* Program *
Tragic Overture, Op. 81
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 (first movement)
Nuages from Trois Nocturnes
* Notes *
Bernard Haitink has been giving master classes in conducting for the Lucerne Festival for three days. This morning's session included three young conductors from Israel, Lithuania, and Chile. Festival Strings Lucerne, which can include brass and wind instruments, played with great patience. Daniel Cohen gave a breathless, almost cheerful rendition of Tragic Overture. Haitink said that Brahms should have more stature and serenity, mentioning later that his work should sound serious, dignified, but not boring. Cohen managed to bring this out within the 30 minutes allotted to him. Haitink suggested that Cohen not make faces and to keep the elbows out from the body.
The beginning of Beethoven's Ninth was conducted rather tentatively at first by Giedre Slekyte. Things got better, and Haitink was pleased. He praised her left hand, but told her the sound should be rounder and more mysterious. He went on to produce just these qualities with the orchestra. He also suggested she stop shifting from side to side so much, and not focus just on the box in front of her, i.e. the woodwinds.
Before the first break of the master class, Paolo Bortolameolli had the orchestra playing Nuages from Trois Nocturnes. Haitink felt the tempo was too slow, that it was "standing still." He mentioned that the French woodwinds were brighter in sound than one might think, and that the pianissimo had to be a bit louder so that the più pianissimo could be discerned. Haitink was concerned with the clarity of the lines, but by the end he told Bortolameolli that it was "getting more beautiful all the time."