Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 399294 times)

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Offline JBS

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3340 on: July 12, 2019, 05:45:36 PM »
That Sixth is not quite my cup of tea, but it's certainly not awful -- just as his Berlin 4th is OK to goodish. But what I've heard of him lately, live, especially with the Vienna Phil, was absolutely hair-pullingly insensitive and boring.

They have him doing the Second.  IOW, where he will do least harm.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3341 on: July 12, 2019, 10:17:17 PM »
They have him doing the Second.  IOW, where he will do least harm.

The way I look at it: The symphony that needs the most help (apart from F minor), you thus throw to the dogs. :-)

Oh, and recent Bruckner reviews on ClassicsToday:


Budapest Bruckner: Unimpressive Sublime



Bruckner From Switzerland, Handicapped And Below Par



Offline Andy D.

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3342 on: July 18, 2019, 05:21:56 PM »
This dropped at Presto last week



I know some of you were unhappy with the previous releases.

Presto has a good price as well:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8621662--bruckner-symphonies-nos-1-9
The ninth from that set is my least favorite but I really like most of the rest there.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3343 on: July 19, 2019, 12:53:22 PM »
Folks,
I’ve been mulling heresy here. Normally i’m someone who won’t hear a word against the Master and who thinks that his symphonies, especially the later ones, are well-nigh perfect.
But recently i’ve been having my doubts about 7. I’ve listened to all the recordings I have and i’m Coming round to the idea that the finale is slightly too short to match the scale of the first two movements.
I don’t think think it’s anything to do with interpretation or tempi, but it’s just AB should have written another 3-4 minutes of music for the finale,  perhaps in an episode in the middle of the structure, simply to make it a little longer and more substantial.
What do people think?

Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3344 on: July 19, 2019, 02:25:00 PM »
Folks,
I’ve been mulling heresy here. Normally i’m someone who won’t hear a word against the Master and who thinks that his symphonies, especially the later ones, are well-nigh perfect.
But recently i’ve been having my doubts about 7. I’ve listened to all the recordings I have and i’m Coming round to the idea that the finale is slightly too short to match the scale of the first two movements.
I don’t think think it’s anything to do with interpretation or tempi, but it’s just AB should have written another 3-4 minutes of music for the finale,  perhaps in an episode in the middle of the structure, simply to make it a little longer and more substantial.
What do people think?

I can understand the sentiment, and have occasionally throughout the decades also wondered whether or not the Finale is - perhaps - a little short.  That we would like more music by Bruckner is a given, but whether or not that additional music should be added to a work is questionable.

In this case, let me surmise that, with those great middle movements, Bruckner went for a condensation rather than an expansion of what had gone before.  Bruckner, in general, did not follow traditional rules of structure, but invented rules for himself as variations on tradition.  The Finale is linked via rhythmical variations to the First movement, and to my ear there is a constant sense of conclusion right from the beginning, a sense which is sabotaged, causing thereby a great, if compact, struggle to reach the top of the mountain sooner rather than later, so to speak. 

Would another 3-4-5 minutes improve the movement, or would they be gilding the geranium?  I would think that small amount of extra music would not hurt, but...right now, I am thinking that the Finale is just fine the way it is! 

Which recordings do you have?  Do you have the Jochum on DGG from the 1960's?  If not, try it, and if so, try it again.   8)

« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 02:28:28 PM by Cato »
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3345 on: July 19, 2019, 03:10:10 PM »
I can understand the sentiment, and have occasionally throughout the decades also wondered whether or not the Finale is - perhaps - a little short.  That we would like more music by Bruckner is a given, but whether or not that additional music should be added to a work is questionable.



Leave 'em wanting more.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
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nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3346 on: July 19, 2019, 09:53:31 PM »
The 8th? Be careful what you wish for  ;D

Offline Andy D.

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3347 on: July 20, 2019, 12:09:25 AM »
Leave 'em wanting more.

Perhaps Bruckner was a little tired of writing long, writhing symphonies at the time.

(that postulated, I can't imagine any of AB's symphonies getting any better than the way they are now. Pardon my sycophancy)

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3348 on: July 20, 2019, 03:44:48 PM »
I can understand the sentiment, and have occasionally throughout the decades also wondered whether or not the Finale is - perhaps - a little short.  That we would like more music by Bruckner is a given, but whether or not that additional music should be added to a work is questionable.

In this case, let me surmise that, with those great middle movements, Bruckner went for a condensation rather than an expansion of what had gone before.  Bruckner, in general, did not follow traditional rules of structure, but invented rules for himself as variations on tradition.  The Finale is linked via rhythmical variations to the First movement, and to my ear there is a constant sense of conclusion right from the beginning, a sense which is sabotaged, causing thereby a great, if compact, struggle to reach the top of the mountain sooner rather than later, so to speak. 

Would another 3-4-5 minutes improve the movement, or would they be gilding the geranium?  I would think that small amount of extra music would not hurt, but...right now, I am thinking that the Finale is just fine the way it is! 

Which recordings do you have?  Do you have the Jochum on DGG from the 1960's?  If not, try it, and if so, try it again.   8)

I’ve always thought of the seventh as a three-part symphony, with the scherzo and finale balancing the first two movements, with each ‘part’ lasting some 20-23 minutes. The finale is in good part dance-based, with its polka rythms. Following the slowish scherzo, it seems to me a natural development of the latter, with the broadening at the end capping the work in glorious fashion.

Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3349 on: September 11, 2019, 04:02:22 PM »
I just discovered this: Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony try the Bruckner Ninth Symphony.

Quote

Honeck, like Bruckner a devout Austrian Catholic, believes there is a close connection between the text of the “Agnus Dei” portion of the Mass and the slow final movement of the Ninth. He identifies particular musical ideas with sins of the world (“peccata mundi”) and prayers for mercy and for peace. The meaning of the earlier two movements is similarly clarified for both primary musical ideas and smaller gestures.

The proof of Honeck’s verbal interpretation is the enthralling performance he leads. It is a bold performance marked in part by extremes – the very loud and the very soft, slow pacing and tremendous speed (in the middle section of the second movement), and immense power and meekness. Yet it is the nuance with which Honeck and the musicians tell the story which most touches the heart. Honeck’s Bruckner Ninth is a performance of the utmost devotion and conviction which reaches the most transcendent heights when speaking softly.



See:  https://triblive.com/aande/music/manfred-honeck-pso-release-new-anton-bruckner-recording/
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Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3350 on: September 12, 2019, 05:29:13 AM »
For our European members: from the International Bruckner Society...

Quote


To commemorate the IBG's 90th anniversary, there will be a symposium and a concert in Vienna on 8th of October 2019. Bruckner’s string quintet will be played by musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic.
There will be greetings by Johanna Rachinger and Thomas Leibnitz, and Clemens Hellsberg will give a paper.

The complete program will be published some days before the concert.

Professor Benjamin Korstvedt from Clark University and current President of the Bruckner Society of America will represent the Society at the event.


This Blu-Ray is being released at the end of the month:



Probably for a separate topic, but does anyone prefer to watch a concert on television rather than simply hear the music?  If one attends the concert, there is always a certain added excitement in hearing and seeing the performance as it happens, rather than at a distance via the recording.

But a televised performance will always have the cameras cutting back and forth and up and down and zooming in and away: I recall a Saint Peter's Basilica concert of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis that was televised in the 1970's, and Franco Zeffirelli was put in charge of the cameras.  At one point he had a camera literally spiraling upward toward the peak of the dome while the music played.  Such "Mickey-Mousing" was a distraction and hindrance and added nothing to the music.

Obviously I would prefer a televised concert with a minimum of camera movement.   ;)
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 05:30:44 AM by Cato »
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Offline Biffo

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3351 on: September 12, 2019, 05:58:33 AM »
It is not a preference but  do occasionally watch televised concerts. I also stream concerts but then I play them through my hi-fi and don't bother with the visuals playing on my PC. The bulk of music DVDs I own are operas with a few documentaries.  I dislike concerts on DVD for the reasons mentioned above by Cato - all the tricksy camera work etc.

Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3352 on: September 12, 2019, 07:45:01 AM »
It is not a preference but  do occasionally watch televised concerts. I also stream concerts but then I play them through my hi-fi and don't bother with the visuals playing on my PC. The bulk of music DVDs I own are operas with a few documentaries.  I dislike concerts on DVD for the reasons mentioned above by Cato - all the tricksy camera work etc.

I have Elektra by Richard Strauss with Hildegard Behrens and in the late 1980's taped a performance of Erwartung by Arnold Schoenberg with Jessye Norman.

(Mrs. Cato does not like opera.  ;)    )
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Offline j winter

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3353 on: September 12, 2019, 09:01:48 AM »
I certainly prefer audio, but for works that I particularly like, I will sometimes seek out a video performance, particularly if it includes rehearsal footage or other goodies. 

For such DVDs I try to avoid duplication in works, and to spread the wealth among as many different conductors/performers as well... it gives me a chance to "see" as well as hear some of my favorites.  I make exceptions for the rare cases where there's a video set like the WP films of Lenny's Mahler or Bohm's Mozart, where I really appreciate the specific combination of performer and composer.

For Bruckner, I have the following... my favorite is the Giulini 9, which includes a nice rehearsal with the orchestra:









I think it's this one -- I know have one of Celi in Munich, don't have it in front of me... bought it from BRO and the packaging is different


     
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Online Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3354 on: September 13, 2019, 02:49:59 AM »
I certainly prefer audio, but for works that I particularly like, I will sometimes seek out a video performance, particularly if it includes rehearsal footage or other goodies. 

For such DVDs I try to avoid duplication in works, and to spread the wealth among as many different conductors/performers as well... it gives me a chance to "see" as well as hear some of my favorites.  I make exceptions for the rare cases where there's a video set like the WP films of Lenny's Mahler or Bohm's Mozart, where I really appreciate the specific combination of performer and composer.

For Bruckner, I have the following... my favorite is the Giulini 9, which includes a nice rehearsal with the orchestra:

 

Many thanks for the recommendations!

Giulini is always dependable, much like Carl Schuricht or Eugen Jochum.

I assume the camerawork in those DVD's is subdued?   ;)
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Offline j winter

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3355 on: September 13, 2019, 08:57:10 AM »
Many thanks for the recommendations!

Giulini is always dependable, much like Carl Schuricht or Eugen Jochum.

I assume the camerawork in those DVD's is subdued?   ;)

I would have to rewatch them to be 100% sure, but I have no particular memory of the cinematography -- which in this case is probably a good sign :)

I have to say, I would not particularly recommend the Karajan video -- if I recall the actual performance is fine, but he made a whole series of those videos late in his life, and they are all pretty similar... they rotate slowly between a few static shots of the various sections of the orchestra, and soft focus shots of Karajan, eyes majestically closed, ponderously massaging little whirls of air with his fingers.  I can only imagine there are better video versions of the 8th...
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3356 on: September 14, 2019, 01:14:07 AM »
I assume the camerawork in those DVD's is subdued?   ;)

Matching a consistent stereo (or even surround) sound image with changeing and sometimes close-up viewpoints of the musicians presents some knotty problems for the sound balancer and the production team in general.  You can't just rely on a general self-balancing orchestral image (eg from a crossed pair or Decca tree or some such) - that would look and sound quite inadequate.

In the early days of stereo-with-pictures (eg some Proms broadcasts in the '70s where (mono) TV and (stereo) radio broadcast simultaneously - incidentally no longer possible in the digital age) we were limited to visuals consisting of a long shot of the orchestra from the back of the auditorium, with the camera gently tracking left and right behind some silhouetted audience heads while keeping the whole orchestra in shot, to add some visual interest.
Well as anyone who has worked in TV knows, visuals trump audio bigtime, so it wasn't long before the direction and camerawork became more adventurous.  For a while it was quite messy I thought, but then simulcasts stopped being a thing, and for occasions such as the Proms we now have two compeletely separate sound balances, albeit sometimes sharing the same mics or at least some of them.  The TV is almost always post-produced and broadcast later, meaning that the sound balancer can and does tweak spotlights in the sound, from a multitrack master, to match the picture.  The (live) radio balance by comparison is less 'managed' (though the sound person will be working to the score, its not completely passive) - although it is still recorded in multitrack format so that if it later gets issued as a recording it will get re-balanced. 
« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 01:19:31 AM by aukhawk »

Offline j winter

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3357 on: September 14, 2019, 05:47:12 AM »
Very interesting -- thanks for that!  :)
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice