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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 Tchaikovsky was balanced at the other end of the program by Rachmaninov’s Symphony No 2, in an expansive reading by Bringuier. The conductor unspooled Rachmaninov’s long-breathed melodies with an eye for the big picture, carefully building the first movement to the storm of swirling strings and thundering brass and percussion at its climax. The Scherzo, infused with the darkness of the Dies irae chant, sparkled with horns and racing strings, while the slow movement was achingly romantic, Bringuier once again deftly pacing the climaxes, before dispatching a celebratory finale.
Bringuier unleashed the full might of the orchestra in the tuttis, and there was never a hint that the pianist might be overpowered – if anything it felt at times that the orchestra was pushing to match his volume and intensity.
Lionel Bringuier was a sensitive partner during the concerto and led an invigorated reading by the SSO of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 in E minor, with woodwind and horn solos of richly-coloured clarity.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Mr. Bringuier brought an infectious, fun attitude to the work and the LA Phil responded in kind... with exceptional gusto and precision.
Living Out Loud
The chemistry between the LA Phil and Bringuier was evident in the communication shared between them throughout the night. What would normally require overzealous hand motions instead found effectiveness in Bringuier’s more subtle moments, the familiarity key to their following.
With Ravel’s “Valses Nobles et Sentimentales,” Bringuier further flashed his Ravel credentials. (He recorded all of Ravel’s orchestral music while in Switzerland, where he was music director of Tonhalle Orchester Zurich.) The conductor took some of the waltzes at daringly slow tempos that dripped with sensuality while exulting in the swaying swing of the opening waltz.
Bringuier had the help of the L.A. Phil’s jazz-minded soloists pouring on the bluesy slurring in Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.” Three saxophonists were forwardly balanced in the central homesick blues section that gave it a Paul Whiteman-like period sound. Elsewhere, Bringuier made infectiously jaunty work of Gershwin’s fast walks through the French capital.
Los Angeles Times
Passing his arms over the purview of every musician, Bringuier drew an infinite symbol as Boléro began, painting an exquisitely tensive portrait delighted with tonal color. The strings and percussion stack tightly atop of one another as soft flute sings, the musicians match the waltz-y tempo and the flick of Bringuier’s wrist. As trumpet, saxophone and trombone enter the marauding movements, Bringuier and the Dallas Symphony brought guests to the edge of their seats.
Bringuier took the stage briskly, without fuss, and wearing an immaculately tailored suit and big smile. He plunged immediately into Albert Roussel’s ballet-pantomime “The Spider’s Feast,” drawing from the orchestra a huge palette of dewy, subdued colors, delicately shaded. Bringuier’s gestures on the podium are big but never excessive. He communicated changes of tempo and meter precisely, and the musicians seemed to follow him effortlessly, in the subtlety of his musical imagery and the absolute mastery of his craft, Bringuier’s conducting brings to mind the great Pierre Monteux.
The Washington Post
Bringuier, who as a Ravel specialist has repeatedly demonstrated a special flair for shaping tonal color, also knows how to conjure up with Rimsky-Korsakov all the richness of sonority from the dazzling score.
Thomas Schacher / Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Bringuier does not seek out the message, the great gesture or the originality: he builds, he guides, he directs while knowing how to let the musicians express themselves. He keeps the building upright by attaching itself to the foundations - splendid articulation, powerful and lively string basses - and the colors - winds are alert and free to sing while taking risks, always assumed.
Alain Lompech / Bachtrack
His openness to all repertoire, his taste for contemporary works - reinforced by his experience with Esa-Pekka Salonen - make Lionel Bringuier a precise and stylish" off-road" chef. As the head of the Tonhalle Orchestra since 2014, with which he hails "sonorous opulence, rigor, incredible preparation," he excels in the great pages of Germanic Romanticism and the sensual transparency of French music.
Emmanuelle Giuliani / La Croix
The fourteen movements that make up the work were involved in a remarkable exercise of attention by Lionel Bringuier, which never decayed, and he drew the corresponding identities with judgement and rigor ... We are already looking forward to a future performance.
Ramón del Buey Cañas / Bachtrack
If there was a link between the concerto, Dutilleux’s Métaboles and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé Suite No 2, it was in the transparency of the sound achieved under Bringuier, whose debut this was with the LSO. The ecstasies described by Brahms, Dutilleux and Ravel are distinct, and were beautifully individuated by the French conductor.
The LSO played with confidence and security under the baton of the 31-year-old Bringuier, who is currently chief conductor and musical director of the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra ... There seemed to be rather more personality and flair in Bringuer’s shaping of the orchestral part and in the LSO’s eloquent response to his conducting.
Seen and Heard International
Das Ergebnis geht tief unter die Haut – gerade weil Bringuier auch an den Ballungspunkten nicht weinen lässt sondern singen. Und weil das Gewandhausorchester in wirklich außergewöhnlich guter Form ist. Das Holz bläst vom anderen Stern herunter, die Streicher glühen vor Intensität und Empfindung, das Blech setzt markante Höhepunkte, was uneingeschränkt für die Gruppen ebenso gilt wie für die traumschönen Soli. Und für den virtuosen Furor der beiden knappen Folgesätze.
The pianist Nicolas Angelich and Maestro Lionel Bringuier ensured this program was a beautiful journey ... On this evening, the Auditorium has heard French music with a great substance, sometimes figurative, sometimes evocative.
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