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Paul L. Althouse
American Record Guide, March 2020

…Haitink actually moves things along rather quickly; here he is almost 1-1/2 minutes faster than Suzuki. The finale is well gauged and powerful with the large chorus recorded close. The soloists are all good, if leaning toward frenetic, and the overall spirit is wonderfully captured. I am more impressed here with the outer movements than with the Scherzo and Adagio, but all in all this is a fine performance and a fitting tribute to the conductor and his 65-year career. © 2020 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Blair Sanderson, January 2020

Haitink’s great virtue is consistency, and this regularity over multiple recordings throughout his career has made him one of the most dependable conductors of standard symphonic repertoire. Add to this the exceptional quartet of soprano Sally Matthews, alto Gerhild Romberger, tenor Mark Padmore, and bass Gerald Finley, and the robust singing from the Bavarian Radio Chorus, and the total effect of the symphony, particularly the “Ode to Joy,” is impressive and thrilling. © 2020 Read complete review

Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, January 2020

Haitink’s insightful direction certainly makes it appear so, and he is aided in this effort by an excellent mixed chorus and by the quartet of vocalists, Sally Matthews (S), Gerhild Romberger (A), Mark Padmore (T), and Gerald Finley (B) who carry so much of the weight in this movement. The impassioned outcry of the bass soloist at the very opening of the Ode to Joy, “O Freunde, nicht diese töne” (O friends, no more of these sounds!) never fails to give me goose bumps. And I will say this of Haitink’s interpretation: it makes the case for a choral ending for this particular symphony more plausibly than I have ever heard it stated. © 2020 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review

The Sunday Times, London, December 2019

Haitink’s reading of the mighty Ninth is notable for its vivid clarity of texture, with admirably prominent woodwind, and its fine quartet of soloists. © 2019 The Sunday Times, London

Jed Distler, November 2019

The present performance clocks in at less time, yet it probes deeper on account of Haitink’s additional flexibility and lovely first-desk solos. While the recitatives at the finale’s outset are not “in tempo” as per Beethoven’s directive, here they make a stronger impact than in London, due to more forceful accentuation from the Bavarian cellos and double basses. © 2019 Read complete review

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