Author Topic: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???  (Read 5512 times)

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Offline Octo_Russ

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Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« on: June 14, 2010, 01:56:41 PM »
Bought a couple of discs of Bruckner's Eighth recently, with Skrowaczewski conducting, on the Oehms label [very good too!], but it has it named as the APOCALYPTIC, i've never noticed this before, i have other recordings that don't mention this name.

Who coined this title?, Bruckner?, the Publisher?, and how does it relate to the music?, can anyone enlighten me?.
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2010, 02:49:40 PM »
I think that my Solti version also calls it that too. Even if it were "canon", it's a foolish title bestowed by somebody who obviously doesn't understand the music. Pretty much only 30 seconds of the first movement coda would match such a title.

I did some Googling, but people seemingly take the title as a perfectly fine "it is sometimes called" without trying to question its origin. I suspect it is the product of Bruckner's rise during the pre and early recorded age, with well-meaning advocates trying to add some marketing heft to his works (I have seen similarly silly titles for the 5th, 6th and 7th as well - the Tragic, Church of Faith, Philisophic, Lyrical, etc).
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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2010, 03:25:36 PM »
I suspect it is the product of Bruckner's rise during the pre and early recorded age, with well-meaning advocates trying to add some marketing heft to his works (I have seen similarly silly titles for the 5th, 6th and 7th as well - the Tragic, Church of Faith, Philisophic, Lyrical, etc).

I too think it's a marketing gimmick but I have no idea who started it. I'm certain it wasn't Bruckner. The title is not used by any serious Bruckner critic that I know of (e.g., Robert Simpson or Schönzeler). I have over twenty recordings. Not one uses the nickname on the cover.

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Scarpia

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2010, 03:29:57 PM »
I think that my Solti version also calls it that too. Even if it were "canon", it's a foolish title bestowed by somebody who obviously doesn't understand the music. Pretty much only 30 seconds of the first movement coda would match such a title.

I think I know the 30 seconds you are referring to. 

The title does not appear to be on any of the published scores either, so I assume it has nothing to do with Bruckner.  Bruckner did refer to his 4th as the "Romantic" and it seems justified to call the 3rd the Wagner symphony, since it contained numerous quotes of Wagner's music in its original version and was dedicated to Wagner.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2010, 03:48:29 PM »
Heck, it would be more legitimate to nickname the 1st the Saucy Maid than the 8th the Apocalyptic ;) (Actually, if every CD gave the 1st that subtitle, I'm sure more people would listen to it.)
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oabmarcus

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2010, 04:08:01 PM »
I'm sure somewhere in the history of Bruckner's 8th performances. Somebody made the connection between the final coda and the concept of apocalypse. Which I don't like very much, it almost flattens Bruckner into some sort of one-dimensional religious composer. Which he wasn't, so stop adding religious interpretations to his abstract works!

Offline Octo_Russ

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 08:31:42 AM »
Here's the disc in question,


I'm a Musical Octopus, I Love to get a Tentacle in every Genre of Music. http://octoruss.blogspot.com/

Scarpia

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 08:39:13 AM »
Here's the disc in question,




Well, that would be sufficient to put me off buying the recording, not that I need more recordings of that particular symphony.   ??? 

Offline Octo_Russ

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2010, 09:27:32 AM »
Don't be put off, Skrowaczewski's Bruckner cycle is highly rated, there's a good review by Terry Barfoot http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Jan04/Bruckner_%20Skrowaczewski.htm

Though i would suggest buying individual releases rather than the whole set.
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oabmarcus

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2010, 10:13:57 AM »
Well, that would be sufficient to put me off buying the recording, not that I need more recordings of that particular symphony.   ???
why? it wasn't his fault.

Scarpia

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2010, 04:58:14 AM »
why? it wasn't his fault.

Wasn't whose fault?  Was it Al Gore that put that word on the CD cover?

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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2010, 06:14:50 AM »
While the second's nickname did originate from its first performance, I can't see how it means anything anymore given how he continued to do the same thing for 7 additional symphonies...

But whatever - that Arte Nova graphic designer/editor simply needs a good talking to ;)
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2010, 09:24:06 AM »
Bought a couple of discs of Bruckner's Eighth recently, with Skrowaczewski conducting, on the Oehms label [very good too!], but it has it named as the APOCALYPTIC, i've never noticed this before, i have other recordings that don't mention this name.

Who coined this title?, Bruckner?, the Publisher?, and how does it relate to the music?, can anyone enlighten me?.

Bruckner never named any of the titles of his symphonies except for "Symphony No. 4" which is called "Romantic." Quite honestly I'm not sure where the name for his 8th symphony came from but it's not composer-approved so it doesn't really mean that much. The same with Mahler's symphonies. Mahler never named any of his symphonies. It baffles me why someone names them when the composer themselves didn't put on a name on them. Perhaps for some people this is an easy way identify the symphony, but if you know this music well enough all you need is a number. I can say Bruckner 5th to someone who knows Bruckner's music and all they need is the symphony number.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 05:57:56 AM by Mirror Image »
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oabmarcus

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2010, 12:42:11 PM »
Wasn't whose fault?  Was it Al Gore that put that word on the CD cover?

the people who published the score.

oabmarcus

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2010, 12:42:51 PM »
If you think that's bad, take a look at this:



the recording is worse, trust me.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Bruckner's Eighth - the Apocalyptic???
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2010, 01:10:51 PM »
the recording is worse, trust me.

Nice artwork, though.  Reminds me of old Columbia record jackets from the early days of Lp.