top of page
AC03 medium - Alpesh Chauhan Feb 2023.jpg

Tchaikovsky Orchestral Works Vol. 1

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Chandos

“Chauhan proves in this disc that he loves Tchaikovsky and is not afraid to show it..[…]..I relished the luxuriant sound and was thrilled by Chauhan’s ability to communicate so naturally and powerfully.”

Gramophone

“Spellbinding Tchaikovsky packs an emotional punch - Alpesh Chauhan evidently has a tremendous flair for Tchaikovsky. Supported by stunningly responsive playing from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, his interpretations brilliantly project the music’s theatrical excitement as well as its subtle and sophisticated orchestration.”

BBC Music Magazine

 

2024

“Alpesh Chauhan conducted the opening of [Bruckner’s 9th Symphony] with a sense of shuddering darkness, but by the time they reached the slow movement, via a hammer-blow Scherzo, the musicians of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra had created a vision of magisterial transcendence.”

The Times - March 2024
 

“A charismatic, balletic conductor, Chauhan jabbed and scooped at the air in front of him; passages [of Bruckner’s 9th Symphony with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra] that could have been yet more repetition were held in absolute tension with a poised little finger. Most remarkable, however, was the journey from laid-back sonic beauty in the first movement via an extravagantly off-kilter push and pull in the scherzo to a phenomenally intense third movement, by turns majestic and breathtakingly gentle.”

The Guardian - March 2024

 

“An evening of exceptional performances from Chauhan, Kolesnikov and the [Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra]..[...]..and from [Elgar's In the South's] imperious opening bars, bravura and grandeur were vividly presented here with a fierce intensity, incisive brass and plush string tone adding to Chauhan’s richly conceived and detailed performance...Altogether, an involving and superbly compelling account with belligerent and elegiac elements perfectly reconciled..[...]..This account [of Brahms' 2nd Symphony] underlined the work’s sweeping lyricism, yet was not without muscular unrest, as if Liszt and even Elgar were looking over Chauhan’s shoulder. The opening movement was a clear-sighted conception, climaxes nicely integrated within a satisfying emotional trajectory. Cellos caught the ear in the noble Adagio, the movement’s fresh-air quality neatly etched, while the third movement was imbued with elfin gaiety and Viennese charm. From here it was headlong into a spirited Finale that was both light on its feet and authoritative. And with an intuitive grip on its cumulative momentum, Chauhan propelled the movement towards a grandstand finish, those pealing trombones ringing out magnificently."

Bachtrack - January 2024

"Musical romanticism comes in many shades, as this stirring concert from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra reminded us...All this needed a conductor able to persuade an orchestra to conjure all these different shades, and fortunately the BSO had one in the shape of young Briton Alpesh Chauhan. He launched Elgar’s [In the South] with exactly the breathless excitement it needs, and his intelligent way of pacing the music made one super-aware of a wonderful paradoxical quality about the piece."

The Telegraph - January 2024

2023

"Alpesh is always welcome to the City Halls, where his evident rapport with the BBCSSO and his insightful interpretations of Late Romantic and 20th-Century repertoire have, in just the last year, given us memorable performances of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Shostakovich’s Symphony No.5..[...]..A first hearing for me [of Strauss' Symphonic Fantasy from Die Frau ohne Schatten], and I cannot imagine a finer realisation of it.  Alpesh yet again showed his talent as a painter of sonic pictures, the orchestra his skilful and ever-willing accomplices."

Edinburgh Music Review - November 2023

"Foremost in this performance [of Strauss' Symphonic Fantasy from Die Frau ohne Schattenwas its thrusting inevitability, wave upon wave of tidal surge punctuated by moments of idyllic calm (the early slow, smoking crescendo by the strings) or the thwack of menacing chords. Chauhan gauged the mood swings well, from Debussy-like mirages to irreverent playfulness. It was wild and heated, tempered by a cool head..[...]..But it was in the heart-stopping “Farewell”, meltingly sung by [Karen Cargill], that the full impact hit home.  Beyond the filigree instrumental delicacies of the earlier songs, and Mahler’s confection of impressions, from chattering chinoiserie and bird-like menageries to swarthy folk scenes, it was in this final timeless transcendence that magic happened. At its impassioned peak Cargill’s low register was a scorching presence. In the final fade out, pierced by a chiming celeste, we were left only with a chilling, seemingly eternal, silence." 

Vox Carnyx - November 2023

"[Hilary Hahn] was not just a performer here [in Sibelius's Violin Concerto]; she belongs to that upper echelon populated by those who give listeners something amazing and unforgettable. Under Chauhan’s impeccable direction; the orchestral playing was rhythmically taught and richly detailed..[...]..The “Neapolitan Dance” [of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake] received particularly affectionate treatment in the hands of Chauhan, who showed more of his own podium personality here, bringing out the strings with tempo and panache. After the first half of the program — and its thoughtful and professional restraint — it was a relief to hear the orchestra finally let loose"

Stage & Cinema - October 2023

"Chauhan proves in this disc that he loves Tchaikovsky and is not afraid to show it…Chauhan makes [the lesser-known works] sound as if they deserve to be on the A‑list, demonstrating that he has a sure sense of how the music flows at the broadest level and that he is capable of communicating his vision to the orchestra..[…]..The performance [of ‘Voyevoda’] is ablaze from the outset and holds the listener in its grip throughout, intense but never harsh or garish…The explosive climax is a credit to the conductor, orchestra and sound engineers alike (at around 11’38”)..[…]..The ultimate test of Chauhan’s artistry here is Francesca da Rimini, and he certainly does not disappoint. The introduction is often played so ponderously that the listener becomes impatient, but here it drives forwards with urgency. When the howling winds of hell arrive, they hit us with an overwhelming force that Dante himself would have admired..[…]..I relished the luxuriant sound and was thrilled by Chauhan’s ability to communicate so naturally and powerfully."

Gramophone - July 2023

 

"Spellbinding Tchaikovsky packs an emotional punch. Alpesh Chauhan evidently has a tremendous flair for Tchaikovsky. Supported by stunningly responsive playing from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, his interpretations brilliantly project the music’s theatrical excitement as well as its subtle and sophisticated orchestration..[…]..Chauhan vividly encompasses a wide gamut of emotions within a relatively short time..[…]..Chauhan puts the orchestra through its paces in the more frantic passages [of ‘Francesca da Rimini’] and the climax to the middle section, depicting the blossoming but ultimately doomed love affair between Paolo and Francesca, is wonderfully eloquent."

BBC Music Magazine - July 2023

"...it is indisputable that the conductor and orchestra are ideal interpreters of this mercurial music, alive to every nuance and inflection. These are wild, free accounts in the best way: not ill-disciplined but constantly thrilling and released, happily indulging in rubato and rallentando; the playing is really superb. Comparison with accounts of The Tempest on my shelves by Svetlanov and Lazarev, good as they are, reveals the superiority of this new one in terms of recorded sound, instrumental balance and interpretative nuance and variety. The opening of Chauhan’s recording, for example, conveys so much more mystery and grandeur than they manage to do, and many more details emerge as his reading proceeds..[...]..This is my first encounter with this conductor’s work and on this basis I shall be looking out for another opportunity to hear him, either live or recorded."

MusicWeb International - July 2023

"Had Tchaikovsky heard [his 'Voyevoda'] in a performance as persuasive as Chauhan’s, I feel he might have ceased to browbeat himself for ‘dirtying paper’: certainly it’s a piece which needs a firm hand on the tiller and an acute ear for balance, but that’s exactly what we get here from the outset..[...]..Chauhan paces it to perfection, ensuring that you feel every bump in the road and every surge of adrenaline along the way..[...]..Chauhan lets every single player off the leash to electrifying effect whilst making sure that even the tiniest detail registers loud and clear..[...]..here again Chauhan’s ability to conduct up a storm will take your breath away..[...]..In short, Chauhan’s Tchaikovsky is indeed the stuff dreams are made on, and the next instalment can’t come soon enough."

Presto Music - June 2023

"A Qobuzzisime is awarded to the young British conductor who charms us with a selection of Tchaikovsky's fantasies, which he makes resonate in a fascinating way. A future legend..[...]..From the captivating Overture and Polonaise from the opera Cherevichki, to the evocative fantasy The Tempest and the enchanting Francesca da Rimini suite, Chauhan showcases his visionary approach and deep understanding of orchestral dynamics. His interpretations flawlessly capture the essence of each piece, seamlessly guiding the orchestra through sudden changes in mood and atmosphere..[...]..Listening to this recording feels like embarking on a profound journey, leaving the listener in awe of Chauhan’s skill as a conductor. Chauhan’s album offers a fresh perspective on Tchaikovsky’s music, resonating with drama and immensity rarely heard before. It serves as a testament to the cosmic talent and potential of Alpesh Chauhan, leaving no doubt that he is a conductor to watch closely in the years to come. With his captivating performances and unwavering passion, Chauhan is destined to continue creating musical dreams and pushing boundaries in the world of classical music."

Qobuz - June 2023

"Alpesh Chauhan is an imaginative conductor with a keen eye. He can find details in scores which other interpreters miss. He weaves them into melodies that become a story under his hand..[...]..[In Haydn's Symphony No. 44 with the Poznań Philharmonic], Chauhan presented himself not as a parlour musician or musical prankster, but as a full-blooded, emotional narrator..[...]..Under the baton of the British [conductor], the ensemble gained splendour and character..[...]..The Philharmonic soared to the heights and listening to it was a real pleasure. Especially under the baton of a conductor who treats music as a storytelling tool."

Poznań Publishing House - May 2023"

"Shostakovich's monumental [Symphony No. 7]...is brilliantly scored and magnificently composed orchestral fodder, a massive battle plan, which conductor Alpesh Chauhan, surrounded by the augmented Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, doesn't hesitate to explore and mould down to the finest intricacies. At the climax of the famous 'Bolero' passage he even jumps up half a metre. A real tour-de-force..[...]..Earlier in Britten's Cello Symphony [with soloist Alban Gerhardt], the Principal Guest Conductor demonstrated not only his sense of the work as a whole but also an unwavering love for detail. The way he managed the fragile, unwieldy nature of the first movement, brought the race of the second movement safely to the finish line, and in the Adagio spanned a wide arc up until the cadenza leading to the final Andante: this is great art."

Rheinische Post - April 2023 

"This was a strong debut...Chauhan should take credit for the way in which he shaped and paced [Shostakovich's 10th Symphony with the Hallé], generating terrifying tension in the opening Moderato (no longer interminable) and unleashing new life and hope in the finale. In between the Stalin-portrait Allegro thrilled and chilled in equal measure, while the distorted dances and Boléro-like mechanical energy of the Allegretto unexpectedly nodded to Ravel."

The Times - January 2023

 

2022

"Clearly Chauhan knows his Shostakovich, and this knowledge and understanding came out clearly in a measured and thoughtful performance [with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra]. Chauhan’s reading captured both the shapes of the individual movements and the overarching form of the symphony as a whole..[...]..as for Maestro Chauhan: a most exceptional and visionary conductor with an electrifying presence; more please!"

ReviewsGate - December 2022

"A performance that provided ample indication of Chauhan’s emergence as a conductor of the front rank. Hopefully he will be returning to the CBSO soon."

Arcana FM - December 2022

“It’s safe to say that Alpesh Chauhan, making his [Seattle Symphony Orchestra] debut at the podium, was a new discovery for most of those present. He led a program of Brahms and Lutosławski that remained gripping throughout and, at times, revelatory..[…]..To judge by the musicians’ responsiveness and rapt involvement throughout the evening, Chauhan was able to establish a rapport with the SSO that made it sound as if they had been performing together for some time…the collaboration with Hilary Hahn was a genuine partnership, conductor and soloist sharing a tendency to emphasize the sweeping grandeur and spaciousness of the first movement in particular..[…]..Chauhan reveled in [Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra’s] score’s contrasts between feather-light, misterioso whisperings and aggressive tutti driven by the brass. The rapturous applause that erupted prompted the conductor to single out every section of the orchestra for praise before taking his own bow.” 

Bachtrack - October 2022

"[Chauhan] is new to the ASO, and this brave Briton is one of the most exciting conductors we’ve seen in Adelaide in a long while..[…]..he made the ASO sound twice the orchestra..[...]..Well, what a fabulous performance we had here. The drama was almost unbearable. The ASO was totally in harness under Chauhan, every note and phrase laden with meaning..[…]..Chauhan has unique abilities that bring all this out abundantly: he connects with the players in a thoroughly physical manner, carving out phrases in the air like a sculptor and at times whipping up action like a horse trainer, stockman, or even a boxer. One was left in no doubt about the impact of this symphony. It was a staggering performance..[...]..Chauhan is a phenomenal talent..." [Concert with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra]

InDaily - August 2022

"[Alpesh] has steadily garnered rave reviews. Judging by these riveting performances he is set to become a household name..[...]..And so from the finale’s ‘lightning strike’, momentum gathered with an unstoppable rhythmic impetus, Fate vanquished in the movement’s final furlong, overwhelmed by Chauhan’s galvanising spirit and culminating in unequivocal triumph." [Concert with the Philharmonia Orchestra]

Bachtrack - February 2022

 

“...Chauhan could have played safe with the symphony, settling for a risk-free approach. Instead, he decided to go for it, and led an interpretation that encouraged the [London Philharmonic Orchestra] to dare all in pursuit of symphonic glory.”

Bachtrack - February 2022

"[Alpesh Chauhan] gave a fabulously assured reading of [Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Symphony] and chose an entirely different approach in doing so, maybe even risky..[…]..Chauhan’s performance…was rich, dark and warm in the way that colours emerged from inside it." 

Seen and Heard International - February 2022

2021

 

“...this is the first time I've seen Alpesh Chauhan conducting the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra since he became its Associate Conductor in September 2020, but if this concert is anything to go by the orchestra has picked a winning partner..[...]..Chauhan's willingness to embrace the [Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6]'s extremes is what made it crackle, however; extremes of dynamic range and, in the first movements hair-raising development section, tension..[...]..Chauhan showed his skills as an orchestral technician in Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony No 2..[...]..It was shaped here with a translucent line of argument running throughout, the strings playing it as though it were Bruckner.”

The Times - December 2021

“Ecstasy from Birmingham Opera Company..[…]..Alpesh Chauhan conducted the 87 players of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with a commanding sense of when to sustain and when to let everything blaze. The singing, too, was fearlessly characterised..[…]..it’s vital that this company — incontestably the most artistically significant force in British opera this century — finds a way forward in Vick’s absence. It simply must.”

The Spectator - August 2021

 

“The ensemble [Graham Vick] nurtured, including a full-force City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under brilliant young Alpesh Chauhan..[…]..BOC’s new Music Director, honoured his memory to the hilt by making sure that the quality of the work and the intensity of the experience, music drama at its best, came first…Later the Nibelung Alberich has enslaved bring up the gold in black washing-up bowls and place it around the stage to the most effective crescendo with the most overwhelming climax I’ve heard from an orchestra in 18 months – there are more to come in Chauhan’s superbly paced interpretation”

The Arts Desk - August 2021

“There could have been no more fitting tribute to the late Graham Vick than this exhilarating presentation of Wagner's RhineGold from Birmingham Opera Company…Conductor Alpesh Chauhan had obviously rehearsed his players meticulously, and his accompaniment to the action allowed all the leitmotif detail to tell whilst maintaining a forward-moving flow.

And Chauhan's conducting of the affirmative conclusion in Valhalla took us right back to the primordial opening deep in the Rhine. He had secured one vast phrase in one huge sweep.”

Midlands Music Reviews - August 2021

 

“[The cast] get fantastic support, and a lot more, from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Chauhan’s impeccably paced and persuasive direction…the glorious orchestral outburst [at the end] sounds like a celebration of Vick himself — a man who did so much to make opera matter to so many people.”

The Times  - August 2021

 

“Symphony Hall was plunged into gloom for Wagner’s wonderful evocation of the story’s emergence from primal unconsciousness, the slow burgeoning of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s sound controlled with an absolutely sure hand by the company’s music director Alpesh Chauhan (who was superb throughout)…In all the production was a triumph. What a tragedy its prime mover wasn’t there to see it.” The Telegraph - August 2021

“[Mendelssohn's "Scottish" Symphony] is not always an easy work to pull off effectively but Chauhan clearly understands it and was able to communicate it to the online audience. He knew not to rush. The Scottish has to unfold at a measured pace and trying to force it can destroy its magic – Chauhan got it just right. As a result, the more dramatic episodes of the first movement contrasted more strongly with the reflective, contemplative parts. A burbling clarinet tune ushered in the cheerful second movement, hinting at Scottish folk tunes without actually quoting any. The third movement was smooth and flowing, Chauhan lovingly shaped the beautiful melodies. In the lively finale he enabled us to wonder at the subtlety of Mendelssohn’s orchestration, using a full orchestra [BBC Symphony Orchestra] with grace and transparency. The grand ending was remarkably effective."

Bachtrack - April 2021

“Chauhan is a fine Mendelssohn interpreter, balancing energy with elegance, keenly alert to the music’s understated drama and mercurial changes of mood. So the refined melancholy and turbulence of the Symphony’s opening contrasted with the brilliance of the scherzo, while the warmth of the Adagio offset the assertion of the finale with its grand, exultant coda. Chauhan kept the textures clean and clear, and there was some wonderfully focused playing, above all from the BBCSO woodwind.”

The Guardian - April 2021
 

 

2020

 

I have never heard a more vivid, engaging account of Brahms' Academic Festival Overture than this, well-paced, onward driven, and with a wonderful web of sound far more transparent than Brahms could ever have hoped for from the clod-hopping orchestras of his own times..[...]..Certainly the CBSO's account here of Mendelssohn's First Symphony under Chauhan was again well-balanced in texture, lyrical and flowing (as one would expect from this cellist conductor), subtle and dramatic by turns. There are rumours of musical chairs: Rattle going to Bavaria, Mirga replacing him at the LSO (heaven knows why she would want that poisoned chalice with no decent home), and someone needed to fill the vacancy here. Should such a chain of events happen, tonight's concert threw up the perfect candidate."

Midlands Music Reviews - December 2020

“[Birmingham Opera Company’s] whole point is to upend traditional assumptions about opera. The big difference in its production last year of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk came from the orchestra [City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra]. Chauhan drove Shostakovich’s score with a brooding, purposeful intensity that felt as though you’d been caught in a riptide and dragged under…‘At Birmingham Opera Company diversity is the norm. It’s just what Birmingham looks like..[...]..More significant, surely, is the fact that — as one commentator on Lebrecht’s blog put it — Chauhan ‘is just very, very good’. That’s no accident, either: he spent his twenties laying the groundwork of a highly individual symphonic career. He served as assistant conductor at the CBSO, conducted opera in Sardinia and Spain, and has just come to the end of a stint as music director of the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini [La Toscanini] in Parma; a small but spirited Italian orchestra whose players blossomed audibly when Chauhan offered them a respite from endless Verdi and Rossini..[...]..It’s early days yet, but when we talk of a future in which classical music is more responsive to its community, less addicted to short-term sensation — in a word, more meaningful — Chauhan might be among those who can show us the way."

The Spectator, August 2020

"[An] absolute masterpiece, "Metamorphosen", is like a long, uninterrupted mourning where the twenty-three instruments move interwoven, driven by a certain restlessness that the other evening Chauhan regulated with sensitive control in order to enable each voice - all commendably [performed] by our musicians - to be [an active] participant, in the more subtle timbres and at the same time in the cohesion of the overall tone, of this intense monologue.....[In “The Firebird”], the youthful genius of Stravinsky composes [by] drawing from the palette of Rimsky-Korsakov, from those fabulous polishes and from insinuating melodic tenderness to trigger a fantastic game of irresistible grip and exciting virtuosity that the baton of Chauhan - already seen in the past with "Petrushka" - happily spirited [the] sealing of the beautiful evening."

Gazzetta di Parma - February 2020

 

“Although the Toscanini Philharmonic has accustomed us to high-level performances, especially when its Principal Conductor Alpesh Chauhan is on the podium, yesterday's concert at the [Auditorium] Paganini is one of the most memorable ones.....I have listened to this work, often in the version reduced to suite, with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel. I venture to say that the performance conducted by Chauhan last night involved me no less than the most authoritative and historic [performances].....The Filarmonica [Toscanini] has rarely been heard playing with so much transparency and accuracy of sound and with such a balanced equilibrium between the sections: an orchestra at times lugubrious, mysterious, poignant, festive, capable of passing from magical enchanted atmospheres to [moments] where the music beat with the strength of a whip”

la Repubblica Parma - February 2020

 

bottom of page