Thursday, January 20, 2011

Haitink at Pleyel

The Chamber Orchestra of Europe with Bernard Haitink, Salle Pleyel, January 19 2011

Bernard Haitink after Beethoven's Symphony No.2

I managed to attend one of the two concerts by The Chamber Orchestra of Europe at La Salle Pleyel, with a great maestro Bernard Haitink conducting. The first one was the night after the premier of Giulio Cesare. Going to listen to Beethoven's 5th and 8th the following night would be too much even for me! Last night instead I did go to listen to these fine musicians performing the symphonies 2 and 3 by Ludwig van.

I was particularly interested in No.2 as that one regularly escapes my attention, and that was included in the first part of the last night's concert. That symphony sounds odd when you're used to richer sounding scores from Beethoven, but it is interesting nonetheless as it shows you that Ludwig was very impressed by Symphonies by Mozart and Haydn. In this work you can get only a few glimpses of his later style. In bigger perspective it shows how this musical genius was actually built too: his creativity was at first in a shadow of Haydn and Mozart and only in his Symphony #3 he clearly stepped out of the boundaries and created his own peculiar (might I say awesome!) style. If he remained in the shadow of Haydn and Mozart he would be one in thousands. A personal kick is crucial but it is not independent from its nearest historical influences.

As for this fine orchestra, I liked a clarity of their performance: #2 was  good (as far as I could tell),  and #3 was very good too, although I've heard it better played too [OK, part of that impression might be attributed to the fact that I was sitting behind the orchestra, which changes your perception quite a bit.]

Needless to say that La Salle Pleyel was full of people, which is always the case when maestro Haitink conducts there.

Note that the same orchestra and Bernard Haitink will soon be back to La Salle Pleyel: on March 2 (Beethoven's 6th), March 3 (4th and 7th), and March 5 (9th).

Today I realized that a video recording of both Haitink-concerts are available on the Internet: first was live broadcast via Arte Live Web, and the second one can be found on a new portal by Pleyel and Cité de la Musique. Enjoy!

Concert 1 [ part 1:  Fidelio Overture, Symphony #8; part 2: Symphony #5]

Concert 2 [part 1: Symphony #2; part 2: Symphony #3]

See here!

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