2009-03-04

Haitink at 80

Today the Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink celebratescan it be?his 80th birthday.

Decca/Philips is observing the milestone with The Art of Bernard Haitink, a special release of seven disks. The collection offers recorded performances that span the conductors career. Included is the first recording Haitink ever made, a 1959 performance of Dvořáks Seventh for Philips.

The full track list released by Decca:

CD 1 [74:20]

Antonín Dvořák: Symphony 7 in D minor, opus 70
[1] I Allegro maestoso 10:37
[2] II Poco adagio 9:21
[3] III Scherzo: vivace 6:46
[4] IV Finale: Allegro 8:52

[5] Bedrich Smetana: Má Vlast: Die Moldau 13:00

Franz Schubert: Symphony 8 in B minor 'Unfinished'

[6] I Allegro moderato 14:22
[7] II Andante con moto 11:22


CD 2
[78:23]

Ludwig van Beethoven : Symphony 7 in A, opus 92
[1] I Poco sostenuto — Vivace 14:22
[2] II Allegretto 9:05
[3] III Presto — assai meno presto 9:25
[4] IV Allegro con brio 7:05

Johannes Brahms: Symphony 3 in F, opus 90

[5] I Allegro con brio 14:27
[6] II Andante 8:31
[7] III Poco allegretto 6:37
[8] IV Allegro 8:50


CD 3 [71:18]

[1] Franz Liszt: Festklänge 19:35

Gustav Mahler: Symphony 1 in D

[2] I Langsam. Schlappend 13:23
[3] II Kräftig bewegt 7:45
[4] III Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen 10:31
[5] IV Stürmisch bewegt 20:04


CD 4
[78:10]
Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde — Prelude and Liebestod
[1] 16:39

Anton Bruckner: Symphony 3 in D minor (1877 version)

[2] I Gemäßigt, mehr bewegt, misterioso 21:21
[3] II Andante. Bewegt, feierlich, quasi Adagio 16:58
[4] III Scherzo. Ziemlich schnell 7:30
[5] IV Finale: allegro 15:40


CD 5 [78:14]

[1] Richard Strauss: Tod und Verklärung, opus 24 26:57

Claude Debussy: La Mer
[2] I De l’aube à midi sur la mer 8:48
[3] II Jeux de vagues 6:31
[4[ III Dialogue du vent et de la mer 7:55

Maurice Ravel: Ma mere l’oye

[5] Prélude 3:18
[6] Danse du rouet et scène — Interlude 3:38
[7] Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant 2:26
[8] Entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête 5:02
[9] Petit Poucet 4:54
[10] Laideronnette, impératrice des pagodes 4:59
[11] Apothéose: le jardin féerique 3:46 [28:03]


CD 6
[74:06]

[1] Igor Stravinsky: Scherzo à la russe 3:38

Le Sacre du printemps
1ère partie – L’Adoration de la terre
[2] Introduction 3:35
[3] Les augures printaniers – Danses des adolescents 3:11
[4] Jeu du rapt 1:18
[5] Rondes printanières 3:28
[6] Jeux des cites rivales 1:49
[7] Cortège du sage 0:42
[8] Danse de la terre 1:30
2e partie – Le Sacrifice
[9] Introduction 4:26
[10] Cercles mystérieux des adolescentes 3:09
[11] Glorification de lélue 1:36
[12] Évocation des ancêtres 0:53
[13] Action rituelle des ancêtres 3:36
[14] Danse sacrale: l’élue 4:53

Béla Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra

[15] I Introduzione: Andante non troppo — Allegro vivace 9:20
[16] II Giuocco delle coppie: Allegretto scherzando 6:36
[17] III Elegia: Andante non troppo 6:48
[18] IV Intermezzo interotto: Allegretto 4:12
[19] V Finale: Pesante — Presto 9:26


CD 7
[79:15]

[1] Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini, opus 32 24:36

Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.10 in E minor, opus 93
[2] I Moderato 24:16
[3] II Allegro 4:03
[4] III Allegretto 12:23
[5] IV Andante — Allegro13:57


The box set is already available at Amazon (which offers audio samples) and other outlets.


Nick Breckenfield of the Classical Source (UK) recently offered this report on the conductors currect activities:

Bernard Haitink... doesn’t seem to be cutting down his schedule. He’s just been on a Far East tour with the Chicago Symphony, of which he is currently Principal Conductor. He’s in Amsterdam with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for the birthday itself, then coming to London with the Dutch band for two concerts at the Barbican Hall the following week (14 & 15 March). He’ll be back in London in June, for a French programme with the London Symphony Orchestra and two performances of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony at the Royal College of Music Orchestra. Then – touring again with the Chicago Symphony – giving his first concerts in the refurbished Royal Festival Hall in late September as part of the Shell Classic International series. In January 2010 he’ll be back with the LSO for Schubert and Mahler programmes, which he then takes to New York for the orchestra’s annual residency.

He offers this reflection on Haitinks characteristic podium manner:

He’s not an egotistical director; instead, every gesture is devoted to clarifying for the players the composer’s meaning behind the notes. Haitink’s not interested in appearing flashy for the sake of the audience – he stands on the podium simply at the service of the composer, and he expects the musicians to be just as devoted.

Perhaps the Dutch and British are similar in that respect: regarding with suspicion the “flash Harrys” of the conducting world. Certainly my concert-going life in Britain has been much enhanced by Haitink’s scrupulous and peerless performances.

Recent feature stories on the conductor include these:


Haitink in Europe

The Independent, UK: 'Haitink among the worlds greatest performers'

The Independent, UK: 'Haitink Farewell Concert at the Royal Opera House'

Gramophone, UK: 'Haitink at 80' 2009.03.04

Gramophone, UK: 'Aimez-vous, Brahms?' 2005.03

Gramophone, UK: 'Haitink celebrates his sixty-fifth birthday' 1994.04.04


Haitink in America

Telegraph, UK: 'I love power without responsibility'

Boosey News: 'Haitink premieres Turnage Chicago Remains'


Heres wishing Mr Haitink a happy birthday and a prosperous voyage through all the projects ahead.

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Haitink page @ Decca

Haitink page @ Chicago Symphony

Haitink @ LSO Live (new Beethoven symphonies cycle)

Bio @ BernardHaitink.com (fan site)


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Conductor's Notebook

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