Bernard Haitink and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (BRSO) have won this year’s Recording of the Year at the BBC Music Magazine Awards, held at Kings Place in London. Their recording of Mahler’s Third Symphony led them to victory.
Haitink has recorded this sublime symphony before, with the first dating back to 1966, with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. It is this live recording though, caught live in concert in Munich with the world-renowned Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, that is arguably his greatest interpretation.
‘It’s a piece you need to keep special, you start afresh with each orchestra. And this one with its beautiful sound I love especially,’ says Haitink.
Haitink is a conductor revered by audiences and musicians alike. Swiss cellist Lionel Cottet, principal of the BRSO’s cello section, spoke of the conductor’s magic to BBC Music Magazine: ‘During the rehearsals he’s extremely calm and relaxed – modest, almost shy, not saying much – but he knows exactly what he wants, how he wants it, and his manner is to express it with looks and very minimal gestures. Then the concert happens and there is something magical – it’s incredible.’
Head to the BBC Music Magazine Awards website to hear extracts from all the winning discs, including Haitink’s blistering rendition of Mahler 3.