“Jonathan Darlington knows how to make the music colourful and captivating,” writes Kohki Totsuka from the Online Merker in their review of the Chief Conductor Designate’s concert with Nürnberger Symphoniker. The programme featured Roussel’s Bacchus et Ariane, Suite No. 2 Op. 43, Davies’ An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise and Strauss’ Don Quixote, Fantastic Variations op. 35.
“His sensitivity for the transparent sound and the savoring of the dancing moment: starting with free-floating, playful solos of the woodwinds and The moment Ariane awakens, illustrated with transparent strings, rhythmic impulses slowly germinate, which in parts are reminiscent of the 3rd symphony written at the same time. The energetic motifs, all of which are repeatedly interrupted by poles of calm and transitions.
“Strauss’s magnificently orchestrated and highly complex score finds an excellent form in Darlington’s experienced leadership, who – certainly also coming from the extensive operatic experience – always leaves enough room for free soloistic design, but with all his playfulness keeps the huge orchestral apparatus together with an enormous intellectual focus.”