I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman


Leave a comment

An Italian in Paris

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky: Fantasy Overture “Romeo and Juliet”
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
Ottorino Respighi: Fountains of Rome, Pines of Rome

Khatia Buniatishvili, piano
Orchestre National de France/Daniele Gatti
Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, 26 September 2013

The Italian connection was undeniable in this concert of the Orchestre National de France at the Paris Théâtre des Champs Elysées, even if the “Italianness” was offered in various degrees -Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet by way of Shakespeare, Rachmaninoff’s homage to the great Italian violinist Paganini, and finally Respighi’s aural and visual impressions of Roman scenes.
Read the full review on Classical Net


Leave a comment

Tchaikovsky – Shakespeare

Pyotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky: Hamlet, Fantasy Overture after Shakespeare, Op. 67
The Tempest, Symphonic Fantasy after Shakespeare, Op. 18
Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy Overture after Shakespeare

Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela/Gustavo Dudamel
Deutsche Grammophon 4779355 DDD 65:35

Gustavo Dudamel

Tchaikovsky – Shakespearian Fantasies

With this trio of Shakespeare-inspired compositions Venezuelan boy wonder Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra (the former “Youth” Orchestra has officially grown up) sign their second Tchaikovsky disc for Deutsche Grammophon. Unfortunately it is about as uneven and doubtful as the first (which paired “Francesca da Rimini” with Symphony #5). While the energy and enthusiasm at making music of this ensemble is certainly praiseworthy and may indeed serve as an example to many of the top orchestras, what is still missing here is an overall concept as much as a specific sound which could have pulled these pieces out of the unjustified category of mere sonic spectaculars. It’s not that Dudamel lacks imagination, yet judging by this recording from February 2010 he is as yet unable to frame his ideas and present them into a convincing whole, while his phrasing and tempi changes tend to sound contrived rather than spontaneous.
Read the full review on Classical Net