Author Topic: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison  (Read 48951 times)

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Offline Pim

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #760 on: November 07, 2014, 09:51:29 AM »
My apologies for missing out in the final. My fault entirely. No planning skills :blank: I very much enjoyed the rounds before. Happy to see Klemperer in the final four btw. Thanks TheGSMoeller!

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #761 on: November 07, 2014, 10:09:52 AM »
If I was forced to walk away with just one it would probably be Nagano. I think it represents the best all-around

Just relistened to Nagano. If Nagano had made it to the finals, there is a very good chance I would have chosen him first. Since his pacing in the outer movements is mostly pretty similar to Klemperer's, and his final coda just as exciting, and since he's much more nuanced than Wand, it probably would have come down to Nagano vs. Celi for me.

Nagano is problematic for me. Of the first movement I wrote:

"From the beginning, it seems the perfect Bruckner 6. The sonics are gorgeous, the pace just right, the orchestra accomplished, the conductor knows the score. Yes, perfection...and yet, once again I felt no emotional pull and I'm not sure why..."

Nagano= cold perfection (and not just in Bruckner)? I haven't heard the the last two movements of his Sixth though. Maybe he warms up. I'm puzzled, though, why my reaction differs so much from Greg's. We're often, even usually, on the same page.

Sarge
« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 10:12:07 AM by Sergeant Rock »
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Ken B

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #762 on: November 07, 2014, 10:12:00 AM »
I'm puzzled, though, why my reaction differs so much from Greg's. We're often, even usually on the same page.


Me too. That's why we formed the club!  :laugh:

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #763 on: November 07, 2014, 10:13:53 AM »
Me too. That's why we formed the club!  :laugh:

 ;D :laugh: ;D

You do realize, Ken, that you're going to have to change your tune concerning Ives. If not, you might be blackballed.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
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Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline Daverz

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #764 on: November 07, 2014, 11:11:58 AM »
Do I understand correctly that these four recordings all survived earlier rounds?  I did not think that the Wand or Zweden recordings deserved to be in the top 4.

Ken B

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #765 on: November 07, 2014, 11:18:25 AM »
Do I understand correctly that these four recordings all survived earlier rounds?  I did not think that the Wand or Zweden recordings deserved to be in the top 4.
They did, grinding into dust not one but two Jochums, Karajan, Stein, Chailly, and many others. I have not heard Zweden but I agree the Wand doesn't belong anywhere near the top 4.

Offline Brian

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #766 on: November 07, 2014, 11:34:06 AM »
Do I understand correctly that these four recordings all survived earlier rounds?  I did not think that the Wand or Zweden recordings deserved to be in the top 4.
van Zweden doesn't deserve to be in the top four (Dohnanyi or Nagano or Chailly would have been more interesting), but Wand is pretty darn successful at what he wants to do. Cato loved it. I'm just surprised it was the early Cologne Wand rather than one of the later live ones.

Online mc ukrneal

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #767 on: November 07, 2014, 11:39:38 AM »
It's funny - we all put those four there, yet no one seems happy. Why? Personally, Zweden was best of the lot. And from the votes, he wasn't even #4.

Maybe instead of a B7, we need to repeat B6 with 18-20 different recordings and have the winners go head to head.  :-* >:D
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Ken B

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #768 on: November 07, 2014, 11:42:23 AM »
It's funny - we all put those four there, yet no one seems happy.

Typical committee decision!

Offline Moonfish

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #769 on: November 07, 2014, 11:55:46 AM »
It's funny - we all put those four there, yet no one seems happy. Why?

I think the recordings moved through in a way that was a bit biased, i.e. specific movements listened to by different groups. If you mixed the blend of recordings and/or started with a different movement in the first round and/or mixed the listening groups we would have had a different outcome. Actually, I think if we redid this several times ( ???) I suspect that we would have a different result each time. It is a type of differential listening outcome. The main benefactor in all of this is of course Bruckner's 6th symphony that got a lot of exposure over the last few months and it is a fantastic piece of music. It will be in my listening repertoire for the rest of my life (or, rather, as long as I can hear).   :)

Thanks for organizing and bringing this project to full bloom Greg!!!!   You receive the Bruckner Medal!



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Offline Brian

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #770 on: November 07, 2014, 11:56:32 AM »
It's funny - we all put those four there, yet no one seems happy.
Sarge and I and a couple other Celi/Klemp partisans are happy.  ;D ;D

Offline Brian

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #771 on: November 07, 2014, 01:27:26 PM »
Listening to this:



15:41 - 15:42 - 7:43 - 13:13

Wowzers. This is like Wand/Cologne/RCA, only better. Cambreling, a trombonist, drives the fast movements hard, but not as hard, and not as poundingly/determinedly. Also, the balances are different: there's more focus on the woodwinds, which really feel like they're at the center of the picture. (Crazy Clarinet Trill in the finale nearly matches Klemperer's.) Every movement follows Wand's template, but less exaggerated and less far removed from the mainstream. The scherzo is as fast as van Zweden's, but more precise and more oomphy. (The trombones crackle like Jaap's do.)

It's a live recording, and the orchestra is definitely not flawless. (The final coda has the unintended Thrill Ride aspect of, are the trumpets and horns going to completely fall apart??! No, but it's a close thing. The trumpets do throw some amazing counterpoint in versus the trombones, so you can hear it all come together, Nagano-style.) Bits of the finale are a little too fast and light. The slow movement is a big weak spot: merely average, not the kind of excellence we heard from Celi, van Zweden, or Haitink/Dresden. Still, Wand's slow movement is weak too. And overall, given the incredible woodwind detail, improved sonics, and less relentless beat, I'd choose Cambreling over the Cologne Wand. This is a recording I need to hear two or three more times, and soon, because it could become a favorite. Someone sign on to NML and double-check me, okay?

If you subbed in van Zweden's slow movement, I think you'd have a Frankenstein contender for #1.

Gavin Dixon's MusicWeb review also expresses reservations about the adagio, but nevertheless begins with the sentence, "This is a great Bruckner 6."
« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 01:36:40 PM by Brian »

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #772 on: November 07, 2014, 02:08:55 PM »
It's funny - we all put those four there, yet no one seems happy. Why? Personally, Zweden was best of the lot. And from the votes, he wasn't even #4.

I can't say I am unhappy with Zweden's second place finish. I like surprises  ;)  And I helped put him there, giving him second place in round 2 (beating out Nagano and Jochum) and first place above Wand, Stein and Haitink in round 3. He was the mystery candidate that intrigued me.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline springrite

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #773 on: November 07, 2014, 02:19:57 PM »
Typical committee decision!
Typical democracy!  :P

Do we have a complete ranking top to bottom?
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #774 on: November 07, 2014, 02:33:48 PM »
I think the recordings moved through in a way that was a bit biased, i.e. specific movements listened to by different groups.

Well, having to listen to that many complete recordings may have taxed patience.  I didn't mean to come off as unappreciative of all the sitzfleisch put in for this comparison.

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #775 on: November 07, 2014, 02:46:28 PM »
Typical democracy! :P

Democracies have been known to go horribly, horribly wrong!   ;)

I will spare you the examples, except for the Athenians voting in favor of genocide at Melos.   :o


Do we have a complete ranking top to bottom?

That would be nice: Eugen Jochum  0:)  remains my all-around fave, but certainly some others (e.g. Wand) were very fine.

Die kecke Sechste: no longer the poor cousin to the other symphonies!  ;) 

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Offline amw

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #776 on: November 07, 2014, 02:57:37 PM »
Do I understand correctly that these four recordings all survived earlier rounds?  I did not think that the Wand or Zweden recordings deserved to be in the top 4.
I suppose the format must also be taken into account—e.g. Zweden and Celibidache are very successful in the adagio movement (even if the latter is somewhat eccentric), and therefore took first place in their respective groups over recordings that might be less adagio-y but hang together better as a whole. But that's always the problem with blind listening tests where you can't listen to the whole work at once, I guess.

I'm not completely satisfied with any of these recordings, but then all of my favourites in rounds 1 and 2 were eliminated (except Celi), so I have a feeling I'll be happier with some of the eliminated recordings than the survivors.

(I have Davies queued up on Spotify, Nagano & Chailly on Qobuz... oddly, Stein, Dohnanyi & Blomstedt are MIA from any streaming service I can find, despite all being from Decca)

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #777 on: November 07, 2014, 03:27:28 PM »
I may have asked about this before: was this conductor included in the comparison?



Roberto Paternostro?

The Amazon site has 16 reviews: 14 5-star reviews    ??? ??? ???  , and 2 4-star ones!

I am skeptical, but...
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #778 on: November 07, 2014, 03:29:51 PM »
I suppose the format must also be taken into account—e.g. Zweden and Celibidache are very successful in the adagio movement (even if the latter is somewhat eccentric), and therefore took first place in their respective groups over recordings that might be less adagio-y but hang together better as a whole. But that's always the problem with blind listening tests where you can't listen to the whole work at once, I guess.

Well that's a choice when the format is set out - I mean you don't have to conceal the round 1 indentities when you come to round 2 - OK it's less 'blind' but it might be more informed.  Come to the final round and you have a more complete picture.  I have no idea which approach might give the better results - just saying there is that choice.

Offline amw

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #779 on: November 07, 2014, 03:43:44 PM »
Well that's a choice when the format is set out - I mean you don't have to conceal the round 1 indentities when you come to round 2 - OK it's less 'blind' but it might be more informed.  Come to the final round and you have a more complete picture.  I have no idea which approach might give the better results - just saying there is that choice.

I'm not sure. I opted to scramble the groups each round in my comparison, though for whatever reason that never stopped the first group (A, E, & now H) from getting significantly more positive votes than the rest, but then I also decided to score everyone cumulatively. Greg may have decided to scramble the groups not out of an attempt to make it more 'blind' but more because certain people (*cough*) spoilered a lot of the recordings in round 1.

BTW Greg, have you got the liner notes to van Zweden handy, and if so can you tell us more about the new version of the score Zweden conducts from? I didn't notice too many differences in the actual musical text, but am wondering about tempi and dynamics in particular.

After amw's Schubert game ends, I intend on doing a "mini" game for Beethoven's Op 59 No 3 (just 8 recordings and 2 rounds).
I've got 4-5 recordings of this; let me know if you want any.

(are you planning to vote on group J in the Schubert, btw, or should I close it?)
« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 04:01:33 PM by amw »