Daniel Harding conducts Mahler—Symphony No. 9

Daniel Harding conducts Mahler—Symphony No. 9

By aged 43, I figured Daniel Harding would be at or near the top of the conducting heap—his reputation so well manicured (by a brilliant talent and very close associations with Rattle and Abbado), that a major post in Europe or the US would have been offered by now. A pleasant surprise was the music directorship of the Orchestre de Paris, the rough and tumble band that can, at times, be encouraged to provide top class music making. No happy ending, though. Harding decamped this year after only two years on the job citing, I think, artistic disagreements 'You are a supreme expression of a musical culture that is not mine.'. A nice way of saying I can’t be arsed to fix what's wrong [full statement here]. 

I've heard of other problems on podcasts of his working relations with US orchestras (LA and Chicago, specifically). Yet, through correspondence on social media, the excellent relations with many players of London Symphony as its Principal Guest Conductor, and from concerts I've attended, Harding seems to be a very charming guy as well as a superb musician. 

Bruckner: Symphony No. 4—Andris Nelsons

Bruckner: Symphony No. 4—Andris Nelsons

This is the second release of a projected Bruckner Symphony cycle by one of classical music’s star conductors with his newest orchestra, the vaunted Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, Germany (named after the hall in which it plays).

The Gewandhaus was for many years under the direction of Kurt Masur, who by title, was the 'General' music director of the entire city. He raised the orchestra's international profile with many fine recordings on Philips. Happily, the 'east' German orchestra did not suffer the same wobbly horn problems that its sister orchestra in Dresden experienced—a hold over from Soviet influence. Masur was asked by the New York Times upon his appointment to the city's Philharmonic, the difference between the Phil and his Leipzig band. 'The New York Philharmonic never makes mistakes. The Gewandhaus sometimes makes mistakes, but what beautiful sounding mistakes'.