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Critical Acclaim

25 March 2011

Tabakov is a conductor in his most fruitful and  bountiful maturity, with a biography in which concerts are countless. He masters the mystery of the most direct contact between music and musicians; in his work time is removed from all temptations surrounding the conductor; his gesture is accurate and expressive, there is no vanity, pose, or desire to be liked. He simply serves a musical idea, making it unconditionally suggested. He creates the musical logic firmly and powerfully, and makes emotion more dense, unyielding ... And the orchestra understands and reacts completely with its full capacity


23 March 2012

It was so intense, so dedicated and so strong as a musical manifestation of the Fifth Symphony (Shostakovich)! At such times, the power of music is overwhelming and definitely poses its greatness - to such extent that everything that symbolizes the nylon, plastic and electronic advances of civilization, fades to its insignificant, substitute nature. The world is authentic, raw, but true.

The Culture 

17  March  2012

 ... the true peak was Scriabin (Poem of Ecstasy) ... from his appearance on the conductor’s stand until the final climax. Superhuman!

The Culture 

5  Juli 2009 

It is an exclusive chance that the score (Strauss, Salome) is in the hands of Emil Tabakov - who else understands better the nature of this type of resonance, who else could transmit and make it incarnate! Under his baton, the orchestra was transformed. The energy of inspiration flows like a real current. Nothing superfluous - just as needed - without mannerism. The interpretation is thorough and uniform from beginning to end, logical. The Maestro assigns a vigorous tone, interprets the score as spontaneous torrent, like water unleashed, in which motives and images are waves that build on each other.

The Culture  

12 April  2002

In another concert of their jubilee cycle sequence, the musicians were conducted by Emil Tabakov, who recorded his name in the history of "Sofia Soloists" for the period 1979-1988 ... It was a feast for all of the attendees. It was a demonstration of supreme musical acrobatics, a mastery of the combination of acoustic imagination and discipline among respectable consensus and balance and generous invention of timbre...

The Culture  

Why in the world, I asked myself when I received this item, would anyone opt for a performance of this block-buster by a minor -league Bulgarian orchestra led by an obscure young conductor, when for the same price you can get BPO/Karajan or Concertgebouw/Haitink? After hearing it ,I knew the answer: to get a fresh, lyrical, refurbished view of the work, scrubbed clean of all the pretentious mannerisms that seem to be attracted to this music like barnacles to the hull of a battleship…these performers seem to have found the thread that ties it all together ,and manage to make sense of it. This version is fresh and sparkling ,like a newly restored painting. The Sofia Orchestra may lack the clout and lung power of BPO, but it plays the notes sweetly, firmly and accurately. It sounds is Austro -German, the recording is excellent ,with a lifelike, stable, detailed sonic image which is in perfect balance…

I've made a detailed of this performance with the BPO/Karajan version on DG, and it seems to me that Tabakov comes out way ahead.

Tabakov's skill, on the other hand, lies in keeping these aspects of the music under firm control and in proper perspective…He has found what makes this work tick, and simply wound it up and let it go. I won't say that this is the best performance ever recorded, just it is the best I've ever heard. In any event, it far excels von Karajan and the Prussian Phill. I therefore recommend it highly ,and eagerly, await other recordings from this unexpected source.

American record guide 

The Mozart is given wonderfully light, chamber music treatment here as opposed to Karajan,s heftier, occasionally sluggish approach in his recently re-released Angel recording. The soloists are more intergrated into the orchestra – first among equals. Tabakov and his players have the sound of a true chamber orchestra….As a result, the soloists’ pristine, buoyant, impeccable playing – sensitive to every delicate nuance in the music – is matched by a vigorous yet at the same time delicate and graceful accompaniment.

American record guide 


Mahler complete Symphonies 1-10
Although this cycle comes from the geographic peripheries of Mahler's works interpretation, it belongs to the very core of his most significant interpretations. Whichever of the 15 CDs you hear this astonishing discovery is presented by this edition of Mahler performed by the Bulgarian Philharmonic Orchestra from Sofia lead by chief conductor Emil Tabakov.

Fono forum

Emil Tabakov's appearance presented a wonderful surprise. The orchestra followed him with evident pleasure achieving excellent richness and nuances of sound. An orchestra in perfect shape, indeed.
Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France

Le Monde  

A conductor with diverse culture, beautiful gesture, perfect and rational professionalism. Tabakov has left the deep imprint of his brilliant personality on the Sofia Philharmony which is lucky to be interpreting under his baton.
I would like to highlight the specific merits of this gigantic project's (Mahler's Symphonies). There is not a single wrong tempo in the series of 15 CDs, not a single unnecessary deviation aimed at producing sensation, each of the numerous "rubatos" is motivated from a musical and logical point of view in compliance with the precision of impressions. To put it in a nutshell - there is not a single objection to be raised before Tabakov.Which borders with sensation.

Manfred Karulus 

"Emil Tabakov's presence was an exciting event - a conductor with an elegant gesture and ability to grasp the score in its entirety."
Teatro "La Fenice"

Corriere della sera 


The brilliant impression we have gained from his previous visit was reaffirmed tonight. Tabakov is an interpreter who knows really well how to delve in the score and highlight the stylistic links and characters without losing the sense of entirety of the work for a single moment. His Tchaikovsky (again conducted by heart) is an equilibrium of inspired rhetoric and refined phrasing that discloses the treasures in the orchestration, exalts the themes and captures in the common "flow" of the idea...
Arena di Verona


By skillfully leading the orchestra Emil Tabakov strikes the right balance between passion and melancholy, joy and dramatics. The wide phrasing and feel of "Russian" dominated this exceptionally strong interpretation 
Teatro Regio, Torino


Under the baton of the distinguished Bulgarian composer/conductor Emil Tabakov, the excellent orchestra of the Moscow Radio again delighted their audience. 
UK tour of the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow Radio

The Reading Chronicle