About Joseph Rescigno



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Hand, baton, 3K JPEG

Coming up:

Concert of contemporary music (Cowell, Stravinsky, Revueltas, Flagello, Dallapiccola, and a world premiere by Kyong Mee Choi) for the CCPA Contemporary Ensemble at Roosevelt University, October 16.


What others have said...


Concerto for Violin, Oboe, and Strings—

  • Richard Turp, Montreal Gazette: Even in the brisk final Allegro, Rescigno, who played and directed from the harpsichord, offered a beautifully paced reading.



Violin Concerto—

  • Claude Gingras, La Presse (Montreal): Et interprétation [Ani Kavafian] tout à fait en accord, d’un grand élan lyrique, d’un exceptionnel brio dans le Presto final en movement perpétuel, et toujours d’une parfaite justesse. Très dificile aussi pour l’orchestre, ce concerto, et à plus forte raison pour un orchestre d’étudiants [McGill Symphony Orchestra]. Rescigno y maintint un coordination rhythmique absolue.


  • Bruce-Michael Gelbert, Opera Monthly: Joseph Rescigno presided over the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra members who play for the Opera Theater. He deserves credit for realizing this unjustly neglected, rich score.
  • James Wierzbicki, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: As saccharine and effusive as the music of Barber’s opera is, it contains more than a few undeniably gorgeous passages; under the baton of conductor Joseph Rescigno, the majority of them are splendidly realized.


Symphony #3 (Eroica)—

  • Gerard Rejskind, Ultra High Fidelity Magazine: This is the Métropolitain’s first-ever recording and what did Rescigno select? Nothing less than Beethoven’s Eroica. What is amazing is that he pretty much gets away with it. This is a very good Eroica, conducted with rapid but not at all mechanical tempo that doesn’t skim over the strong rhythms which Beethoven was by then using in his music. The famous three angry first notes, repeated throughout the first movement, are firm and assertive. The dance section of the finale is light and gorgeous, and the orchestra’s once-troublesome strings do themselves proud in the Marcia funebre, in which they hold the starring role.

5 Piano Concertos—

  • Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette: The summit of the evening was the incomparably poetic first movement of the Fourth Concerto, rendered on this occasion with the widest range of colours, sentiments and tempos. ... The Orchestre Métropolitain woodwinds listened closely and the strings produced unisons of striking resonance in the Andante con moto. Here and elsewhere, conductor Joseph Rescigno was an admirably attentive partner. ... The fine swagger at the start of the Concerto No. 1 was characteristic of the dedication Rescigno brought to his job. With Kuerti in mad professor mode through the extra-long cadences, this movement could be counted a comic masterpiece.



I Capuleti ed I Montecchi

  • Paul Griffiths, New York Times: Joseph Rescigno, conducting, does a fine job in providing the instrumental soloists their space and in bringing fizz to other parts of the score.
  • Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine: The orchestra, led by Joseph Rescigno sings and breaths naturally with the singers, precisely as an ideal Bellini accompaniment should.
  • Justin Davidson, Newsday: Joseph Rescigno linked these solid singers into an ensemble, conducting with Italianate flexibility and a sense of period style.
  • Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal: The City Opera chorus and orchestra, stylishly led by Joseph Rescigno, were in fine form.
  • Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Conductor Joseph Rescigno leads members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in a sweeping performance.
  • Leighton Kerner, Opera News: Conductor Joseph Rescigno, as so often before, kept everything in good Bellinian order.
  • Matthew Gurewitsch, Opera: Joseph Rescigno est parvenu à faire battre le coeur d’une partition que la minceur de son contenu dramatique rend particulièrement difficile à diriger.



L’enfance du Christ—

  • Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Guest conductor Joseph Rescigno ... deserves thanks for unusual and compelling Christmas fare. ... “L’enfance du Christ” lasts 95 minutes, but within its circle time is suspended. “L’enfance” slows us down and invites us into a sphere of meditation on sacrifice, kindness and redemption. It’s a good place to be, especially at Christmas time.




  • Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun: Joseph Rescigno ... brought a good deal of intensity, as well as poetry, to the score.
  • Franco Borrelli, Oggi: Joseph Rescigno, che, per la sua «Carmen», ha voluto invece una veste che più tradizionale e vicinissima allo spirito di Bizet è davvero difficile a trovarsi. Un capolavoro davvero vivo, da gustarsi tutto, dall’ umorismo iniziale fino alla conclusione da tipica tragedia greca.



Piano Concertos

  • Gary Lemco, Audiophile: Prior to these collaborations I had not known the art of conductor Rescigno, but he gets some heady response from the Montreal players in the big opening tutti to the D Minor Concerto, and in the clarion exuberance of the D Minor Scherzo in the B-flat Concerto.
  • Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette: The Berlin Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado, in Maurizio Pollini’s DG account ... of No. 2, furnishes a more throbbingly romantic cello soloist in the Andante. Of course, the fact that Montreal’s No. 2 orchestra can withstand such comparisons at all constitutes a recommendation.



Violin Concerto—

  • Claude Gingras, La Presse (Montreal): La violoniste s’inquiétait l’autre jour: elle ne connaissait pas Joseph Rescigno, qui allait remplacer Dutoit auprès d’elle pour ce premier «Mozart Plus» de l’été. Hier soir, son sourire en direction de l’inconnu était fort éloquent. La violoniste peut en effet remercier le ciel de lui avoir envoyé Joseph Rescigno, qui l’a suivie à la fraction de seconde dans ses moindres rubatos.



Symphony #1—

  • Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette: Rescigno chose not only the right score but the right approach. With a combination of fresh tempos and firm sonority, the conductor projected the essence of this music… Much care had clearly been taken to get the details right. The flowing violin lines of the Adagio—so apt to sound redundant in unsure hands—were animated by subtle dynamic shifts. The great rhythmic energy of the Scherzo did not blind the players to Bruckner’s distinctive use of wind and string sonorities.



Piano Concerto—

  • Claude Gingras, La Presse (Montreal): On roule ensuite le piano… mais c’est M. Rescigno qui s’y asseoit. Heureuse idée que celle d’expliquer la construction du Concerto de Corigliano e d’en faire entendre les thèmes. Le chef de l’OM révèle ici une parfaite connaissance de la partition, un réel talent de pianiste, car l’oeuvre est très difficile, et une étonnante aisance à s’exprimer en français. Cet homme ne finira jamais de nous étonner.



Río de Sangre

  • operaonline.us: Maestro Rescigno draws from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the many talented singers in this ensemble a sense of fatality and urgency that infuses Mr. Davis’ dark score with enough passion to hold one’s attention and make it an opera with a solid chance of drawing and satisfying an audience.
  • Gregory Berg, Opera News: The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Florentine chorus achieved gratifying triumphs…Conductor Joseph Rescigno presided masterfully.
  • John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune: Rescigno drew committed playing from the orchestra, full-throated singing from the chorus and show-stopping salsa licks from the onstage merengue band.
  • Lawrence A. Johnson, The Classical Review: The company’s longtime principal conductor Joseph Rescigno drew outstanding playing from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra throughout the nearly-three-hour score.
  • John Schneider, expressmilwaukee.com: The singers and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra led by Joseph Rescigno revealed the integrity and sweep of the music.
  • arkivmusic.com (review of the recording): ... this strikes me as a thoroughly committed performance from everyone. Chorus and orchestra are extremely vivid, and with his background in Verdi and Puccini territory, Joseph Rescigno ... responds well to this lyrical, volatile score.
  • Paul Masterson, Quest: The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra under Joseph Rescigno gave a strong performance. Its integration of sound managed the score, for all its extremes, with absolute control.



La Fille du régiment

  • Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine: Joseph Rescigno’s alert conducting puts every scene into truly musical focus.
  • Robert Kimball, New York Post: Conductor Joseph Rescigno made an estimable company debut in the pit.
  • Joseph McLellan, The Washington Post: Joseph Rescigno conducts the fine little orchestra stylishly and generates a great, thumping, chauvinistic sound when the music becomes military—as it often does.
  • Barbara Zuck, The Columbus Dispatch: Conductor Joseph Rescigno, always professional and always able to get the best from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, conducted from the stage to the pit, thus giving the performance an especially cogent sense of ensemble.

Don Pasquale—

  • Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine: Conductor Joseph Rescigno gives them every accommodation, and the production trips lightly from dancing overture to happy finale.

L’elisir d’amore

  • William Barnewitz, Dial Urban Milwaukee: Joseph Rescigno conducted the whole affair with his usual skill.
  • Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic: Finally, it is all brought together by the orchestra under conductor Joseph Rescigno, who is an old pro and knows how to keep a theatrical production moving along.
  • Cathalena E. Burch, The Arizona Daily Star: The orchestra, under the direction of guest conductor Joseph Rescigno, was superb.
  • Maria Nockin, Music & Vision:…the performance was a musical gem played at the brisk or romantic tempi that the score called for.

Lucia di Lammermoor—

  • Robert Markow, Opera News: Joseph Rescigno drew eloquent phrasing and clear textures from the Montreal Symphony while maintaining momentum through careful pacing and judicious tempos. The sextet was the highlight, distinguished for balance of ensemble and clarity of projecion.
  • John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune: His reading swept away the soggy rhythms and blurred textures that often obscure Donizetti’s intentions. The pulse was steady and propulsive, yet Rescigno molded the bel canto lines appreciatively and proved a reliable ally of the singers. Let’s have him back.
  • Robert C. Marsh, Chicago Sun-Times: Joseph Rescigno… had the Lyric orchestra playing with all the energy and drive the music requires and gave his singers strong melodic phrases to support their voices.
  • Ioesco.com: Ma il clou di questa piccola stagione operistica del Montefeltro è la Lucia di Lammermoor diretta dal grande concertatore Joseph Rescigno. … Il direttore Rescigno ha saputo creare i climax intensamente emozionali di quest’opera romantica, gestendo in modo magistrale i cantanti e l’Orchestra Città di Ravenna che ha dato una brillante prova delle sue qualità.


Symphony #6—

  • Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette: … particularly in the first movement where Rescigno summoned real lyrical sweep from the violins while maintaining a bracing Allegro tempo. … Dynamic values and tempo changes all justly reflected the architecture of the music.

Symphony #8—

  • Richard Turp, Montreal Gazette: A gleaming first Allegro con spirito in which the woodwinds were particularly fine, was complemented by a glowing Adagio. The dense richness of the strings carried over into the Allegretto graziozo which is, in effect, a dance-like scherzo. Echoes of Brahms’s Hungarian dances not only haunt this movement but also the concluding Allegro non troppo. Here a series of variations gave the movement a rhapsodic character and brought the evening’s eclectic program to an electric conclusion.

Symphony #9 (From the New World)—

  • Claude Gingras, La Presse (Montreal): Une égale réussite suivait l’entreacte. Le Dvořák reçut en effet une lecture non seulement précise mais habitée, d’une émotion qui renouvelait notre écoute de cette partition extrêmement familière. Faisant toutes les reprises, Rescigno souligne les harmonies wagnériennes des cordes et bois réunis et bien de détails comme les trémolos des violoncelles. Une grande paix remplit son mouvement (très beau solo de cor-anglais) et les dernières mesures de l’oeuvre ont une extraordinaire force dramatique.




  • John Koopman, Opera: ... the power-packed music-making of Joseph Rescigno and the Milwaukee Symphony, their clarity, precision and sense of balance (both sonic and dramatic) ever present.

Roméo et Juliette

  • Hugh F. Phillips, Opera Canada: In the Portland Opera production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, conductor Joseph Rescigno lead [sic] an orchestra that sounded transformed.



Mathis der Maler Symphony—

  • Ilse Zadrozny, Montreal Gazette: Congratulations to Rescigno and his orchestra. They gave this difficult symphony a first-class performance on the instrumental as well as on the emotional level.



Hansel und Gretel

  • Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette: Joseph Rescigno conducted the Orchestre Métropolitain through a sonically rich and rhythmically spirited performance of this remarkable Wagnerian score.



Violin Concertos—

  • Claude Gingras, La Presse (Montreal): ...ce plaisir [à faire de la musique], justement, est toujours évident à l’orchestre, animé par cet authentique musicien q’est Joseph Rescigno

Die erste Walpurgisnacht

  • Louis Nicholas, The Nashville Tennessean: Joseph Rescigno was the able orchestra director who held all elements of the performance together notably well.




  • Tom Sutcliffe, The Guardian: Joseph Rescigno conducted with a sympathy that helped to make the western orchestral instruments seem an extension of the [three on-stage] Japanese musicians, rather than leaving the Japanese music as merely exotic.
  • Bernard Holland, The New York Times: Joseph Rescigno’s conducting made his musicians and singers cohere admirably.
  • Howard Blumenfeld, Los Angeles Times: Joseph Rescigno conducted compellingly.



Die Entführung aus dem Serail—

  • Robert Markow, Opera News: Joseph Rescigno wove together the musical parts into a tightly knit ensemble that radiated stylistic grace and elegance.

Don Giovanni—

  • John Koopman, Opera: Joseph Rescigno drew excellent ensemble and stylish playing from the orchestra.
  • Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News: The maestro rendered this score’s tricky juxtaposition of light and shade with his customary aplomb, drawing lovely texture, from the Milwaukee Symphony.
  • Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Conductor Joseph Rescigno’s well-chosen tempos and sympathetic playing by the Milwaukee Symphony gave the singers a solid platform.

Le nozze di Figaro—

  • Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun: Joseph Rescigno, balanced momentum with graceful contour. [...] the score was allowed to breathe, yet never felt draggy.
  • Joseph McClellan, Washington Post: This production, eloquently conducted by Joseph Rescigno ... had in abundance the two virtues most suited to the Barns’ environment: intimacy and clarity.
  • Nancy Raabe, Milwaukee Sentinel: But more important was the theatrical acumen displayed by the cast, the array of fine voices that dominated the stage and the impeccable musicianship that emanated from both podium and orchestra pit.

Symphony #36 (Linz)—

  • François Tousignant, Le Devoir (Montreal): Rescigno y arrive assez bien; on le remarque surtout attaché à doser les plans sonores, à éclaircir les échanges entre les instruments et à tenter de faire chanter ses musiciens.


Orff & Leoncavallo

Carmina Burana & I Pagliacci—

  • Derek M. Mills, Opera News: As the evening developed, however, it became clear that this approach was a strategy that allowed Rescigno to unite both works and to build the entire evening toward a compelling, almost bacchanalian conclusion.




  • Colleen Johnston, Kitchener-Waterloo Record: Rescigno comes from a long line of accomplished musicians. He takes this pedigree seriously, and as he spoke about his reasons for choosing to conduct Ontario-born, Montreal composer André Prévost’s 1970 Evanescence, he was convincing, earnest and moving. As the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony performed this serially written, chilling iceberg work, the groans of a glacier shifting reminded Rescigno and the audience of the recent passing of Prévost. Prévost was a friend and colleague of conductor Rescigno, and the respect shared by these friends was evident in this performance.



La bohème

  • Elaine Schmidt, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: ...the opera was accompanied with sensitivity and drama by conductor Joseph Rescigno and members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
  • The Orange Transcript: Special credit must be given to maestro Joseph Rescigno. It was this man’s baton and leading of the extremely efficient and knowledgeable musicians that made the evening the joy that it was.

Madama Butterfly—

  • Christian Dalzon, ConcertoNet.com: Seasoned conductor Joseph Rescigno offers a quite respectable, beautifully paced performance. He is sensitive but not self-indulgent, powerfully dramatic but not vulgar. Climaxes are presented with precise dynamics, and the surprisingly few fortissimos of the orchestral score have a cracking impact. Kudos to Arizona Opera Orchestra who responds with dedication and intensity...
  • Matthew Erikson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: I reached for the handkerchief several times— mostly in the bittersweet second act. Credit the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Joseph Rescigno, which gave a richly atmospheric and shaped reading of Puccini’s emotive score. ... There were no dead spots in Rescigno’s brisk conducting, and in such moments as the Humming Chorus and Act III’s opening interlude, the players proved what a marvel Puccini’s music is.
  • Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News: The real stars of the show were conductor Joseph Rescigno (nephew of Dallas Opera co-founder Nicola Rescigno) and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. ... This was authoritative, expressive conducting, and the playing was superb.
  • Leslie Valdes, Philadelphia Inquirer: When Joseph Rescigno launched into Puccini’s burbling, arresting harmonies, the guest maestro revealed an opera orchestra as fluid and subtle as the waves and mists. The music was more agile even than the swift, hooded props crew who slid the gleaming wood-and-screened home of the main characters on and off stage.
  • David Gordon Duke, The Vancouver Sun: Joseph Rescigno ... gets a broad, sumptuous sound from the orchestra, an approach that brings out the work’s verismo lineage more than its pastel japanoiserie.
  • Edward Reichel, Deseret Morning News: Conductor Joseph Rescigno, directing members of the Utah Symphony, showed his fine sense of balance and pacing. His tempos were well chosen, giving the singers the freedom they needed to project and allowing them to sing naturally and fluidly.
  • John Charles, Opera Canada: Joseph Rescigno conducted with Italianate inspiration.
  • Andrew Adler, The Courier-Journal: Conductor Joseph Rescigno presided over the entire performance as a masterly Puccinian, never rushing, always supporting his singers. ...the strings—where ‘Butterfly’ fundamentally lives and breathes—had an idiomatic lushness that carried through the evening.
  • Shirley Fleming, New York Post: The orchestra sounded fresh, trim and well balanced under Joseph Rescigno’s direction.

Manon Lescaut

  • John Koopman, Opera: Manon Lescaut was brimming with musical excitement and vitality under the invigorating command of Joseph Rescigno. The Milwaukee Symphony enriched the voluptuous phrasing, fine tone and keen dramatic sense...
  • Martin Mayer, Opera: Fortunately, Baltimore had the admirable Joseph Rescigno of Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera to do the balancing and propel the piece through its less interesting moments.
  • Mairi MacLean, The Edmonton Journal: ...the music, with the ESO under conductor Joseph Rescigno, dripped with lyricism.
  • John Charles, The Edmonton Sun: The Act III intermezzo was especially eloquent, and throughout Rescigno knew just when to rein-in the ESO for dramatic intensity, and when to expand the lyricism to a pastel glow.


  • Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake Tribune: The Utah Symphony, under conductor Joseph Rescigno, played with vivid color and emotion.
  • Ilse Zadrozny, The Gazette, Montreal: The success of this production owes much to conductor Joseph Rescigno and the Montreal Symphony. It was evident that Rescigno has the full measure of this music, so that any fault-finding would be cavilling. The members of the MSO gave a first-class performance. Their playing was warm and sensitive, and especially fine in the extended orchestral episodees of Act 3.
  • John Koopman, Opera: Joseph Rescigno generated constant excitement, perfectly pacing the producer’s dramatic drive toward Sardou’s melodramatic ending.
  • Andrew Adler, The Courier-Journal: Returning to the Whitney pit after leading “Turandot” three seasons ago, Joseph Rescigno conducted the Louisville Orchestra with restraint and affection for Puccini’s vocal and instrumental shadings. There were moments when I wished he’d ratcheted up the tension level, but he appreciated that “Tosca” is not all about explosive energy—shocking, yes, yet crucially also seductive.
  • Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The production was accompanied by members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Joseph Rescigno, the Florentine’s principal conductor. Rescigno and the orchestra found the considerable drama in Puccini’s score.
  • Robert Markow, Opera: Joseph Rescigno’s conducting elicited a disciplined yet intensely eloquent response from the Montreal Symphony, which followed his every cue to perfection, resulting in a rare degree of empathy between pit and stage.
  • Myron Galloway, The Suburban: Under the baton of Joseph Rescigno the Montreal Symphony Orchestra gives a magnificent account of the score, at the very top of its form.


  • Charles H. Parsons, Opera News: From the first crashing chords, Joseph Rescigno stirred the Louisville Orchestra to extraordinary heights. Tonal beauty was always present, even in the fierce, savage reading by Rescigno. The chorus outdid itself.
  • Andrew Adler, The Courier-Journal: Joseph Rescigno led the Louisville Orchestra in a performance of admirable nuance. Kentucky Opera’s chorus, given its severest test in many a season, responded with exceptional poise and power.
  • Barbara Zuck, The Columbus Dispatch: Conductor Joseph Rescigno, conducting the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, delivers a fast-paced, taut Turandot.



Le tombeau de Couperin—

  • Colleen Johnston, Kitchener-Waterloo Record: Fresh, appropriately breezy and pastel-coloured section work lifted Ravel’s mercurial suite Le tombeau de Couperin to where it shone.



Il barbiere di Siviglia—

  • Will Crutchfield, New York Times: The rethinking came mostly in questions of tempo: The stretta of the first act finale, for instance, was taken so slowly that the vocal triplets could actually be attempted (this listener, in dozens of “Barbers,” had never heard them before). And lo and behold, it proved to be a far more effective tempo for the shape of the piece. At the usual pace it can seem a little frantic; one wants it over with, and most productions make cuts to shorten it. Here, it was note-complete and purely delightful.
  • Allan Kozinn, New York Times: Joseph Rescigno drew an appropriately trim, shapely sound from the orchestra.
  • Fred Kirshnit, New York Sun: Joseph Rescigno ... led a taut and measured performance. ... The realization was dynamic and subtly fluid, the underlying tension brought to almost aching fruition. This music may have been written in an age of restoration, but it sounded arrestingly sinister and febrile in the right hands.
  • Edwin Safford, The Providence Journal: Since Joseph Rescigno was on the podium, you could depend upon smooth going from the orchestra. The conductor led Rossini’s score for its breadth and lyricism as well as its witty attacks, getting most praiseworthy results from the winds and brass. If the strings took second place in this judgment, it was a matter of degree, and Rescigno’s subtle grading of the composer’s famed crescendos even had them up to snuff.

La Cenerentola—

  • Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times: Joseph Rescigno conducted with grace and a propulsive, incisive sense of rhythm.
  • Andrew Porter, The New Yorker and Financial Times: Joseph Rescigno was a polished, merry conductor.
  • James Wierzbicki, St. Louis Post-Dispatch ... under the baton of Joseph Rescigno, a young conductor who these days seems especially attuned not only to the obvious rhythmic needs of Rossini’s music but also to its more subtle demands in the areas of balance and sonic coloration.
  • Georges Farret, Opera International (Paris): Un direction souple, précise dans les ensembles, cohérent et communicative.
  • Alex Mattalia, Le Méridional (Marseille): Joseph Rescigno, venu de Dallas et Chicago, a assuré une conduite vive, soutenue, nuancée dans un excellent tempo. Il a communiqué aux interprètes du plateau, comme au choeur très cohérent, la légèreté, la spontanéité, d’expression, la fraîcheur, l’allegria.
  • Simone Serret, La Marseillaise (Marseille): L’orchestre… se faisant remarquer plutôt ice par sa poésie et son raffinement, sous la baguette du chef Joseph Rescigno qui a fait merveille en particulier pour mettre en valeur les grands ensembles, et les finales.
  • Edmée Santy, Le Provençal (Marseille): Enfin celui par qui l’homogénéité, le point d’orgue ont pu être obtenus: le chef, Joseph Rescigno. Cet Américain a tout pour s’écrier: “Le lyrique en Europe, à nous deux!”
    and, writing separately,
    Et je serais fort etonnée que notre directeur artistique n’ait pas également arrêté les dates du calendrier du chef Joseph Rescigno.

L’italiana in Algeri—

  • Paul Kosidowski, Inside Milwaukee: Joseph Rescigno and the Milwaukee Symphony were pitch perfect – cadence after cadence after cadence.
  • Octavio Roca, Washington Times: Joseph Rescigno is a conductor to treasure. He has Rossini in his blood and technique at his fingertips. His conducting was expansive and very considerate of his singers yet never letting things bog down. One came away with a good sense of the nobility of this music as well as its humor.
  • Joseph McLellan, Washington Post: Conductor Joseph Rescigno matched the show’s visual impact with properly crisp and excellently balanced music.
  • Tom Strini, Third Coast Digest: Conductor Joseph Rescigno and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra heard and delivered the pratfalls in the Overture, which was a good sign.
  • Jeffrey C. Smith, Opera Canada: Joseph Rescigno’s conducting had just the right touch.
  • Opera Monthly: Joseph Rescigno conducted with finesse, breezy style, and consideration for the singers.
  • Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: MSO members, under conductor Joseph Rescigno, played with finesse and style.


Schubert & Schumann

Symphony #8 (The Unfinished) & Symphony #2—

  • Richard Turp, Montreal Gazette: Last night’s Orchestre Métropolitain concert of Schubert and Schumann at the Théâtre Maisonneuve confirmed the evolution of the orchestra under Joseph Rescigno’s leadership. The Orchestre Métropolitain has acquired firmness of purpose and direction but also a fluidity of approach and added lyricism. [Schubert]... poised and hushed ... venture to the extremes of both dynamic range and nuance ... [Schumann] Allegro’s musical narrative was cogent and coherent while the scherzo was notable for the depth and definition of orchestral tuttis and breathtaking resolution ... lyrical sweep in the Adagio had both a noble grandeur and moving simplicity while the final Allegro demonstrated his ability to differentiate and compose with the orchestral timbres.



Symphony #5—

  • Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette: Few lists of likely interpreters of Shostakovich’s burly Fifth Symphony would include the classically scaled Orchestre Métropolitain under opera-minded Joseph Rescigno. Last night, Montreal’s other orchestra and its music director showed a remarkable aptitude for thinking big and speaking Russian in Théâtre Maisonneuve. ... Rescigno, for his part, challenged them by choosing a tempo at the slow end of moderato, the better to bring out the anguish of the music. Tension built steadily through the development. Climaxes were rugged and exciting. Also credit Rescigno for finding a rollicking pulse for the Allegretto without sacrificing its menacing subtext. ... There was plenty of gusto in the finale.



Ariadne auf Naxos—

  • Barbara Zuck, The Columbus Dispatch: Joseph Rescigno returns to the Palace pit and conducts with adept skill and passion.


  • John Koopman, Opera News: Joseph Rescigno led the excellent Milwaukee Symphony in a surging, incandescent reading that achieved fine balance between stage and pit.
  • Ursula Weiss, Opera Canada: The Florentine Opera production of Elektra was remarkable in its quality and stunning in its intensity. A cast of veteran singers supported by the incandescent orchestral playing of the Milwaukee Symphony, under the direction of maestro Joseph Rescigno, unleashed the full impact of Strauss’s score on a rapt audience.
  • Jay Joslyn, Milwaukee Sentinel: Conductor Joseph Rescigno drew from the full complement of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra the particular sound mosaic with which Strauss is identified. He drove the emotional pace of the piece while serving the singers with consideration.

Der Rosenkavalier—

  • Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Conductor Joseph Rescigno paced and balanced sensitively and maintained transparency in the dense orchestration. That last point is crucial, as waltzes lurk deep in the mix, as if heard through the open windows of a ballroom down the block. Rescigno and Strauss never let you forget: This is Vienna.
  • John Koopman, Opera News: Suicidal as this sounds, it all turned out well, and the company actually played to its great strength: the excellent Milwaukee Symphony, which serves as the Florentine orchestra, lent a solid underpinning to the entire project and contributed mightily to its success. … Conductor Joseph Rescigno held it all together with precise cues, artfully balancing stage and pit and shaping the score.


  • Lawrence B. Johnson, Milwaukee Sentinel: Just about everything worked here, as conductor Joseph Rescigno wove Strauss’ knotty threads into whole cloth with a superbly balanced cast and a well-prepared Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
  • Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Conductor Joseph Rescigno comforted and urged on the singers with tempos and orchestral dynamics so right that you thought not of them, but only of the gripping, sweeping drama. The Milwaukee Symphony played with a glorious combination of precision and excitement.
  • Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News: Joseph Rescigno fielded some of his best work yet with his exemplary handling of Strauss’s reduced orchestration for eighty-two (as opposed to the original scoring for 110) instruments. The Milwaukee Symphony played beautifully.
  • Barbara Zuck, The Columbus Dispatch: Rescigno certainly did not forsake the power in this score, but there was no harshness or ugliness, only authority. Similarly, while every important musical motive and moment was cleanly differentiated in this always-moving score, the pace never faltered. Nor was there even the slightest coordination problem between the singers and the orchestra.



Symphony #5—

  • François Tousignant, Le Devoir (Montreal): Hier soir, à la basilique Notre-Dame, Joseph Rescigno et l’OSM ne nous ont pas laissé sur notre faim! La vision de Rescigno est claire: chassez la mièvrerie au galop et la musique arrivera aussitôt. Les quatre mouvements s’enchaînent, dans des tempos alertes qui «pompent» les vents de l’OSM. En plus, le chef invité sait se servir des cuivres. Quel volume!, mais jamais tonitruant. Au contraire, les trompettes apportent la lumière dans les fanfares, les cors bouchés modifient curieusement l’éclairage quand on les entend aussi nettement, sans crainte de les faire sonner trop fort. Car Rescigno arrive à tirer tout le volume nécessaire des cordes (dans la nef, il faut le faire) et fait se lancer comme des bulles de champagne tous les traits des vents qui, ainsi mis en relief, relèvent de la plus maîtrisée virtuosité. … Tiré de son banal héritage et de son carcan romantiqe, le fatum qui sert de motif conducteur à l’oeuvre gagne une intensité dramatique remarquable, ainsi qu’une efficacité d’où la vulgarité est complètement absente, comme la facilité. La battue détaillée du chef permet l’émergence et la présence sentie de plein de petits contrepoints, de courts motifs d’accompagnement qui généralement se noient dans la pâte. On fait plus que s’intéresser: on se passionne pour ces musiciens qui font ainsi de la musique. Tchaïkovski comme antidote de Rachmaninov, qui l’eût cru?




  • Edward Reichel, Deseret Morning News: Conductor Joseph Rescigno, directing members of the Utah Symphony, showed his fine sense of balance and pacing. His tempos were well chosen, giving the singers the freedom they needed to project and allowing them to sing naturally and fluidly.
  • Floyd St. Clair, Opera Canada: Joseph Rescigno led a supportive orchestra with vigor and some deft pointing up of niceties in the scoring.


  • Ursula Weiss, Opera Canada: Maestro Joseph Rescigno brought his usual bright, urgent tempi to the work, but had the wisdom to restrain himself for several of the notoriously complex ensembles.
  • Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The singers bobbed along on Joseph Rescigno’s well-chosen tempos. They had a good time, and their sense of pleasure in their work was part of the appeal.
  • Rita Celli, La Voce di Romagna: Pieno successo per il Falstaff diretto da Joseph Rescigno, ieri sera presso il Tetaro Sociale di Novafeltria. Merito in primo luogo del direttore Rescigno che ha saputo condurre magistralmente l’Orchestra Sinfonica di Pesaro e tutta la compagine vocale con tempi, caratteri e equilibrio sonoro che hanno permesso al pubblico assistere a quest’opera magistrale e divertirsi.
  • Joan Reinthaler, The Washington Post: ...conductor Joseph Rescigno, who managed to juggle sympathetic attention to Verdian vocal lines with the hurly-burly of Verdian slapstick...
  • Terry Ponick, The Washington Times: Under Maestro Rescigno’s baton, the full, Romantic sound of the orchestra, which consists of members of the Virginia Symphony, couldn’t have been better.
  • Lee Teply, The Virginian-Pilot: Conductor Joseph Rescigno returned to the pit, moving the music forward with a natural pacing. The orchestra of Virginia Symphony musicians played superbly, following his every nuance and maintaining balance with the singers.
  • Metropolitan Arts Reviews: ... Joseph Rescigno, made sure that the music was as beautiful as the slap stick was hilarious. The timing of the music and the action was perfect.


  • Robert Coleman, Opera News: Rescigno ... masterfully balanced singers and instrumentalists without sacrificing Verdi’s muscular sound.
  • Catherine Reese Newton, The Salt Lake Tribune: Joseph Rescigno conducts the Utah Symphony in Verdi’s rich and fascinating score. Woodwind playing in Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene is particularly picturesque.
  • Edward Reichel, Deseret News: Pacing was taut, and the members of the Utah Symphony playing in the pit for this production gave a solid and finely crafted performance.


  • Barbara Zuck, The Columbus Dispatch: Music Director Joseph Rescigno, who is becoming an old friend to Opera/Columbus regulars, brings clarity, balance and intelligent pacing to the production. He leads the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in a satisfying and neatly executed rendition of the overture and thereafter keeps the action moving forward at appropriate tempos... In an opera with such a prepondereance of writing for brass and chorus, the principals could easily be overpowered. Not in this reading. Rescigno never lets the brass play or the chorus sing to the detriment of the stars.
  • Stephen Wigler, The Sun (Baltimore, MD): The orchestra played convincingly under the idiomatic leadership of Joseph Rescigno.
  • Ellen Finkelstein, Baltimore Business Journal: By far, the most surprising delight of this production is the orchestra. Not since the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra days of opera residence have I heard such precision and sensitivity. Bravo to conductor Joseph Rescigno.


  • Tom Strini, The Milwaukee Journal: Conductor Joseph Rescigno at the helm of an exceptionally responsive and expressive Milwaukee Symphony, understood both the big arcs and the details of expression that give them shape and impetus.
  • John Koopman, Opera News: Conductor Joseph Rescigno applied abundant vigor and passion to the score, and when the curtain opened on Verdi’s storm, the chorus seemed buffeted by the burst of music and conductorial intensity.


  • Lee Zacheis, The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Rescigno is a conductor thoroughly at home with Verdi and it was gratifying to observe him drawing the somber tones and shadings from both orchestra and chorus, so important to this work.


  • Andrew Alexander, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Conductor Joseph Rescigno makes the orchestra sound especially fine in passages of quiet intensity, when Verdi utilizes one or two sections or smaller arrangements of instruments to elicit spooky and suspenseful dramatic textures.
  • Paul Kosidowski, Milwaukee Magazine: Joseph Rescigno and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra found the dramatic power in Verdi’s score, and Rescigno was a particularly sensitive accompanist for the soloists.
  • Tom Strini, ThirdCoast Digest: Joseph Rescigno, conducting the singers and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, framed the singing of Jarman and all the cast most sympathetically. Rescigno enforced apt tempos every beat of the way, excellent balance within the orchestra and between the orchestra and the singers, and maintained a powerful, overarching momentum. This Rigoletto is one of Rescigno’s very best efforts in his long Florentine tenure.
  • Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Conductor Joseph Rescigno and members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra supported the opera from the pit. Rescigno was sensitive to the singers’ needs, giving them the musical and dramatic freedom they needed.

La traviata—

  • Peter Jacobi, blogs.music.indiana.edu: Verdi has been done proud. The reason begins with music director Joseph Rescigno, who obviously loves the opera and has expressed that love in sensitive preparation of the Concert Orchestra and all those singing on stage; the orchestra sounded velvety and voluptuous.
  • Elaine Strauss, U.S. 1 (New Jersey): The orchestra, directed by Joseph Rescigno, furnished transparent instrumental support from the moment it played the first icy chords of the overture. Its well-placed silences contributed to dramatic effectiveness at critical points in the work.
  • Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Conductor Joseph Rescigno, in the pit with the Milwaukee Symphony, surely helped the singers arrive at their smart, sensitive and telling readings of this music. Beyond that, he wove the parts into a well-paced, satisfying whole.
  • Joseph Orchard, Classical New Jersey Society Journal: The musical direction of this production was forged by conductor Joseph Rescigno. Under his guidance, the ensembles—from duets to choruses—were full of musical poignancy. The strong, dry sound emanating from the orchestra both supported and ignited the dramatic action unfolding on the stage.
  • Albert H. Cohen, Home News Tribune (New Jersey): Conductor Joseph Rescigno was superb. His tempos were brisk to keep the action moving, languid to pull the beauty from the great arias. His orchestra was both responsive and under control.
  • Nancy Plum, Town Topics (New Jersey): Conductor Joseph Rescigno conducted the singers, accompanied by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia with the clear musical intent of a classical approach to the phrasing. The orchestral sound was clean and rich, the brass was precise, phrase endings were tapered, and many dynamic echoes were heard within the lines of both singers and instrumentalists. Mr. Rescigno had a solid command of the score, which enabled the musical production to flow smoothly.
  • Maria Nockin, Opera japonica: Conductor, Joseph Rescigno’s vast knowledge of Verdi style was evident as he wove the many parts of this opera into a fine performance.
  • Rita Celli, La Voce di Romagna: Protagonista principale della serata il direttore Rescigno, una garanzia per la tenuta dell’opera che con simbiosi ha unito orchestra e palcoscenico.

Un ballo in maschera—

  • Barbara Zuck, The Columbus Dispatch: The Opera/Columbus production is able to make the most of these opportunities because of the fine principal singers and the skilled, confident conducting of Joseph Rescigno. Rescigno, who guest conducted the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, saves the audience from a sluggish evening ... by propoelling the action on with eager tempos, but preserves the musicality by his sensitivity both to the score and to the cast.
  • Nancy Gilson, Columbus Citizen-Journal: Conductor Joseph Rescigno encouraged a bold, big performance from the Columbus Symphony...



Der fliegende Holländer—

  • Christine Granster, Opera: Maestro Joseph Rescigno began Wagner’s vigorous overture with his usual energetic approach and kept the excitement flowing on throughout the evening.
  • Christian Dalzon, ConcertoNet.com: The Flying Dutchman has always been a conductor’s opera. With Joseph Rescigno at the helm of Arizona Opera Orchestra, we are treated with intense and assured conducting. From the very first bars of the overture, he imposes a lightning tension and never releases his grip. The pace and drive are everything they should be, and so is the balance between German heaviness and Romanticism. The reading of the score is spacious in its tempos, never bombastic, but delicately subtle and stormy when needed. The musicians’ response? Passionate and cohesive, with shimmering strings and riotous brass. Likewise, the strong vocal cast assembled by Arizona Opera makes for a commendable performance.

Das Rheingold—

  • Claude Gingras, La Presse (Montreal):Joseph Rescigno, maître d’oeuvre de cette grandiose réalisation, a non seulement confirmé là une fois de plus ses grandes qualités de chef et d’interprète mais a étonné par la dimension de sa vision. Sa direction avait de l’unité, elle embrassait à la fois chanteurs et orchestre, elle était sensible et efficace à chaque instant.
  • François Tousignant, Le Devoir (Montreal): Il faut évidemment reconnaître la très grande part de mérite qui revient à Rescigno. ... Rescigno, renoue avec le «soleil latin» que Wieland Wagner, petit-fils du compositeur et metteur en scène de génie, admirait tant chez des chefs tels Karl Böhm et Pierre Boulez. Le choix des tempos est juste; ils sont alertes et jamais la musique ne traîne la patte. Contrairement à bien d’autres chefs qu’on dit «wagnériens», il ne s’écoute pas: il écoute la musique. Ainsi, il rend sans problème ce qu’il y a de plus difficile dans cette écriture, à savoir les transitions et les nombreuses fluctuations de la pulsation à l’intérieur d’un même tempo. Le théâtre, dont on aurait pu craindre l’absence, est donc réellement présent par cette mouvance si souple qui fait qu’on épouse tout naturellement le déroulement de la partition et de l’intrigue.

Tristan und Isolde—

  • Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Under Rescigno’s purposeful and sensitive guidance, they always knew their place within Wagner’s long, slow build-ups to climactic release.
  • John Koopman, Opera News: This country’s Wagnerian center-of-gravity shifted recently to Wisconsin, a temporary phenomenon caused by the substantive performances of Tristan und Isolde by the Florentine Opera. ... Maestro Joseph Rescigno clearly reveled in the orchestral sound at his command and, relieved of balance concerns by the physical arrangement, shaped a grand, sweeping reading of the score

Die Walküre—

  • John Koopman, Opera News: Led by the energetic Joseph Rescigno, whose command of the score was total, the Milwaukee Symphony seemed ablaze with its own internal magic fire, and its supportive presence lent urgent vitality.
  • Joe Banno, The Washington Post: ... a luminous, finely pointed, purposefully forward-moving reading.
  • Terry Ponick, The Washington Times: The Virginia Symphony, which accompanied the singers under the able baton of substitute conductor Joseph Rescigno, performed admirably as they worked with unaccustomed material. In Wagner, the symphonic quality of the orchestra is intentionally as important as the singing. The orchestra’s playing was elegant and sensitive.
  • M.D. Ridge, Artsong Update: Rescigno provided full punctuation of Wotan’s dreadful curse. [A news item about opening night by John Campbell is at the end of this page.]
  • Bruce Boucher, The Berkshire Review: Rescigno, who studied under Erich Leinsdorf, has a strong affinity for the sound and architecture of Wagnerian motifs and produced remarkably fine tones and ensemble playing from the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
  • Edgar Loessin, “Loessin at Large,” WHRO-FM: ... they are well sung and most certainly masterfully supported by the 51 piece orchestra under the baton of the commanding Joseph Rescigno.
  • Tim Smith, Opera News:…the cast dove into the music with remarkable freshness and commitment, while the orchestra (drawn from the Virginia Symphony) played with considerably more cohesiveness and expressive depth than typical in previous seasons. Rescigno…held things together and came through with sufficient eloquence in the score’s most radiant moments.
  • Raymond Jones, Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk): Maestro Joseph Rescigno ... is a podium veteran who is the principal conductor of Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera Company. He demonstrated complete command of the music and drew some exemplary playing from the orchestra.
  • David Nicholson, Daily Press (Newport News): …a sensuous reading of the score by the orchestra conducted by guest conductor Joseph Rescigno.

Concert of Wagner excerpts—

  • Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette: ... despite distractions... That this program nevertheless held interest as a kind of symphonic poem with voices says something about how much the orchestra has progressed under Rescigno’s direction.
  • Robert Markow, Wagner Society of New York: Rescigno is a master at observing details that make a score come to life—the subito pianos, the quick swellings and subsidings, the myriad nuances and rubatos—and the orchestra responded to his every wish, playing with a glow and richness of sound seldom heard from the far better known Montreal Symphony.



Henry V—

  • Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette: Rescigno successfully realized the cinematic colour of the Walton, with all its brilliant sunshine and banners flapping in the breeze. The OM is clearly a more confident reading orchestra than it once was.



Barber, Fauré, Rimsky-Korsakov, Sibelius, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky—

  • Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette: Joseph Rescigno—24 hours after leading the MSO [Montreal Symphony Orchestra] through an unrelated program in Notre Dame Basilica—worked miracles with a pickup band.



About Joseph Rescigno Audio & Video Samples Messages to the Maestro (intro)