“Conductor Hobart Earle secured much of the same integrity of performance from his players in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 ... this must go down as one of the best performances of Mahler in Perth."
Sunday Times, Perth, Western Australia
“Das zweite der beiden Neujahrskonzerte zeigte, dass Earle und sein Orchester dem Wiener Walzer-Idiom hart auf den Fersen sind."
“The second of the two new year's concerts showed that Earle and his orchestra have almost perfected the idiom of the Viennese waltz.”
Die Presse, Vienna
“Earle has Odessa in fine form … in its American debut at Orchestra Hall on Friday, the Orchestra showed that it could join the top ranks of American orchestras without breaking step. Earle’s baton technique is noticeably like Carlo Maria Giulini’s – fluid, graceful to the point of being balletic but still exact. (And Earle’s memory isn’t bad: he conducted the entire concert without a score.)”
“Bei Schostakowitschs 5. Sinfonie besteht eine Hauptaufgabe des Dirigenten, aehnlich wie bei den Sinfonien Mahlers, in der Buendelung des Heterogenen, der Konstituierung des uebergeordneten Kontexts. Wer hier nur auf blosses “Richtigspielen” setzt, riskiert nachhaltig Langeweile. Nicht so Hobart Earle. Was er bei diesem ja nur vordergruendlich affirmativen Werk an Doppelboedigkeit freilegt, wie er die thematischen Entwicklungslinien aufbaute, das zeichnet ihn als einen wirklich bedeutenden Dirigenten aus.”
“In Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony, as with Mahler’s symphonies, one of the principal tasks of the conductor is to bring consistency to heterogeneity, to build the overall context. Anyone setting out merely to “play correctly” risks permanent boredom. Not Hobart Earle. The ambiguity he exposed in this only outwardly affirmative work, the way he built up the lines of thematic development, marks him out as a truly important conductor.”
Stuttgarter Zeitung, Germany
"...a Brahms second symphony of white-hot intensity, tensile strength and unflagging sense of purpose."
The Financial Times, London
“Earle and the musicians were soon on the same wave length. Particularly effective was his way of brining out inner voices, revealing new, cleaner textures. Throughout this symphony Earle was able to mould the individual movements so as to leave a strong sense of their architecture in the mind. He also has the uncanny ability to prepare the listener for the end of a movement -- the musical equivalent of saying, “Pay attention, here it comes” -- and then to turn the actual conclusion into an eloquent summary statement.”
Buffalo News, NY
“Les oreilles furent comblées, l’orchestre se distinguant par une remarquable homogénéité de son et la couleur des timbres. On ne pouvait mieux diriger que ne l’avait fait Hobart Earle. Pétillant et enchanteur..”
“Mr. Earle demonstrated why he is viewed in such high regard in conducting circles this past weekend. Music is never dull to this conductor. America is in desperate need of young native conductors, and occasionally they surface out of nowhere (usually from European ensembles) to show that there is a new generation of conductors out there.”
Town Topics, Princeton, NJ
“Sicuramente è stata la mano di Earle a contribuire a questa sentita performance . . . Il gesto di Earle, che fa intuire la profonda conoscenza della partitura e delle diverse tecniche strumentali, lavora in maniera instancabile sull’articolazione e sui contrasti".
“Without doubt, Earle’s hand made a contribution to this deeply felt performance . . . Earle’s conducting style, which transmits a deep understanding of the score and of the diverse instrumental styles of playing, focuses in a tireless manner on articulation and dynamic contrasts”.
Il Corriere Musicale
“Die Instrumentalisten realisierten die Partituren mit grosser Konzentration und uebersahen auch jene Feinheiten nicht, die nicht ausdruecklich in den Noten festgehalten sind. Earle inszenierte elegante Walzer-Tableaus und verstand es, dem Publikum mit charmanten Phasierungen bie Laune zu halten."
"The musicians brought the scores to life with great concentration, and without overlooking all the subtleties not written in the music. Earle presented elegant waltz-tableaus and sustained the atmosphere for the audience through refined phrasing."
Die Presse, Vienna
"Who’d have thought that the most brilliant performance of Strauss waltzes and such we’ve heard in some time would come from a group of Ukrainians led by a Venezuelan-born American conductor! Earle, who conducted the entire concert from memory and had an engaging style with the audience, showed off his orchestra’s polished and airtight ensemble as they performed real gems."
“Zdecydowanym bohaterem wieczoru był dyrygent amerykański Hobart Earle. Doskonałe opinie jakie zbiera, na naszej estradzie w pełni się potwierdziły. Jest to niezwykle dynamiczny i zarazem czytelny w gestach dyrygent … orkiestrę więc zmobilizował skutecznie do wyjątkowo prężnych działań. Takich kontrastów dynamicznych, robionych w krótkich odcinkach czasowych nie słyszy się często. Earle to bez wątpienia osobowość, której energię odbiera się nawet z ostatnich krzeseł, a co dopiero z bliskich pulpitów orkiestry."
"The definite hero of the evening was the American conductor Hobart Earle. The fantastic opinions that he gathers, were fully confirmed on our stage. He is an extremely dynamic and clear in gestures conductor ... he mobilized the orchestra to vigorous action. Such strong contrasts in dynamic, done in very short time periods, are not often heard. Earle is definitely the conductor, whose personality strongly influences the very last seats, not to mention the first stands of the orchestra.”
Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland
The program began promisingly with an “Unfinished” Symphony shaped with careful attention to the details of dynamics and accents that bring life to Schubert’s beautiful but thrice-familiar piece. A conductor who insists that pianos be really piano and fortes really forte is always welcome, especially when the orchestra follows him with such immediacy.
The real highlight of the program was the performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, a work of enormous rhythmic drive ... it is ferociously difficult to maintain the energy required from beginning to end, whether in the explosive loud sections or the more delicate soft sections that require control of the instruments only milliseconds after they have been called upon to play full out. Despite these challenges, the players dug into the music with such evident conviction, passion, and strength that I frankly cannot remember ever having heard a more fully satisfying representation of the score: tight ensemble, superbly observed dynamics, non-stop energy, and the kind of leaning-forward engagement that transmits the excitement to everyone in the hall.
As Earle left the stage following the first round of enthusiastic applause, it appeared, oddly, as if the string players were going to follow him off. But it turned out that violas and cellos merely switched places for the encore, an ingratiating performance of the Artist’s Life waltzes of Johann Strauss the younger. Hobart Earle’s years in Vienna certainly make him a superb Strauss conductor, one who knows that the waltzes are not to be played as written, but with all kinds of adjustments of tempo that one absorbs fully in the city for which this music was first created. Few American conductors do Strauss so stylishly, and Earle has inculcated the tradition in his Odessa players, too.
All in all, a surprising evening, one of the most satisfying orchestral performances of the season.
The Boston Musical Intelligencer
"Earle evozierte eine symphonische Sogwirkung, die bis zum letzten Ton des langen und kraefteberaubenden Werkes anhielt."
"Earle summoned a symphonic surge from his orchestra that carried all before it until the very last note of this long and strenous work."
Die Presse, Vienna
The concluding work on the Odessa Philharmonic's program was a blisteringly paced, wondrously energetic performance of Beethoven's 7th, and it transformed a routine, competent concert into an amazing and joyous experience.
You can tell when a touring orchestra suddenly begins to cook. The smiles and nods across the sections last night signaled something very special was happening. You could read it on the musicians' faces and in the hand motions of conductor Hobart Earle. What had seemed excessive gyrations in the previous offerings suddenly became spot-on leadership of collective inspiration. Earle drew radiant playing from his woodwinds and brass that justly merited the first call during the subsequent ovation. His string section, made up of mostly female musicians, melded perfectly into that subterranean, throbbing energy that drives Beethoven's music into ever deeper emotions. One wonders whether the Vienna Philharmonic, that bastion of male music-making, will begin to rethink its gender bias as heat from Odessa streams in.
Maestro Earle's political skills apparently rival his conducting brilliance. How many conductors could sustain and build an orchestra from regional to world-class status in a newly independent country in the midst of a collapsing empire?
Earle responded to the audience's standing ovation with perfect political pitch by noting the 150th anniversary of Music Worcester Inc. (the performance's sponsor) and wishing the organization another 150 years. For an encore, the orchestra offered of Johann Strauss' “Artist's Life” waltz, and that beguiling lilt only keyed the audience higher, meriting another round of applause and another encore. "
Telegram and Gazette, Worcester, Massachusetts
"What followed ( …after 1991… ) was, quite possibly, the single most successful effort by an American in pursuing his particular line of business in Ukraine.”
The Kyiv Post