Friday, September 08, 2006


Good to see Tom Service paying tribute to Haitink's excellent Mahler 2 at Proms (Guardian, today). But his charge that Haitink was known as severe and austere in the symphonies is at least 25 years out of date. The Philips cycle in the 60s and 70s was workaday and academic it's true, but my conversion to Mahler came watching Haiters' 1983 Concertgebouw Christmas Day performance of No.3. Tennstedt's 6 at the 83 Proms helped me along the way, but this was mind-blowing stuff. Has anyone a boot of this performance? I have a boot of Haiters' 99 performance with the VPO but it's plagued with high-end tape hum. Haitink's official 7th, with the BPO in 83 was also top-notch - my third-least fave Mahler sym, but the finale just kicks Bohemian ass, like a food-fight in a Ceske Budjejovice bar. He is the greatest living conductor of Mahler - now can someone get a revolver, lock Haitink in a room and get him to do the Cooke reconstruction of the 10th?

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