Author Topic: Why Don't More Conductors Do the Completed Bruckner Ninth ?  (Read 7694 times)

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Online vandermolen

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Re: Why Don't More Conductors Do the Completed Bruckner Ninth ?
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2009, 01:39:14 PM »
I'm not sure Bruckner meant that the Te Deum would be a substitute finale, but that it could be used to cap off the program.


Yes, that's my thought too.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

nut-job

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Re: Why Don't More Conductors Do the Completed Bruckner Ninth ?
« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2009, 11:24:38 AM »
The Mahler Ninth finale actually occurred to me simultaneously with the Mahler 10th: and I chose the latter for the quip (yes, I am not serious here) because it is a little more harmonically and motivically adventurous than the former, although there is a case to be made for it!  The Bruckner Ninth's radicality seems just a little more in line with the Tenth's opening movement, which at least matches, if not surpasses, the drama of the Adagio in the Bruckner.

I am generally puzzled by comparisons between Mahler and Bruckner.  Aside from the fact that they wrote symphonies that are very loud and go on for a long time, I see them as diametrically opposed. 

Bruckner is the epitome of the German symphonic tradition, to the extent that he sometimes seems like a parody.  The symphonies are based on thematic development, and are organized through essentially musical argument (contrasting and development of themes, harmony, key relationships, etc). 

Mahler introduced extra-musical elements into his symphonies.  They strike me as Burlesques, with explosions of sound based on his sometimes odd philosophical notions.  I've just listened to Mahler's 3rd and athough he can craft music that is constructed symphonically (the finale) most of it is like a bizarre pageant.

Haffner

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Re: Why Don't More Conductors Do the Completed Bruckner Ninth ?
« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2009, 02:25:27 PM »
I am generally puzzled by comparisons between Mahler and Bruckner.  Aside from the fact that they wrote symphonies that are very loud and go on for a long time, I see them as diametrically opposed. 

Bruckner is the epitome of the German symphonic tradition, to the extent that he sometimes seems like a parody.  The symphonies are based on thematic development, and are organized through essentially musical argument (contrasting and development of themes, harmony, key relationships, etc). 

Mahler introduced extra-musical elements into his symphonies.  They strike me as Burlesques, with explosions of sound based on his sometimes odd philosophical notions.  I've just listened to Mahler's 3rd and athough he can craft music that is constructed symphonically (the finale) most of it is like a bizarre pageant.




This is a really interesting point (or set of points). Mahler's symphonies often do sound like a "sound-novel" (probably more so than more forthrightly programmatic composers like Strauss ever did); they often included chapters within chapters, running the aural gamut. I can't put it better than you did above, it can be much like a really good art compilation-book. There will be things in the book you really don't like, or find boring. But there are also things that you seem to practically live for, and those things in themselves seem to redeem the rest, and keep you from moving the book off of the coffee table.

Bruckner was more orthodox, but in a far more exciting way than Brahms (my opinion). Brahms' symphonies sometimes seemed to just be carrying the torch, whereas Bruckner assimilated the harmonic cuckootude of Wagner and latter era Beethoven to marvelous effect.

nut-job

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Re: Why Don't More Conductors Do the Completed Bruckner Ninth ?
« Reply #43 on: March 01, 2009, 04:44:48 PM »
This is a really interesting point (or set of points). Mahler's symphonies often do sound like a "sound-novel" (probably more so than more forthrightly programmatic composers like Strauss ever did); they often included chapters within chapters, running the aural gamut. I can't put it better than you did above, it can be much like a really good art compilation-book. There will be things in the book you really don't like, or find boring. But there are also things that you seem to practically live for, and those things in themselves seem to redeem the rest, and keep you from moving the book off of the coffee table.

Bruckner was more orthodox, but in a far more exciting way than Brahms (my opinion). Brahms' symphonies sometimes seemed to just be carrying the torch, whereas Bruckner assimilated the harmonic cuckootude of Wagner and latter era Beethoven to marvelous effect.

Mahler symphonies sometimes strike me as operas in which we are not told the story, lashings of sound explode from the orchestra to illustrate some idea that is in Mahler's mind but which does not grow organically from the music.   

Bruckner does assimilate some of Wagner's sound world into Beethoven's idiom, but ultimately I regard Brahms as by far the greater composer.  In Bruckner the emotions of are too differentiated.  He takes some idea or impression and extends it to the nth degree, which can be extraordinary if not subtle.  What impresses me about Brahms is how varied and precise his palette is, how he can in one passage express both joy and grief, happiness and sadness, in continuously varying proportions.  And he can do it without allowing the overall impression to become confused or fuzzy.  An example is the third movement of the third symphony, wistful, a bit sad without being sappy or morose, such subtle control of mood is alien to Bruckner.


Lilas Pastia

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Re: Why Don't More Conductors Do the Completed Bruckner Ninth ?
« Reply #44 on: March 01, 2009, 06:35:03 PM »
Not wanting to appear insulting, I can't help but think of such statements as those as - to put it charitably - youthful expressions of artistic impressions. There is no more need to defend Brahms as there is to deify Bruckner. I am personally at a point in my life in which I think of Brahms's third as one of the most perfect works of art ever written. I see no contradiction with my long held sentiment of Bruckner being the more visionary composer and Brahms the more formally perfect one. Each had their claim to perfecting the ideal of german classic-romantic music. I don't think I'm alone though in predicting a more interesting future to Bruckner on the concert scene and in the recording studio. Bruckner has explored avenues that still titillate and bug scholars as well as audiences. Brahms' aesthetic has now safely been digested by both and can now be dissected and analysed as what it is: the summation of an aesthetic and intellectual movement that was to be shred to pieces while it was still alive. IMHO both encapsulate what the late-classical and romantic german era produced as a summation of their ethos and epoch - more so than Liszt or Wagner whose music proved to be the culminating paeans to a 19th century that could not breed a future.

Haffner

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Re: Why Don't More Conductors Do the Completed Bruckner Ninth ?
« Reply #45 on: March 02, 2009, 06:03:41 AM »
I can't help but think of such statements as those as - to put it charitably - youthful expressions of artistic impressions.


I am personally at a point in my life in which I think of Brahms's third as one of the most perfect works of art ever written.


I can't help but think of such statements as those as - to put it charitably - youthful expressions of artistic impressions.

I agree with the first and last quotes, fully.

Offline FredT

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Re: Why Don't More Conductors Do the Completed Bruckner Ninth ?
« Reply #46 on: March 02, 2009, 09:33:43 AM »
John Berky has the first recorded performance of the first Carragan version of the completed 9th on his website abruckner.com This recording is available for free download and features the Utrecht Symphony (now the Netherlands Philharmonic) under Herbert Soudant.

My own opinion is that the Finale does not work well. It just seems too lightweight and uninteresting coming after the monumental writing before it.


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