I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman


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The American Dream still lives in Antwerp

John Adams: Two Fanfares for orchestra
Bohuslav Martinů: Violin Concerto No. 2

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 “Pathétique”
Josef Špaček jr, violin
Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, David Zinman
Antwerp, Queen Elisabeth Hall, 3 May 2019

David Zinman (© Priska Ketterer)

David Zinman (© Priska Ketterer)

This concert of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra was part of “The American Dream” theme this season, focusing on American composers and musicians, as well as European artists who for one reason or another travelled or worked stateside. The respected David Zinman led the orchestra in an interesting programme, offering next to Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” Symphony an absolute rarity with Bohuslav’s Martinů’s Violin Concerto no. 2, composed and premiered in the US. The American presence was further ensured by the Two Fanfares for orchestra from John Adams.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.


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Beguiling Tchaikovsky from Alban Gerhardt and Klaus Mäkelä in Antwerp

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme in A major, Op. 33
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43

Alban Gerhardt, cello
Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Klaus Mäkelä
Antwerp, Queen Elisabeth Hall, 28 October 2018

Klaus Mäkelä (© Heikki Tuuli)

Klaus Mäkelä (© Heikki Tuuli)

Judging by the many empty seats in the Elisabeth Centre, Antwerp concertgoers may not be very matinal, in spite of the alluring programme – and the pre-concert coffee and croissants generously included with the tickets. Yet those who braved the Sunday morning start were in for a treat. This matinée by the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra (ASO) was dubbed “Alban Gerhardt plays Tchaikovsky”. In retrospect, the performance by the German cellist of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme proved an absolute highlight, but at the same time we were introduced to a promising newcomer, the highly-touted Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä, only 22 years old, currently Principal guest conductor with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and soon-to-be Chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.


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Alice Sara Ott and Edo de Waart bring magnificent Mozart and Dvořák to Antwerp

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 13 in C Major, KV 415 (KV 387b)
Antonin Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, “From the New World”

Alica Sara Ott, piano
Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Edo de Waart
Antwerp, Queen Elisabeth Hall, 19 May 2018

Alice Sara Ott (© Jonas Becker)

Alice Sara Ott (© Jonas Becker)

The Antwerp Symphony Orchestra (ASO, formerly known as the deFilharmonie or the Royal Flemish Philharmonic) is a superb formation, one of the finest in the country. The quality of this ensemble was undeniable in an utterly delightful Mozart and Dvořák matinee concert in Antwerp’s Queen Elisabeth Hall under the ASO’s Conductor Laureate, Dutch maestro Edo de Waart. The presence of Alice Sara Ott as soloist was icing on the cake.

Read the full review on Bachtrack