I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman


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Russian delights with Lugansky and Kochanovsky in Brussels

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol, Op.34
Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no. 2 in G Minor, Op.16
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony no. 5 in E Minor, Op.64

Nikolai Lugansky, piano
Stanislav Kochanovsky, Belgian National Orchestra
Brussels, Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar), 27 September 2019

Conductors do make a difference with orchestras. We were reminded of this once again when Stanislav Kochanovsky stood before the Belgian National Orchestra to lead them through an all-Russian triple bill, gathering Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. The Russian maestro has been guesting with the BNO on a handful of occasions and their collaboration hints at real chemistry. With the sort of repertoire that only a few years ago in other hands tended towards loudness contests, BNO audiences are now rewarded with excellent, musical performances.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.


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Magnificent Rachmaninov tribute from Lugansky and Denève in Ghent

Samy Moussa: Nocturne (2014)
Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 1
Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 44

Nikolai Lugansky, piano
Brussels Philharmonic, Stéphane Denève
Ghent, Bijloke, 4 April 2019

Nikolai Lugansky (© Marco Borggreve)

Nikolai Lugansky (© Marco Borggreve)

The Brussels Philharmonic and their music director Stéphane Denève seem to be on a high. They just completed their first North-American tour with success and now, back in Belgium, resume with a splendid tribute to Sergei Rachmaninov. More than just an homage though, this concert was testimony to both the quality of music-making the Brussels Phil has reached and the mutual trust that developed between orchestra and conductor. To introduce the concert maestro Denève, in his delightful Gallic English, paraphrased Rachmaninov when asked how to define music: “Music comes straight from the heart and talks only to the heart: it is love!” And this concert was exactly that.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.