From the 2002 Proms (many thanks to the original uploader in another place)
HAYDN Symphony No 96
BRUCKNER Symphony No 4
London Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Clements The Guardian, Friday September 13 2002 Article history
Thrilling demonstration: Berhard Haitink
It is not that long ago, certainly within the memories of 50-something concertgoers, that Bruckner was the province of the specialist; there was a group of conductors, most of them central European, who tackled his symphonies regularly, while a far larger number steered well clear.
Now they are regarded as part of the symphonic mainstream, and attract the attention of a much wider range of interpreters - from Boulez to Harnoncourt, Abbado to Colin Davis. Their length no longer seems daunting, the unhurried unfolding of their musical narratives no longer creates problems of pacing.
Bernard Haitink, though, has lived and breathed the Bruckner symphonies throughout his career as a conductor. He was immersed in them from his first years with the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in the early 1960s, and recorded one of the first complete cycles on disc. He would have been regarded as a Bruckner specialist then; now he conducts the symphonies as one part of his repertory, though with a mastery and understanding that few of his contemporaries can match.
In his prom with the London Symphony Orchestra last night Haitink showed in the fourth symphony what a complete Brucknerian he is. What you see is what you get in his Bruckner - a comprehensive grasp of the vast architecture, a perfect weighting of each phrase and sense of growth in each paragraph, and always an awareness of the music's sheer beauty and splendour as sound. With an orchestra as responsive as the LSO, especially with a brass section of such authority, it became a huge sonic experience. There was no straining after elusive spirituality; this fourth moved lithely, every aspect carefully presented; when the music dared to be banal Haitink allowed it to be so, when it became transcendent he released its epic potential.
Haitink prefaced the Bruckner with just one work, Haydn's Symphony No 96 in D major, the Miracle, and took a similar no-nonsense approach. The outer move ments were spiked with sinewy energy, the slow movement lovingly dovetailed woodwind and strings. There was no attention-seeking detail, just perfectly judged music-making of the highest order.