Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 299500 times)

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Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2980 on: September 21, 2017, 08:11:41 AM »
Rough visualization of why I like B9 with the 4th movement. Not for that movement itself but for what it does to the 3rd.



This is meant to illustrate that we end up in a different place after three movements, if we have our horizon fixed on the end of a fourth movement.
In other words, that the emotional context of the third movement is different when we see it as the penultimate, rather than the ultimate movement.
[Sorry for the late answer; didn't see your post there, having been on the bottom of the page]

Voila. Finally!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2017/09/21/the-subtle-miracle-herbert-blomstedt-and-bambergs-cathedral-tour-of-bruckner/[/url]

Hello Jens!  Many thanks for your very nice essay: the review contains excellent information written in an engaging style!  By chance, I am preparing to write my next little essay on hearing the Bruckner Fifth Symphony for the first time...probably well before you were born!   0:)
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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2981 on: September 21, 2017, 01:19:38 PM »
The tragedy of Bruckner's 9th is that, as I recall reading, the finale was more or less complete in some sort of short score that Bruckner wasn't happy with.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2982 on: September 21, 2017, 01:25:26 PM »
Woops, hit reply too soon.

My own feeling after reading about the end of Bruckner's life is that Bruckner had completed a short score of the Finale. He wouldn't have regarded it as complete in that he wouldn't have regarded that phase of any of his previous symphony finales as complete. However I believe that he thought he had solved the problem of how to end the symphony, only he was too sick and tired to carry on and fully score it and definitely didn't have enough argue to argue with his friends, colleagues and assistants about its structure and material which would have been beyond their comprehension. He left the short score for posterity to sort out, which, after various vicissitudes, SPCM have succeeded in doing.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2983 on: September 21, 2017, 02:47:32 PM »
Energy to argue

 :)

Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2984 on: September 21, 2017, 03:22:16 PM »
Woops, hit reply too soon.

My own feeling after reading about the end of Bruckner's life is that Bruckner had completed a short score of the Finale. He wouldn't have regarded it as complete in that he wouldn't have regarded that phase of any of his previous symphony finales as complete. However I believe that he thought he had solved the problem of how to end the symphony, only he was too sick and tired to carry on and fully score it and definitely didn't have enough energy to argue with his friends, colleagues and assistants about its structure and material which would have been beyond their comprehension. He left the short score for posterity to sort out, which, after various vicissitudes, SPCM have succeeded in doing.

Amen!  0:)   I find their completion of the first version of the Finale quite persuasive, especially in the recording by Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2985 on: September 22, 2017, 07:21:24 AM »
Amen!  0:)   I find their completion of the first version of the Finale quite persuasive, especially in the recording by Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic.

I noted that, and in fact the CD is resting at home.  Must take it for a test drive this weekend.
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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2986 on: October 09, 2017, 01:53:40 PM »

A Survey of Bruckner Cycles




http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-survey-of-bruckner-cycles.html


Major, much overdue update to the Bruckner survey.

Quote
[Ed.10/09/17] A massive, much overdue update: SWR Classic has at last issued Hans Rosbaud's near-complete cycle (2-9) in never before achieved sound quality. Kurt Masur's Bruckner has been re-issued. Daniel Barenboim has recorded a third cycle, now, for the first time with "his" orchestra, the Berliner Staatskapelle. I have reviewed the 7th on Forbes: "Classical CD of the Week: Bruckner for DG" and the 4th here on ionarts: "Dip Your Ears, No. 163 (Visual Bruckner)". Jaap van Zweden had his excellent Bruckner cycle issued on Challenge Records on SACDs. The Korean Symphony Orchestra has recorded a cycle for Korean Decca under Hun-Joung Lim. The Riccardo Chailly cycle has been re-issued cheaply on Decca/Eloquence. Mario Venzago finished his controversial cycle on CPO. Brilliant Classic has put all of Heinz Rögner's Bruckner with the RSO Berlin together and made a complete cycle out of it by adding contemporary East German performances of Vaclav Neumann, Kurt Sanderling, and Franz Konwitschny to it. The Bruckner Orchestra Linz' cycle with Dennis-Russell Davies will be re-issued by SOny in December of this year. And Simone Young completed her very complete set ("00" + "0"), which has been released on Oehms. Global Amazon links have been added in all the lines I had to edit. The incomplete cycles of Dohnanyi & Harnoncourt will be added in the next round of edits

Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2987 on: November 12, 2017, 06:43:47 PM »
I came across this article about a performance of the original, unrevised Eighth Symphony:

https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2017/10/27/philharmonia-to-premiere-original-bruckner/

An excerpt:

Quote
for Levi, the Eighth Symphony was too long, too similar to the Seventh Symphony and too heavy handed in its orchestration of brass instruments.

“I think Levi thought the piece was just too avant-garde,” Hawkshaw said, adding that the rejection of the first edition led Bruckner to revise the piece into the second edition, the version of the piece orchestras has performed since its completion.

Hawkshaw said that some moments of the first edition will be noticeably different for listeners familiar with the second. In particular, Hawkshaw noted differences in the ending of the first movement and the orchestration in the brass. The first edition has its own spontaneity, he added.

Its first movement also ends with what Hawkshaw described as an “upbeat, positive, kind of fanfare coda” expected of a recently successful composer, whereas the second edition’s first movement ends “softly and darkly,” perhaps in response to rejection.

The portion of the symphony that requires the large brass section that Levi critiqued contributes to the dramatic range of sounds and colors Oundjian sees in the original edition of the symphony.

“When he gets the whole orchestra going — and we have a huge brass section the sound is just unbelievable,” Oundjian said. “But then, there will be just two players playing, which makes this a great choice for someone who hasn’t been to orchestra concerts: the variety of expression is just exhilarating.”
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2988 on: November 28, 2017, 05:46:54 AM »
Although there has been little reaction, and no demand  ;) for them, I will continue with my memories of hearing the Bruckner symphonies for the first time, in the hope that others might do the same.

Today, the mighty Fifth Symphony0:)

I was perhaps thirteen when I found the Fifth in the DGG performance with - of course! - Eugen Jochum conducting.  I recall finding the opening movement a collage of emotions: it was difficult to figure out how everything connected.  The slow movement struck me as really s  l  o  w, but the Scherzo in contrast was really scherzoic!  And then came the last movement, which seemed like a variation of everything from the earlier movements.

Not yet owning the score at this time, I did not realize that Jochum - in this recording at least (the DGG from 1958) - nearly halves the speed for the grand conclusion, which gave the impression of a truck slamming into a wall in slow motion.

Later I listened to the Angel recording of the work with Otto Klemperer conducting, and was amazed by two things: his interpretation really moved along! 

And it was also transposed to a different key!  ??? :o

The explanation...I had not noticed that my sister had increased the speed of the record player to 45 rpm!  :D

I understand that there is a recording of Jochum conducting the work in Amsterdam (Concertgebouw) in 1985 or 1986, either his last recording or the last work he conducted.  It would be interesting to compare it to the 1958 version.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 05:53:09 AM by Cato »
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2989 on: November 28, 2017, 06:45:05 AM »
For my taste, Jochum’s late Bruckner performances (approx post 1982, when he reached age 80) are uniformly more convincing than his previous ones - including his late 70s Dresden cycle. For some reason he stopped accelerating the tempo in climaxes, and this changed the face of his interpretations. They morphed from sometimes out of control conflagrations to something close to Brünnhilde’s rock surrounded by Wotan’s magic fire. This is particularly noticeable in the last 3 symphonies, which he performed in Bamberg and Munich right up to his death in 1987 (the 9th was his last concert). And yet, it’s still recognizably Jochum’s Bruckner. The 1986 Amsterdam 5th is superb, but then again, his 1958 BRSO was already a magnificent edifice.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2990 on: November 28, 2017, 06:58:26 AM »
I understand that there is a recording of Jochum conducting the work in Amsterdam (Concertgebouw) in 1985 or 1986, either his last recording or the last work he conducted.  It would be interesting to compare it to the 1958 version.

I have the Concertgebouw recording on Tahra. The booklet notes say it was his penultimate concert, 4 Dec 1986. The cover, which says "Very last performance", means the last performance in Amsterdam with the orchestra.



Sarge
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Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
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Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2991 on: November 28, 2017, 09:23:34 AM »
*Apparently* the last concert he conducted was in Munich (January 1987, the Philharmonic) and featured the ninth symphony. I say « apparently » because that’s what the audio link I got said. I’ve never seen it confirmed or contradicted anywhere. If somebody has info on this, it would be nice !

Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2992 on: November 28, 2017, 09:44:53 AM »
I have the Concertgebouw recording on Tahra. The booklet notes say it was his penultimate concert, 4 Dec 1986. The cover, which says "Very last performance", means the last performance in Amsterdam with the orchestra.



Sarge

Sarge!  Dude!  Keep that CD locked up!  $:)  On Amazon it is going for $300.00+  ??? :o 8)
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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2993 on: November 28, 2017, 12:32:02 PM »
I have the Concertgebouw recording on Tahra. The booklet notes say it was his penultimate concert, 4 Dec 1986. The cover, which says "Very last performance", means the last performance in Amsterdam with the orchestra.



Sarge

presumably same performance as this, is it?



+




Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2994 on: November 28, 2017, 04:15:23 PM »
presumably same performance as this, is it?

Yep. appears to be the same; date and timings identical except for a five second difference in the Adagio (20:43 v 20:48).

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 calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2995 on: December 01, 2017, 12:41:36 PM »
I've just become aware of the Symphonic Prelude from 1876.

This is work that discovered after WW2 in the handwriting of Bruckner's pupil Krzyzanowski. It is assumed that Bruckner had completed a symphonic movement and gave it to Krzyzanowski to orchestrate, either to assess his skills in orchestration, or because he wanted to 'hear' his symphonic movement.

It's a fascinating movement, a truncated sonata form, where, as in the Ninth, the recapitulation is also a development. Well worth listening to.

For my money though, what is most interesting is that it is quite short, 6.5 minutes (Järvi), 8 minutes or so (Jurowski) (the two available recordings). The significance of this is that it proves (if proof was needed) that Bruckner could write to particular lengths and with concision, and was not, as per the helpless Bruckner legend, always condemned to be churning out gargantuan movements. (Of course the Scherzos and Trios of the Symphonies, the whole of String Quintet &c &c also show this, but the legend is strong).

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2996 on: December 01, 2017, 12:49:08 PM »
I've just become aware of the Symphonic Prelude from 1876.

This is work that discovered after WW2 in the handwriting of Bruckner's pupil Krzyzanowski. It is assumed that Bruckner had completed a symphonic movement and gave it to Krzyzanowski to orchestrate, either to assess his skills in orchestration, or because he wanted to 'hear' his symphonic movement.

It's a fascinating movement, a truncated sonata form, where, as in the Ninth, the recapitulation is also a development. Well worth listening to.

For my money though, what is most interesting is that it is quite short, 6.5 minutes (Järvi), 8 minutes or so (Jurowski) (the two available recordings). The significance of this is that it proves (if proof was needed) that Bruckner could write to particular lengths and with concision, and was not, as per the helpless Bruckner legend, always condemned to be churning out gargantuan movements. (Of course the Scherzos and Trios of the Symphonies, the whole of String Quintet &c &c also show this, but the legend is strong).

This is much disputed. My hunch is that Bruckner had no input in this piece. It does not sound like anything by Bruckner. See Benjamin Gunnar-Cohr’s article on the subject:

https://www.abruckner.com/Data/documents/symphonisches_praeludium_essay.pdf

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2997 on: December 01, 2017, 02:03:42 PM »
This is much disputed. My hunch is that Bruckner had no input in this piece. It does not sound like anything by Bruckner. See Benjamin Gunnar-Cohr’s article on the subject:

https://www.abruckner.com/Data/documents/symphonisches_praeludium_essay.pdf


Well, it sounds a lot like Bruckner to me. And the Gunnar-Cohr article you link to does argue that it is by Bruckner, though not orchestrated by him.

I can imagine that Bruckner had quite a lot of drafts and fragmentary material lying around in his study, and he may have caused his pupil to orchestrate this one for a particular occasion, or simply to see what it looked like in full-score.

Anyway, just another little Bruckner-related piece for those interested.

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2998 on: December 01, 2017, 02:18:00 PM »
I totally agree that it’s a very good piece, and I enjoy it immensely. But there are too many question marks to make me believe Bruckner may have written it around 1875. If it had been dated post-1890 I might have bought the argument, but it’s a very forward-looking piece, quite audacious in places, at a time when Bruckner was busy writing his most learned, quasi-archaïc sounding work, the 5th symphony. It just doesn’t jive. Even the late (1893) Helgoland sounds more conservative than that.

Obviously, I may be tricked by the orchestration, which includes instruments Bruckner never used ! It was initially orchestrated in the mahlerian/post-romantic idiom by someone who thought it was a lost work from Mahler’s youth.

I read the comments of the various people who wrote on the YT page that features it
(https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JiRdgFLEn8M, and opinions are all over the place - which is as it should, as the authorship cannot be ascertained one way or another. Same thing on this Mahler forum:
http://gustavmahlerboard.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=86e3c896531996892d008c86e33e7be7&topic=1527.15


So, what we have is a fascinating orchestral composition that just *might* be by Bruckner, but (for me) is more probably the work of a very gifted student - even Zemlinsky has been named as a possible author. In any case, thanks for bringing it up ! As I mentioned, it’s a very special curiosity. My version is that of the premiere under Forster. It’s more majestic than Järvi’s.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 02:19:35 PM by André »

Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #2999 on: December 05, 2017, 05:46:51 PM »
One of the YouTube comments has this claim:

Quote
After WW II the Austrian composer H. Tschuppik discovered in the estate of his uncle R. Krzyzanowski a copy of an orchestrated score of 1876 of this work, on which Krzyzanowski had written "von Anton Bruckner". Both Mahler and Krzyzanowski were at that time Bruckner's pupils. A. Gürsching, who was not aware of this original orchestrated score, but only of a four stave particello also made by Krzyzanowski, thought it was Mahler's and (re-)orchestrated it on Mahler's way.

THAT sounds pretty conclusive...if it is true!  8)  The comment is actually culled from the 2006 essay by Benjamin Cohrs on this work:

https://www.abruckner.com/Data/documents/symphonisches_praeludium_essay.pdf

Quote
On the  one  hand,  one  may  argue  we  have  only  Krzyzanowski's  copy  and his word that this music was composed by Bruckner.  Documentary research gave no further evidence; no  further  manuscripts  from  Bruckner's  own  hand  survive,  and  also  in  his  letters  and  private  annotations nothing is to be found about it....

However, it seems clear from Hiltl's stylistic examination that the musical material itself is indeed all Bruckner's, and in
particular because some of these ideas even anticipate some music from the Ninth Symphony, which certainly  nobody  can  have  known  already  in  1876!  The  form  is  quite  unique  –  all  three  themes  are  merely lyrical (as later in the first movement of the Seventh Symphony). The first theme contains the core  of  the  Main  Themes  of  the  First  and  Second  Symphony  in  C  minor,  as  well  as  allusions  to  Wagner's Walkuere,  which  Bruckner  may  have  known  from  the  piano  score  of  1865,  or  some  orchestral extracts given in concerts in Vienna in 1872. (He first heard the entire Walkuere in Bayreuth
in  August  1876,  which  may  suggest  the  Praeludium could  be  the  composer's  reaction  to  the  Ring experience. But this would leave only very little time for the conception and abandoning of it, and it being given to Krzyzanowski for copying, all in late 1876.)

Why might Herr Krzyzanowski be untrustworthy in this case?  It would be easier to find him untrustworthy if he had claimed to be the piece's composer!



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