Author Topic: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison  (Read 52282 times)

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Offline Brian

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #740 on: November 06, 2014, 07:36:10 PM »
Well it's a good thing for Zweden that Robert Markow didn't participate in this comparison.
Markow would not have known it was van Zweden. The review is not in line with what we heard. He gets lost in the adagio, wandering from note to note? What about Celibidache? And the "aimless" scherzo is hard-driving - the fastest I think I heard the whole competition long - and doesn't deviate from its goal.

Thank you ever so much Greg!!!

And, of course, justice has prevailed.  8)  Three truly great recordings, and one that falls apart in the finale (for me). But what a fun game, what a fun experience, how delightful to get in such close quarters with this symphony.....and I think now I have the whole piece memorized.  ;D

Ken B

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #741 on: November 06, 2014, 07:41:02 PM »
So, number 7 starting tomorrow?

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #742 on: November 06, 2014, 08:03:44 PM »
So, number 7 starting tomorrow?

Funny, I was seriously thinking the other day of having a BC of just the Adagio from the 7th after this ends.  ;D

Offline Brian

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #743 on: November 06, 2014, 08:05:48 PM »
Funny, I was seriously thinking the other day of having a BC of just the Adagio from the 7th after this ends.  ;D

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).

The afterglow on this one will be around for a while. I still want to listen to a couple of especially promising recordings that missed the finals.

kishnevi

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #744 on: November 06, 2014, 08:08:41 PM »
I have the Masur set ready to play starting tomorrow.
I suspect one reason I rated Wand so highly is that it was the first recording of 6 I heard and liked.

Offline amw

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #745 on: November 06, 2014, 08:35:19 PM »

Hmm. I always thought of Wand as being way more perfectionist than that. And the KRSO as sounding better than a high school orchestra. ;)

Thanks for organising this! Was fun, in spite of misgivings.

based on what I heard here's my shortlist of Recordings To Check Out Later
- Norrington (already have, but will listen again)
- Davies
- Nagano
- Stein
- Celibidache (again, to see whether it holds up)
- Nezet-Seguin aka Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Comparison
- anything Cato didn't like
I'm more likely to move on to the 8th now though. You can only have so much 6 in a month

Ken B

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #746 on: November 06, 2014, 09:31:46 PM »
Hmm. I always thought of Wand as being way more perfectionist than that. And the KRSO as sounding better than a high school orchestra. ;)

Thanks for organising this! Was fun, in spite of misgivings.

based on what I heard here's my shortlist of Recordings To Check Out Later
- Norrington (already have, but will listen again)
- Davies
- Nagano
- Stein
- Celibidache (again, to see whether it holds up)
- Nezet-Seguin aka Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Comparison
- anything Cato didn't like
I'm more likely to move on to the 8th now though. You can only have so much 6 in a month

Yeah. I remain unimpressed by that Wand. The whole box really is underwhelming, with some pretty poor playing in places too.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #747 on: November 07, 2014, 04:00:06 AM »
Eddie Fitz is one of the best beers in the world. The Great Lakes Brewing guys in Cleveland are beer gods.

Indeed. I favor the Dortmunder Gold and Burning River  8)




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."
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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #748 on: November 07, 2014, 04:07:02 AM »
Tie for Second Place


And the winner is...





Despite Dohnányi/Cleveland missing the finals, it is a satisfying result. My two favorites taking Gold and Silver  8)

And thank you, Greg, for including Davies. That was a major discovery for 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 Cato

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #749 on: November 07, 2014, 04:43:23 AM »
Ja, trotz allem gewinnt Der Heilige Eugen Jochum.   :laugh:

I suspected the arthritic Celi and Otto might have been in the mix!

But the wand of Wand was magic for me out of this group!   $:)

Many thanks to Greg and everyone for their comments!  It is amazing how ears differ, but, as the Romans claimed:

De gustibus non est disputandum!
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #750 on: November 07, 2014, 04:50:18 AM »

Despite Dohnányi/Cleveland missing the finals, it is a satisfying result. My two favorites taking Gold and Silver  8)

And thank you, Greg, for including Davies. That was a major discovery for me.

Sarge

The Davies is very interesting, I like to group his Bruckner with Norrington. Not because of similar styles, they are quite opposite in fact, but because they have a singular vision of the music that is consistent from beginning to end. I can understand why some listeners are easily turned off by their interpretations, but I find it important to have these two in the collection of Bruckner performers, it helps to explore the possibilities of this glorious music.

You should really get Davies' 5th symphony recording, it's great.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #751 on: November 07, 2014, 05:54:58 AM »
For me, some dencent to pretty good versions, but none of these were (my opinion of course) particularly ideal and I won't be adding any of them to my collection. Bruckner's symphonies have a unique sound signature, and the biggest problem the winners had was that they did not maintain that throughout the entire symphony (and I think all four had that problem to varying degrees). The biggest issue I had with those I disliked throughout was the execution of dynamics. I must say that the variation in tempi did not bother me very much - I may have a preference, but I feel we need to accept the tempo choices and simply evaluate if those choices were executed effectively. I may differ from others in this regard.

So the search for my ideal B6 continues....
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #752 on: November 07, 2014, 06:09:58 AM »
I've been listening to over 30 recordings of the 6th for the past five months, and instead of finding that one golden performance I now have favorite moments, sections and movements from various ones. I've become so critical of this piece.
If I was forced to walk away with just one it would probably be Nagano. I think it represents the best all-around, and that includes recording quality. Norrington, Blomstedt, Barenboim and Dohnanyi will remain close. But lately I've been extremely impressed with Klemperer, even becoming more impressed with all his recorded work. And Chailly, which has taken a while but I'm starting to hear his vision for the 6th more clearly and it's quite beautiful.
Add Davies to that list, even if he's out in left field, I find it works as a whole.

I will admit that I've begun to lose my admiration for Eschenbach's. I almost think his Houston SO disc of the 6th is better, perhaps I should have used that. And I was impressed with Wand's accounts at first but lately they've seemed to be lacking the emotion I find in others.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #753 on: November 07, 2014, 06:53:10 AM »
Bruckner's symphonies have a unique sound signature, and the biggest problem the winners had was that they did not maintain that throughout the entire symphony (and I think all four had that problem to varying degrees).

I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about  ;D  The winners did not maintain a "sound signature"...what?


I must say that the variation in tempi did not bother me very much - I may have a preference, but I feel we need to accept the tempo choices and simply evaluate if those choices were executed effectively. I may differ from others in this regard.

Do you mean tempo variation within movements of single performances or tempo variation between different performances? If the latter, I have no trouble accepting a wide range speeds. My favorites go from the swift Norrington to the slow Davies, including Klemperer who is both swift and slow.

Davies       18:40 17:41 9:16 17:49
Celi           17:39 22:40 8:37 15:14
Klemperer  17:02 14:42 9:23 13:48
Stein         16:34 16:03 8:02 13:36
Dohnányi   15:17 16:57 8:28 14:35
Norrington 15:33 15:34 7:56 12:08
Sawallisch  14:17 17:35 8:26 14:33


So the search for my ideal B6 continues....

You're a hard man to please, Neal  ;)

Sarge
« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 07:04:43 AM by Sergeant Rock »
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 k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #754 on: November 07, 2014, 06:54:17 AM »
. . . and he still hasn't found what he's lookin' for . . . .
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #755 on: November 07, 2014, 07:08:27 AM »
I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about  ;D  The winners did not maintain a "sound signature"...what?


Do you mean tempo variation within movements of single performances or tempo variation between different performances? If the latter, I have no trouble accepting a wide range speeds. My favorites go from the swift Norrington to the slow Davies, including Klemperer who is both swift and slow  ;D 8)

Davies       18:40 17:41 9:16 17:49
Celi           17:39 22:40 8:37 15:14
Klemperer  17:02 14:42 9:23 13:48
Stein         16:34 16:03 8:02 13:36
Dohnányi   15:17 16:57 8:28 14:35
Norrington 15:33 15:34 7:56 12:08
Sawallisch  14:17 17:35 8:26 14:33


You're a hard man to please, Neal  ;)

Sarge

Swifter tempi for Bruckner's Adagios are really starting to grow on me. Same with with his 5th symphony and 4th (which is really Andante). For the 6th I like a slower, majestic opener. Adagio around the 15-16 min mark, with a quicker finale. Although the finale features some dynamically softer passages that when slowed down plays beautifully within the quicker, louder passages. Blomstedt handles this perfectly.

Speaking of the 5th, Harnoncourt and D.R.Davies have wonderful Adagios on record.

Offline Brian

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #756 on: November 07, 2014, 07:28:33 AM »
I've been listening to over 30 recordings of the 6th for the past five months, and instead of finding that one golden performance I now have favorite moments, sections and movements from various ones. I've become so critical of this piece.
If I was forced to walk away with just one it would probably be Nagano. I think it represents the best all-around, and that includes recording quality. Norrington, Blomstedt, Barenboim and Dohnanyi will remain close. But lately I've been extremely impressed with Klemperer, even becoming more impressed with all his recorded work. And Chailly, which has taken a while but I'm starting to hear his vision for the 6th more clearly and it's quite beautiful.
Add Davies to that list, even if he's out in left field, I find it works as a whole.

I will admit that I've begun to lose my admiration for Eschenbach's. I almost think his Houston SO disc of the 6th is better, perhaps I should have used that. And I was impressed with Wand's accounts at first but lately they've seemed to be lacking the emotion I find in others.

Hurwitz gave a 10/10 to Eschenbach in Houston, so if that had been here, maybe it would have completed the Hurwitz Finals Sweep. I will probably re-listen to Nagano today because I think Nagano could have been in my top three. Have you compared the two different Barenboims?

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #757 on: November 07, 2014, 07:42:55 AM »
Speaking of the 5th, Harnoncourt and D.R.Davies have wonderful Adagios on record.

I'll probably get Davies' Fifth; Harnoncourt's, probably not. I heard his Fifth's Finale on a sampler disc some years ago and was very unimpressed with the coda. If the coda fails to move me, the entire symphony fails.

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 mc ukrneal

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #758 on: November 07, 2014, 08:23:11 AM »
I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about  ;D  The winners did not maintain a "sound signature"...what?


Do you mean tempo variation within movements of single performances or tempo variation between different performances? If the latter, I have no trouble accepting a wide range speeds. My favorites go from the swift Norrington to the slow Davies, including Klemperer who is both swift and slow.

Davies       18:40 17:41 9:16 17:49
Celi           17:39 22:40 8:37 15:14
Klemperer  17:02 14:42 9:23 13:48
Stein         16:34 16:03 8:02 13:36
Dohnányi   15:17 16:57 8:28 14:35
Norrington 15:33 15:34 7:56 12:08
Sawallisch  14:17 17:35 8:26 14:33


You're a hard man to please, Neal  ;)

Sarge
I was struggling to find the right way to express it, but Bruckner has a unique sound that he creates with the orchestra that is easieist to hear when he has the whole orchertra pressing on the gas. It's lound, harmonic, brass are prominent, there is a certain pulse to the line, etc. It's not something I've ever thought to pin down in words, but one of those things you know when you hear it. I'd have to put some thought into how to better describe it, but the key is that they are unqiue to the way Bruckner writes his music.

I mean tempo differeneces between performances. Although it doesn't depend on comparing. Rather, it is simply the tempo chosen for any given movement all the way down to a phrase. For example, slow or fast isn't really damning unless there is something that is lost in the doing of it (and not made up elsewhere).

I think I am hard to please in Bruckner. I would agree with that.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline Brian

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Re: Bruckner's 6th Symphony - Blind Comparison
« Reply #759 on: November 07, 2014, 08:44:48 AM »
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.