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Russian delights with Lugansky and Kochanovsky in Brussels

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BachTrack by Marc Haegeman, 29 September 2019
Conductors do make a difference with orchestras. We were reminded of this once again when Stanislav Kochanovsky stood before the Belgian National Orchestra to lead them through an all-Russian triple bill, gathering Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. The Russian maestro has been guesting with the BNO on a handful of occasions and their collaboration hints at real chemistry. With the sort of repertoire that only a few years ago in other hands tended towards loudness contests, BNO audiences are now rewarded with excellent, musical performances.
Kochanovsky coaxed plenty of detail from all sections, balancing the overall sound with flair. Orchestral solos were without exception commendable. The most impressive work came from the strings, amply textured under Kochanovsky’s guidance, with the massed cellos and double basses often encouraged by the conductor to give the music extra depth. Conductors do make a difference.