In these days of super austerity at the remaining few classical record companies, a major conductor signing is rare. Sir Simon Rattle still sells a truck full for EMI but many conductors now record with their home orchestras and release the performances on the ‘XXX Live’ CDs and downloads. So, happy days in Montreal, Berlin and Philadelphia that prestigious Deutsche Grammophon (DGG) signed French-Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He’s a wonderful and inspiring conductor and begins his tenure with the fabulous, but cash-strapped, Philadelphia Orchestra next month.
If you get a chance to see his performances of the Brahms and Mozart Requiems (excerpts on YouTube), I’m sure you’ll agree that he’s a first rate musician. Many conductors and orchestras do the flashy repertoire well, and Nézet-Séguin certainly does (check out his La Valse on You Tube with the London Phil), but it takes great skill and deep musicianship to bring off the two vocal masterpieces. He’s the real deal. I have friends who have worked with him for years with Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain (he’s maintaining a close relationship with his first orchestra) and they adore him.
He begins his DGG tenure with Mozart operas and a series of orchestral recordings with the Rotterdam Philharmonic.