Hello again or welcome to my blog if you are a first time visitor.
Just a week or so ago my friend Chris and I attended an unforgettable Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. The two works in the programme were Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto and Bruckner’s 7th Symphony, another of my favourites. (Followers of my blog and website may remember that I am totally addicted to the music of Anton Bruckner to the extent that I cannot imagine life without it!). The orchestra: The Vienna Philharmonic.
The soloist in the Beethoven was Nathaniel Ax but the star of the show was one of the most famous of our living conductors, none other than Bernard Haitink. What made this such an historical occasion was that it was almost certainly the last Haitink performance we will hear in London. Last week he performed the same concert in Lucerne, probably his final showing there. He has however said he is taking a ‘sabbatical’ so who knows if he may actually appear on the rostrum again, even though he is now 90 years old.
Nathaniel Ax was brilliant in the Beethoven especially in the subtle opening chords and in the slow movement where his control of the rhythms was exquisite. I felt he had the orchestra in his hands! Excuse the pun! Haitink is a wonderful performer of Bruckner and this performance of the 7th was probably the best I’ve heard. Its one of Bruckner’s most lyrical symphonies, full of stunning tunes, especially in the first and slow movements. I just love the thing!