Bernard Haitink

The Art of Bernard Haitink

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In honor of the artist's 80th birthday, Decca has released this seven-disc box set entitled The Art of Bernard Haitink covering nearly four decades of the Dutch conductor's distinguished career. Chronologically, it begins with his 1960 recording of Dvorák's Seventh Symphony with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and ends with his 1998 recording of Ravel's Ma mère l'oye with the Boston Symphony, and in between it includes 15 other recordings with the Wiener Philharmoniker, the London Philharmonic, and the Berliner Philharmoniker. For listeners who already know Haitink's work, no more needs be said, but for the uninitiated, a few words describing his art will be useful. Haitink is a consummate orchestral technician. There's not a performance here that is not carefully considered and brilliantly executed, with great attention paid to lines, balances, tempos, and forms. Haitink is no show-off, though, and his interpretation grows out of the music by faithfully honoring the score. This selflessness allows Haitink to be as successful in leading a poised yet propulsive reading of Beethoven's Seventh as he is in leading an exciting yet controlled account of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. For some listeners, Haitink's measured Mahler, non-bombastic Bruckner, and straight-faced Shostakovich may be less appealing than more hyperbolic performances by Bernstein or Rostropovich. But for listeners who prefer scrupulously correct but no less probing interpretations, Haitink will deliver deep satisfaction. The recordings here, whether stereo or digital, are clear, warm, rich, and detailed.

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:47
Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), ballet in 2 parts for orchestra
2
3:36
3
3:11
4
1:17
5
3:27
6
1:50
7
0:41
8
1:31
9
4:25
10
3:09
11
1:36
12
0:52
13
3:36
14
5:01
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116, BB 127
15
9:23
16
6:40
17
6:48
18
4:18
19
9:29
blue highlight denotes track pick