Bernard Haitink, R.I.P.

One of the greatest and most recorded Conductors of all time died today, aged 92.  I truly didn’t appreciate him until I moved to Chicago in the mid eighties and then was privileged to see him guest Conduct over the next few decades.  So many great recordings, but my favorites are Symphonies of Shostakovich and Ralph Vaughn Williams.  In both cases he was the first Conductor of a different nationality than the Composers and he led definitive performances that made them seem less pigeonholed, and more Universal.
R.IP., Uncle Bernie
We used to call him Hijinks at Tower Classics. He may not have been the ultimate choice for every work but he always delivered exceptional quality. One of the go-to conductors. He's on my turntable often. Rest in Peace!
The one weakness in his recorded output was the Beethoven Symphonies, which was weird because he was so excellent in the Piano Concertos, with Arrau, Brendel, and Perahia.  His Concertgebou Mahler and Bruckner grow in stature with each rehearing, but especially in Mahler he must have been overshadowed by the flashier efforts of Bernstein, Solti, and even cult figures like Horenstein.  Those Mahler recordings of Haitink have been released on BluRay Audio and just sound stupendous 
More to discover