"This was a glorious concert delivered by a young conductor/pianist team...Fabien Gabel’s sensual reading [of Debussy’s Printemps] was beautifully considered. He realised all the shifting hues and dappled light of emerging spring in the lyrical opening movement, while the more animated second movement spoke of vitality, ardour and exuberance...Gabel also delivered a thoughtful and highly evocative La Mer. The first two sketches: “From dawn to midday on the sea” and “Play of the waves” were richly redolent of sea-watery ebbs and swells under shifting light. The storm music of the third sketch was darkly formidable indeed."
"Gabel managed to infuse the sound with a sense of human empathy with the highs and lows in the score....[he] managed to play the orchestra as one unit in a tight grip that he animated and enthused with a clear Gallic passion."
"Gabel conjured up a musical vision that was gripping in its intensity...and the Clevelanders provided wonderfully balanced musical support, in a performance that had everything coming together just right...it was a highly satisfying evening of music-making by one of America’s great orchestras under the baton of a conductor who is a tireless – and welcome – ambassador for the music of his native country."
"Maestro Gabel was graceful and elegant on the podium as he coaxed silky sounds from the strings and woodwind players...Gabel’s well-chosen program of orchestral showpieces – several of them true rarities – proved how impressive the OSQ can sound when playing music as inventive and inspired as this. It was a very special concert of some equally special music.
"Gabel delivered a strong, polished performance, leading an orchestra that sounded at the top of its game...One of Gabel's greatest strengths is his capacity for lyricism, exhibiting a kind of meta-connectivity between phrases that enhanced the concerto and gave it more nuance.”
In 2002, Juliana Athayde and Fabien Gabel were both in the Aspen Summer Music Festival. Fifteen years later, they'll take the stage together--he as guest conductor of your Rochester Philharmonic, and she as soloist in Bartok's Violin Concerto No. 2. Together, they chatted with WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras about the magic of Debussy, the earthiness of Bartok, and what took Juliana so long to get to that concerto.
Fabien Gabel has many reasons why he enjoys coming back to Houston – an affection for Mexican food, a chance to see an old high school friend, and another opportunity to collaborate with the Houston Symphony.