‘Stringer shows a side of English music that we don’t see very often … This piece is modern, and also very practical, and it makes complete sense’
The Davis Enterprise (USA), Mika Pelo
‘…a refined language of fine, powerful lines’
‘The composition expresses both lyrical and inner unity as well as, here and there, ‘mockery’. The long cello notes are at a climax of transparency and distance. Masterly author, concise, consistent. Radical but without nostalgia and traditionalisms’
Il Manifesto, Mario Gamba
Life and the Life First Image:
‘…elegant and cogent…’
The Yorkshire Post, Simon Cargill
‘…had a pleasing shape and rhythmic definition, and that, despite an objective rather than evocative stance, gives him firm basis for future development.’
‘The masterly direction of John Stringer gave wonderfully expressive significance to the generous thematic content. The heartfelt issues of the third movement were replaced magically by the jocund gaiety of the fourth. On this showing there can be few more gifted British Nielsen interpreters’
The Yorkshire Post, Donald Webster
‘John Stringer directed commandingly.’
The Times Higher Education Supplement, Roderick Dunnett
‘Maconchy’s 40-minute piece [The Three Strangers] was riveting, colourful and suggestive throughout … The orchestra, conducted by John Stringer, supplied crisp backing as myth, mystery and mirth jostled for dominance.’
Opera [feb. 2006], Martin Dreyer
Not many symphonies call for the large forces and vast stamina that Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalîla demands. So it was altogether appropriate that the university, with its ample musical resources and relatively limitless rehearsal time, should take it on. Wednesday’s performance, conducted by John Stringer, was a signal achievement …. His ten movements compare, contrast and interweave three themes, which relate in turn to Mexican monuments (and the brutality that went into making them), flowers and, most important of all, a ‘love’ theme of sexual ecstasy. These are centred round a central scherzo …. This was given positively jazzy, dance treatment by Stringer and his attentive cohorts, and balanced by an especially tender Garden Of Love?s Sleep, the succeeding movement …. And the orchestra’s discipline was total, brass to the fore. Bravo!
York Press (March 11, 2011) Martin Dreyer
The UYSO concert got off to a cracking start with a spine-tingling performance of Beethoven’s Overture to Egmont. The orchestral playing was remarkably well assured throughout, with a climax that was almost frightening in its energetic brilliance. They were equally at home with the melodic nobility of the opening of Schumann?s wonderful Symphony No 4. Conductor John Stringer judged the dramatic pacing impeccably throughout the symphony and the musical journey was a hugely enjoyable one. But the main event was Wagner. The UYSO celebrated the 200th anniversary of Richard Wagner’s birth with a performance of Act One of Die Walkure, and what a celebration it was. Right from the off the dramatic tension was simply ‘switched-on’. If the Beethoven radiated electricity, this brooding, ominous sound world had an energy and darkness which one is drawn to, almost against one’s better judgement. The singers were excellent. Charlie Murray’s sinister Hunding was just right, singing with a full resonant bass sound in a role with echoes of Don Giovanni’s stone guest, somewhat otherworldly. But the central performances by tenor Justin Lavender (Siegmund) and soprano Rosamund Cole (Sieglinde) had the majority of the role play and they were utterly engaging, though I did lose a little detail in Mr Lavender’s contributions when the orchestral playing was at full stretch. Nevertheless, the wave after wave of emotional, spell-binding narrative created by the two singers was overwhelming. And in the end a triumph for all concerned, not least the UYSO and their inspirational conductor, John Stringer.
York Press (March 9, 2013) Steve Crowther
The best barometer of the music department’s current players is its Chamber Orchestra, currently conducted by John Stringer. On Wednesday?s evidence, they are in rude health. Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen, his ‘study’ for 23 solo strings, was completed in 1947 when he was 81. It was once described as possibly the saddest piece of music ever written. Though not a tear-jerker like Barber’s Adagio, it certainly reflects post-war angst. There was a distilled sorrow in its long prelude for middle voices. Later, even as it boiled towards its angry climax, the full strings remained controlled, united despite their passionate attack, solo voices shrieking above the fray. The closing bars were rueful, even penitent. At half an hour, it seemed not a moment too long.
York Press (March 15, 2013) Martin Dreyer