“Trevor Nunn produced his first opera, Idomeneo, Glyndebourne in 1983, with felicitous results. John Napier's designs imaginatively evoke the Cretan milieu, supported by restrained, dignified costumes and lighting. The spare setting now seems a model beside what usually passes for decor today. Within it Nunn directs his principals and chorus with economic yet pointed care. Philip Langridge is a compellingly distraught and haunted Idomeneo, singing with his customary feeling for word-painting. He easily encompasses the longer version of 'Fuor del mar'. Carol Vaness offers a fiery, richly contoured Elettra. Yvonne Kenny's beautifully sung Ilia is more conventional and Jerry Hadley is a fresh, pleasing Idamante. Bernard Haitink conducts a lithe, forward-moving account of the score, though you'll need a high volume setting to get the best out of the sound.” (The Gramophone)
"Bernard Haitink: The Symphony Edition" is one of two recent box sets from Decca, marking Haitink's eighty-fifth birthday in 2014. Together with Haitink: The Philips Years this set offers a broad, tantalizing overview of the great Dutch conductor's compelling artistry, and makes a near-perfect introduction to one of the truly magnificent recorded legacies of our time. Haitink will be 85 on 4 March 2014, and this set presents his six complete symphonic cycles by cornerstone classical composers: Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, Schumann and Tchaikovsky.
Translucence, transparency – warmth' are the qualities identified by Bernard Haitink as necessary for an ideal sound performance of Beethoven's only opera, and all are present in this fantastic recording of Katharina Thalbach's new production for Opernhaus Zurich. Haitink conducts the Zurich Opera Orchestra in a magnificent performance in which Leonore Overture No. 3 provides an interlude between the two scenes of the second act, following a tradition started by Gustav Mahler. German soprano Melanie Diener, in the role of Leonore, leads a brilliant cast including Alfred Muff as Rocco, Roberto Saccà as Florestan, Sandra Trattnigg as Marzelline and Christoph Strehl as Jaquino. This High Definition recording with true surround sound marks the start of an exciting new collaboration between Opus Arte and Opernhaus Zurich.
At one point back in the days of LPs it seemed that conductor Bernard Haitink was waging an Ormandy-like campaign to record all of the Western orchestral literature for Philips. Moreover, for many listeners this was a welcome pursuit because Haitink was so good at so many things; his 1973 recording of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps is still considered one of the most superlative readings of the work, even though Haitink's catalog ultimately grew to the extent that it became difficult to single out what was best within it.
Maestro Bernard Haitink evokes a triumphant performance from the Berlin Philharmonic with this rendition of Mahler's fourth and seventh symphonies. In addition to Haitnik's mastery over the material, Sylvia McNair's solo vocals add another layer of aural texture to a performance that reveals the genius of Mahler's compositions.
Bernard Haitink conducts the Berlin Philharmonic in this extraordinary performance of Mahler's third symphony. Mezzo-soprano Florence Quivar's heartbreaking accompaniment adds to the sumptuousness of this remarkable concert event. The camera movements are as sensitive to the rhythms as the performers, making this a visual and aural treat.
This is a recording for the ages and one that deserves all of the attention focused on it by very competent engineers. Highly recommended.
This Philips Classics DVD Video is part of a series of films from the legendary Mahler cycle performed by Bernard Haitink and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in the early 1990s. This title presents Mahler's ground-breaking Symphony No. 1, subtitled "Titan" with its mighty successor, the Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection". Sylvia McNair (soprano), Jard van Nes (mezzo-soprano) and the Ernst-Senff Choir appear in the Symphony No. 2, along with Haitink and the Berlin Philharmonic. As a bonus feature, each DVD contains a Mahler Chronology (Life, times and Important dates) as well as a Mahler Gallery. Sound LPCM Stereo & DTS 5.1 Surround.
Composer: Gustav Mahler
Performer: Elly Ameling, Aafje Heynis, Maureen Forrester, Ileana Cotrubas, Hermann Prey, Marianne Dieleman, Birgit Finnilä, Heather Harper, Hanneke van Bork, William Cochran, Hans Sotin
Conductor: Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Chorus, St. Willibrod Boy's Choir, Netherlands Radio Women's Chorus, Stern des Volks, Amsterdam Toonkunst Chorus, Collegium Musicum Amstelodamense, St. Pius X Children's Choir, St. Willibrod Children's Chorus