Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 345249 times)

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Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3100 on: May 29, 2018, 05:41:57 AM »
i am pretty stunned by the number of complete sets that have cropped up the last few years. Three on a small label like Oehm alone, just boggles the imagination.

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3101 on: June 11, 2018, 07:24:06 AM »
Continuing my reminiscences of hearing the Bruckner symphonies for the first time: today it is the mighty Eighth Symphony.

I must have been around 14 or 15 years of age, and had already heard the Seventh, Fourth, and First symphonies, all conducted by Eugen Jochum on DGG.  The Ninth I had also heard via Carl Schuricht's recording on Angel/Seraphim.

So, despite that background, when I heard Jochum's performance of the (Nowak version) of the Eighth Symphony, I was amazed by nearly everything!  The three themes of the opening sounding enigmatic, yet familiar, like a friend from earlier days who seems pretty much the same...but to whom something disturbing had happened.  This unease is revealed, of course, in the tragic final bars.  The Scherzo struck me also as odd, if not downright weird.  (After I had loaned my recording to a friend, he said it sounded as if Bruckner had visited another planet!  The Adagio seemed to echo the final bars of the first movement in its portentous drama, and also sounded like a logical development from all the previous slow movements I had heard.  The Finale's opening I loved, astonished by the energy and drive in the music.  The next section sounded curious with many lines everywhere, yet creating unity.  And after much hin und her one arrives at that incredible combination of all the main themes in the last two pages!  I was - again - amazed.

Not long afterward, I came across Eduard Hanslick's review of the Eighth Symphony.  He did not like it at all, since he was a devotee of Brahms.  Much of his review was spent in mocking the "programme" which (I suppose) was written by Josef Schalk.

See:

https://theoryofmusic.wordpress.com/2009/10/11/bruckners-symphony-no-8-reviewed-by-eduard-hanslick-1892/
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Offline relm1

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3102 on: June 12, 2018, 04:57:16 AM »
I really love the Bruckner 4th recording from 1973 by Daniel Barenboim and the CSO.  Really intense read that one.  It made me print out the part and play the bass trombone part much to neighbors frustration since everything there is fff!

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3103 on: June 12, 2018, 05:16:59 AM »
I really love the Bruckner 4th recording from 1973 by Daniel Barenboim and the CSO.  Really intense read that one.  It made me print out the part and play the bass trombone part much to neighbors frustration since everything there is fff!

Great!  Spreading the Good News of Bruckner can be your good deed for the day!   ;)


Continuing my reminiscences of hearing the Bruckner symphonies for the first time: today it is the mighty Eighth Symphony.

I must have been around 14 or 15 years of age, and had already heard the Seventh, Fourth, and First symphonies, all conducted by Eugen Jochum on DGG.  The Ninth I had also heard via Carl Schuricht's recording on Angel/Seraphim.

So, despite that background, when I heard Jochum's performance of the (Nowak version) of the Eighth Symphony, I was amazed by nearly everything!  The three themes of the opening sounding enigmatic, yet familiar, like a friend from earlier days who seems pretty much the same...but to whom something disturbing had happened.  This unease is revealed, of course, in the tragic final bars.  The Scherzo struck me also as odd, if not downright weird.  (After I had loaned my recording to a friend, he said it sounded as if Bruckner had visited another planet!  The Adagio seemed to echo the final bars of the first movement in its portentous drama, and also sounded like a logical development from all the previous slow movements I had heard.  The Finale's opening I loved, astonished by the energy and drive in the music.  The next section sounded curious with many lines everywhere, yet creating unity.  And after much hin und her one arrives at that incredible combination of all the main themes in the last two pages!  I was - again - amazed.

Not long afterward, I came across Eduard Hanslick's review of the Eighth Symphony.  He did not like it at all, since he was a devotee of Brahms.  Much of his review was spent in mocking the "programme" which (I suppose) was written by Josef Schalk.

See:

https://theoryofmusic.wordpress.com/2009/10/11/bruckners-symphony-no-8-reviewed-by-eduard-hanslick-1892/

And even though response has been nil to slight (thanks to all , who have responded), I will end my little series of essays with the Ninth Symphony.  (When I set out to do something, I always finish it, no matter what!  $:)  )

It was a Christmas present!  I had asked (of course!) for the Eugen Jochum DGG recording, but my mother could not find it.  Instead, Santa Claus brought me the Carl Schuricht performance on Angel/Seraphim.  After experiencing the Seventh Symphony, I had read about how great the Ninth Symphony was in a biography, and had seen parts of the score in the book, which really got my interest.   I believe it was the second symphony by  Bruckner I had heard (maybe the third: I might have heard the Fourth before the Ninth.)

Keep in mind that I only had an Admiral monaural record player from the early 1950's!  But in spite of that, the performance sounded riveting all the way through.  I recall being shocked and enthused by the dire sound of the opening, along with the massive statement of the main theme later.  The second and third themes I found deliciously portentous, and therefore fitting for the atmosphere of the movement.  The Scherzo sounded very 20th-century to me, like something by Bartok!  And then the Adagio of all Adagios!  Emotionally stirring, even - or especially - to a young (13) teenager.

Later in high school, my parents bought a small Motorola stereo, and I was able to crank things up!   8)

And the work has never grown stale after 50+ years!  And...yes, I do like the 4-movement version by the quartet of musicologists (Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic).

So, thanks for reading!
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3104 on: June 12, 2018, 05:39:27 AM »
I really love the Bruckner 4th recording from 1973 by Daniel Barenboim and the CSO.  Really intense read that one.  It made me print out the part and play the bass trombone part much to neighbors frustration since everything there is fff!

Absolutely. :-)

I think it's not quite Brucknerian, but it damned-well is glorious: http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/05/dip-your-ears-no-60.html

"It is brash, with its fanfare-touting brass, it is a thrill, it is cheap (metaphorically and literally) and sacrifices Brucknerian spirit for orchestral splendor. The effect is calculated but also  undeniable."

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3105 on: June 12, 2018, 07:26:12 AM »
Nice series of messages Cato ! I admire your memory, mine is not as good  :D

IIRC my first Bruckner recordings were the 9th by Mehta, which made an indelible impression, followed by the 4th under Barenboim (in Chicago), which was a brand new issue at the time.

After that I’m not quite sure, but the 3rd and 5th under Jochum (DGG), Klemperer’s 5th and Keilberth’s 6th must not have been far behind. Other old memories: the 7th under Schuricht (in The Hague), the 1st with Haitink and the 8th with Böhm.

Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3106 on: June 12, 2018, 08:28:24 AM »
Nice series of messages Cato ! I admire your memory, mine is not as good  :D

IIRC my first Bruckner recordings were the 9th by Mehta, which made an indelible impression, followed by the 4th under Barenboim (in Chicago), which was a brand new issue at the time.

After that I’m not quite sure, but the 3rd and 5th under Jochum (DGG), Klemperer’s 5th and Keilberth’s 6th must not have been far behind. Other old memories: the 7th under Schuricht (in The Hague), the 1st with Haitink and the 8th with Böhm.

Thanks for the comment, André !  That Jochum Fifth has the curious Finale where the brakes are slammed on for the peroration, as if Celibidache had suddenly appeared, pushed Saint Eugen off the podium, and assumed control!   8)

And Joseph Keilberth!  Two of his opera recordings are classics!  Der Freischuetz and Cardillac !





"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3107 on: June 12, 2018, 12:50:41 PM »
The Scherzo sounded very 20th-century to me, like something by Bartok!

When I think of the half-diminished seventh chord, that opening is one of the first things to come to mind.  Then there's the abrupt shift to the F# major trio, and the bizarre shifts within that trio, and it goes on...

So, thanks for reading!

Thanks for sharing!  I didn't encounter Bruckner (or Mahler) until I was 18 or so...
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3108 on: June 12, 2018, 03:41:31 PM »
Listening right now to this enticing compendium of Bruckner rarities:



The works for orchestra have been arranged for chamber ensemble. The effect is not unlike a cross between the string quintet and the standard Bruckner orchestra. Very interesting. Recommended for the confirmed brucknerian.

Front cover:



Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3109 on: June 13, 2018, 02:47:02 AM »

Thanks for sharing!  I didn't encounter Bruckner (or Mahler) until I was 18 or so...


In late grade school Bruckner led me to Mahler, who led me to Schoenberg and beyond!  8)

Classic cartoons led me very early to Franz Liszt and Franz von Suppe and of course to good ol' Dick Wagner !   8)  A 1950's children's television show which used The Moldau led me to Smetana, who led me to DvorakCharles Schulz and his character Schroeder in Peanuts of course revealed Beethoven who led me to Schubert and Schumann!

The Dayton Public Library had a marvelous collection of classical music and scores, so sometimes simple browsing through the "New Records" bin and wondering "What will this sound like?" opened up all kinds of new roads!
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3110 on: June 13, 2018, 05:59:39 AM »
Continuing my reminiscences of hearing the Bruckner symphonies for the first time: today it is the mighty Eighth Symphony.

I must have been around 14 or 15 years of age, and had already heard the Seventh, Fourth, and First symphonies, all conducted by Eugen Jochum on DGG.  The Ninth I had also heard via Carl Schuricht's recording on Angel/Seraphim.

So, despite that background, when I heard Jochum's performance of the (Nowak version) of the Eighth Symphony, I was amazed by nearly everything!  The three themes of the opening sounding enigmatic, yet familiar, like a friend from earlier days who seems pretty much the same...but to whom something disturbing had happened.  This unease is revealed, of course, in the tragic final bars.  The Scherzo struck me also as odd, if not downright weird.  (After I had loaned my recording to a friend, he said it sounded as if Bruckner had visited another planet!  The Adagio seemed to echo the final bars of the first movement in its portentous drama, and also sounded like a logical development from all the previous slow movements I had heard.  The Finale's opening I loved, astonished by the energy and drive in the music.  The next section sounded curious with many lines everywhere, yet creating unity.  And after much hin und her one arrives at that incredible combination of all the main themes in the last two pages!  I was - again - amazed.

Like someone else said my first exposure to Bruckner's 8th was Schuricht/Vienna coupled with an equally impressive reading of the 9th. Someone the Viennese seem to own this piece as one can easily name half a dozen or so great recordings of this work by the Viennese. Maybe its those Viennese horns, especially the magical moment in the Adagio around the 6 and a half minute mark when the Wagner tubas come in.

Another standout recording that is a favorite of mine is the 5th with Jochum/Dresden. To me this symphony is like a marathon, and the energy that the SD musters at the end of the work, with that marvelous brass sound, is just otherworldly.

Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3111 on: June 13, 2018, 10:02:47 AM »
Like someone else said my first exposure to Bruckner's 8th was Schuricht/Vienna coupled with an equally impressive reading of the 9th. Someone the Viennese seem to own this piece as one can easily name half a dozen or so great recordings of this work by the Viennese. Maybe its those Viennese horns, especially the magical moment in the Adagio around the 6 and a half minute mark when the Wagner tubas come in.

Another standout recording that is a favorite of mine is the 5th with Jochum/Dresden. To me this symphony is like a marathon, and the energy that the SD musters at the end of the work, with that marvelous brass sound, is just otherworldly.

Amen to the Schuricht recordings of Bruckner!   0:)

I cannot recall if it goes back to early Bruckner conductors (e.g. Schalk, or even Mahler ) but some conductors have a trick: they hire 4 to 6 extra players to wait for the Fifth's grand peroration, and then they join in to make sure that everything is fresh and loud enough!  8)

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3112 on: June 14, 2018, 06:23:23 AM »

Amen to the Schuricht recordings of Bruckner!   0:)

I cannot recall if it goes back to early Bruckner conductors (e.g. Schalk, or even Mahler ) but some conductors have a trick: they hire 4 to 6 extra players to wait for the Fifth's grand peroration, and then they join in to make sure that everything is fresh and loud enough!  8)
Yes I remember when i was in college I as entranced with the cover art which pretty much sums up Bruckner's 8th and 9th symphonies:



The fact that it cost $13.98 brand new didn't hurt as the Karajan recording next to it costs over $30 spread out over 2 CDs.

I don't how common it is to have extra brass players in Bruckner, but seems like you routinely see a few extra horn players in Mahler and Strauss. In any event I think it aids the work rather than intrudes. Great conductors are rarely non-interventionists it is really the outcome that counts. I also think there is something special in the Dresden recording. The 2 other Jochum/B5 recordings I have (DG/BRSO and Philips/RCO) are also very good but not quite at the same level.

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3113 on: June 14, 2018, 07:05:58 AM »
Yes I remember when i was in college I as entranced with the cover art which pretty much sums up Bruckner's 8th and 9th symphonies:


\

I don't how common it is to have extra brass players in Bruckner, but seems like you routinely see a few extra horn players in Mahler and Strauss. In any event I think it aids the work rather than intrudes. Great conductors are rarely non-interventionists it is really the outcome that counts. I also think there is something special in the Dresden recording. The 2 other Jochum/B5 recordings I have (DG/BRSO and Philips/RCO) are also very good but not quite at the same level.

I have always wondered about the Dresden performances: was playing all the Bruckner symphonies - under  0:) Saint Eugen Jochum   0:) - somehow "freeing" in the atmosphere of the Deutsche Undemokratische Unrepublik0:)
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline Biffo

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3114 on: June 14, 2018, 09:05:19 AM »
I have always wondered about the Dresden performances: was playing all the Bruckner symphonies - under  0:) Saint Eugen Jochum   0:) - somehow "freeing" in the atmosphere of the Deutsche Undemokratische Unrepublik0:)

I am not sure what you mean.  'Freeing' for who?  The Dresden Staatskapelle and the Leipzig Gewandhaus were the DDR's showcase orchestras and played the standard Austro-German repertoire  under resident and guest conductors. Culture, like sport, was used for propaganda purposes.

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3115 on: June 14, 2018, 11:48:35 AM »
I am not sure what you mean.  'Freeing' for who?  The Dresden Staatskapelle and the Leipzig Gewandhaus were the DDR's showcase orchestras and played the standard Austro-German repertoire  under resident and guest conductors. Culture, like sport, was used for propaganda purposes.

Yes, I know!  I mean, despite any political purposes, did the players perhaps feel a sense of freedom by playing the works of Bruckner in a state where one could be shot for escaping it?
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Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3116 on: June 14, 2018, 03:06:36 PM »
Yes, I know!  I mean, despite any political purposes, did the players perhaps feel a sense of freedom by playing the works of Bruckner in a state where one could be shot for escaping it?
I would think not. I think a lot of these non-musical extracurriculars are pretty overrated despite what we as the audience who spent our entires lives living in paradise compared to those in the Soviet Union or the DDR think. I tend to think musicians see notes and they play the notes, just a matter of execution.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3117 on: June 15, 2018, 06:38:51 AM »
Enoch zu Guttenberg died. Bruckner is crying somewhere. But mostly I am.

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3118 on: July 18, 2018, 04:10:43 AM »
Enoch zu Guttenberg died. Bruckner is crying somewhere. But mostly I am.


Never heard of him until recently here on G-M-G:  and he was not just Enoch zu Guttenberg, but Enoch... von und zu Guttenberg !    0:)  And about ten other names are in between there!

See:

http://www.enochzuguttenberg.de/index_e.htm

The link on that website to the review of the Bruckner Fourth Symphony does not work: here is a positive review.  (Some negative ones can be found.)

https://www.sa-cd.net/showtitle/5003

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3119 on: July 18, 2018, 04:29:19 AM »

Never heard of him until recently here on G-M-G:  and he was not just Enoch zu Guttenberg, but Enoch... von und zu Guttenberg !    0:)  And about ten other names are in between there!

See:

http://www.enochzuguttenberg.de/index_e.htm

The link on that website to the review of the Bruckner Fourth Symphony does not work: here is a positive review.  (Some negative ones can be found.)

https://www.sa-cd.net/showtitle/5003

He was a polarizing figure, ready to fight the good fight... and only did things of which he was ABSOLUTELY convinced. He studied (in a loose sense; i.e. looking at the score at least once a week) the Missa Solemnis for 35 years (!) before he performed it, because he hadn't truly 'understood' it, previously. (I still don't.) He had an unbelievable zest for life and an embracing charm where knowing him was just about tantamount to having to love him. His performances were always interesting; usually very good if you understood where he was coming from, although there were some occasional, real clunkers among the lot... which he was usually the first to admit to. His last recording (never intended to be his last) was just released; Schubert's Ninth.