I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman

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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.

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The Sound of Bohemia

Bedřich Smetana: Moldau (Vltava) from “Ma Vlast”
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony #9 in E minor “From the New World”, Op. 95
Leoš Janáček: Sinfonietta

Anima Eterna Brugge/Jos van Immerseel
Bruges, Concertgebouw, 13 March 2015

Jos van Immerseel and Anima Eterna Brugge have long since gone beyond exploring the Baroque and Classical eras. Their “historically aware” performances from the last fifteen years now range from Monteverdi to Gershwin. Based on the use and implementation of historically accurate instruments and performance techniques, as well as extensive and critical archival research, their projects have often warranted a fascinating, at times revelatory rediscovery of familiar scores. Their current “Sound of Bohemia” heard at a concert in Bruges focuses on the three most significant Czech composers – Smetana, Dvořák and Janáček – and covers a time span of roughly fifty years. All three are presented with one of their most popular works: The Moldau (1874), the Ninth Symphony “From the New World” (1893), and the Sinfonietta (1926).
Read the full review on Classical Net