“Conductor Ben Gernon ensured that a sense of fun prevailed, with a measured tempo preventing any essence of mania in this evocative soundscape. Every layer of sound had crystal-clear clarity, even in the denser textures, and this set the tone for an exceptionally high level of musicianship for the evening. This score requires a vast orchestra with three harps. Gernon’s balance of the orchestra was so astute that even when playing together the harps were perfectly balanced against each other, with the wash of Debussian sound allowing each one to be appreciated.”
Backtrack, January 2019
“Ben Gernon has a chemistry with this orchestra that is now remarkable. It’s partly a first-among-equals approach to his role that gives them what they need and simply allows them to play at their best, but it’s also born of mutual respect and his instincts as a musician, which in this case were spot-on. At the end of each half of the concert he had them all bow with him (rather than the stand-and-grin routine) – a nice touch and one which seemed to say, ‘That was a team effort.’ It was.”
The Arts Desk, January 2019
Listen again to the performance on BBC Radio 3 on 1 February at 19:00 GMT here.