I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman


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Gallic finesse and Georgian fire

César Franck: Sonata for Violin & Piano in A Major
Edvard Grieg: Sonata for Violin & Piano #3 in C minor, Op. 45
Antonín Dvořák: Four Romantic Pieces, Op. 75b

Renaud Capuçon, violin
Khatia Buniatishvili, piano
Erato 08256-462501 DDD 66:20

Renaud Capuçon and Khatia Buniatishvili

Renaud Capuçon and Khatia Buniatishvili play romantic chamber music

French violinist Renaud Capuçon and Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili have been frequent partners in chamber music concerts. Their complementing temperaments – Gallic finesse and Georgian fire – have proven an exhilarating blend, while the charisma and winning stage presence of these brilliantly talented young artists evidently add to the fascination. In their debut disc as a duo for the resurrected Erato label they team up for an attractive program containing three romantic chamber music pieces of various origin, remarkably all written within the same time span 1886-1887.
Read the full review on Classical Net


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Buniatishvili in London

Jean Sibelius: Karelia Suite
Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Antonin Dvorak: Symphony #7 in D minor, Op. 70

Khatia Buniatishvili, piano
Philharmonia Orchestra/Paavo Järvi
London, Royal Festival Hall, 7 April 2013

At first glance, the concert of the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Paavo Järvi at the London Royal Festival Hall on April 7 couldn’t have been further removed from the “blazing originality” label that the orchestra’s 2012/13 cycle at the Southbank Centre brandishes on its posters and programs. Sibelius’ Karelia Suite, Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony seem rather safe Sunday matinee fare instead. Yet with an electrifying Khatia Buniatishvili bringing insight and character to the Grieg, with an inspired maestro and above all a Philharmonia in tremendous doing, the concert was nothing short of revelatory.
Read the full review on Classical Net


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Southern Fire Against Nordic Cool

Benjamin Britten: Simple Symphony
Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Jean Sibelius: Symphony #1 in E minor, Op. 39

Khatia Buniatishvili, piano
Munich Philharmonic Orchestra/Paavo Järvi
Munich, Philharmonie im Gasteig, 28 April 2012

The German city of Munich boasts no less than three symphony orchestras of international stature. Next to the Bavarian State Orchestra (the former Bavarian Court Orchestra, now the opera ensemble) and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, it is however the Munich Philharmonic which is considered the true city orchestra. Founded in 1893, in recent times the Munich Philharmonic became mainly associated with Sergiu Celibidache, who was its influential general Music Director from 1979 until his death in 1996, and whose memory remains to this day very much alive – the legendary Romanian maestro even has a (smallish) square named after him next to the concert hall. As of 2012/13 Lorin Maazel will act as the orchestra’s Music Director.
Read the full review on Classical Net


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From Obscurity to Light

Robert Schumann: Symphony #3 “Rhenish”
Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 18
Richard Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks

Alice Sara Ott, piano
Danish National Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Dausgaard
Aachen, Eurogress, April 14, 2012

The Danish National Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1925 as the national radio orchestra in conjunction with the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. Two legendary conductors played a key role in its formative years, the German Fritz Busch and the Russian Nikolai Malko. Over the years the orchestra has been working with several of the most acclaimed chefs, as well as composers as varied as Stravinsky, Prokofieff, Hindemith, Boulez and Henze when they came to premiere their work in Denmark. The Danish maestro Thomas Dausgaard acted as its principal conductor between 2004 and 2011 and while succeeded by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos in September 2012, Dausgaard remains the orchestra’s honorary conductor. Touring from Copenhagen to Germany, they brought to Aachen a program with works by Robert Schumann, Edvard Grieg and Richard Strauss.
Read the full review on Classical Net


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Alice Sara Ott at the BBC Proms

Jean Sibelius: Symphony #6 in D minor, Op. 104
Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Carl Nielsen: Symphony #4 “Inextinguishable”

Alice Sara Ott, piano
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Sakari Oramo
BBC Proms – London, Royal Albert Hall, 8 August 2011

The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under their chief conductor Sakari Oramo brought a delectable all-Scandinavian program for the 33rd installment of this year’s BBC Proms. Two rarely played works, Jean Sibelius’ 6th Symphony and Carl Nielsen’s 4th Symphony, framed Edvard Grieg’s ever-popular Piano Concerto. The soloist in the concerto was Alice Sara Ott in her Proms debut.
Read the full review on Classical Net