BBC Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Litton's performance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra was so clean and precise, even in the messiest passages... BBC Symphony Orchestra at Prom 72; Ives: Symphony No. 4

— Geoff Brown, The Times

Four American hymns, with organ accompaniment - always an Albert Hall treat - then segued uninterrupted into Ives-s ever astonishing Fourth symphony. This wonderfully eclectic and complex work, with its roots in American religious and marching band music, will always dominate any concert in which it is programmed. Litton certainly raised the roof with the tumultuous second movement, with the brass swaying in marchtime and Fergus Macleod conducting the parallel rhythms. But the BBC orchestra rose to every challenge that the composer launched at them and Litton never lost sight of the enigmatic and serious qualities that link the symphony's wildly disparate movements so memorably. BBC Symphony Orchestra at Prom 72

— Martin Kettle, The Guardian

In this hugely enjoyable and approachable performance Henning Kraggerud proved a forthright soloist whose confident playing integrated ornamentation and burnished tone into a pleasing whole. The BBC Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Litton�s clear direction kept up the forward momentum during the first part, judging issues of instrumental balance keenly as the work proceeded. BBC Symphony Orchestra at Prom 72; Nielsen: Violin Concerto

— Evan Dickerson, Music OMH

Vaughan Williams's Fourth Symphony gave the BBCSO another chance to show off their pianissimos - charged and implausibly electric for this stage of the Proms season. It really is a pleasure to hear them play for Litton, a conductor who seems to get the very best from them. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 4

— Alexandra Coghlan,

A superb account of Elgar's magnificent First Symphony, as idiomatic as it was personal. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Elgar: Symphony No. 1


Vaughan Williams's Fourth Symphony is an image-buster in itself, blasting away fluttering larks with an opening that seems to spring from the middle of something tortured by Shostakovich. Litton, a US champion of UK music, launched the orchestra fearlessly at this restless score, with only the gleaming flute solo of the second movement providing real repose...Litton knows how to make a loud orchestra sound good, and the BBCSO, playing together with almost percussive accuracy, were on top form for him.

— Erica Jeal, The Guardian

The real highlight of the evening – perhaps unexpectedly – was the performance of Vaughan Williams's Symphony No. 4. Litton's championing of English music has rarely been heard to better effect. The insistent force of the music was given its head and, as always, Litton encouraged self-assured playing from the BBCSO, which produced a splendidly bronzed, brass-heavy, rather American sound for him. 

— Richard Fairman, Financial Times Limited