Superb choruses and punchy energised orchestral playing under Martin André
Martin André, conducting, and the large ensemble cast and Opera North orchestra put the strongest case for this irresistible oddity. Osud: a score of glorious amplitude to a libretto (the composer's own) of chaotic opacity. This 3 act work makes essential listening.
Martin André's conducting captures all the music's nervous energy.
The music is stunning and the orchestra of Opera North and Martin André gave it real heart.
MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS
Both operas (L'enfant and Osud) are supported with faultless performances by Opera North's orchestra - in each case led by Martin André, a veteran conductor and noted Janacek specialist.
SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL
Martin André made a masterful contribution to the matching of these 2 diverse works.
Martin André conducted with the gusto that is often lacking when people tackle this piece, and he brought the work to a close that was both charming and moving.
Conductor Martin André brings the score beautifully to life.
THE ARTS DESK
Musically it was enchanting to hear, the Orchestra of Opera North creating a whimsical soundworld under André.
The orchestra under Martin André provides washes of beautifully vivid colour, and the singers plainly enjoyed the romp as much as the audience.
Martin André's conducting is crucial to its success.
Martin André and the orchestra contributed the colours and sophistication of the score to make up the whole.
DIÁRIO DE NOTÍCIAS
But the star of the evening is the music and the orchestration by Zemlinsky: excellent work from Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesesa and Martin André.
The Bangkok Symphony Orchestra itself played superbly, the versatility for which it is known shining through in a programme of 14 very distinct items -- ranging from Mozart's transparently textured Seraglio Overture to Mascagni's charged, impassioned outbursts in the Intermezzo from his verismo opera L'amico Fritz. English maestro Martin André steered the players expertly through a demanding evening, involving the very careful pacing of vastly contrasting tempi in order to coordinate precisely with the choreography on stage.
TELEGRAPH: CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL
Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis by Vaughan Williams, eased ever so gently into life by the RCMSO Strings under Martin André, seemed to breathe from the very stones and arches of Gloucester Cathedral (the same venue as the world premiere in 1910).
....all immaculately played by the RCMSO under its conductor Martin André.
SEEN AND HEARD
(Vaughan Williams)...Right from the magically hushed opening chords I dared to hope that we were in for a special performance and I was not disappointed. Martin André paced and balanced the music with great understanding. Tonight's performance was an experience that I would not have missed for anything.
(Howells Cello Concerto) Guy Johnston was a fine advocate for the concerto and received excellent support form Martin André and the orchestra.
IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE REVIEW AT HACKNEY EMPIRE, LONDON - "FINELY CONDUCTED"
It's often considered Gluck's masterpiece, and the dramtically engaged conducting of Martin André plus the committed playing of ETO´s substantial orchestra make a good case for it.
Musically it is terrific: Martin André conducts with fierce passion throughout. It is a remarkable piece of music theatre that arouses pity and terror - as classical tragedy always should.
Martin André's conducting is robustly virile: its honesty and energy are admirable.
Martin André has Gluck's seamless flow between recitative and aria at his fingertips, underpinned by an unflagging sense of pace and spaciousness.
All ably conducted by Martin André, bringing clarity to this marvellous opera that lies beyonf the baroque tradition.
markronan.com - theatre reviews
Martin André conducts an elegant yet taut account that allows well-defined characterisations to emerge.
What's on Stage
Under Martin André's direction, the Odense Symfoniorkest shaped all the nuances and shades of Mascagni's score.
...evocative moments, both dramtic and melodic, both juicy and poetic, filled the auditorium from the orchestra, which had a fine premiere in Odense with Martin André
...one could also enjoy how Martin André got the Odense Symfoniorkest to sound soulful for long periods.
the cast of singers are on happy melodic ground, eminently directed by Martin André.
Just like last season with Lucia, Martin André got expressive playing from the Copenhagen Philharmonic.
Musically this was a great pleasure, since conductor Martin André and South Jutland Symphony Orchestra played Donizetti's delicious notes to a very high standard.
The Aarhus Symfoniorkster played securely and beautifully. The sound of the orchestra was homogenous and accomplished under the riveting diretion of Martin André, under whom they played very convincingly.
Under the expert guidance of Martin André, the Odense Symfoniorkster porved once again that they have become a fine opera orchestra.
Musically the performance is excellent: Conductor Martin André shapes the orchestral playing sensitively; he has a great sense of the bel canto style, and good contact and rappore with the singers on stage.
Garsington’s orchestra…the sheer character of the wind playing and the sweep of the strings. Conductor Martin André keeps up the pace, allowing the score to dance along, and the final chorus of rescue kids is simply terrific.
... but rather than suggesting menace, this surreality colludes with the beauty emanating from the pit (under Martin André's direction) to create an atmosphere of serene contentment.
In the pit, Martin André drew warm and sophisticated playing from the Garsington Opera Orchestra. The opera is quite heavily scored, after all Humperdinck was a disciple of Wagner's, but André ensured that the balance always worked well and that the singers were well supported but never had to struggle to dominate the orchestra. It is easy to dismiss Hänsel und Gretel as kitsch fun, but clearly André and Fuchs (stage director) took the opera seriously and drew very strong performances from the cast.
The Garsington Orchestra was in the dependable hands of Martin André, who paced the score nicely, gave the players and singers room to breathe, and presided over a genial reading of this rewarding music. So we go from the evocative horn calls that start the evening (beautifully played), through the Wagnerian witches ride, to the beautiful and deceptively simple harmonies of the childrens' evening prayer and the fourteen angels who are to guard over them. André proved to be alive to all these changing moods and textures, and shaped the melodic contours of this lovely opera with skill and sensitivity, helped by some fine playing, especially in the luminescent quieter passages. A word too for the skilful orchestral elision that allowed Acts One and Two to be played without a break - as with so much in this always interesting production, it felt entirely natural, and the onward narrative flow was enhanced.
The magical score is well served by the chamber-sized Garsington orchestra and conductor Martin Andre’s well-paced direction, helped by the acoustic of the splendid Wormsley pavilion, clearer than many opera houses.
Martin André brought his vast experience to the pit, and the superb Garsington Orchestra played Humperdinck's inspiring, poetic music with exactly the right combination of romantic sweep and brooding menace. A wonderful evening.
The orchestral sound had plenty of colour and character, expertly brought out by Martin André.
Martin André's conducting exactly complements the action in this refreshingly unschmaltzy production.
If you never see another Janácek opera see this one. Conductor Martin André is in his element with the blazing music. Superb lighting and production: a stunning night.