Saturday, 16 August 2014

Le chef d'orchestre Frans Brüggen est mort

declares Le Monde.  Requiescat in pace.  Brüggen was one of the best conductors of the period instrument movement, and was also an accomplished flautist.  I had hoped to see him conduct the Johannes Passion in Paris earlier this year but he was too ill (he had been incapacitated for some years but heroically kept returning to the stage time and again to conduct some riveting performances).  At this very moment I have his recording of Schubert's "Great" Symphony being shipped from Japan.  His recordings of the Bach Sacred works, the Beethoven Symphonies (he recorded two cycles), the Haydn Symphonies and the Schubert Symphonies are the leaders in their field.  The world has lost a great flautist and conductor.

Listen to his (first) recording of the Bach B minor Mass from 1993 with his own Orchestra of the 18th Century and the Netherlands Chamber Choir - excellence beyond compare.

Brüggen conducts Mozart's Requiem in a live performance from Japan