. . . these are performances on a grand scale, yet wonderfully fluent, charged with an infectious energy and effortless poise. They are perhaps remarkable most of all for the rapport between Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle . . . Nelsons repeatedly reveals how much beauty and detail there is to be found in the orchestral writing, too. The playing is ravishingly refined, and there are countless examples of how carefully Barenboim matches what his colleagues do, and vice versa.
Record Review / Andrew Clements, The Guardian (London) / 21. April 2011

[Barenboim applies] a commanding sense of drama and poetry to both scores . . . Deeply felt and scrupulously shaped by the pianist and conductor Andris Nelsons alike, the performances revel in the composer's distinctive voice.
Record Review / Donald Rosenberg, Plain Dealer (Cleveland) / 08. May 2011

. . . to admire [are] the almost Brahmsian shaping of the Op 49 Fantasia, which is revealed again as one of Chopin's most remarkable formal structures; the crystalline beauty of the line spun through both the Berceuse and the Barcarolle; the inwardness of the D flat major Nocturne, carefully nuanced yet crisply defined.
Record Review / Andrew Clements, The Guardian (London) / 21. April 2011

[Fantasy]: his grasp of the work's architecture -- given his digital prowess that consumes metric and dynamic challenges -- embraces its mood shifts and rhythmic adjustments with a singular unity of effect. The girth of Chopin's compositions Barenboim restores by the broad symmetries of phrase and the unhurried vocal lines he fashions without mannerism . . . [Piano Sonata no. 2]: The first movement's "Doppio movimento" fusion of speed and gravitas receives its full due without the sacrifice of the poetic instinct that infuses the piece with tragic restraint . . .
Record Review / Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition / 17. May 2011

A remarkable thing happens at the end of this all-Chopin recital . . . As an encore, Daniel Barenboim delivers a "Minute" Waltz in D flat major that is individual (note the articulated turns, or the sudden fortissimo in the middle), easy, and charming but with the right degree of masculine firmness. If there is a better version, by anyone, one hasn't heard it.
Record Review / Josh Shea, Boston Globe / 19. June 2011

[Daniel Barenboim] here spearheads a disc that readily attests to his strengths as a conductor who can inspire orchestras to interpretative heights . . . a dazzling performance of the Variations Op 31 . . . Barenboim's art here is to show how essentially musical it is, triggering traditional emotions of excitement, wistfulness and, dare one say, romantic yearning. The orchestra responds acutely to Barenboim's depth of understanding and the spectrum of colour that Schoenberg deploys . . . Barenboim also has a firm grip on the dramatic shape of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony. An apt element of resignation emerges naturally from the contours and harmonies of the music, but there is defiant spirit, too. Barenboim inspires the orchestra to play magnificently, movingly and with palpable Tchaikovskian feeling throughout.
Record Review / Geoffrey Norris, The Daily Telegraph (London) / 14. April 2011

[A] splendid recording . . . [a] consummate harmonious communality in their interpretations of these two pieces . . . [The players] expertly embody both the exuberance of the penultimate movement of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 and the melancholy beauty of its framing outer sections.
Record Review / Andy Gill, Independent (London) / 15. April 2011

It's a highly exciting performance [of the Schoenberg], treating the work as a bravura concerto for orchestra . . . Barenboim's wonderfully flexible shaping of the first movement's second subject [of the Tchaikovsky] shows how sympathetic and responsive this orchestra can be . . . these are excellent performances in which both works are played to the highest standards.
Record Review / Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine (London) / 01. June 2011

[Schoenberg]: [it's a noble] piece, especially performed as well as this. The orchestra only exists for a few weeks a year. Who can doubt why it exists in the first place after listening to this?
Record Review / Jeff Simon, Buffalo News / 03. June 2011

[Schoenberg]: The West-Eastern musicians surmount the technical hurdles to create a polished and vivid performance. The orchestra ably highlights the multilayered textures and intriguing sonorities of this powerful work, an example of Schoenberg's gift for creating orchestral color . . . [Tchaikovsky]: The first movement's emotional surges and melancholy strains are beautifully conveyed here, with the moody transition of the development section heralded with startling vigor. The strings sound glowing in the gracious interpretation of the Allegro con Grazia, and the concluding Adagio Lamentoso unfolds in a blaze of intensity.
Record Review / Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times / 10. June 2011