I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman

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Alien Strauss

Richard Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30; Don Juan, Op. 20; Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Op. 28
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Gustavo Dudamel
Deutsche Grammophon 4791041

Dudamel's debut disc with the Berlin Philharmonic

Dudamel’s debut disc with the Berlin Philharmonic

Perhaps we should cut the guy some slack? To be hyped as “the most exciting and gifted young conductor of our times” when you are facing your first recording with the “legendary Berlin Philharmonic”, is anything but helpful. Surely, everybody is expecting you to move the earth. But even so, with everything reset to human proportions, it’s still a fact that Gustavo Dudamel’s debut disc with the Berlin Philharmonic in a well-tried Richard Strauss triple bill isn’t bound to move much.
Read the full review on Classical Net

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Tod und Verklärung

Mikolajus Konstantinas Čiurlionis: In the Forest
Richard Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder; Der Männer Sippe from Die Walküre, Act 1; Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
Richard Strauss: Tod und Verklärung

Violeta Urmana, soprano
Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra/Modestas Pitrėnas
Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, 12 September 2013

Tod und Verklärung or Death and Transfiguration might not be the most alluring title of introduction, but this concert programmed by the International Brussels Music Festival, the “KlaraFestival”, was a calling card for Lithuania, the Baltic state that holds this half year the Presidency of the European Union Council. The major Lithuanian orchestra, the National Symphony founded in 1940, accompanied under its Assistant conductor Modestas Pitrėnas, the Lithuanian diva Violeta Urmana in a program of mainly German music, wherein the notions of melancholia and death made several appearances. Nevertheless it was a festive occasion, not only attended by the President of the Lithuanian Republic, Dalia Grybauskaitė, and the Belgian King, but also by a large group of patrons clearly unfamiliar with concert hall etiquette – judging by the more than frequent smartphone interruptions and the eager clapping almost on top of the dying chords.
Read the full review on Classical Net