I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman


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Electrifying Rach 3 from Giltburg in Rotterdam

Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 “Pathétique”
Boris Giltburg, piano
Rotterdam Philharmonic, Stanislav Kochanovsky
Rotterdam, De Doelen, 10 February 2019

Boris Giltburg (© Sasha Gusov)

Boris Giltburg (© Sasha Gusov)

Can you ever get tired of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto or Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique? Not with the right performers, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra must have thought. And the Dutch always have a way to find the right people. They invited a couple of exciting young musicians and offered this high-pathos Russian double-bill on their home turf, De Doelen, no less than three times in four days. With great success too: an electrifying rendition of Rach 3 by Boris Giltburg reminded us how overwhelming this work can be, while Stanislav Kochanovsky highlighted Tchaikovsky’s supreme mastery of the orchestra in his final opus. There’s no way you can get tired of this music.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.


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Leipzig Gewandhaus dazzles but fail to move in Brussels

Thomas Larcher: Chiasma
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, KV 550
Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 “Pathétique”

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Andris Nelsons
Brussels, Centre for Fine Arts, 29 April 2018

Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor and Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” form quite a formidable pairing in concert. Emotional music that packages beauty with nostalgia and sadness, yet expressed in such an individual manner that performing the symphonies back to back proves extra challenging. In Brussels, on his maiden tour as Kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Andris Nelsons faced that challenge with brilliant and often spectacular readings, which were dazzling rather than moving.

Read the full review on Bachtrack


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Thrilling Beethoven and Mahler from Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra in Antwerp

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D Major “Titan”

Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen
Elisabeth Center, Antwerp, 18 April 2018

In Antwerp, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra offered a symphonic feast, with insightful and thrilling readings of Beethoven’s Second and Mahler’s First. In effect, it was not unlike visiting old friends who suddenly appeared younger, more vibrant and congenial than you remembered them. Conductor and orchestra demonstrated once again that, in the right hands, familiar repertory can still prove compelling and even surprising. In other words, they possess the formula for bringing a great concert.

Read the full review on Bachtrack