Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 470930 times)

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Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey: Conductors Prove Their Mettle Via Bruckner!
« Reply #3400 on: November 27, 2019, 12:08:29 PM »
From the NY Times:


See:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/27/arts/music/bruckner-symphonies.html

Thanks for the link, Leo ! YNS and his orchestra played the work in Chicago and Philadelphia too, part of a mini tour of the US. I listened to YNS and the Orchestre métropolitain in the 4th last week (an ATMA disc issued in 2011, I believe). Its brass section then - the horns in particular - was gorgeous. The Romantic is certainly a good work for them to shine in.

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3401 on: December 04, 2019, 06:45:50 AM »
A review of a performance of Bruckner's Fourth Symphony in San Francisco conducted by Manfred Honeck:

An excerpt:


Quote


...Honeck was on much firmer ground with his reading of Bruckner’s symphony. In this case, imparting energy and providing clear, large-scale connections is important: Bruckner is a discursive composer and Symphony No. 4 is over an hour long. The brass is taxed heavily in this score and SF Symphony’s group, from principal Robert Ward down to fourth horn Jessica Valeri, shone....


See:

https://www.sfcv.org/reviews/san-francisco-symphony/sf-symphony-brass-shine-in-bruckners-fourth

What think ye of the highlighted section? 

Does the reviewer mean to state facts or is he gently complaining?    ;)
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3402 on: December 04, 2019, 10:29:24 AM »

Does the reviewer mean to state facts or is he gently complaining?    ;)

I've seen "professional" critics dismiss Bruckner as a complete fraud, so "discursive" is not too worrisome.   He does seem discursive if you are not that familiar with the symphonies.

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3403 on: December 04, 2019, 11:34:07 AM »
I've seen "professional" critics dismiss Bruckner as a complete fraud, so "discursive" is not too worrisome.   He does seem discursive if you are not that familiar with the symphonies.

WOW!  "A complete fraud" !  Do you recall who wrote that and why?


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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3404 on: December 04, 2019, 11:59:58 AM »
The antipathy that Bruckner still arises in some critics and listeners is incomprehensible. The same was the case with Mahler in the mid C20 when his music was first making its way into concerts on on to disk, but that antipathy seemed to die down quite quickly. I don't know why it hasn't with Bruckner.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3405 on: December 04, 2019, 12:45:45 PM »
Some things are acquired tastes. There is nothing wrong with that. Bruckner was  controversial from the beginning although around 60 years ago his music  apparently already was hugely successful in Austria and mostly respected in Germany but a small niche almost everywhere else. This changed with recordings to some extent but I think Bruckner is still not as big in slavic countries as in Germanic countries and even less popular in Italy, France and Spain. So what?
It's the same (or actually far more local) with Elgar and one will find more examples.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 12:51:50 AM by Jo498 »
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3406 on: December 04, 2019, 02:46:37 PM »
The Atlanta Symphony also performed Bruckner's 4th in the past month, conducted by I believe Donald Runnicles. I am not sure why this symphony is getting so much love lately, but it's a good one, one of the few of Bruckner's symphonies that I really enjoy, but I am new to his music.

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3407 on: December 04, 2019, 02:58:05 PM »
A voice from the past:

Quote


"(Bruckner's latest symphony) is the eighth in the series and similar to its predecessors in form and mood.  (Sic!)  I found this newest one, as I have found the other Bruckner symphonies, interesting in detail, but strange as a whole and even repugnant.  The nature of the work consists...in applying Wagner's dramatic style to the symphony.

(Comparing the opening to the beginning of Tristan und Isolde)...Bruckner begins with a short chromatic motif repeats it ...into infinity, augments it...offers it in contrary motion...until the listener is crushed under the sheer weight and monotony of this interminable lamentation...Wagnerian orchestral effects are met on every hand...(along with) the newest achievements of the Siegfried tubas....

...Also characteristic (of this work) is the immediate juxtaposition of dry schoolroom counterpoint with unbounded exaltation.  Thus tossed about between intoxication and desolation, we arrive at no definite impression and enjoy no artistic pleasure.  Everything flows without clarity and without order... into dismal long-windedness....

...In each of the four movements, and most frequently in the first and third, there are interesting passages and flashes of genius - if only all the rest were not there!

...(Probably) the future belongs to this type of muddled hangover style - which is no reason to regard the future with envy!...

And the reception of the new symphony?  A stormy ovation, waving of handkerchiefs...innumerable recalls... For Bruckner the concert was certainly a huge success.  Whether (conductor) Hans Richter performed a similar favor for his subscribers by devoting an entire concert to the Bruckner symphony is doubtful..."


Eduard Hanslick 1892 - Translation by Henry Pleasants.
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3408 on: December 04, 2019, 03:43:58 PM »
The antipathy that Bruckner still arises in some critics and listeners is incomprehensible. The same was the case with Mahler in the mid C20 when his music was first making its way into concerts on on to disk, but that antipathy seemed to die down quite quickly. I don't know why it hasn't with Bruckner.

Because the two composers had absolutely nothing in common, other than a tendency to large-scale 'symphonic' music.  One has currently gained more approval than the other, rightly or wrongly, that is just fashion.  20 years on, it might be very different.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 03:46:51 PM by aukhawk »

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3409 on: December 04, 2019, 04:01:22 PM »
Because the two composers had absolutely nothing in common, other than a tendency to large-scale 'symphonic' music.  One has currently gained more approval than the other, rightly or wrongly, that is just fashion.  20 years on, it might be very different.


A voice from the past:

Eduard Hanslick 1892 - Translation by Henry Pleasants.

I was skimming through the Hanslick book, and he makes some interesting comments about Rossini's version of Othello (c. 1817) along with the original Shakespeare play.  Hanslick says that Rossini's original version followed Shakespeare, which faithfulness caused a huge outcry against the work.  The composer had to change the work so that the opera ended with Desdemona and Othello reconciling and singing a happy-ending love duet!  Hanslick adds that a similar occurrence happened in Hamburg after a performance of the play.  "So many women fainted" because of the strangulation scene, that the Hamburg Senate decreed that further performances would be required to have a happy ending!

Talk about snowflakes!   0:)

Hanslick adds that things had changed throughout the century, and nobody in his day (1880's at the time) would think of changing Shakespeare's plays.

I should mention that Hanslick liked The Mikado of Gilbert and Sullivan and much admired the English genius for comedy shown in the work and in its performance by the singers and actors.
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3410 on: December 04, 2019, 07:45:42 PM »
WOW!  "A complete fraud" !  Do you recall who wrote that and why?

I feel a bit sheepish to admit I was reading Lynn René Bayley's blog (The Art Music Lounge).  You can google if you are curious. 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 07:47:49 PM by Daverz »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3411 on: December 05, 2019, 01:23:10 AM »
In my personal impression both Mahler's and Bruckner's music have become far more popular, actually pretty much core repertoire (except for maybe Bruckner's 00-2 and alternative versions and maybe Mahler's 8th because of the forces needed) within the 3 decades I followed classical music. When I started listening around 1987 as a teenager, both were of course not obscure but not quite standard fare either. One would see introductory series (or say musical history overviews in middle/high school) that skipped both and went from Brahms and Dvorak to R. Strauss, Debussy and Stravinsky.

I think there are still many listeners who don't care all that much about Bruckner (and/or Mahler). But they are popular with conductors and orchestras because one can demonstrate prowess in several departments without resorting to "shallow sonic spectacular" (like Rimsky ;). And for similar reasons the music is popular with audiophiles. And I also think that the nerdy males who dominate internet discussions have also considerable overlap with Bruckner/Mahler fandom.
So from recordings and the internet one can get the impression that almost everybody just loves Bruckner (or Mahler). But this is not the case. There is no composer/music loved by everyone, not even Bach or Beethoven.

And of course, they are totally different. There is no need to hate or love both.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3412 on: December 06, 2019, 07:21:16 PM »
A concert probably impossible when both composers were alive:

Brahms: Piano Concerto #2

Bruckner
: Symphony #5

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/yOa0cxBVUP4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/yOa0cxBVUP4</a>
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3413 on: December 06, 2019, 07:47:45 PM »
Has anyone heard any of this box yet?



I assume the Rattle 9 is the same one that was on EMI.  So far I've listened to the Mehta 8, which seemed a bit polite, and the Paavo Järvi 2, which I liked: very clear-eyed.  The Ozawa 1 should be interesting, and the Blomstedt 3 is the 1873 version.  Haitink conducts 4 & 5, Jansons conducts 6, and Thielemann conducts 7.

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3414 on: December 07, 2019, 02:55:48 AM »
Has anyone heard any of this box yet?



I assume the Rattle 9 is the same one that was on EMI.  So far I've listened to the Mehta 8, which seemed a bit polite, and the Paavo Järvi 2, which I liked: very clear-eyed.  The Ozawa 1 should be interesting, and the Blomstedt 3 is the 1873 version.  Haitink conducts 4 & 5, Jansons conducts 6, and Thielemann conducts 7.

Interesting set!

The Simon Rattle version: is that the one with the completed Finale?  If, so it is beyond excellent, almost on the level of Saint Eugen's !   0:) :D

Paavo Järvi also has an excellent recording on RCA of the Hans Rott Symphony.  I heard part of his work on the Bruckner Second Symphony
on the radio and was impressed.

Christian Thielemann's conducting of Schoenberg's Pelleas und Melisande on DGG is one of the best available.  So I would think a Bruckner Seventh Symphony would have great potential!


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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3415 on: December 07, 2019, 08:42:18 AM »
Speaking of interesting sets, a few nights ago I received the SACD box sets of Karajan’s performances on DG of Symphonies Nos. 4-9 (plus the Te Deum) and, so far, I’ve only listened to Symphony No. 9. It sounds absolutely fantastic! My only hope is they take this DSD transfer and release it in single issues or have they done this already? I might have to look into it.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 08:59:50 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3416 on: December 19, 2019, 05:58:16 PM »
Courtesy of an interview with John Kinsella, composer from Ireland, found under his topic:

Quote

He (Kinsella) struggled with Bruckner, too: “I can stand back from a Bruckner symphony now, and appreciate it in the whole, and know what he’s doing. The effect can be totally overwhelming. I think Bruckner symphonies are, if you like, the ideal symphony, because they do say something very important and very profound, and even manage to get very trite ideas in, but they’re in the right place, in the right mixture.”


https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/2.749/a-lifetime-of-obsession-with-symphonies-1.497868
« Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 06:00:49 PM by Cato »
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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3417 on: December 21, 2019, 08:27:24 AM »
Courtesy of an interview with John Kinsella, composer from Ireland, found under his topic:

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/2.749/a-lifetime-of-obsession-with-symphonies-1.497868

one of the greatest living symphonists! some really marvelous works among his output!!! Thanks for the link.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3418 on: January 01, 2020, 01:02:18 PM »
The Bruckner Red Book: Eleven Symphonies

"Up to this day the various scores have attracted strong partisanship among both conductors and enthusiasts, even though in all that time there has not been a general guide to the differences among them. As a result, the Bruckner Society of America is announcing the publication of Anton Bruckner, Eleven Symphonies, called the Bruckner Red Book, which is intended as a response to that need. In it the individual revision histories of each symphony, the overture, and the quartet and quintet are discussed in detail, and musical examples are provided which show the distinctions being described. In addition the innovative use in every example of quick recognition codes leading to on-line audio tracks makes the musical content open to those who do not read music." (Book is by William Carrigan)

I've ordered my copy at https://brucknerredbook.com

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3419 on: January 01, 2020, 03:44:01 PM »
The Bruckner Red Book: Eleven Symphonies

"Up to this day the various scores have attracted strong partisanship among both conductors and enthusiasts, even though in all that time there has not been a general guide to the differences among them. As a result, the Bruckner Society of America is announcing the publication of Anton Bruckner, Eleven Symphonies, called the Bruckner Red Book, which is intended as a response to that need. In it the individual revision histories of each symphony, the overture, and the quartet and quintet are discussed in detail, and musical examples are provided which show the distinctions being described. In addition the innovative use in every example of quick recognition codes leading to on-line audio tracks makes the musical content open to those who do not read music." (Book is by William Carrigan)

I've ordered my copy at https://brucknerredbook.com

That would seem to be a must-have!  Carragan tried his hand at a completion of the Finale of the Ninth Symphony.  I am amazed that a regular publishing company did not sponsor this, but....their loss! 
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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