with the National Youth Orchestra Great Britain.
“Teeming with talent and working for the first time with one of this country’s finest music directors, Kirill Karabits of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the 164 musicians of the NYO displayed their full potential.
Through the ebb and flow, Karabits sculpted everything carefully and built tension across what proved a very mature interpretation [of Sibelius’ Second Symphony].”
**** Ivan Hewitt & John Allison, The Telegraph, 6 January 2019
“Sibelius’s Symphony No 2 found Kirill Karabits pushing his 164 players as hard as any of his professional orchestras, drawing out string playing of depth and warmth and some beautiful woodwind work. The third movement … hurtled into a finale whose closing moments positively glowed.”
**** Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 6 January 2019
“The biggest success of the evening came in the one standard piece from the repertoire, Sibelius’s Symphony No.2. Energised by conductor Kirill Karabits, the symphony hurtled along at speeds that might have made a professional orchestra hang on to their music stands. Nothing daunted, the NYO responded with tremendous verve and an all-for-one unanimity that made for a gripping performance. This was a concert that put the young musicians through their paces, and probably its listeners, too.”
**** Richard Fairman, The Financial Times, 7 January 2019
“You can’t beat Karabits’s band for excitement, passion or rude force — they are, after all, the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers …
If you want to start with some slap, bang, wallop, you can’t do better than Rick Dior’s Science Fiction: 12 minutes of pastiche horror and sci-fi movie cues squished into a crazy collage, decorated with the theremin’s disembodied electronic wail and a video mash-up of movie clips, mostly lifted from trailers. Originally written for percussion ensemble, Dior added winds, brass and harps for this performance, tossed off with exhilarating precision by Kirill Karabits’s forces.”
**** Geoff Brown, The Times, 7 January 2019
“Trust the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain to throw down a musical gauntlet to its professional peers like a New Year Resolution writ large. In this intriguingly programmed and invigoratingly performed concert, with Kirill Karabits, the 164 players gave the best possible musical start to 2019: a blast of orchestral excellence…
[In John Adam’s Doctor Atomic Symphony] ‘The Laboratory’: a mechanistic soundscape that quickly settles into surging string figures of ‘Panic’, notable for its stand-out (in that principal Lawrence Schofield stood up for it) trombone solo – replicating the vocal part for General Leslie Groves – before finally quietening for trumpeter Holly Clark’s adoption of Oppenheimer’s aria, from John Donne’s ‘Batter my heart, three-person’d God’. It was good to hear this music again – especially as convincingly masterminded by Karabits – after better acquaintance with the opera itself.
Following the interval, Sibelius’s Second Symphony sounded noble and organic. Karabits kept things moving, particularly in the slow movement. The Scherzo was notably fleet-of-foot and the Trio – with its aching oboe opening – never cloying. The transition to the Finale was effortlessly natural and the repeated scalic surges, for once, didn’t outstay their welcome. As a foil to the industrial rackets of the first half, this worked a treat.”
Nick Breckenfield, Classical Source, 5 January 2019