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Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (BR Klassik: 900113) (Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/ Bernard Haitink)


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With an international conducting career that has spanned more than five decades, Amsterdam-born Bernard Haitink is one of today's most celebrated conductors. Recentlyappointed Principal Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he has in addition led many of the world's top orchestras, including 25 years at the helm of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam as its music ... Read more in Amazon's Bernard Haitink Store

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Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (BR Klassik: 900113) (Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/ Bernard Haitink) + Mahler: Symphony No. 2 Vol. 33 (Symphony No. 2 In C Minor) (Profil: PH07040)
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Product details

  • Performer: Bernard Haitink
  • Orchestra: Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
  • Conductor: Bernard Haitink
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (2 July 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: BR Klassik
  • ASIN: B0081QU2Q2
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,772 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 9 in D Major: I. Andante comodoBavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra27:00Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 9 in D Major: II. Im Tempo eines gemachlichen Landlers - Etwas tappisch und sehr derbBavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra16:16Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 9 in D Major: III. Rondo-Burleske: Allegro assaiBavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra13:25Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 9 in D Major: IV. Adagio - Sehr langsam und noch zuruckhaltendBavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra23:09Album Only

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By theplanets on 10 Nov 2012
Format: Audio CD
Despite some criticism from the other reviews , I am totally in support of what I believe is a very good version of this Ninth Symphony.
It can be termed a "sleeper " , in that it grows on you , and after subsequent plays , you pick up on the little nuances that may have not been obvious at first .
It isn't a barnstomer like Solti/CSO , and may not be as initially impressive in the first movement like the Kubelik/BSO live version on Audite , but it is very consistent throughout , and as a whole , is very well integrated .
Another point ; I do not believe it is ethically correct for someone to write a review on a performance , that by his own admission , he hasn't listened to .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Philoctetes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Feb 2014
Format: Audio CD
The most apt word to sum up Haitink's idea of Mahler is, noble. A profound meditation upon life and the life of a great composer is achieved in a performance that is by no means hasty; indeed, the first movement lasts 27:02 and feels truly epic. Let's just stop and remind ourselves of something we already know: Mahler's 9th, his symphonies in general, are huge. One disc or two, the 9th is a big listen.

I don't know much of the substantial Berlin Philharmonic cycle BH recorded back in the '90s but the general impression I got from studying the critical appraisal was one of hefty dourness. Today, Haitink's engagement with the music of Mahler is not dour but it is weighty and characterful, without neurotics or shock tactics. Masterful control that does not preclude sympathy.

I've recently come into the old RCO/Mahler cycle, reissued in the Decca Haitink Symphonies Edition. I can remember a fellow reviewer, vis-à-vis the 9th, talking about a 'hole' in the sound. There is something of the kind, maybe also some extraneous noise, which is one good reason for putting this new BRSO concert in pole position, at least as far as the Haitink Mahler discography goes. Whilst listening to the old RCO version I couldn't help comparing it, unfavourably, with the Karajan concert of 1982 - indeed, the Haitink woke me up to just how great that concert recording is - but this digital stereo Munich recording deserves respect on its own terms. Superbly detailed, beautiful without being boutique, and as I said when I reviewed the Bruckner 5 on BR Klassik, the outer movements are where the spiritual drama is found, the worldly battle dramatized in the centre. Bruckner: Symphony 5

An exemplary recording and another testament to a great conductor. There's nothing of the circus in Haitink's Mahler and we're all the better for that.
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Format: Audio CD
Most successful Mahler Ninths don't fit on a single CD, and Haitink skirts the edge of not succeeding. Perhaps it's not fair to begin this way, since Gergiev also fits his intense, committed Ninth on to a single disc, with a first movement almost identical to Haitink's (27 min.) and an Adagio finale scarcely less fast (24 min.+ compared to Haitink's 23 min.), but the difference in mood is quite marked. Haitink's last movement feels brisker, less probing and moving. The same is true throughout, I think. I've heard him in this score and walked away walking on air. So why does this live performance from Dec. 2011, when Haitink stepped in for an indisposed Mariss Jansons, feel superficial?

It might not to a listener who doesn't hold up Bernstein and Tennstedt as the template for Mahler interpretation. What they both stand for - tempestuous, heartrending music-making - isn't found here. Haitink plays every movement for coolness. He almost stands there and waves his stick, reminding you that a great orchestra like the Bavarian Radio SO, now that we live in an era when the Mahler Ninth is probably more common fare than the Beethoven Ninth, can play the score splendidly on their own. Haitink's stand-by-and-watch style can produce mysteriously moving results at times; his reputation for blandness isn't deserved when you encounter him in the concert hall. But here there seems to be little grip in his conducting.

Each movement unfolds with exquisite playing, and the conductor must be credited with the impeccable balances and rich voicing of the score. But I can't figure out the mood of the two inner movements. The Landler in the second movement isn't biting, ironic, lumbering, or affectionate. Bypassing those alternatives, Haitink simply leads the music from bar to bar.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A beautifully realized Mahler Ninth that borders on greatness 27 Sep 2012
By Poincare - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Anyone with a faintest idea of what Mahler Ninth Symphony could mean should try Bernard Haitink's new recording with Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

In the department of sheer physical beauty and orchestral execution this one eclipses Haitink's own analogue version from the 60s by miles. Granted, there are no earthshaking moments - as expected from him - but virtually every note feels refreshingly new and alive thanks to the brilliant conducting from the podium. In short, before Haitink Mahler Ninth has never sounded so 'fascinating'.

In the great Adagio, the way the orchestra effortlessly lays out all the beautiful, autumnal melodies and counterpoints at such a steady tempo so persuasively is nothing short of breathtaking. Have we ever heard the middle portion of the Rondo Burleske in such a sober yet melancholy mood? What about the climaxes? They (I am thinking of the first movt's main collapse about 18 min. into the movement) are undone with all the power and authority (listen to the Bavarian brass!), but are also done so naturally but assuredly that I was left with an eerie feeling in the end. Tears in my eyes? Oh yes, surely!

To sum up, this is one of the most naturally powerful rendition of Gustav Mahler's last completed symphony. Haitink and BRSO really have something new to say about the piece and it's this listener's privilege to witness their accomplishment.

The recoding sound which was taken from a live concert is just fine, although I wish it could be less dry and there were more ambiance around the orchestra. It was recorded at a low level, so you need to turn up the volume to fully appreciate the performance.

A great Mahler Ninth and it now joins my list of desert island M9ths along with Bernstein, Levine, Solti, Karajan, and Ozawa.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Strong performance 8 Sep 2012
By Daniel A. Stein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I own and have studied over 30 of the available Mahler 9th symphonies. This one is among the best. It is powerful and forceful. Still capturing the
more gentle passages. First rate.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
*** 1/2 A remarkably skillful and gorgeous-sounding Ninth, but there's not enough interpretation 8 Aug 2012
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Most successful Mahler Ninths don't fit on a single CD, and Haitink skirts the edge of not succeeding. Perhaps it's not fair to begin this way, since Gergiev also fits his intense, committed Ninth on to a single disc, with a first movement almost identical to Haitink's (27 min.) and an Adagio finale scarcely less fast (24 min.+ compared to Haitink's 23 min.), but the difference in mood is quite marked. Haitink's last movement feels brisker, less probing and moving. The same is true throughout, I think. I've heard him in this score and walked away walking on air. So why does this live performance from Dec. 2011, when Haitink stepped in for an indisposed Mariss Jansons, feel superficial?

It might not to a listener who doesn't hold up Bernstein and Tennstedt as the template for Mahler interpretation. What they both stand for - tempestuous, heartrending music-making - isn't found here. Haitink plays every movement for coolness. He almost stands there and waves his stick, reminding you that a great orchestra like the Bavarian Radio SO, now that we live in an era when the Mahler Ninth is probably more common fare than the Beethoven Ninth, can play the score splendidly on their own. Haitink's stand-by-and-watch style can produce mysteriously moving results at times; his reputation for blandness isn't deserved when you encounter him in the concert hall. But here there seems to be little grip in his conducting.

Each movement unfolds with exquisite playing, and the conductor must be credited with the impeccable balances and rich voicing of the score. But I can't figure out the mood of the two inner movements. The Landler in the second movement isn't biting, ironic, lumbering, or affectionate. Bypassing those alternatives, Haitink simply leads the music from bar to bar. The Rondo-Burleske is executed with impressive bravura by the orchestra, but there's no satire, snarl, or danger, no edge at all. At this level of proficiency you can stand back and admire how gorgeously the score is being played or ask for more passion and personality. Haitink is perfectly fine from the first viewpoint but hardly beginning to satisfy from the second.

He's too fine a conductor to accuse of inattention, even in old age, and this Ninth held my attention more than his old studio recording wit the Royal Concergebouw on Philips. Still...
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