Author Topic: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison  (Read 54678 times)

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Offline ChamberNut

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #720 on: November 06, 2014, 08:38:34 AM »
I know this. Still waiting for Ray, hopefully by this weekend he will be back. Otherwise I will possibly reveal the winner of the Golden Bruckner Boot. Or if anyone else has a better trophy idea.

I'm so sorry Greg, and to the others highly anticipating the final results.  I'm afraid I just won't have the time, Greg.  Too many things going on right now.  :)

Look forward to seeing the final survivors!  :)
Location:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #721 on: November 06, 2014, 01:40:03 PM »
I'm so sorry Greg, and to the others highly anticipating the final results.  I'm afraid I just won't have the time, Greg.  Too many things going on right now.  :)

Look forward to seeing the final survivors!  :)

I hope you're doing well Ray.  :)


Final results will be revealed tonight. Get the beer and the bratwurst ready.

Ken B

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #722 on: November 06, 2014, 02:08:32 PM »
I hope you're doing well Ray.  :)


Final results will be revealed tonight. Get the beer and the bratwurst ready.

What do we call the winner? The 2012 2013 2014 Last Bruckner Standing?

Offline Brian

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #723 on: November 06, 2014, 03:28:21 PM »
Dramatic Last-Minute Second Listen and Vote Change!! Because Greg Doesn't Hate Me Yet, and I Feel Like He Totally Should

F3. Huh. The first movement is less impressive on this listen-through, for several reasons: 1. cheap, crappy work headphones; 2. that super slow opening really IS a nuisance; and 3. that jerk Neal ;) alerted me to the prolific technical issues in the orchestral playing, and he's totally right. To some extent I am willing to overlook those flaws given the often remarkable touches and unique highlights (like the trombones at 12:33 in the first movement, or the Wagnerian heroism of the French horn soloist in the coda).

Slow movement feels a little fast at times, but not too much. Parts flow gorgeously. The funeral march, with the plunk-plunk bass, gets kinda repetitive. Terrific scherzo. And now I even kind of agree with Cato about the finale: at 8:40 the whole thing moves into a higher gear.

Huh. My second impression is not like the first. I still like the performance a lot, and it helps to end on a high note. Oh, and I hope it's okay that I'm listening to it on Naxos Music Library instead of the blind files.  ;D

F1. When I listened to the first 30 seconds of each of these, at the very beginning of the finals, I thought F3 was You-Know-Who. Of course, this one is You-Know-Who. The beginning is faster, but the movement as a whole is slower because it's more consistent. It's not an extraordinary performance, and there are places where a bit more energy could have been useful, but it's also free of major issues. Wish the final chord was not so long. The adagio is still perfect; I'm okay with what someone (amw?) called "sacrificing" the funeral march in order to achieve the divine perfection of the last 5 minutes.

Although the finale still is a little less energized than it should be, I think on this listen the piece hangs together more successfully than before. That is, the balance is better. I didn't get the initial sense that the adagio was outshining everything else. Maybe a slower, weightier finale helps with distribution of power.

Again, listening on NML.

F2. One thing that sticks out a little sorely, in the otherwise excellent first few minutes, is some recording congestion at the big climaxes. Maybe it's these headphones. The brass players seem slightly more reticent than their colleagues in F1, and a LOT more reticent than the guys in F3 (not to mention the pedal/metal bombast of F4). What's amazing to me is that, while the loud bits are loud and fast and fun, the quiet bits do not seem noticeably faster than F1 because of F1's inherent fascination. There's something much lighter about this reading. In the final coda, know what I'm bothered by? That moment right before the final outburst, when the horn's by myself. It seems calculated - I like the final outburst to come by surprise, not to be prepared for.

The adagio is perfect. I said that about F1, but this one is too. It might, overall, be the best in the competition. Gorgeous oboe playing. Wow, I didn't remember the scherzo being so fast! I do remember the crackling trombones at 2:28ish. I didn't remember the finale STARTING slowly, just middling out slowly. But it does begin slowly. Already at 1:35 it's starting to get hard to take. Where was the excellence of the two middle movements? At 4:10, which is unbearably tense from me wanting it to be faster, I paused and went back to F1. F2 is slower. And not just a little slower. A shitload slower.

This SHOULD be on NML but they haven't uploaded it yet.

F4. I always start off skeptical, then slowly grow accustomed. Didn't Bruckner say the symphony was supposed to be saucy? This is saucy alright, and naughty. The brass section feels like a heady indulgence, like dumping foie gras on top of your baked beans. Oh so wrong, but oh so right.

Um. Not that I have tried dumping foie gras on baked beans. Not recommended. But if you do, let us know.

Y'all know it's all about contrast for me, right? I am a contrast junkie. Fast fast stuff, slow slow stuff. If I were conducting B6, my tempos would probably something like this:
16'
19'
8:30
14'
You may also be interested in my hypothetical mental Schumann Fantasie, which is approx. 12', 7', 14'.
All of which is to say that by the time 10:15 comes up on the adagio, this is too darn fast. At least the ending still works OK.

And then it's off to the James Bond Derby with the second half. So I think I'm changing F1 to first place. But who will take second?

F1
+ GREAT adagio
+ weighty outer movements
+ excellent phrasing all around
- really could have done a bit more energy
- scherzo lacking character vs. F4

F2
+ GREAT adagio
+ other momentary bits of goodness
+ superfast scherzo
- superfast scherzo (not sure how I feel)
- boring finale spoils the broth
- shy brass compared to F3, F4

F3
+ overall excellent structural take after the first five minutes
+ totally thrilling finish
+ orchestra strong in spirit...
- ...though not always execution
- that slow opening

F4
+ thrill ride, saucy, exciting
+ relentless rhythmic control
- the adagio
- what about the score?

Updated, not too terribly dramatic vote change
F1
F3
F4
F2

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #724 on: November 06, 2014, 05:08:28 PM »
WOAH!!  :o AND DOWN GOES FRAZIER!

New scores on their way, along with pretty pictures and a trophy.  ;D

This is the new tally, putting F1 in the lead...

F1 - 19
F2 - 17.5
F3 - 17.5
F4 - 16
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 05:24:02 PM by TheGSMoeller »

Ken B

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #725 on: November 06, 2014, 05:52:25 PM »
From Cleveland

Offline Brian

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #726 on: November 06, 2014, 05:54:38 PM »
Holy crap! I thought the final order was confirmed and that I was merely agreeing with it. Didn't realize I'd move rankings around! Zoinks!

It's like they say about Congress - in a close race, EVERY vote is the deciding vote!!!!!

From Cleveland


Yeah but you know none of these is the Cleveland Orchestra...in fact none is even North American.

Ken B

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #727 on: November 06, 2014, 05:56:33 PM »
From Cleveland

Also from Cleveland


I figure with Sarge voting this is the only way we'll see Cleveland ...  >:D

Eddie Fitz is one of the best beers in the world. The Great Lakes Brewing guys in Cleveland are beer gods.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 05:58:42 PM by Ken B »

Offline Brian

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #728 on: November 06, 2014, 06:20:00 PM »
Now I'm hungry. And thirsty. Luckily enchiladas are in the oven.

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #729 on: November 06, 2014, 06:29:59 PM »
F4
Third Place



Günter Wand
Cologne Radio Orchestra

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #730 on: November 06, 2014, 06:33:27 PM »
F2 & F3
Tie for Second Place

F2 - The surprise contender of the comparison.



Van Zweden
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic 


Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #731 on: November 06, 2014, 06:35:39 PM »
F2 & F3
Tie for Second Place

F3



Otto Klemperer
New Philharmonia Orchestra   


Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #732 on: November 06, 2014, 06:38:39 PM »
And the winner is...

F1
First Place



Sergiu Celibidache
Munich Philharmonic Orchestra

Offline Daverz

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #733 on: November 06, 2014, 06:42:45 PM »


Van Zweden
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic 


Here's the Fanfare review:
Quote
This is one of the sorriest excuses for a Bruckner symphony recording I’ve heard in a long time. I’m not familiar with either of Zweden’s previous Bruckner recordings (Nos. 3 and 8 )I, but on the basis of what we have here in No. 6, I have not the least desire to pursue them. There is no feeling of grandeur. Leading lines are often submerged in the contrapuntally dense textures. New episodes arrive without a sense of articulation. Contrasts of dynamics, sonorities, textures, and range are underplayed. Melodic lines don’t sing. At times in the slow movement Zweden sounds lost, cautiously picking his way from measure to measure. The Scherzo churns on aimlessly. Brass and woodwinds are good, but violins are noticeably thin and scraggly, with an almost metallic sound—certainly not what you want in Bruckner. Adding insult to injury is a photo of Zweden on the booklet cover that can only be described as ghoulish. Well, enough.

Robert Markow



Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #734 on: November 06, 2014, 06:43:06 PM »
A BIG thank you to everyone that took time out to listen to Bruckner's 6th over, and over, and over, and participated.
And even those that stopped by, thank you!

Cheers! This beer is for you! And I'm seriously going to drink a beer now.

 

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #735 on: November 06, 2014, 06:43:55 PM »
Here's the Fanfare review:

Well it's a good thing for Zweden that Robert Markow didn't participate in this comparison. 

Ken B

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #736 on: November 06, 2014, 06:45:47 PM »
Cool beans. I own #1 and #4.

A big thanks to the Monkey Man for a lot of work.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #737 on: November 06, 2014, 06:51:17 PM »
Well it's a good thing for Zweden that Robert Markow didn't participate in this comparison.

It is a rather pissy review.  I thought the performance had some admirable qualities in the first 2 movements, but fell apart after that.

kishnevi

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #738 on: November 06, 2014, 06:53:22 PM »
Cool beans. I own #1 and #4.

A big thanks to the Monkey Man for a lot of work.

Same here for both statements.

Ken B

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #739 on: November 06, 2014, 07:01:22 PM »
You guys put the Hurwitzer's two reference recordings in the top 4.
I can see his new logo now

David Hurwitz, GMG Approved Music Critic


 >:D :laugh: