I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman


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The Chicago Symphony in Paris

Felix Mendelssohn: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, Op. 27
Claude Debussy: La Mer
Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky: Symphony #4 in F minor, Op. 36

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky: The Tempest, Op. 18
Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird, Suite #2 (1919)
Robert Schumann: Symphony #3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 97 “Rhenish”

Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Riccardo Muti
Paris, Salle Pleyel, 25-26 October 2014

Riccardo Muti

Riccardo Muti (© Todd Rosenberg)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) under their Music Director Riccardo Muti finished two magnificent concerts at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. Part of a European tour that took the orchestra from Poland to Austria, by way of Luxemburg, Switzerland and France, these Paris concerts were easily some of the most rewarding classical music acts I attended this year. The choice of repertoire was agreeable, but it was the outstanding quality of the CSO as well as Muti’s vision which caused most satisfaction.
Read the full review on Classical Net


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She came, she played, and she conquered

Franz Liszt: Piano Sonata in B minor
Frédéric Chopin: Ballade #4, Piano Sonata #2
Serge Prokofieff: Piano Sonata #7

Khatia Buniatishvili, piano
Paris, Salle Pleyel, 19 November 2012

Since I first attended a solo recital by Khatia Buniatishvili in the smallish auditorium of the Cité de la Musique in Paris, hardly ten months ago, things have been going fast for the 25-year old Georgian pianist. Meanwhile she released her second solo CD (Sony 97129), media attention has soared, she was awarded the German “Echo Klassik” prize for most promising artist, and above all she has been touring extensively throughout Europe, and also recently San Francisco and Japan – either as soloist, with orchestras or as member of chamber music formations joining distinguished colleagues like Gidon Kremer, Truls Mørk and Renaud Capuçon. Buniatishvili had played Pleyel before in a concert with the Orchestre de Paris. But until now the big hurdle of a solo recital in the most prestigious concert venue in the French capital – which is currently her hometown – still needed to be taken. On 19 November it was taken, and how.
Read the full review on Classical Net


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Incandescent Mozart and Bruckner

Henry Purcell: Funeral Music for Queen Mary
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto #20
Anton Bruckner: Symphony #7

Maria João Pires, piano
London Symphony Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
Paris, Salle Pleyel, 17 June 2012

During their annual teaming up, Bernard Haitink and the London Symphony Orchestra visited Paris for a two-day stint at the Salle Pleyel. On both occasions they were joined by the Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires performing a Mozart concerto. And while Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony was offered as the main course for the first, it was Schubert’s Ninth which capped the second night.
Read the full review on Classical Net


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Mikhaïl Rudy Plays Tchaikovsky

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto #1, Op. 23
Serge Prokofieff: Cinderella, Op. 87 (fragments)

Mikhaïl Rudy, piano
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Alexander Vedernikov
Paris, Salle Pleyel, January 6, 2012

Led by the Russian guest conductor Alexander Vedernikov, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France inaugurated the year with an attractive all-Russian program, pairing Piotr Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano concerto, featuring Mikhaïl Rudy as soloist, with a suite from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Cinderella. Founded in 1937 and directed since 2000 by Myung-Whun Chung, the orchestra has acquired a reputation as one of the finest European formations. If this concert was in any way representative for the standard of the orchestra, then this is indeed an ensemble that demands our attention.
Read the full review on Classical Net