4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Bernard Haitink, RIP

A conductor of few words but much music

Bernard Haitink knew the importance of showing, not telling.
Bernard Haitink knew the importance of showing, not telling.

Bernard Haitink had died. He was 92. He was the last of the great mid-20th Century conductors who came to worldwide prominence via the recording industry. Starting in 1961, Haitink was the first conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in his native city of Amsterdam. Haitink held the post until 1988. During that time, he was also the principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and music director of the Glyndebourne Opera.

From 1987 to 2004, he was the music director of London’s hallowed Royal Opera Covent Garden. He enjoyed a relationship with the Berlin Philharmonic that lasted almost 50 years, and was the principal guest conductor of The Chicago Symphony.

Haitink’s resume goes on and on and on, but it was through his recordings that most of us got to know his work. He primarily recorded for the Philips label, but also recorded for EMI and London. His recording of Wagner’s Ring Cycle was produced by EMI but is now under the Warner label.

Video:

Farewell Bernard Haitink

The composer with whom Haitink is most closely associated is Gustav Mahler. When Haitink took over at the Concertgebouw, Philips — which is a Dutch company — already had a contract with the orchestra for a complete set of Mahler Symphonies. Haitink didn’t feel up to the task and suggested that they record one per year over the next 10 years, and that’s what happened. Philips released Mahler’s Symphony 8 and 9 along with Das Lied von der Erde in 1971, concluding the first of Haitink’s Mahler sets.

In the 1990s Philips, Haitink, and Mahler teamed up again, but this time it was with the Berlin Philharmonic. A complete cycle did not ensue, but the recordings were highly anticipated as they were recorded digitally from start to finish. Along with Mahler, Haitink was known for his conducting of Beethoven, Brahms, and Bruckner.

Haitink was a man of few words. He did not like to give interviews, thinking that the music and the performances spoke for themselves. He was also verbally reticent in his rehearsals. His focus was always on showing as opposed to telling. That is a key distinction.

Anyone can talk about music. Heck, even I could give a competent pep talk to an orchestra during a rehearsal. However, showing it is the key. There is no talking during a concert. The conductor can only show what is needed. Many verbose musicians fail to become great conductors because they lack the ability to show what it is they so freely talk about. Haitink was one of the greats because he could show the orchestra what he wanted.

Haitink’s final concert was in 2019 at the Lucerne Festival. He conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in a performance of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Talk of undergrounding San Diego' powerlines is grandiose

What about side streets, what about Linda VIsta?
Bernard Haitink knew the importance of showing, not telling.
Bernard Haitink knew the importance of showing, not telling.

Bernard Haitink had died. He was 92. He was the last of the great mid-20th Century conductors who came to worldwide prominence via the recording industry. Starting in 1961, Haitink was the first conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in his native city of Amsterdam. Haitink held the post until 1988. During that time, he was also the principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and music director of the Glyndebourne Opera.

From 1987 to 2004, he was the music director of London’s hallowed Royal Opera Covent Garden. He enjoyed a relationship with the Berlin Philharmonic that lasted almost 50 years, and was the principal guest conductor of The Chicago Symphony.

Haitink’s resume goes on and on and on, but it was through his recordings that most of us got to know his work. He primarily recorded for the Philips label, but also recorded for EMI and London. His recording of Wagner’s Ring Cycle was produced by EMI but is now under the Warner label.

Video:

Farewell Bernard Haitink

The composer with whom Haitink is most closely associated is Gustav Mahler. When Haitink took over at the Concertgebouw, Philips — which is a Dutch company — already had a contract with the orchestra for a complete set of Mahler Symphonies. Haitink didn’t feel up to the task and suggested that they record one per year over the next 10 years, and that’s what happened. Philips released Mahler’s Symphony 8 and 9 along with Das Lied von der Erde in 1971, concluding the first of Haitink’s Mahler sets.

In the 1990s Philips, Haitink, and Mahler teamed up again, but this time it was with the Berlin Philharmonic. A complete cycle did not ensue, but the recordings were highly anticipated as they were recorded digitally from start to finish. Along with Mahler, Haitink was known for his conducting of Beethoven, Brahms, and Bruckner.

Haitink was a man of few words. He did not like to give interviews, thinking that the music and the performances spoke for themselves. He was also verbally reticent in his rehearsals. His focus was always on showing as opposed to telling. That is a key distinction.

Anyone can talk about music. Heck, even I could give a competent pep talk to an orchestra during a rehearsal. However, showing it is the key. There is no talking during a concert. The conductor can only show what is needed. Many verbose musicians fail to become great conductors because they lack the ability to show what it is they so freely talk about. Haitink was one of the greats because he could show the orchestra what he wanted.

Haitink’s final concert was in 2019 at the Lucerne Festival. He conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in a performance of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Talk of undergrounding San Diego' powerlines is grandiose

What about side streets, what about Linda VIsta?
Next Article

Episcopal parish potluck, San Pasqual Valley remnants of the 350-acre sweet potato farm

Rhubarb, spinach, Easter Peeps, on a farm in WWII, young 70s couples go gourmet, hippie mom cooking, pie making, ice cream, apricots, white trash food, canning, beets, giblet gravy, bread, asparagus
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close