Gianandrea Noseda and Daniil Trifonov for a sensational evening with the National Symphony Orchestra

“It’s nice when a concert feels like an event: the crowded hall, the sense of anticipation. It’s also nice when it lives up to its promise. (…) Beethoven is something of a calling card for Noseda, who gained his first burst of sustained international attention with a BBC Philharmonic recording of the symphony cycle that set records for downloads at the time. On Thursday, he showed the restraint and fluidity of his best work, an instinct for lightness and crispness that the orchestra more or less followed, more or less dutifully. What woke it up, it turned out, was not Trifonov, but Dmitri Shostakovich. Although many years have passed since Mstislav Rostropovich recorded Shostakovich symphonies with the NSO, some of his passion for this repertoire remains in the group’s genetic code, and Noseda, whose first major post was a long-term training session as principal guest conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre under Valery Gergiev, is equally on home turf.” (The Washington Post, Anne Midgette)

“Gianandrea Noseda achieved a high point with this week’s concerts from the National Symphony Orchestra. The program seems unprepossessing on the surface, combining Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 and Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony. What brought it together so beautifully was a fiery Russian edge, in the soloist, Daniil Trifonov, and the conducting, which recalled Noseda’s journeyman days at the Mariinsky Theater. (…)Noseda and the NSO lit into Shostakovich’s pithy, varied Sixth Symphony with inexhaustible energy. The three movements offer surprise after surprise–Noseda wanted a seething approach in the opening Largo, part bitter lamentation and part transcendent paean. He got it, with a molten introduction in the violas and cellos matched by searing violins. The many exposed, eclectic solos for piccolo, English horn, silvery low flutes, and bass clarinet were all outstanding. One passage sparkled with particular magic, as tense string tremolos were joined by a whisper of celesta, over which the horns were suspended. (Washington Classical Review, Charles T. Downey)