Maestro wins: Radio chief receives national award

Hannu Lintu, chief conductor of Finnish Radio, has been given the Finland Prize.

Lintu, 50, is cited as ‘one of the most prominent Finnish conductors of his generation.’


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  • At the risk of repeating myself…Hannu Lintu gave a phenomenal, transcendent performance of Bruckner’s 5th in Iceland in February 2016 that I heard in person, which was BY FAR the greatest performance I’ve ever heard of that remarkable symphony live. How he and the orchestra achieved such earth-shaking results is beyond my comprehension, especially since the orchestra had not played the piece since the early 1980s–while likely meant everyone on that stage was playing it for the first time in their lives. It was one of the greatest live concert experiences of my life. And that’s saying a lot.

    Congratulations to Maestro Lintu! I’ve only heard one concert of his, and can’t wait to hear the next one.

  • How many times have you heard that symphony live and who conducted those performances? I can tell you that bruckner is totally out of his repertoire. I am not sure how great he is but charisma seems to have so as a very good agent.

    • I’ve heard five other performances of B5 live over the years: Ozawa/Boston SO, Welser-Most/Cleveland, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, Sawallisch/Philadelphia, Zander/Boston Philharmonic.

      If it’s true that Bruckner’s 5th is not in Lintu’s repertoire (as you report), then the astonishing performance I heard in Iceland is even that much more of a miracle.

      Or maybe Lintu is really, really talented. I’d need to hear him live a number of other times before having any specific opinion. But based on one single concert, he pulled off an over-the-top performance of a challenging masterpiece that is very difficult to do well.

    • And one other thing…

      My reference recordings for Bruckner’s 5th are Karajan’s glorious performance with the Berlin Philharmonic from the 1970s (in the Bruckner boxed set), and Jochum’s last performance, live, from 1986 with the Concertgebouw just before he passed away (which is the last of his 5 recordings, studio and live, that are available).

      • Please, catch a plane and come to follow his rehearsals, you may change your mind, specially comparing him to Barenboim or Sawalisch…

      • Die Fünfte is also my favorite Bruckner symphony, together with the 9.
        Check out Blomstedt’s new Bruckner 5 with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. It’s on SACD. You can thank me later.
        Welser-Möst’s Bruckner 5 with Cleveland is a joke. Who need a schicki-micki Bruckner?

        • Hello Analeck,

          I’m generally not a fan of Barenboim’s Bruckner. I heard most of the recent cycle with the Staatskapelle Berlin in NYC, and only one performance (#4) was memorable. I’m also not a huge fan of Welser-Most’s Bruckner, but his Bruckner 5 and 8 (both from the NYC/Lincoln Center mini-cycle) were better than most, if far from the final words on those brilliant masterpieces. The same could not be said of his performances of 7 & 9.

          I own Blomstedt’s Leipzig cycle and it definitely has its moments (particularly 3, and 6-8), but I don’t think Blomstedt will ultimately be regarded as one of the A-level Bruckner conductors, in the same league as Karajan, Jochum, Skrowaczewski, Giulini, Celibidache, Furtwangler, Tennstedt, and Knappertsbusch at his best. I’ve only heard Blomstedt do Bruckner live once, when he conducted B7 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Tanglewood, in a non-memorable performance.

          Yes, any day of the week I’d prefer to hear the Berlin Philharmonic during the Karajan years (not the current incarnation of it), Vienna, Dresden, or the Concertgebouw perform Bruckner. But let me tell you, the little Iceland Symphony Orchestra put across a performance of Bruckner’s 5th that was unbelievable(!) and which I will remember the rest of my life. By the time the fourth movement arrived, I felt weightless and rapidly spinning towards the heavens. It was an out-of-body experience. One never knows where lightning will strike, and boy did it ever strike Reykjavik that night in February 2016. While not a performance without blemishes, none of the issues mattered even a little bit, because the profundity and intensity of the music making that took place was astonishing. None of the other performances I’ve heard of B5 have come even close. Really, I can only think of 2-3 other concerts I’ve been to in my entire life that were at that level and so profoundly soul-stirring. Had there been a second performance, I would have been there the next night, but it was one and done.

      • The way American orchestras play Bruckner is just like how they speak German: fat, oily, full of mannerism, totally disgusting.

        Fortunately, in 99% of the cases they don’t dare tour Europe with a Bruckner symphony. The Bruckner cycle by FWM and his Cleveland Orchestra in the Musikverein was a pure Verschämtheit.

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