I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman


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Beguiling Tchaikovsky from Alban Gerhardt and Klaus Mäkelä in Antwerp

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme in A major, Op. 33
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43

Alban Gerhardt, cello
Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Klaus Mäkelä
Antwerp, Queen Elisabeth Hall, 28 October 2018

Klaus Mäkelä (© Heikki Tuuli)

Klaus Mäkelä (© Heikki Tuuli)

Judging by the many empty seats in the Elisabeth Centre, Antwerp concertgoers may not be very matinal, in spite of the alluring programme – and the pre-concert coffee and croissants generously included with the tickets. Yet those who braved the Sunday morning start were in for a treat. This matinée by the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra (ASO) was dubbed “Alban Gerhardt plays Tchaikovsky”. In retrospect, the performance by the German cellist of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme proved an absolute highlight, but at the same time we were introduced to a promising newcomer, the highly-touted Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä, only 22 years old, currently Principal guest conductor with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and soon-to-be Chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.


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Tchaikovsky: A Live Orchestral Anthology

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky: Symphonies #1-6
Piano Concerto #1 in B Flat minor, Op. 23
Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35
Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33

Daniil Trifonov, piano
Sergei Dogadin, violin
Narek Hakhnazaryan, cello
Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg/Valery Gergiev
Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Germany, October 28-30, 2011

Valery Gergiev is not afraid of challenges. The tireless Russian maestro is currently offering with his Mariinsky Orchestra a cycle of all six numbered symphonies from Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). After appearances in California and New York, last October the program was brought to the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, with the First Piano Concerto, the Violin Concerto and the Variations on a Rococo Theme added for good measure. This solid Tchaikovsky orchestral anthology was completed in merely three days. To add to the overall attraction the concertos were performed by laureates of the most recent installment of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, since this year taken under the powerful wings of maestro Gergiev himself and clearly aimed to bring this once reputed but crumbling contest back up to speed.
Read the full review on Classical Net