telegraph, April 2007
"The ensemble held together the intricacies of rhythm remarkably well ... There was more than a touch of operatic pathos and drama in Fischer's performance - driven and decisive with plenty of surprising twists and turns on the way."
Guardian, April 2007
BBC National Orchestra of Wales - Tour in the United States
"...the Welsh orchestra, conducted by Thierry Fischer, was outstanding from the downbeat."
Washington Post, January 2007
"The interpretation [of Brahms Symphony No. 2] by conductor Thierry Fischer, who did not use a musical score, was energetic and beautiful. It was a treat to watch Mr. Fischer as he cajoled, challenged and encouraged his players. The final notes brought the audience to its feet..."
Fairfax Chronicle, January 2007
Netherlands Radio Kammer Filharmonie / Beethoven, Haydn, Ayres, Crane & De Falla
"Thierry Fischer conducted the Radio Kamer Filharmonie with a lot of confidence. Sometimes he contented himself with gently guiding the orchestra - quite rightly, when you hear what the players delivered, an excellent performance (especially in the Beethoven Overture and in El Amor Brujo by De Falla)."
NRC Handelsblad, December 2006
BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Messiaen & Schmitt
"Fischer's conducting managed to be both incisive and expansive; he controlled the virtuosic element of the writing with a firm hand but allowed the highly sensuous and exotic eastern element of Messiaen's soundworld to envelop the hall. The fifth movement, Joie du Sang des Etoiles , was all energy and vibrant passion, but the work's overall structure was astutely judged, always progressing to its glorious climax. Fischer voiced the different facets of Messiaen's colouristic effects with care, with the often painfully obtrusive ondes martinot (played by Jacques Tchamkerten) more subtly incorporated, complementing rather than fighting the glittering piano of Roger Muraro. It was heady stuff."
Guardian, October 2006
Basel Symphony Orchestra - Opening of the Season
"Right from the start one could hear that the musicians were highly motivated and eager to show off these musical goodies to the audience. In this they were helped by the fiery leadership of the 49-year-old conductor from Geneva, Thierry Fischer - an ambitious, disciplined bundle of energy, who knows what he wants and clearly communicates it in his conducting."
Baseler Zeitung, August 2006
"The Summer break had obviously done the orchestra good, and the 49-year-old Thierry Fischer, whose career is largely in the UK, was a motivating force, and one with a talent for glitz as well as for the aesthetic flow. This was felt above all in the performances of the opening and closing works, the carnival overtures of Berlioz and Dvorak, which were notable not only for the strong brass and brilliant strings, but also (particularly in the Berlioz) for the emotional intensity communicated by the whole orchestra."
Basellandschaftliche Zeitung, August 2006
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France / Prokofiev
"Replacing Myung Whun Chung was the Swiss conductor Thierry Fischer, who had already had the distinction of enabling the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France to follow Argerich in the Prokofiev, and who (in Les Noces ) was not content simply to mark time - he communicated his personal vision of the work: energetic, wild, over the top."
Le Figaro, February 2006
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Haydn, Brahms & Bruch
"With four bassoons - including the sinister growl of the contra-bassoon - making up half the ensemble, this little beauty purred along like a vintage Rolls-Royce. Swiss conductor Thierry Fischer moulded its four movements with minimal intervention, but maximum effect."
"[Brahms's Haydn variations ] is a work that often suffers from over-indulgence. Fischer, however, took the lean, clean approach, focusing on the score's sharp-edged textures and inbuilt rollercoaster momentum. Nothing lingered, everything connected."
Scotsman, November 2005
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Haydn Creation
"Fischer shows a confidence with this exuberant work, maintaining consistency and balance in the orchestra, travelling through the hugely contrasting atmospheres in the work from chilling thunders to beautiful love duets and music that is enough to make you jump with joy - even on a gloomy October evening.
Although he does not take up his prestigious position until next year, [if] the excellence of the performance and the warmth and enthusiasm of the audience at this uplifting performance of Haydn's The Creation is anything to go by, we are in for an orchestral feast."
Western Mail , October 2005
Ulster Orchestra / Françaix Le Roi Nu & Les Demoiselles de la Nuit (Hyperion)
"Both scores are vivid and charming; the performances under Thierry Fischer have just the right lightness of touch."
Guardian, March 2005
Münchner Kammerorchester / Italian Works
"The Kammerorchester played with concentration and communication. There was a give and take, a questioning and answering, the kind you can usually only dream of."
Süddeutsche Zeitung, December 2004
Ulster Orchestra / Wagner, Sibelius & Harty
"A triumphant performance at the centre of a thoroughly satisfying concert."
Belfast Telegraph, September 2004
Ulster Orchestra / Strauss Don Juan
"Fischer's taut but flexible Don Juan proved a convincing demonstration of the rapport he has built up with the Ulster Orchestra. This was assured and incisive playing which could nevertheless relax meltingly when required."
Irish Times, September 2004
Ulster Orchestra / Françaix / Hyperion CDA67384
"The sound is bright and brilliant … But it's a good match for the music, as are Thierry Fischer's blend of precision and chic and the clean edges of the Ulster players' performances."
BBC Music Magazine, June 2004
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Françaix, Britten, Vaughan Williams & Ravel
"Thierry Fischer conducted a performance that struck the perfect balance between poise and perniciousness."
Scotsman, May 2004
Philharmonia Orchestra & Brighton Festival Chorus / Morgan, Tippett & Janacek
"Maestro Fischer got the best sound from the BFC I have ever heard…Overall, this was an opening concert of great power, great subtly, fine performance, and, above all, excitement."
The Argus, May 2004
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Dutilleux, Ravel & Berlioz
"Such was Fischer's engagement with his players that the musical ideas had a vividness and immediacy that made the Dutilleux seem like a concerto for orchestra…"
Guardian, March 2004
Ulster Orchestra / Weber, Chopin & Dvorák
"…Dvorák's Symphony No. 7 in D Minor…is a formidable symphonic argument that chief conductor Thierry Fischer paced and shaped beautifully. Throughout he nurtured the lyrical lines to great effect."
Belfast Telegraph, February 2004
"…Thierry Fischer remained faithful to the composer's scoring but subtly lightened his textures, providing a mobile, cleary articulated framework for the young Polish pianist Ewa Kupiec [in Chopin's First Piano Concerto]…If a dance-like feel persisted in the most emotionally charged parts of the outer movements of the Dvorák symphony, it was to the music's advantage. This was one of the finest things Fischer has given us, well paced, carefully detailed, and capturing the work's moods of drama, sentiment and nostalgia."
Irish Times, February 2004
Colorado Symphony Orchestra / Profokiev Cinderella
"He was at his best on the second half in a stirring interpretation of excerpts from Sergei Prokofiev's masterful 20th Century ballet Cinderella, as he captured the emotional sweep and often intense beauty of this evocative, totally involving score…Highlights could be found in virtually every facet of the work, from the piercing, piquant harmonies of the wrenching 'Midnight' section to the rich, plush sound Fischer drew from the orchestra as he reveled in the sheer beauty of 'The Prince and Cinderella' ."
Denver Post, January 2004
Saarbrücken RSO / Excerpts from Prokofiev's Cinderella Suits No. 1 & 3 (Berlin Classics)
"Fischer gauges his heroine's longing for happiness to perfection, finds an ideal spring for the ballroom Mazurka and once again gives his woodwind soloists free rein, this time to project the angularities of the ugly sisters. We shall be hearing much more from him."
BBC Music Magazine, November 2003
Zurich Chamber Orchestra / Haydn
"Fischer's suggestive facial expressions and hand gestures spurred the orchestra on to a committed and colourful ensemble sound, from which the small and large solos emerged as outstanding highlights."
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, November 2003
Ulster Orchestra / Nielsen, Brahms & Sibelius
"Thierry Fischer got the concert off to a vigorous start with Nielsen's Overture to Maskarade ... Fischer was on his tip-toes for this, urging his colleagues on to produce an electrifying performance that soared along with impressive energy... [In the Piano Concerto] Fischer and the orchestra provided an impressive accompaniment, again musically balanced and totally at one with the soloist."
Irish News, May 2003
"Thierry Fischer…brought us a programme that will long remain in the memory."
Belfast Telegraph, May 2003
Ulster Orchestra / Mozart & Schubert
"Fischer, again with an ever-watchful eye for dramatic potential, asked for an amazing range of dynamism, often dropping from a huge fortissimo to a whispered pianissimo within the space of a bar…this was an outstanding concert."
Irish News, April 2003
Ulster Orchestra / Schubert, Britten & Stravinsky
"Under the direction of Principal Conductor Thierry Fischer, and led by Lucy Drennan, the orchestra gave a stylishly elegant reading of this delightfully transparent piece. Written without percussion and with a minimum of brass, it was a good opportunity to hear the string section which has been working at a very high level under Mr. Fischer's benign direction."
Irish News, March 2003
"Fischer and his forces were in excellent form, adding much to a programme that was both rewarding and in which audience support was both enthusiastic and well deserved."
Belfast Telegraph, March 2003
Ulster Orchestra / Françaix
"Again and again while listening to Thierry Fischer's ebullient performances I smile and wish that I had met Jean Françaix."
Gramophone, Decermber 2002
Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne / Françaix
"The whole piece is lifted and taut under the direction of Thierry Fischer, whose precise gestures create a constant explosion of vitality".
L'Impartial, November 2002
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Dempster, Mahler & Schoenberg
"Under Thierry Fischer, the SCO was in fine fettle"
Scotsman, October 2002
"The Orchestra, under the baton of the young Swiss conductor making his debut with the SCO, was on top form."
Edinburgh Guide, October 2002
Ulster Orchestra / Volans, Dalberto, Grieg & Sibelius
"And here, Fischer's influence really began to be felt. He created a framework spacious, yet tautly enough controlled, to maximize the energy of this band of scarcely more than 60 players."
Times, September 2002
Ulster Orchestra / Françaix & Hyperion
"The Ulster Orchestra under Thierry Fischer play with panache and, where asked for, with sensitivity".
Gramophone, September 2002
"This very enjoyable programme is magnificently advocated by Thierry Fischer, who has managed to draw from his Northern Irish orchestra the most charming sonorities and subtle phrasing…"
Répertoire, August 2002
"…This is an hour of pure joy."
BBC Music Magazine, July 2002
Australian Chamber Orchestra / Ives & Schubert
"Fischer invested the famous Schubert two-movement symphony with surprising energy, keeping the work's argument moving and making space for very clear-speaking wind and brass choirs. Where many conductors swap these elegiac pages in string sentiment, this young visitor produced a reading in line with the group's elegant iconoclasm, maintaining the composer's moving lyricism but underpinning the work with tensile athleticism."
The Age, June 2002
"Finally, the conductor brought a passionate and dramatic approach to Schubert's endearing two-movement Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, his 'Unfinished Symphony', which gave new vitality to this familiar music. With fine playing from the orchestra the performance glowed with life, and made a memorable conclusion to this extremely rewarding concert."
Canberra Times, June 2002
Hallé Orchestra / Hemmings arr. Collins, Ravel, Nielsen & Stravinsky
"Both here [Hemmings arr. Collins 'Threnody'] and in the suite from Ravel's ballet Mother Goose , Fischer coaxed elegantly crafted playing from the strings, who responded warmly to his sensitive approach. Fischer and the Hallé did full justice to the flamboyance with which Stravinsky characterized the Russian playground - vibrant, energetic playing, tinged with a rawness that brought his urban soundscape to life."
Guardian, April 2002
Ulster Orchestra / Gribbin, Mendelssohn & Berg
"Fischer opened new avenues of appreciation, thanks to his acute pacing of the first three, purely orchestral movements and the expansive incandescence - rather than the usual portentousness - he brought to the choral finale."
Daily Telegraph, October 2001
Ensemble Modern / Wolpe, Feldman, Holt & Schönberg
"The gradations and differentiations became inspiring through the superb conducting of Thierry Fischer. His very precise gestures found their exact correlation in the power of conversely the reticence of the musicians' articulation…"
Frankfurter Rundschau, December 2000
"Schubert's Great Symphony was also a most prestigious account of a classic and Thierry Fischer's command of his forces was admirable, in fact the best Schubert performance in the series we have so far heard".
Belfast Telegraph, December 2002
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