Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor Andrew Litton did a fantastic job of maintaining the complex dynamics of the original while skilfully navigating Kennedy's fanciful cadenzas, and the orchestra was faultless to a man as ever. The distinctive final movement had the packed house on their feet, with a standing ovation that practically demanded an encore. Royal Philharmonic; Brahms: Violin Concerto in D Major
— Freddy Powys, The Upcoming
Koussevitsky was the unifying inspiration behind this programme but the Prokofiev 4th Symphony he commissioned was very different from the bigger and grittier revision Litton offered here with terrific panache, feverish ostinati pulled up short in ice-breaking climaxes with ominous wood-block marking time. What a challenging programme to prepare and to perform. Hats off to the RPO who sounded reborn. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Prom 43; Prokofiev: Symphony No. 4; Stravinsky: Petrushka; Bax: Symphony No. 2; Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
— Edward Seckerson, The Independent
There is only one word for what I heard tonight - stunning. Bring Litton back, for the London concert stage needs this kind of brilliant advocacy. Bravo to all concerned. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Glinka: Ruslan and Ludmilla; Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1; Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2
— Bob Briggs , musicweb-international.com
The all-Russian programme opened with Glinka's Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture, an exuberant blast memorable for Litton's evident enjoyment. The evening closed with Rachmaninov's Second Symphony, a piece which clearly means a lot to Litton...If the performance didn't quite prove the symphony a masterpiece, that was no fault of either Litton or the RPO. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Glinka: Ruslan and Ludmilla; Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1; Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2
— Nick Kimberley, London Evening Standard
Best of all was the blazing account of the Rachmaninov [No. 2] symphony, music that Litton has recorded with the RPO. On this occasion although the score was on the conductor's stand, it remained unopened, Litton devoting himself wholly to the orchestra and eliciting playing of remarkable security and conviction.
— Douglas Cooksey, classicalsource.com
His performance of this very familiar work (Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2) I would place at the head of the list. Litton's identification with this material is hardly less complete than the composer's own. There is not a phrase that doesn't ring true, that is less than irresistably convincing. Besides being able to sweep the entire orchestra along with him in terms of committment as well as expertise, Litton shows an unfailing tastefulness that must be instinctive.
— Richard Freed, Stereo Review
Litton's (recording of Elgar's Enigma Variations, In the South and Serenade for Strings) is...one of the best performances ever recorded of this festive evocation of Alassio, Italy — a piece that is notoriously difficult to hold together in a performance. It is a tribute to Litton's maturity as an interpreter and his innate musicality that he succeeds so well where noted Elgarians such as George Solti and Daniel Barenboim have failed.
— David Hurwitz, High Fidelity
Overall, honesty and complete competence rule these performances (of Elgar's In the South, Enigma Variations and Serenade in E Minor for String Orchestra), placing them in the best of company: Boult, Menuhin, Barbirolli, Gibson, and yes, in the Big Work, Toscanini. Richly detailed, well-balanced, unfussy recording. Highest marks.
— John Wiser, Fanfare
American conductor Andrew Litton leads the Royal Philharmonic in an impressively probing performance of Mahler's First Symphony; he finds a viable sonic equivalent for each of Mahler's scrupulous performance directions.
— Paul Turok, Ovation
Litton appears able to emphasize details deep within the music without losing the thread of the music's discourse. The brass is bright, and the winds imply affirmation. They make the performance (of Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen) a showy musical event rather than some brooding musing on Mahler's own sad songs. But this work can absorb dissenting interpretations, and the orchestra's brisk and energetic approach is valid.
— Daniel Webster, The Philadelphia Inquirer
[Litton] is a conductor with rhythmic flair and communicative appeal that together make it unnecessary for him to indulge in untoward gestures and any sort of attitudinising. His technique is beautifully pruned; he uses Boult-like retiscence, even while his major decisions are very firmly taken.
— P.W.D., The Daily Telegraph
The relish which Litton brought to every piece – at once breezy (which is not to imply superficial) and ardent – was infectious from first to last. Litton's way with both Bernstein's Candide and Elgar's In the South overtures was bright, uncluttered – flamboyant in the nicest sense, and full of robust passing pleasures. He bounced Copland's Rodeo suite to a brilliant conclusion, almost as if he were square-dancing himself....a natural romantic conductor.
— Dominic Gill, The Financial Times, London