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Bernard Haitink begins the musical programme at the rostrum of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks with Anton Webern’s early and seldom played orchestral work “Im Sommerwind”. It is followed by Gustav Mahler’s five orchestral songs after poems by Friedrich Rückert, in which the Dutch doyen had the audience on the edge of their seats in the Munich Philharmonie with a “magically conjured tenderness” (Süddeutsche Zeitung). The tonal “intoxication without the hangover” (Münchner Merkur) culminated in Dmitri Shostakovich’s 15th Symphony. The soloist for Mahler’s Rückert Lieder is a specialist in that field, Christian Gerhaher, for whom Haitink prepares a fine aural backdrop. Gerhaher, who has long since entered the higher echelons of top lieder singers, is consummate in his interpretation and enthuses his audience over and over again: be it in “Liebst du um Schönheit” or in “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen”, “Gerhaher’s singing cannot be praised highly enough” (Abendzeitung München).

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Bernard Haitink