18th March 2024, Gabor Halasz, Die Rheinpfalz

“You’re allowed to rave, because this time it’s time to report on an evening in which everything was just right: the interaction, the communication between the orchestra and the brilliant soloist, the always perfectly balanced sound conditions, the superior and prudent baton management of the conductor The apparatus always encouraged a tense, expressive style of playing…

After the break, the orchestra…had the floor with Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony (E minor, op. 64): his “Symphony of Destiny”. Here, the conductor and orchestra had created a tension-filled, overwhelming, sonorous drama with an expansive gesture.

Francis showed himself to be a symphonic strategist on a grand scale, inspiring the Philharmonic Orchestra, who were very willingly following him and who played with exemplary clear, extraordinarily eloquent signaling, to consistently intensive, always equally expressive and differentiated interplay. The orchestra’s fiery, impulsive design style, the richness of contrast and the never-failing intensity of the reproduction are particularly memorable.”