Miracle of Mumbai
And no question, this band has character-rich but also refined, with smoky woodwinds, burnished brass and strings drenched in Bisengaliev's sticky-sweet Russian tone. Wouldn't those be exactly the flavours you'd choose if, parfumier-like, you were asked to mix a distinctively Indian symphonic sound?
Over 13 years, Suntook, Bisengaliev, Dalal, and their team have had the joy of doing exactly that... To westerneyes, the idealism-and potential-that surrounds the SOI looks enviable.
... imagine hearing Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Bruch's First Violin Concerto and that Rachmaninov symphony performed by a world-class ensemble that is encountering them for the very first time.
–Richard Bratby, The Spectator
"This was, without questions, the finest live performance of this masterpiece (Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1) i have heard; Bisengaliev's tone was inherently full and rich, his clarity and the expressive qualities of his phrasing were exceptional..."
–Robert Matthew-Walker, Classical Source
A persuasive UK debut from india's first-ever symphony orchestra
–Ivan Hewitt, The Daily Telegraph
Starting Virtuosity and improv
"Dalal had opened with a fizzing performance of Berlioz's Roman Carnival Overture, which provided an opportunity to appreciate the quality of the orchestra's woodwind playing - especially a luscious cor anglais - and the fierce solidity of its brass."
–Andrew Clements, The Guardian
Vigorous, fresh playing from India's only professional symphony orchestra
"In a performance which could rival some of Europe's major orchestras, the SOI wove a vivid tapestry evocativeof Scheherazade's tales with soaring woodwind, punching brass and warm strings... this is clearly an orchestra that's going places. Their excitement, sense of discovery and real zest for the music translated to the audience, and we can only hope that spirit continues for the rest of the tour and beyound."
–Miranda Heggie, The Arts Desk
"The Orchestra's co-founder, Kazakh-born violinist Marat Bisengaliev, gave a gloriously assertive, chiselled account of Bruch,s First Violin Concerto, each phrase impeccably defined his finale bracingly energetic...A brightly coloured Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherazade brought the concert to a thrilling, confident close."
–David Kettle, The Scotsman
"The standard of the playing, it should be said at the very outset, was terrific..."
–Paul Corfield Godfrey, Seen and Heard International
Brabbins paced (Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade) beautifully, with the opening boldly slow and proceeding in a manner that was always measured and musical rather than high octane, and culminated with a wonderful intensity to the coda... The orchestra's music director Marat Bisengaliev was the soloist. Although i have heard the Bruch played rather faster, Bisengaliev revealed a much meatier work than it often seems as a showpiece for rather younger playes.
–Keith Bruce, The Herald (Scotland)