Ticciati draws on these elements with both discretion and vitality, placing them within a thoughtfully chosen spectrum of colour and within an interpretation that is conceived cohesively yet with the music's scenario sharply defined. With the overture to Béatrice et Bénédict as an agile encore, this is a performance of the Symphonie Fantastique that possesses both fantasy and symphonic strength, and let's hope it is the harbinger of more discs capitalising on the exciting artistic relationship that Ticciati and the SCO have forged. --Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph - 12th April 2012
Few previous recordings of the Symphonie Fantastique will have used such a modest string section, but the transparency and lightness of touch Ticciati achieves is a real bonus. --Andrew Clements, The Guardian 6th April
A protégé of Colin Davis, Britain's rising young star conductor, Robin Ticciati, has lost no time in presenting his credentials as an outstanding Berliozian in his first recording as music director of the SCO. This is no carbon copy of perhaps the foremost interpreter of the best first symphony ever written . Indeed, this Fantastique is remarkable for its fresh insights into one of the great orchestral warhorses, available on disc in a multitude of versions. Only 28 when the recording was made last October, Ticciati is just a year older than Berlioz was when he completed the work, and he makes a strong case for regarding this ever-astonishing, hallucinatory symphony as a young man's music. The opening Rêveries Passions is especially dreamlike, impressionistic almost, and Ticciati makes much of Berlioz's revolutionary wind, brass and percussion writing in a March to the Scaffold that really makes the listener sit up: after the famous thwack of the guillotine blade falling, he pinpoints the pizzicato sound of the head falling into the basket, while the nightmarish sounds of the Witches Sabbath emerge in the most vivid colours thanks to the clarity of the string sound and the squealing high woodwinds. The veins of lightness he taps in the Waltz, and of melancholy in the Scène aux champs, also find their place in the delightfully airy account of the overture as an encore. Fantastique! --Hugh Canning, Sunday Times - Classical CD of the Week
About the Artist
Symphonie Fantastique continues to be one of the most popular early Romantic compositions with today's audiences. Robin Ticciati took up the position of Principal Conductor with the SCO from the 2009/10 season and opened the 2011/12 season with a blistering Berlioz programme hailed by the critics as compelling . Since then his profile has continued to build; in 2011 he was voted one of 'Tomorrow's Icons' by Gramophone and was announced as the next music director of Glyndebourne, taking over from Vladimir Jurowski in 2014. Symphonie Fantastique is the first in a series of Berlioz recordings undertaken by the SCO and Ticciati: a recording of Nuits d été and the Death of Cleopatra are planned for 2012.) The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is internationally recognised as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. The Orchestra has a large international fan base following recent performances in Spain, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, the USA, Portugal and the Netherlands.