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Praised as "a natural talent" who "exudes a natural authority," Lionel has earned international praise for "the capacity to excite and astonish." Scroll down to read what the critics are saying.
The concert’s second half was devoted to Ravel’s well-worn 1922 orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Bringuier led a compellingly spastic “Gnomus” and an atmospheric “Il vecchio castello,” the latter adorned with an eloquent saxophone solo. The work’s livelier character pieces—“Tuileries,” “Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shells,” and “The Market Place at Limoges”—were vital and dynamic ... The CSO brass lent their inimitable force to “Catacombs” creating an impressive sonic wall, and Bringuier brought almost unhinged energy to “Baba Yaga.” The young Frenchman opted for a refreshingly fast clip in “The Great Gate of Kiev,” which allowed him to pull back the tempo to great effect in the movement’s delicate wind chorales before driving the work home to an emphatic conclusion.
Chicago Classical Review
I loved French conductor Lionel Bringuier—so entertaining, arms waving and shoulders hopping in perfect time.
Bringuier’s Russian program Thursday night in Disney Hall felt especially a family affair, as it showed what all the fuss is about ... Color and dramatic character were notable aspects of Bringuier’s Mussorgsky and Stravinsky. “Night on Bald Mountain” came across less as the soundtrack for a spooky satanic midnight ritual than a roller-coaster ride happily taken by thrill seekers. Bringuier brought out phrases, clipped and sudden, as revelations of another new vista ...
“Petrushka” on Thursday night felt like home. Bringuier did no forcing. He trusted the musicians, and the many instrumental solos, particularly the major role for the piano (another star turn for Joanne Pearce Martin), were illuminating. He emphasized the Stravinsky’s rich color palette. He happily stirred the rhythmic pot when it came time for exciting crowd scenes, sassy Russian dances and big-deal climaxes ...
The Prokofiev concerto was even more a family affair ... There are balletic and pathetic aspects to this score as well (it is contemporary and in spirit of Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”), and dance was exquisitely seconded and evoked by Bringuier.
Youth in itself has no merit. But if its indisputable merits, namely freshness, speed, maneuverability, energy, and performance, come together, then it is a pleasure to watch a conductor like Lionel Bringuier ... Bringuier's security, overview and calmness are also astonishing.
Ravel’s Concerto in G and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” ... the young, energetic conductor Lionel Bringuier led the National Symphony Orchestra ... Bringuier, meanwhile, let the winds linger lasciviously, gleefully over every note, especially in the Gershwin, before moving on to a long, slow, loving, elegant, slightly soporific account of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition."
The Washington Post
Lionel Bringuier's Zurich forces play superbly and are beautifully recorded . . . Ravel's orchestral transcriptions of the Pavane, Une barque sur l'océan and Alborado del gracioso are deliciously done . . . (Ravel: Complete Orchestral Works)
The Arts Desk
“To say the orchestra fully realized Schmitt's intent with this score is to understate their impressive achievement. From the colorful ‘Dance of the Pearls’ to the exciting ‘Dance of Terror,’ Bringuier crafted a dazzling reading that went beyond a good reading of the score and became something extraordinary.”
The Plain Dealer
“The Zurich Tonhalle has a new, 27-year-old music director who has the capacity to excite and astonish, and who promises to put Zurich on the international orchestral map in a big way.”
Los Angeles Times
“It is not often that a conductor of any age can bring out the musically daring elements of a crowd pleaser like Dukas’s ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice.’”
New York Times
“Capuçon and conductor Lionel Bringuier made of it a mellifluous, well-balanced structure, guided always by the logic of the melodic line.”
Sydney Morning Herald
“A tremendous concert…by a conductor who is going to be around for a long time leading the world’s greatest orchestras.”
“But Bringuier's most impressive effort was yet to come, in the form of Stravinsky's 1919 ‘Firebird’ Suite. Here, the conductor outdid even his own work in the Roussel ballet, leading a performance strong in all technical respects but also fueled by that rarest element of chemistry.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Bringuier paid great attention to subtle things in those scores, sought to make sure that a pianissimo -- and few conductors have gotten such genuine piannissimi out of the BSO as he did Friday -- registered with as much color and meaning as an all-out blast of orchestral force.”
“Bringuier exudes a natural authority allied to deep musical understanding.”
“A natural talent whose good instincts are bolstered by good taste plus a strong technique. And unlike those Wunderkinder, past and present, who value personal flash over artistic substance, he steps back and just lets the music show off.”
“Bringuier played with colors, created sharp contrasts, conducted with tremendous—and convincing—propulsion. … The orchestra played as if on pins and needles, with the excitement and electricity of familiar music forced to sound fresh. Bringuier saved the day.”
Los Angeles Times
“Bringuier and the players conveyed the spirit as well as the letter of the music with easy assurance. The Daphnis suite, with its Amazon rainforest-like proliferation of vital and intricate ideas, was shaped with a certainty of direction that never compromised the music’s inherent sensuousness.”
“It’s always risky to say that someone, in any field, is can’t miss, but it’s not so risky in this case.”
New York Sun