Emil Tabakov press reviews
American record guide
Strauss: Alpine Symphony
Why in the world, I asked myself when I received this item, would anyone opt for a performance of this block-buster by a minor -league Bulgarian orchestra led by an obscure young conductor, when for the same price you can get BPO/Karajan or Concertgebouw/Haitink? After hearing it ,I knew the answer: to get a fresh, lyrical, refurbished view of the work, scrubbed clean of all the pretentious mannerisms that seem to be attracted to this music like barnacles to the hull of a battleship…these performers seem to have found the thread that ties it all together ,and manage to make sense of it. This version is fresh and sparkling ,like a newly restored painting. The Sofia Orchestra may lack the clout and lung power of BPO, but it plays the notes sweetly, firmly and accurately. It sounds is Austro -German, the recording is excellent ,with a lifelike, stable, detailed sonic image which is in perfect balance…
I've made a detailed of this performance with the BPO/Karajan version on DG, and it seems to me that Tabakov comes out way ahead.
Tabakov's skill, on the other hand, lies in keeping these aspects of the music under firm control and in proper perspective…He has found what makes this work tick, and simply wound it up and let it go. I won't say that this is the best performance ever recorded, just it is the best I've ever heard. In any event, it far excels von Karajan and the Prussian Phill. I therefore recommend it highly ,and eagerly, await other recordings from this unexpected source.
American Record Guide
The Mozart is given wonderfully light, chamber music treatment here as opposed to Karajan,s heftier, occasionally sluggish approach in his recently re-released Angel recording. The soloists are more intergrated into the orchestra – first among equals. Tabakov and his players have the sound of a true chamber orchestra….As a result, the soloists’ pristine, buoyant, impeccable playing – sensitive to every delicate nuance in the music – is matched by a vigorous yet at the same time delicate and graceful accompaniment.
Mahler complete Symphonies 1-10
Although this cycle comes from the geographic peripheries of Mahler's works interpretation, it belongs to the very core of his most significant interpretations. Whichever of the 15 CDs you hear this astonishing discovery is presented by this edition of Mahler performed by the Bulgarian Philharmonic Orchestra from Sofia lead by chief conductor Emil Tabakov.
Manfred Karulus - Capriccio (Delta Music)
Mahler complete Symphonies 1-10
A conductor with diverse culture, beautiful gesture, perfect and rational professionalism. Tabakov has left the deep imprint of his brilliant personality on the Sofia Philharmony which is lucky to be interpreting under his baton.
I would like to highlight the specific merits of this gigantic project's (Mahler's Symphonies). There is not a single wrong tempo in the series of 15 CDs, not a single unnecessary deviation aimed at producing sensation, each of the numerous "rubatos" is motivated from a musical and logical point of view in compliance with the precision of impressions. To put it in a nutshell - there is not a single objection to be raised before Tabakov.Which borders with sensation.
Corriere della sera
"Emil Tabakov's presence was an exciting event - a conductor with an elegant gesture and ability to grasp the score in its entirety."
Teatro "La Fenice"
Emil Tabakov's appearance presented a wonderful surprise. The orchestra followed him with evident pleasure achieving excellent richness and nuances of sound. An orchestra in perfect shape, indeed.
Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France
The brilliant impression we have gained from his previous visit was reaffirmed tonight. Tabakov is an interpreter who knows really well how to delve in the score and highlight the stylistic links and characters without losing the sense of entirety of the work for a single moment. His Tchaikovsky (again conducted by heart) is an equilibrium of inspired rhetoric and refined phrasing that discloses the treasures in the orchestration, exalts the themes and captures in the common "flow" of the idea...
Arena di Verona
By skillfully leading the orchestra Emil Tabakov strikes the right balance between passion and melancholy, joy and dramatics. The wide phrasing and feel of "Russian" dominated this exceptionally strong interpretation
Teatro Regio, Torino
The Reading Chronicle
Under the baton of the distinguished Bulgarian composer/conductor Emil Tabakov, the excellent orchestra of the Moscow Radio again delighted their audience.