Bruckner: Symphony No.9 (LSO/Haitink) Hybrid SACD, SACD
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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.' bachtrack.com
****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. --Sa-cd.net (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)
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bernard Haitink has a musical temperament that is easygoing and fairly relaxed, qualities that at a quick glance could seem detrimental in Bruckner. Read morePublished on 14 Feb. 2014 by Andrew R. Barnard