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Runnicles Crowns Edinburgh Festival

The sweep and surge of the love music was intoxicating, as was the wall of brass and percussion that accompanied the chorus’ romping as the hellish riders. What was most striking, however, was the way Runnicles repeatedly brought out the delicacy of the orchestration.   Simon Thompson:

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MacMillan: Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 4

The Symphony No. 4 (2014-5) builds more subtly on echoes of Renaissance composer Robert Carver in an eerie melange of past and present — compelling in the hands of Donald Runnicles and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and sonically impressive.   Richard Fairman:

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BBC SSO/Runnicles Mahler 4

…Donald Runnicles’ luminescent reading of the work with the BBC SSO. First and foremost were the crystalline precision and sparkle of the orchestral textures he demanded from the outset: from the strings, clean and focused articulation; from the wind and brass, a piquancy that extracted fascinating new colours from the score.     Ken Walton: […]

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Runnicles Bids Farewell to BBC SSO

And so it’s goodbye to Donald Runnicles.  He won’t be going far (he’ll be the orchestra’s Conductor Emeritus, and he’ll be back next season with Mahler 4), and I hope the energy he brought with him will remain long after his departure.  I’ll remember fondly his performances of the core German repertoire (Beethoven, Strauss and […]

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A Standing Ovation for Runnicles

What impressed and moved me so much was the sheer honesty in the performances. I have never heard such an open-hearted, pretension-free set of performances as those of Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto with Denis Kozhukhin and Mahler’s First Symphony, with Runnicles and the SSO in devastatingly candid form.   Michael Tumelty:  Herald Scotland

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Runnicles, Atlanta Symphony and Mahler 9

Best known for his command of late 19th-century Austro-Germanic repertoire, Runnicles is a master interpreter of Mahler’s music. This performance of the Symphony No. 9 proved no exception. Runnicles totally owns this piece, and the virtuosic orchestra that is the ASO gave him an outstanding performance across its vast, lengthy span. It captured the attention […]

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Prom 24, MacMillan and Mahler

Conducting a symphony written for you as a birthday gift must be a particularly special experience, and the temptation to indulge must have been very high for Donald Runnicles, in Monday night’s première of James MacMillan’s Symphony no. 4. That he didn’t is a testament to him, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, who followed […]

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Prom 24 2015

The previous night, a performance of the Verdi Requiem, also under Runnicles and featuring his super-charged Deutches Oper Chorus, had its own distinctive merits. To hear a powerhouse choir sing this essentially operatic score was thrilling – the welter of the Dies Irae, the whispered magic of the opening Requiem, the energetic detail of the […]

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