Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 476604 times)

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M forever

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #340 on: July 20, 2007, 05:05:05 PM »
There is also a nice live recording of the first version of the 3rd with Blomstedt and the GOL.

Yes, all of Wand's last Bruckner recordings with the BP are quite satisfying. Had he finished the entire cycle before his death, I am sure his would be the favorite cycle to recommend for many.

That was never the plan. He didn't conduct the 1st and 2nd symphonies at all in his later years after the Cologne cycle, as he found the pieces to be problematic and "krank", especially the first symphony. While that word translates as "sick, disturbed", it doesn't really describe well in English what he meant. He meant that the music showed too much of that Bruckner was guided by the need to fulfill external expectations rather than following his own inner voice. So there would not have been new recordings of these pieces anyway. He did conduct and record the 3rd with the NDR, and the 6th was on the program and scheduled to be recorded in Berlin just 2-3 months before he died. So there would have been new recordings of 4-9 with the BP, but most likely no 3rd, and definitely no 1st and 2nd.

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #341 on: July 20, 2007, 05:30:27 PM »
The 'problematic' aspects of the early symphonies also prevented their being played in concert by Karajan, Jochum, Klemperer, Böhm or Celibidache. All were noted Bruckner conductors, and the first two did record them in the studio, but AFAIK, never played them in concert. The third was a sort of bridge between the early and 'mature' symphonies.

Leipzig seems to be a great place for playing Bruckner. One of my favourite 6th is from there (Bongartz), and the Abendroth 8th is a classic. BTW there seems to be a bunch of Leipzig Radio symphony Orchestra recordings from before 1950, but it doesn't seem to exist anymore - unless its new name was changed to Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, currently Leipzig's  'other' orchestra ??
« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 05:40:46 PM by Lilas Pastia »

Offline MishaK

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #342 on: July 20, 2007, 06:23:30 PM »
Re: the Haitink Vienna recording (1877 version): I love and admire it esp for the magnificent orchestral playing and deep affection evidently emanating from the podium. But it is broader than the Kubelik, so any impression of the latter being less fiery has nothing to do with tempi or timings. Personally I find it goes the other way around, but these are just personal impressions. If you like Haitink's way with the 3rd, do try the Concertgebouw recording: it's swifter, the orchestra is blunter, and the spurious scherzo codetta is judiciously omitted (Bruckner crossed it on one of his scores with the mention 'not to be printed').

I have Haitink's whole Concertgebouw cycle. I still prefer the Vienna 3rd, coda and all. It glows in a way that neither his Concertgebouw recording nor the Kubelik do.

M forever

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #343 on: July 20, 2007, 06:30:44 PM »
Leipzig seems to be a great place for playing Bruckner. One of my favourite 6th is from there (Bongartz), and the Abendroth 8th is a classic. BTW there seems to be a bunch of Leipzig Radio symphony Orchestra recordings from before 1950, but it doesn't seem to exist anymore - unless its new name was changed to Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, currently Leipzig's  'other' orchestra ??

Yes, it's the same orchestra. It has more or less continually existed as radio orchestra since 1924, but the name changed a number of times. Now it is the MDR Sinfonieorchester.

Offline beclemund

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #344 on: July 21, 2007, 07:41:45 AM »
That was never the plan. He didn't conduct the 1st and 2nd symphonies at all in his later years after the Cologne cycle, as he found the pieces to be problematic and "krank", especially the first symphony. While that word translates as "sick, disturbed", it doesn't really describe well in English what he meant. He meant that the music showed too much of that Bruckner was guided by the need to fulfill external expectations rather than following his own inner voice. So there would not have been new recordings of these pieces anyway. He did conduct and record the 3rd with the NDR, and the 6th was on the program and scheduled to be recorded in Berlin just 2-3 months before he died. So there would have been new recordings of 4-9 with the BP, but most likely no 3rd, and definitely no 1st and 2nd.

Thank you for that clarification, M. I guess I am still surprised how different conductors react to a body of a composers work, but that probably says more about my naivety than anything. ;) Though it would seem that Bruckner was guided, on more than those two symphonies, by external pressure. The entire history of the multiple revisions of his symphonies is part of what keeps me so engaged by them.
"A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession." -- Albert Camus

mahlertitan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #345 on: August 01, 2007, 11:36:44 PM »
The very first performing version of Bruckner's 9th symphony is edited by Ferdinand Lowe, i was wondering if anyone has heard of this version. personally, after listening to Knappertsbusch's 1950 recording with BP, Ferdinand Lowe really should've been hanged; he completely changed the the 9th symphony, for the worse. For instance, in the second movement, the opening pizzicato is accompanied by woodwinds!!! did the man have no ears? Why did he do this? and How did the original version finally come to light?

Offline val

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #346 on: August 02, 2007, 12:12:37 AM »
The original version was published by Alfred Orel in 1932, followed by Nowak. It was the conductor von Hausseger that played and recorded it for the first time in 1932. Then it was Furtwängler that imposed that original version.
I never heard Hausseger version, but the CD exists although I don't know on what label.

Choo Choo

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #347 on: August 02, 2007, 01:37:52 AM »
...the CD exists although I don't know on what label.

It's on Preiser and is well worth hearing.  If nothing else, it demonstrates that slower does not necessarily mean better.

Offline Marple

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #348 on: August 02, 2007, 04:43:47 AM »
Last month his 9th was broadcasted on 3sat live from Cologne Cathedral. Did someone watch it? Sir Gilbert Levine conducted the WDR Symphony Orchestra, and it was a concert that I enjoyed very much! The next day I bought an old recording of it with the Columbia Orchestra and Bruno Walter, and though I also have one with Karajan and the Berliner, this one with old Bruno is very special. I love his lyrical interpretation. I'm a big fan of Walter! ;D

mahlertitan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #349 on: August 02, 2007, 07:20:40 AM »
Last month his 9th was broadcasted on 3sat live from Cologne Cathedral. Did someone watch it? Sir Gilbert Levine conducted the WDR Symphony Orchestra, and it was a concert that I enjoyed very much! The next day I bought an old recording of it with the Columbia Orchestra and Bruno Walter, and though I also have one with Karajan and the Berliner, this one with old Bruno is very special. I love his lyrical interpretation. I'm a big fan of Walter! ;D

yes, Walter is a very good choice, i have his recordings of 4,7,9th symphonies by bruckner, unfortunately, that's all he ever recorded (and the 8th with PSNY which i don't have).

Drasko

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #350 on: August 02, 2007, 07:27:04 AM »
The original version was published by Alfred Orel in 1932, followed by Nowak. It was the conductor von Hausseger that played and recorded it for the first time in 1932.

Recording is from 1938, I wrote few not very significant lines about it on page 2 of this thread.

If nothing else, it demonstrates that slower does not necessarily mean better.

[insert nodding smiley}

mahlertitan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #351 on: August 02, 2007, 07:39:17 AM »
to show you guys what i was talking about, this is an excerpt of Knappertsbusch's 1950 recording with BP.

http://www.mediafire.com/?8yvvzyvujj2

i hope you all can hear the difference between Orel.

Choo Choo

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #352 on: August 02, 2007, 07:53:46 AM »
and the 8th with PSNY

That's an excellent performance disfigured by atrocious sonics.  Apparently the story is that the recording was rescued from corroded metal master discs fished out of a dumpster - and it sounds like it.  One of those where you weep for what might have been. :'(

mahlertitan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #353 on: August 04, 2007, 06:26:06 AM »
Do any of you have the Chailly cycle, if so, how is it?

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #354 on: August 05, 2007, 06:10:17 AM »
The Rögner 4th was on the menu this week. It's with the Berlin Radio SO and was recorded (splendidly) in 1984. This is a fast and very direct interpretation. At 58 minutes it is one of the quickest around. Timings are approx 15-14-11-18. Right from the beginning of I this scores by having the tremolo strings register with real weight and presence, even though the playing is suitably pp, not any louder than normal. Very good orchestral work. They're a size under the VPO-BPO-SKD or a few other heavyweights, but this band deosn't put a foot wrong and the conductor paces and balances everything brilliantly. One will notice how much the winds have to do (esp. in the quieter portions of the score). I don't think I've heard such felicitous wind balances before. The finale really jolts by starting at a militantly expecting pace rather than the funeral march one often hears. This is adrenalin-pumping stuff.

Definitely not an everyday version, but a refreshing, sometimes startlingly different reading. Available for a song on Berlin Classics. Nowak version, no cymbal crash in IV.

BTW, I detect 2 instances of outright (unconscious?) borrowing from the Bruckner 4th by Mahler: the timpani rythm at the end of the Andante is reproduced in the slow movement of Mahler's own first symphony, whereas the low strings rythm at the beginning of IV is exactly the same as the start of Mahler's 6th. there's no doubt Mahler knew the work inside out: he even produced  his own (reorchestrated and truncated) version of it. It's been recorded by Rozhdestvensky.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2007, 06:17:25 AM by Lilas Pastia »

mahlertitan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #355 on: August 05, 2007, 06:19:36 AM »
The Rögner 4th was on the menu this week. It's with the Berlin Radio SO and was recorded (splendidly) in 1984. This is a fast and very direct interpretation. At 58 minutes it is one of the quickest around. Timings are approx 15-14-11-18. Right from the beginning of I this scores by having the tremolo strings register with real weight and presence, even though the playing is suitably pp, not any louder than normal. Very good orchestral work. They're a size under the VPO-BPO-SKD or a few other heavyweights, but this band deosn't put a foot wrong and the conductor paces and balances everything brilliantly. One will notice how much the winds have to do (esp. in the quieter portions of the score). I don't think I've heard such felicitous wind balances before. The finale really jolts by starting at a militantly expecting pace rather than the funeral march one often hears. This is adrenalin-pumping stuff.

Definitely not an everyday version, but a refreshing, sometimes startlingly different reading. Available for a song on Berlin Classics. Nowak version, no cymbal crash in IV.

I was also pleasantly surprised by Rogner's version, it's pretty good, but in comparison with Chailly's 4th with RCO, I'd rather prefer chailly RCO.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2007, 11:49:29 AM by MahlerTitan »

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #356 on: August 05, 2007, 06:23:10 AM »
That's not the point, really. There's no need to pit A vs B etc. This is an endless and mindless game. It's different and stands on its own merits.

mahlertitan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #357 on: August 05, 2007, 06:37:45 AM »
That's not the point, really. There's no need to pit A vs B etc. This is an endless and mindless game. It's different and stands on its own merits.

i know, Rogner's good, but you might want to hear Chailly too.

M forever

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #358 on: August 06, 2007, 10:55:49 AM »
That's not the point, really. There's no need to pit A vs B etc. This is an endless and mindless game. It's different and stands on its own merits.

Well said. I actually don't know any of Rögner's Bruckner recordings, but would like to check them out some time. The orchestras in East Germany had (and to a certain extent, still have) preserved a number of stylistic features of the "old" German orchestral school which, combined with an unfussy, good craftsman approach like I would expect from Rögner could produce an interesting result. They actually recorded all the symphonis 4-9 and some of the sacred choral works. My only reservation would be if Berlin Classics once again used the damn Sonic Solutions NoNoise signal processing on these recordings, as they did on many of their releases. They really shouldn't have, as these are fairly "modern" recordings from the early 80s. A lot of the recordings made by the engineers of the "People's Own" record label Eterna in East Germany actually sound really good. So there shouldn't be any need for "remastering" these anyway, much less for "NoNoise". But Berlin Classics have proudly messed up some really nice 60s and 70s recordings with that system (which may result in less noise, but creates very harsh highs and very audible artifacts), such as Suitner's Mahler 1, Sanderling's Borodin 2, or Garaguly's Sibelius 1.

BTW, I detect 2 instances of outright (unconscious?) borrowing from the Bruckner 4th by Mahler: the timpani rythm at the end of the Andante is reproduced in the slow movement of Mahler's own first symphony, whereas the low strings rythm at the beginning of IV is exactly the same as the start of Mahler's 6th. there's no doubt Mahler knew the work inside out: he even produced  his own (reorchestrated and truncated) version of it. It's been recorded by Rozhdestvensky.

There is no doubt Mahler knew Bruckner's music very well and was influenced by it, but in much deeper ways than just "borrowing" elements of the music. These two examples are very basic musical structures, just a 1-5-1-5 alteration and a pulsing fundamental note, Bruckner didn't really come up with that either. There may be some musical and athmospheric connection between the "nocturnal marches" in Brucner 4 and Mahler 1, but I don't think there is much of a connection between the finale of Bruckner 4 and the opening of Mahler 6.

Last month his 9th was broadcasted on 3sat live from Cologne Cathedral. Did someone watch it? Sir Gilbert Levine conducted the WDR Symphony Orchestra, and it was a concert that I enjoyed very much!

I am happy for you, but I thought that was a horrible display. The orchestra played very well, but the conductor just put on a big slimy show. What a hollow poser, gesturing along dramaticaly with the orchestra, and what a clichéed and kitschy interpretation, with the cathedral setting to round that off. Bruckner in Disneyland. They could also have filmed that in Neuschwanstein. No wonder we haven't heard much of "Sir Gilbert Levine" yet, and I hope we won't anymore. If you "like to watch", check out the great videos of Bruckner 9 with Giulini and the SWR orchestra (which also includes some rehearsa footage) or Wand with the NDR. There is also a great live concert video with Karajan and the WP from the late 70s (which incidentally also closes with the Te Deum) which was available on DVD in Asia but is really hard to find now.

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #359 on: August 06, 2007, 12:59:29 PM »
I agree the connection between Bruckner 4:IV and Mahler 6:I is rather flimsy: it's the rythm only, and all on a single note at that. I never noticed it before listening to Rögner's 4th: he takes it at the exact same halting military clip we usually hear in the Mahler work. When taken at a broader tempo, the chords at the beginning of 4:IV are much less slashing than those of 6:I, even at Barbirolli's tempo, so it's not that obvious. It's only through that (chance?) combination of tempo and rythm that I established this possibly fortuitous link.

Be that as it may, it remains fascinating to hear musical cross-pollination between great composers.