I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman


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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.


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Luminous Beethoven and impetuous Connesson in Bruges

Guillaume Connesson: Flammenschrift
Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61
Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, excerpts

Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, violin
Brussels Philharmonic, Stéphane Denève
Bruges, Concertgebouw, 1 March 2019

The success story of the Brussels Philharmonic is one of the miracles of the Belgian classical music scene. Under conductors Michel Tabachnik and, since 2015/16, Stéphane Denève the stuffy, bureaucratic Flemish radio band from yesteryear happily morphed into a vibrant, independent formation of international fame and acclaim. This concert led by Denève with music by Connesson, Beethoven and Prokofiev duly demonstrated its strengths, as well as some limitations. A luminous performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major by Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider considerably added to its attraction.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.