Bruckner Symphony No. 8 (2005)

Bruckner

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Bernard Haitink

Bernard Haitink conducted Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony for the first time with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1959. The symphony was then recorded for the first and only time under his direction and with ‘his’ orchestra for Philips on LP in 1969. Haitink was to go on to perform the work with them more than twenty times in the years that followed. Under his direction, the Concertgebouw Orchestra was to establish a Bruckner tradition of international calibre.
Thirty-six years after his first Bruckner recording comes a new live recording of Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony performed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under their conductor laureate Bernard Haitink.

 

 

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Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is lauded by the most authoritative international critics as one of the world’s greatest orchestras. Known for its unique sound and stylistic flexibility, it has worked with all the leading composers and conductors. Indeed, such composers as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Igor Stravinsky conducted the orchestra on more than one occasion. Only seven chief conductors have led the orchestra since it was founded in 1888: Willem Kes, Willem Mengelberg, Eduard van Beinum, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Mariss Jansons and – starting in the 2016–17 season – Daniele Gatti. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Academy provides instruction in orchestral playing to young, talented musicians. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra undertook an extensive world tour in 2013 on the occasion of its 125th anniversary. Her Royal Highness Queen Máxima is the orchestra’s patron.

photo by Anne Dokter (from Press Photos on Artist Website)

Bernard Haitink

With an international conducting career that has spanned more than five decades, Amsterdam-born Bernard Haitink is one of today’s most celebrated conductors. Principal Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2006 to 2010, Bernard Haitink has also held posts as music director of the Royal Concertgebouw, Dresden Staatskapelle, the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He is Conductor Laureate of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras.

Bernard Haitink has recorded widely with the Concertgebouw, the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as recording highly acclaimed cycles of Brahms and Beethoven symphonies with the LSO for LSO Live. He was awarded a Grammy for Best Opera Recording in 2004 for Janá?ek’s Jenufa with the Royal Opera, and for Best Orchestral Performance of 2008 for Shostakovich’s Symphony No 4 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

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Bruckner Symphony No. 8 (2005)

Bruckner

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    MusicWeb International

"In this latest recording Haitink builds the first movement with great patience and understanding. The climaxes, such as the one around 9’00", have grandeur and a sense of inevitability. Mind you, the sonority of the Concertgebouw Orchestra is a great boon. There’s a tremendous richness to the string sound (e.g. around 12:00). As was proved when the orchestra visited the Promenade concerts in London in September 2005 the players really are displaying a rich vein of musical form. So, with a foundation of wonderful string tone crowned by golden brass the final climax of this movement (from 14:27) has great power. There’s a resigned air to the music, which I find just as satisfying. The scherzo is purposeful and strong. Haitink imparts a rugged sturdiness to the rhythms but he also shapes the more lyrical trio beautifully. The huge adagio, arguably Bruckner’s greatest single achievement, is at the heart of the performance, as it should be. Here’s where Haitink’s powers of concentration and his ability to take a sustained long view pay dividends. The whole movement is superbly controlled from the rostrum and is wondrously played. Bruckner’s seemingly inexhaustible string lines are splendidly sustained and the brass plays with glowing tone. Haitink negotiates every transition in the music with admirable skill, weaving the movement into a seamless whole. The climaxes build inexorably and majestically and when the final climax arrives (at 21:55) it has been superbly prepared over several paragraphs and bursts forth in radiant majesty. The coda is quite splendid. The choir of Wagner tubas and horns is gently sonorous and the strings play with great eloquence. The finale can sound the most episodic of the four movements but Haitink moulds one passage into another with the skill that comes from long experience and musical wisdom. His control of pace seems unerring - a comment which could equally well apply to each of the preceding movements. When the final peroration arrives he begins it in mystery and gradually escalates to a concluding blaze of power and majesty. Applause has been retained, rightly in my view, but it comes after a respectful pause and there’s no cheering; such a reaction would have been wholly out of place given the dedication of the performance. This is a reading of nobility and integrity. This reading is a very fine achievement indeed and it’s graced by superb playing. The recorded sound is very good. Every Bruckner collection ought to contain at least one Haitink version of the Eighth so if you haven’t so far acquired a recording by this great Brucknerian then this authoritative newcomer is very warmly recommended."

John Quinn at MusicWeb International[read full review]

    NoordHollands Dagblad

‘A historical listening experience’

Jos Ruiters

    De Telegraaf

‘Monumental Bruckner from Haitink’

Roeland Hazendonk

    NRC Handelsblad

‘Haitink grants Bruckner his full depth’

Mischa Spoel

Bruckner Symphony No. 8 (2005)

Bruckner

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Digital Converters: EMM Labs
Editing Software: Pyramix
Mastering Engineer: Everett Porter
Mastering Room: B&W Nautilus
Microphones: Bruel & Kyaer
Producer: Everett Porter
Recording Engineer: Everett Porter, Carl Schuurbiers, Daan van Aalst
Recording location: Concertgebouw Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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RCO05003: Bruckner Symphony No. 8
01:25:30   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Symphony No. 8 in C minor - Allegro moderato
Bruckner
00:16:40   Select quality & channels above
2.
Symphony No. 8 in C minor - Scherzo, Allegro moderato
Bruckner
00:16:05   Select quality & channels above
3.
Symphony No. 8 in C minor - Adagio, Feierlich langsam
Bruckner
00:28:01   Select quality & channels above
4.
Symphony No. 8 in C minor - Feierlich, nicht schnell
Bruckner
00:24:44   Select quality & channels above

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