I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman


Leave a comment

Russian troika bogged down in the quest for authenticity in Bruges

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36
Sergei Rachmaninov: Vocalise, Op. 34 no. 14
Sergei Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in A Minor, Op. 43
Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, Suite no. 2, Op. 64ter

Anna Vinnitskaya, piano
Jos van Immerseel, Anima Eterna Brugge
Bruges, Concertgebouw, 29 November 2019

In this triptych from Jos van Immerseel and his Anima Eterna Brugge, three Russian composers underwent the authentic instrument treatment for which this Belgian ensemble is famous. Using the instruments and orchestral layout the composers knew may be admirable but has its limitations. Some fifty years were spanned in this concert and yet everything was performed with the same instruments. Are we to assume the Philadelphia Orchestra which premiered Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in 1934 sounded the same as Rimsky-Korsakov’s orchestra in 1888, not to mention the Czech or Russian forces playing Prokofiev’s Romeo in the late 1930s? I guess not, but eventually this wasn’t the main concern.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.