Dmitrij Kitajenko conducted Prokofiev’s Symphony Classique and Scriabin’s Piano Concerto as well as his 2nd Symphony with the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne. Three critics wrote about the event.
Under the title “A mysterious melancholy”, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger writes about the performance of the Prokofiev Symphony: “Kitajenko made the piece transparent, clean as a pearl embroidery”, and about Scriabin’s Piano Concerto: “The master pianist Gerhard Oppitz played the demanding solo superbly. He also agreed with the orchestra and Kitajenko that the late romantic work needs crystal-clear playing, with gently elegiac passages and cheerful rays of light”. The critic reports very positively about Scriabin’s 2nd Symphony. He says, Kitajenko had given her plenty of time to breathe: “The orchestra and soloists (flutes, solo violin, and clarinet) brilliantly lived up to her constant changes of quiet moments and waves of violent excitement. For example, the pastoral middle movement radiated with natural sounds surrounding a mysterious melancholy. In the finale, the brass were brilliant.” The whole concert review can be read here.
Remy Franck writes in the magazine Pizzicato about Prokofiev’s First Symphony that Kitajenko took his time to work out the sound figures, to uncover the structure, and thus “give also to the listener the time to hear and enjoy these subtleties. Yes, this Symphonie Classique was pleasurable, a lovingly prepared sound meal, presented culinarily by a MasterChef, in the most beautiful colours and forms”.
And on Scriabin’s Piano Concerto, in which Gerhard Oppitz appeared as soloist, Franck says: “In this work, too, transparency was Kitajenko’s top priority. Only in this way Scriabin’s rich harmonies can be realized in the interplay of soloist and orchestra. Oppitz showed an impressive technical virtuosity in the first movement, but together with the conductor also gave the movement a great emotional intensity”.
The critic writes about the interpretation of Scriabin’s Second Symphony: “As the perfect carrier of the Kitajenko sound, the Gürzenich Orchestra again presented a very transparent, finely woven, but also sensual orchestral sound. Thus, wonderful colours emerged, in all shades, with fully developed dynamics, with which the conductor staged in the Tempestoso an orchestral storm that unleashed the sound waves, without becoming overloud and brutal. The music was so transparent that the listener had trouble to completely follow what happened in the orchestra. A grandiose interpretation that will soon also be available on record”!
The whole review can be read here.
Under the title “Purer Schönklang”, Olaf Weiden said in the Kölner Rundschau that the Symphonie Classique was “slim and feather-light in the vibrato-free violins, with pure beauty of sound in flowing bassoon/cello mixtures.” And about Scriabin’s Piano Concerto: “Oppitz burrows into inner voices or adorns with wide-spanned virtuoso arpeggios the wonderful melodies flowing in the orchestra.” The critic’s opinion of the performance of Scriabin’s 2nd Symphony is similarly positive.