“…The best measure of Mr. Mark Gorenstein’s work came in an urgent, imaginatively shaded account of Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. Beginning at a whisper, the cellos rose to a magnificently throaty sound. Woodwinds were ribald, and brasses took on a warm glow. It would be hard to imagine a more phantasmagorical rendition of the closing pages in the Giuoco Delle Coppie, or a more desolate introduction to the Elegia”.
Mark Gorenstein’s interpretation of the 2nd Symphony by Sergei Rachmaninov is the best one I have heard so far. Grandiose – is the way he treated the piece, like the “Russian Celibidache” – until the last twinkling of the strings. Here you will notice what this work can become if you take each voice seriously and will not rely only on the superficial abundance of long melodies.
“… I would like to briefly dwell only on one of my musical impressions – the performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony under Gorenstein. If we take the rating, the Ninth sounded at the highest level in Moscow: all performances – Zubin Mehta with the New York Philharmonic (1988), Evgeny Svetlanov with the State Orchestra (1990), Rudolf Barshai with BSO (1993) – this is also the highest class of an orchestra and individually rich interpretations. So, I put Gorenstein in that line, but Michael Tilson Thomas with his San Francisco Symphony (Cologne, 2003), for example, is not: technologically Gorenstein did this brilliantly, a rare orchestra and a rare conductor would pull such technology. But also (the interpretation) reading – is it often today that the level of technique and thinking of musicians makes it possible to generally speak about it?
It turned out to be its own, special, different from the above listed luminaries. I will speak about his understanding of Maler’s “sarcastic humor” in the Lendler as some strange, hidden voices of the outside world, without this often heard neurotic burping here. And about the final Adagio: here, in Gorenstein’s – there is a purified, full-blooded, restless tragedy, so naturally encompassing all the preceding events of this intense story – no Mehta’s sentimentality or, on the contrary, Barshai’s cold harshness. The concentration on the almost one and a half hour of unity of development, the vision of the whole is the source of the stupor in which Gorenstein kept the hall throughout this symphony … “
“… If I was to keep one programme from all the concerts my life and I have been privileged to hear over the last five years, it would surely be that of the Russian Symphony Orchestra’s performance on Tuesday March 27th with the baton of Mark Gorenstein…”
«… The London version of Georg Solti in 1974 long time has been considered the etalon. Now, at last Russian conductor in a concert perfomance of «Eugene Onegin»… with the participation of excellent singers of a new generation, freed and revived very convincingly a young fire, lyrical beauty and the true internal drama of this masterpiece. In just a few years, Mark Gorenstein managed to turn around the artistic decline of the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia…and has transformed into an amazingly refined ensemble, that responds to his thoughtful direction with flexible dynamics and obvious intrinsic motivation. He also reveals himself as the “ideal conductor” Tchaikovsky wished for, who deftly accompanies the singers pampers them instead of unceremoniously drowning them out…»
From the review of the recording of Tchaikovsky «Eugene Onegin».