Andrew Litton, conductor
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Andrew Litton, Tuesday's conductor and the company's music director, isn't invariably a natural accompanist. Mr. Litton keeps raising the City Ballet's orchestral playing. Dance and music meet as shining equals. New York City Ballet; Allegro Brillante, Four Temperaments, Symphony in C

— Alastair Macaulay, New York Times

This is a perfect disc. This performance has passion, color, and drive aplenty. Prokofiev often indulges a deliberate simplicity, and Litton takes him at his word, never for a moment lapsing into artifice or affectation. A wonderful release. Bergen Philharmonic; Prokofiev Symphonies No. 4 & 7

— David Hurwitz,

Wait till you hear the combination of Litton's clear thinking and perfect pacing and the orchestra's razor-sharp response . . . it reminds you why this Litton-Prokofiev cycle has been such a consistent pleasure. Bergen Philharmonic; Prokofiev Symphonies No. 4 & 7

— David Nice, BBC Radio 3

Litton's mastery shows in the immediate contrasts of broad, epic opening and razor-sharp Allegro mechanics. He never rushes, and allows the theatrical contrasts to speak for themselves. Bergen Philharmonic; Prokofiev Symphonies No. 4 & 7

— David Nice, BBC Music Magazine

New York City Ballet's four-week fall season has belonged primarily to its music director, Andrew Litton...familiar scores have returned with new immediacy. Details of orchestral phrasing have registered keenly, with a wealth of color; he gives many scores a strong pulse. For years, the best orchestral playing in American ballet has belonged outside New York; but this may well now be changing.

— Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times

Andrew Litton, better known as a conductor, happens to be a first-rate pianist. He is the anchor in a performance of the Brahms Trio that is at once poetic and ebullient, mournful and rollicking. It would be easy for musicians to take such a familiar piece for granted, but not these players. They illuminate the work's varied moods through subtle shadings and supple phrasing, and they give the last movement's hunting activity a joyous ride. Inspired, really. Brahms Trio in E-Flat Major

— Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone

More compelling than the handling of details is Litton's understanding of Rachmaninoff's overall rhetorical architecture--that is, his understanding not simply of the formal layout but of the emotional trajectory that it supports. Litton's is in a class by itself: If you're looking for the Rachmaninoff Second in up-to-date, or even moderately up-to-date, sound, you can't do better than this. Bergen Philharmonic; Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2

— Peter J. Rabinowitz, Fanfare

The Colorado Symphony is simply radiant. Litton has a terrific sense of rhythm, and the necessary power is all here. I have no doubt this disc will become the new norm for Copland’s ballets. Colorado Symphony Orchestra; Copland ballets

— Steven Kruger, Fanfare

The Rachmaninov is given a glorious performance, superbly played and recorded. Overall, Litton's "Rach 2" goes on the top recommendation list. Bergen Philharmonic; Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2

— Colin Anderson,

Andrew Litton became music director of New York City Ballet in late 2015. He conducted the entire closing week of the company's spring season - the traditional block of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" performances - and showed all the virtues of his appointment. This was an unusually powerful and eloquent rendition of the music, which is a singular collage of items by Felix Mendelssohn, culled from multiple scores by George Balanchine for his two-act drama. New York City Ballet; Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream

— Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times

As conducted by Andrew Litton, the music was newly vibrant: agile in its scurrying, full-bodied in its braying and sweet thunder, hushed in its lullabies. New York City Ballet; Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream

— Brian Seibert, The New York Times

Litton and the NSO did the work justice, from the muted tension of the first movement, evoking the frigid winter of that year, to the fast and furious second movement, which grew into an implacable, anxious howl. The fourth movement had a keening English horn solo, the last moment of reflection before the work's clamorous conclusion. National Symphony Orchestra; Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11

— Charles T. Downey, Washington Post

Andrew Litton does elicit an ideal sonority from his Bergen Philharmonic, from the opening wind chord onward; this is a first-class orchestra. Litton's tempos are well chosen, with a supple use of rubato, but without distortion. Throughout, there is scrupulous attention to the small details. Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2

— Richard A. Kaplan, Fanfare

There is competition [but] Litton's performance can more than hold up its head in such exalted company and he offers more music and is recorded in significantly better sound. Andrew Litton brings the Great American West vividly to life here. Saddle up, mosey on down to your record store - and enjoy. Colorado Symphony Orchestra; Copland: An Outdoor Overture, Billy the Kid, El Salón México, Rodeo

— John Quinn,

Mr. Litton has rearranged the orchestra's seating to create a new balance of sonority. On Tuesday, Mr. Litton and his players ascended into full view to play this opener (Bernstein's Candide) while the curtain remained lowered; the sound of the rearranged strings and wind sections became all the more exciting. This high-energy overture is, in its way, a good orchestral showpiece - loquacious speed, rattling brio, complex ensemble - though I find it introduces tunes for the first time as if it were reiterating them for the hundredth. This performance suggested that this orchestra's sound is becoming both brighter and fuller. New York City Ballet; Bernstein: Candide Overture; Barber: Violin Concerto; Bernstein: Fancy Free; Gershwin: Who Cares?

— Alistair Macaulay, New York Times

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