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Mark Wigglesworth

Press

On Janáček’s Katya Kabanova

“The production’s triumph is primarily musical, however. Mark Wigglesworth … proves a worthy successor to Mackerras in this repertoire. Indeed, I don’t recall playing as beautiful and powerful as this in Janacek’s score before. Wigglesworth emphasises Janacek’s lyricism…without sacrificing its rhythmic pungency and dramatic momentum.”

Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times

“But the protagonist of the evening is the ENO orchestra attending to every facet of Janacek’s painfully beautiful and brutal score. Mark Wigglesworth conducts it magnificently, with passion and a quiet understanding.”

Edward Seckerson, The Independent

On Wagner’s Parsifal

“I find it almost impossible to believe that Mark Wigglesworth has never conducted Parsifal before – it sounded as though he’d been soaked in the score all his life and thought of nothing else. Miraculously, he struck the fine balance between the music’s unique translucency…and its depth, weight and intensity. Each act was confidently shaped through one organically growing curve, within which the whispered pianissimi, the shimmering stillnesses and the dramatically pregnant pauses were as masterfully calculated as the stupendous climaxes. The orchestra was inspired to playing of a smoothness and security which would not have disgraced the Berlin Phil. To ENO’s Wagnerian pantheon, the name of Mark Wigglesworth must now be added.”

Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph; February 18th 2011

“Mark Wigglesworth’s lovingly-crafted Wagner conducting is one of the revelations of recent years, and the ENO orchestra and thrillingly augmented chorus perform brilliantly.”

Richard Morrison, The Times; February 18th 2011

On Mozart at The Met

‘I first heard [Mark Wigglesworth] a few seasons ago in performances of The Marriage of Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera. From the first measures of the overture I realized that this was something out of the ordinary. Something I could call great. What is that? Nobody can say. Beyond the mathematics of precision, tight ensemble within the various orchestral choirs separately and together, the pulse, the phrasing, lies a mystery…Wigglesworth is an authentic voice in an inauthentic time.’
Raymond Beegle, Fanfare IV (US) November/December 2012

On Schönberg’s Gurrelieder

“A sumptuous performance of Schoenberg’s all too rarely heard Gurrelieder, triumphantly conducted by Mark Wigglesworth with an astonishing mixture of passion and power; fluidity and intensity. Mark Wigglesworth set the musicians and the house choirs alight.”
Serge Martin, Le Soir

On Wagner with The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

“Thursday night’s concert by the San Francisco Symphony featured some of the most focused, eloquent and ravishingly beautiful music-making local audiences have heard this year…The results were heart-stopping, transfixing, almost beyond praise; they created the sort of quasi-religious enchantment that Wagner envisioned at his most grandiose, but that performances of his music provide all too rarely…The magic was twofold. One aspect was the remarkable interpretive assurance that Wigglesworth brought to the music, particularly the way he paced Wagner’s musical paragraphs with a combination of expansiveness and rhythmic momentum. The other was the almost unparalleled quality of playing he got from the orchestra.”
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

On Mahler’s 9th Symphony

“One of Wigglesworth’s strengths is that he brings his own thoughtful ideas to the podium, along with a meticulous streak that gives his performances a polished sheen… You couldn’t doubt the conductor’s intelligent musicianship and sincerity.”
Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press

On Shostakovich’s 4th Symphony

“This is one of those symphonies which demand so much orchestral preparation that you rarely hear a less than compelling interpretation. For me, Wigglesworth’s latest instalment in his long-term Shostakovich cycle goes even deeper – something I might have expected from his shattering ENO performances of the near-contemporary Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Climaxes here are comparably weighty, but there’s a clarity and an expressive care throughout which inform even those first-movement passages where Shostakovich seems suspended in a pale kind of purgatory…Like Abbado and Rattle, Wigglesworth dares genuine pianissimi. Everything is humanised so that the conflict of the finale is a whirlwind battle rather than a grinding mechanism, and even the circus ditties before the final storm have charm as well as nuance. The end is as mesmerising as it can be.”
David Nice, BBC Music Magazine

“Wigglesworth has the requisite dramatic sweep and staying power for this unusual, large piece; he leaves room for the ambivalent traits, and for the alternation between classical and modern, between rigid and free form. He has a feel for the upturns and the downturns, for the sometimes violent contrasts, for the surprises and for the grotesque and sarcastic elements of the score…The transparency of the playing is perfect; not a single detail is lost.”
Klassik Heute