The Decca / Deutsche Grammophon catalogue of Mahler recordings is unsurpassable. Our major contribution to the celebrations this year will be the first-ever Mahler Complete Edition, a combined effort of Decca and Deutsche Grammophon recordings as an 18-CD supe-rbudget box, with the ten symphonies, Das Lied von der Erde, Das klagende Lied, the song cycles, the Knaben Wunderhorn songs and early works - in benchmark recordings by a great assembly of Mahler conductors, singers and orchestras. Each Symphony gets a different conductor, and the list is awesome: Abbado (no. 6), Bernstein (no. 5), Boulez (no. 4), Chailly (no. 10), Giulini (Das Lied), Haitink (no. 3), Karajan (no. 9), Kubelik (no. 1), Mehta (no. 2), Sinopoli (no. 7), Solti (no. 8).
Bernard Haitink has had a long association with Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 3 in D minor, from his classic 1966 stereo recording with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra to his 2006 audiophile recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This 2016 release on BR Klassik finds Haitink leading the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in a stirring live performance that shows no diminishment of the conductor's interpretive powers, and compares quite well with his previous renditions.
The set includes several recordings which appear as international CD releases for the first time (symphonies by Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert) as well as first CD releases of works by Hendrik Andriessen and Stravinsky. Several other recordings have been unavailable for a number of years and are included here.
The Mahler 4 has a special connection to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. It was recorded by 4 of its music directors in succession: Mengelberg, Van Beinum, Haitink, and Chailly. They also recorded it with Bernstein and Solti. At the time Haitink made this recording in the 1960's, the strings of the orchestra still possessed the gruff, woodsy sound that was one of the ensemble's notable characteristics. It is highly suitable to Mahler's folk like themes. The performance here is moderate in tempo; the playing never seems rushed. Haitink makes even the dramatic pauses in the work seem intrinsic to the overall structure. Overall, there is a soft ambience to the orchestral sound. Nevertheless, the climax to the slow movement is highly dramatic, and it flows very naturally into the tempo for the finale.
A host of accomplished conductors including Daniel Harding, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink and Eliahu Inbal lead the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in these performances of Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 1-10. Recorded in Amsterdam over two seasons in 2010/11, the collection also includes 'Das Lied von der Erde'.
This huge set is "an initiative of Radio Netherlands (the Dutch World Service) and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra…" presented to Bernard Haitink on his seventieth birthday as a tribute to his consummate musicmaking." Haitink, born in Amsterdam in 1929, became joint chief Conductor of the Concertebouw in 1961, along with Eugen Jochum, and was its chief conductor from 1963 to 1988. Like his predecessor, Eduard van Beinum, Haitink also was principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, from 1967 to 1979, and in 1978 became musical Director of the Glyndebourne Opera. Ten years later he became musical director of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Haitink guest conducted most of the major orchestras of the world and has received numerous awards for his services to music. In January 1999 Haitink was named "Honorary Conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra."
Haitink's Mahler interpretations offer a combination of objectivity and distance, emotional reflection and release, continuity and tradition. Under Haitink, the Concertgebouw secured its reputation as one of the world's great Mahler orchestras and their cycle of the composer's symphonies and orchestral songs stands as witness to the orchestra's feeling for its deep history and to the enduring artistry of its conductor.