I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman


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Brahmsfest in Paris

Johannes Brahms:
Symphony #1 in C minor, Op. 68
Symphony #2 in D Major, Op. 73
Symphony #3 in F Major, Op. 90
Symphony #4 in E minor, Op. 98
Piano Concerto #1 in D minor, Op. 15
Piano Concerto #2 in B Flat Major, Op. 83
Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77
“Double” Concerto for Violin, Cello & Orchestra in A minor, Op. 102

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano
Arcadi Volodos, piano
Leonidas Kavakos, violin
Julian Rachlin, violin
Enrico Dindo, cello
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Riccardo Chailly
Paris, Salle Pleyel, 26-27 October and 1-2 November 2013

Coinciding with their CD-release of the Brahms Symphonies, Riccardo Chailly and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra toured London, Paris and Vienna with the complete Symphony and Concerto cycle. Marketing-wise it doesn’t get any better than that. Music-wise it was a true Brahms feast.
I was able to attend the whole series at the Paris Salle Pleyel – and would like to thank Philippe Provensal and his press team for their generous assistance. Spread over four concerts, with each of the symphonies paired to a concerto, maestro Chailly and his Leipzig ensemble offered a unique opportunity to (re)visit one of the most significant symphonic legacies of the 19th century. Riccardo Chailly has been Gewandhauskapellmeister since the start of the 2005/6 season. With its 270 years of history the Gewandhaus Orchestra is not only the oldest in the world, it boasts a long tradition of championing Brahms’s music. The composer himself conducted and performed no less than 16 times in Leipzig, where during his lifetime a true personal cult had developed. In the 1913/14 season of the Gewandhaus a first Brahms cycle was brought under the baton of Arthur Nikisch, whom the composer had known as orchestra leader. Now, a hundred years later, Chailly continues this tradition in grand form.
Read the full review on Classical Net


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Alien Strauss

Richard Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30; Don Juan, Op. 20; Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Op. 28
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Gustavo Dudamel
Deutsche Grammophon 4791041

Dudamel's debut disc with the Berlin Philharmonic

Dudamel’s debut disc with the Berlin Philharmonic

Perhaps we should cut the guy some slack? To be hyped as “the most exciting and gifted young conductor of our times” when you are facing your first recording with the “legendary Berlin Philharmonic”, is anything but helpful. Surely, everybody is expecting you to move the earth. But even so, with everything reset to human proportions, it’s still a fact that Gustavo Dudamel’s debut disc with the Berlin Philharmonic in a well-tried Richard Strauss triple bill isn’t bound to move much.
Read the full review on Classical Net