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Bruckner: Symphony No.9 (LSO/Haitink) Hybrid SACD, SACD

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Bernard Haitink
  • Composer: A. Bruckner
  • Audio CD (10 Feb. 2014)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Lso Live (Eng)
  • ASIN: B00H4M63NK
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,325 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Product Description

Bernard Haitink, internationally renowned for his interpretations of Bruckner, returns at the helm of the LSO following his acclaimed recording for the label of the fourth Symphony. Bruckner s symphonies are often described as Gothic cathedrals in sound, an apt description considering the composer s devout faith and early vocation as an organist. He died before he could finish his 9th Symphony but within its three movements can be found some of his most complete music, imbued with a sense of deep solace and resolution. Bernard Haitink s Beethoven Symphony cycle received the title of Benchmark Beethoven Cycle from BBC Music Magazine. Haitink has also released a complete Brahms Symphony cycle and Strauss 'Eine Alpensinfonie' to international acclaim. Concert Reviews 'Even by Haitink s already impressive standards, this was really special ... the grand masses of Brucknerian sound could not have been delivered by anyone else ... A gripping Brucknerian evening' ***** The Guardian 'a far-reaching symphonic journey and a special occasion." Classical Source "Throughout, the LSO played with total conviction, the brass overwhelming in their assault on the shattering climaxes of the first movement, the indomitable hammering of a steady-paced and brutal Scherzo, and the final dissonant catastrophe that crowns the Adagio ... It was very moving indeed, absolutely shattering.'


****½ This is an utterly compelling performance of Bruckner's valedictory symphony, and though one envies the audience who were lucky enough to attend these concerts, for those who didn't this fine LSO Live release is the next best thing. Unreservedly recommended. (UK)

Album of the Week Haitink, as ever, maintains a magisterial grasp on the architectural span of Bruckner s final 'cathedral in sound'. In his 85th year, he is the doyen of the world s great Brucknerians. His latest interpretation of the Ninth is not to be missed. --The Sunday Times (UK)

'The more I listen to this wonderful, spaciously recorded performance, the more I am getting from it.' --Classical Source (UK)

**** This experienced Brucknerian after some half century of devotion to the composer holds all in control, and brings a welcome lightness and gleam to the second movement Scherzo. The LSO plays with a transparency and poise that cuts through even the most climactic, brass-laden fortissimos. --The Observer (UK)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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I was fortunate to be in The Barbican the night this performance was recorded. My favourite composer and conductor together what could be better. Full of experienced insight which gives us a wonderful performance. Good recording. Buy it even if like me you have dozens of others.
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There can be no doubt, at least in my mind, that Bernard Haitink is the foremost Bruckner interpreter of our time and what we have in this 2013 recording is the distillation of a lifetime's experience and wisdom. One must assume that this will be Haitink's last word on a symphony he clearly loves as I can't see the likelihood of another recording in the future.

The first thing to say about this new recording is that it is slow, extremely slow and almost Klemperer like in it's being hewn from granite. I was present at the first of the two performances from which this disc is taken (Feb 17 2013) but at no time while I was in the Barbican was I conscious of just how slow. Despite the expansive timing the performance never hangs fire and that it doesn't is a tribute to Haitink's skill in giving us his vision of the work and guiding the LSO to join him in it.

Two caveats come to mind: the dreaded Barbican acoustic often cruel to recordings but not something that bothers me in the hall and it may concern others more than it concerns me; and the fact that this is the London Symphony Orchestra. The LSO could not be described as a Bruckner orchestra in the same breath as the burnished gold and brown of the Concertgebouw, the VPO or BPO who play Bruckner as to the manner born. One has to presume that Haitink wanted his final word on this work to be with them and not, say, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with whom he recorded the Bruckner 5th. Again, this may or may not matter to potential purchasers but it is one thing that makes me regret that Haitink didn't turn elsewhere.

In the concert hall, this was an overwhelming experience when such caveats as I mention don't matter.
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Format: Audio CD
I attended one of the concert performances that preceded this live recording in the Barbican and came away feeling waves of disappointment and frustration. Just two seasons previously Haitink had performed the same work with the Concertgebouw, also in the Barbican, and the richness of that orchestra's palette, combined with their long working relationship. gave that performance a special authority. However, there is a real danger in just admiring the architecture of Bruckner 9 from without and not filling it with life from within. Listen to any of the great performers of this composer from the past, including Jochum and Furtwangler, and you will realise that there is more to Bruckner than solid slabs of granite and marble.
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Format: Audio CD
Collectors of long standing may harbor a sense that Haitink's Bruckner is too plain, as evidenced by the symphony cycle he made decades ago with the royal concertgebouw. But since then he has grown, and the concert recordings over the past decade, either from Dresden or Amsterdam, have been magisterial. Age has made his energy level variable, however, and I felt that the Bruckner Fourth that preceded this Ninth on LSO Live was underwhelming. There is a special bond between him and the orchestra, so I had higher hopes for the new release.

It begins a bit staid and slack, I'm sorry to say, and one has to adjust, as the first movement unfolds, to Haitink's measured pace, which leaves room for loving phrases and the building of beautiful sounds rather than dramatic tension or momentum. It's no great fault if Bruckner seems to stand still in time (Celibidache made it his mission to prove that), and Giulini was revered for his similar Ninth from Vienna on DG. At an overall timing of 27:31, be prepared for stateliness. The Scherzo is paced a fraction slow, but that's not as significant as a certain rhythmic dullness that seems to continue the slog of the first movement. Only in the finale does the rapport between the musicians and a beloved maestro make a real impression as each phrase is caressed. stasis here feels like transcendence.

Throughout the recorded sound is fine - I've never been a complainer about the sonics that LSO Live achieves in the Barbican - and its clarity reveals many beautiful details. Overall, however, I found Haitink to be underwhelming once again, which is bad luck for the orchestra. It will hardly be credited in some circles, but I recall a broadcast Bruckner Ninth under Gergiev that was far better than this one.
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