Critical Acclaim for Justin Brown in Krása’s ‘Verlobung im Traum’ with the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe

“Music director Justin Brown conducts with sensitivity and taste, giving the work’s lush harmonies full scope without letting them lapse into kitsch. … Krása was a student of Zemlinsky, and you can hear that, alongside the influence of Czech folk music, jazz, popular idioms, Stravinsky and Wagner.”

– Shirley Althorp, Financial Times Online, 10.26.14

“There is not a dull moment in the evening, largely because Justin Brown and the Badische Staatskapelle are alert to every colour and stylistic twist of this score, with its genial mix of jazz, Viennese schmaltz and complex counterpoint.  The Karlsruhe Music Director draws deeply from the sparkling rhythms and harmonies of the Roaring Twenties. … All in all a great evening. An overdue rediscovery, a necessary act of reparation.”

– Alexander Dick, Opernwelt, December 2014

“The orchestra under Justin Brown plays Krása’s score with all imaginable care. Everything is transparent, precisely articulated and colourful. And the quote from Vincenzo Bellini’s ‘Casta diva’ resounds with a wondrous wistfulness.”

– Gerhard Rohde, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 10.25.14

“What is truly superb about this Dream-opera is the way the music is served up with spirited drive by Justin Brown and the Badische Staatskapelle. By turns, they let the comedy turn toward grotesque, sustain the parlando, or, when the scheming Nastassja mobilizes the local gossips to stop the wedding, conjure up a marvellous chaos as if the “Prügelfuge” from Wagner’s “Meistersinger” is being parodied.”

– Joachim Lange, Die Tageszeitung (Berlin), 10.20.14, and Dresdner Neuste Nachrichten, 10.23.14

“Music Director Justin Brown calibrated with keen attention and blazing impulsiveness the changing timbres and pulses of this music, as much in the spirit of its time as it is imbued with a unique personal aura.”

– Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich, Frankfurter Rundschau, 10.20.14

“Justin Brown conducting the Badische Staatskapelle always has his finger on the pulse, impelling his orchestra to switch deftly from jazz to swing, from late-romantic languor to a restrained “New Objectivity”. … For Krása music is modern in the best sense of the word – and was therefore hated by the Nazis, who hated all the achievements of civilization of the 20th century.”

– Frank Pommer, Deutsche Bühne, 10.20.14

“The music is presented by the Badische Staatskapelle under Justin Brown with sparkling polish and refined impetuosity; for the musicians show us Krása’s witty melange of Strauss and Mahler, Stravinsky and dance-hall, which he serves up in a rhythmically inspired jargon. … A successful evening:  the encounter with an original composer is worthwhile, and the first-night audience is completely thrilled.”

– Eckhard Britsch, Opernnetz, 10.20.14

“The Badische Staatskapelle under its Music Director Justin Brown made music dedicatedly and trenchantly, whether Strauss-waltzes (Johann via Richard) or minimalistic repeated motifs à la Janáček; in short: with wit, warmth and charm.”

– Manfred Langer, Der Opernfreund, 10.26.14