The Bulletin, 18. November 2004
It is always interesting to hear an orchestra in music it is not really familiar with, especially when led by a conductor who, on the contrary, is perfectly conversant with that repertoire. This is exactly what happened when Dresden-born conductor Hartmut Haenchen came to Brussels to lead the Belgian National Orchestra in Bruckner's Symphony No 4.
Haenchen led the BNO in a performance which was a model of its kind, especially in the way he managed to always hold the music together, never losing sight of the work's structure as well as paying attention to its many felicities. This is no mean feat, as many impatient conductors know how to whip up superficial exitement at climaxes but have no idea what to do with the rest of the symphony. Haenchen was lucky to have a BNO on top form at his disposal, with firm and sonorous strings, fine woodwinds, terrific timpani-playing and a quality of brass playing that was more than equal to the considerable demands of Bruckner's score. (...)