Bernard Haitink was the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's chief conductor from 1961-88, and was named honorary conductor in 1999.
This album features his 2010 live Johannes Brahms recordings with Emanuel Ax (Piano Concerto No. 1) and Frank Peter Zimmermann (Violin Concerto). A brand new studio recording of Robert Schumann's Piano Quartet with Emanuel Ax and RCO principals Vesko Eschkenazy, Henk Rubingh and Gregor Horsch is offered as a makeweight.
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77
W/Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin) & Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink
Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15
W/Emanuel Ax (piano) & Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink
Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47
W/Emanuel Ax (piano) & RCO Chamber Soloists
"Prachtige opnames van het Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest onder eredirigent Hatink uit respectievelijk 2010 en 2011 met het Vioolconcert en Eerste Pianoconcert van Brahms. Aangevuld met Schumanns Pianokwartet (opname 2016) met dezelfde pianosolist Emanuel Ax."
Luister Magazine 723
"A born Brahmsian, Ax gives full rein to the sheer massiveness of the First Piano Concerto, producing a performance of range and depth, intimately captured in this recording…the estimable Frank Peter Zimmermann is soloist in a blazing, flawless live performance of Brahms’s Violin Concerto…his high-tension, heroic style is matched by crisp precision from the orchestra."
BBC Music Magazine ****
"Zimmermann's newer version of the Brahms concerto has even more verve, the supple sweetness of his playing matching the burnished orchestral sound Haitink coaxes from his players. Ax too is hugely convincing in the dark storm of the D minor concerto, letting every note unfold naturally, pacing and colouring every phrase with warmth and authority."
Classical Music July 2017 *****
"Zimmermann’s Brahms is not only an example of technical and musical mastery, but above that demonstrates an intelligent stylistic organisation with, here and there, subtle portamentos, a marvellously nuanced sound production and a radiant vibrato…it is the same with Emanuel Ax…whose performance is perfect unity between high mastery and powerful emotion."
Diapason May 2017 *****
"Haitink’s enduring association with this music ensures that every gesture has a naturalness to it, drawing out an oboe line here, a clarinet phrase there. Temperamentally, Frank Peter Zimmermann is on exactly the same wavelength, finding a balance between heart and head…there’s so much colour from the orchestral players and so much variety of touch in Ax’s playing in the Piano Concerto, that the result is constantly engaging."
Gramophone Magazine June 2017