Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 516812 times)

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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3460 on: May 22, 2020, 01:33:00 AM »
^Fascinating. I'll definitely be exploring that piano music to see if anything of worth is buried in it. And most definitely going to be tracking down the quintet.

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3461 on: May 22, 2020, 01:56:03 AM »
Slowly but surely I'm getting more into the music of Anton Bruckner. Mostly it's his symphonies that capture my interest lately; the most interesting of the bunch to me are 3, 4, 5, 7 & 9, though I consider all 9 to be great. I have frequently heard the criticism leveled against Bruckner that he is inconsistent, but I actually disagree and find him to be extremely consistent; if you like one symphony, you'll probably like them all.

I'm looking to get more into his non-symphonic music. In this realm it seems he is most known for his sacred music, though he did leave behind several chamber works (any Lieder? music for a solo instrument?—I know he didn't leave behind much organ music despite his great stature in his lifetime as an organist; anything else?). I have Jochum on DG for most of the sacred works on 2 CDs, the 3 Masses on one & the Te Deum, motets & Psalm 150 on another. Both are very good, though I owe it to myself to spend more time with the masses.

Is anyone here a fan of the String Quintet?


I have never understood the "inconsistent" charge: each symphony  shows movement into new territory, and yet maintains a style which is very consistent.

Yes, it is most curious that he did not compose more - much more - for the organ.  Yet I believe the symphony orchestra was his church organ: scholars have remarked upon Bruckner's orchestration and how it resembles the organ's registration.

The String Quintet is excellent: some have orchestrated it for a string orchestra:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/1i8JdhN1EsA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/1i8JdhN1EsA</a>
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Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3462 on: May 22, 2020, 04:53:36 AM »
I like the string quintet. It is symphonic in scale but not quite as sprawling as some of the symphonies. It was written between the 6h and 7th, I think, so it is a mature piece (unlike a string quartet that was a student piece and only premiered in the 1950s or so).
I'ts been a while that I listened to the choral music. The best piece is probably the "Te Deum" but the masses etc. are all worthwhile. The most original one is the second one in e minor with only wind/brass instead of orchestra and a kind of romanticized Palestrina style for the choir.
(I have "Helgoland" on disc but not sure if I ever listened to it, I have no recollection.)

There are recordings of (early?) piano music but I have never heard any



Frankly, if you don’t recall it, it’s because you probably didn’t hear it.  ;)

Helgoland is Bruckner’s last complete work and it packs enormous punch. I’ve heard a few versions and I find it’s one of the rare instances where one interpreter clearly grabs the work and runs away with it, leaving others trailing far behind:



Morris is sweeping and engulfing, achieving infinite grandeur at the peroration.


Edit: the pic above represents the coupled work, Wagner’s Love Feast of the Apostles. Here’s what Helgoland is actually about:



« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 05:09:15 AM by André »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3463 on: May 22, 2020, 05:45:47 AM »
I know what Helgoland is, although I have not been there (it is a somewhat popular day cruise from several north sea coast tourist locations). My recording is Barenboim/DG as filler for the "Nullte".
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.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3464 on: May 22, 2020, 07:58:27 AM »
I’m sure you know what it is, but I suspect it’s not the case with many. ;) I wanted to show the rough sea and the craggy cliffs depicted in the text. I couldn’t find one with the invading Roman fleet, though  :D.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3465 on: May 23, 2020, 05:33:34 AM »
Helgoland is awesome. I have the Barenboim/Berlin Philharmonic recording, though that Wyn Morris looks intriguing. I've never heard of that Wagner piece.

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3466 on: May 23, 2020, 11:47:51 AM »
Helgoland is awesome. I have the Barenboim/Berlin Philharmonic recording, though that Wyn Morris looks intriguing. I've never heard of that Wagner piece.

Both Barenboim versions (Chicago and Berlin) as well as the one On Profil (can’t remember the conductor’s name) take it too fast. The engulfing opening waves of sound are much more awe inspiring under Morris. Bruckner’s depiction of the mighty waves make much more effect when taken at this more imposing pace. It’s thrilling no end.

The Wagner is a curious but very rewarding work. It depicts the day of Pentecost. The first 25 minutes are capella singing from the choir. Then, when the Holy Ghost appears, the orchestra ushers in. It all ends in a blaze of glory. Unusual fare, but musically very rewarding. Here too Morris is slower than the competition (Boulez, of all people!). He takes about 34 minutes to Boulez’ 26.

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3467 on: May 23, 2020, 12:14:30 PM »
Helgoland comparison. From youtube.

Listen to the first minute under Barenboim in Berlin (11 mins):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrU0P-sKyIM


Breathless.

.........................

Then listen to Barenboim’s earlier take in Chicago (13:50):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvT1tG2zKgw


More breadth, more power.
..........................

Then listen to Wyn Morris in the same extract (15 mins):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CfWAfmRHZw


Breathtaking. The chorus is more imposing in sound, with sharper enunciation, the brass more cutting. You can see the rolling waves of the text:

Quote

On the North Sea's most distant horizon
Ships appear that resemble clouds;
In billowy waves with tension on the sail
The Romans approach the Saxons' isle



« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 12:16:53 PM by André »

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3468 on: May 24, 2020, 05:03:40 AM »
Helgoland comparison. From youtube.

I have both Barenboim and Morris. I agree with your conclusions in this comparison. I have a taste for broader tempos in music depicting the sea (e.g., Scheherazade and La Mer where I think Celi rules the waves  ;) ) so my preference for Morris is almost a preordained given.

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 knight66

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3469 on: June 11, 2020, 05:42:51 AM »
Bruckner 3rd Symphony: Edition by Peter Jan Marthé, European Philharmonic Orchestra, cond Peter Jan Marthé
Recorded live in St Florian 2005

I searched the site assuming that there might be discussion of this edition and recording. However I only turned up some discussion of this conductor’s edition of the 9th. In the 3rd he has conflated all three editions of the score and the adagio becomes the penultimate movement. It has about 30 minutes more playtime than the standard  editions giving an 88 minute performance.

I wondered whether people here had strong views either way on its success. I enjoy it a great deal and prefer it over the other more standard recordings that I have. As far as I know, no one else has made use of the edition, but that could be a copyright issue as much as an artistic choice.

The conductor provides extensive notes, some of which seem quite barking. He seems for example to see deep significance in Bruckner and Freud having lived very close to one another, but not at the same time, he is silent on that key fact.

However, whether he is sound in mind or not, the performance is very powerful and works on its own terms. The youth orchestra sounds terrific and it is good to hear the reverberant acoustic which contained Bruckner as organist.

Mike 
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3470 on: June 11, 2020, 10:57:51 AM »
I have that and haven’t listened to it in years. I just finished listening to it (thanks for suggestion, Mike  ;)).

Aside from the obvious aim to picture Celibidache as a speed merchant, I think he gauged his tempi to the acoustics very neatly. The Stiftsbasilika St Florian is a beast of an acoustic vessel and Marthé lets the phrase ends bloom fully before moving on. At first it sounds as if it is one hair away from being an incompetent stop and go thing. But then one notices how well it works on its own terms, as Mike said.

As for the version used, Marthé’s notes mention he has conflated the 1873, 1877 and 1889 versions, using the alternate 1876 Adagio for good measure. Also, he says it would be tedious to mention the places he has retouched, recomposed or re-ochestrated (he added a contrabass tuba and cymbals). In view of the extraordinarily expansive tempi used in the first movement, the decision to cast the scherzo next is not silly at all. Kind of leavens the proceedings. The tempo is quite normal in the scherzo portions of the movement, very slow in the trio. Adds the zany 1877 codetta, something I could have done without.

The conflating and recomposing take place mostly in the Adagio and Finale. It is sometimes well done, the wafts from Tannhäuser noble and powerful about 2/3 of the way through in the adagio. The recomposing is mainly in that last third, where themes from the first movement are grafted into the fabric rather gratuitously. Then there is the finale, where Marthé introduces new, foreign material (nothing from Bruckner) midway through. I don’t understand why. The timpani are called in for some African-beat tattoos.

The title of the album is « Bruckner III reloaded ». Indeed. One is in for quite a ride. I guess one could dismiss the whole venture as an ill-advised ego trip, a willful, unnecessary indulgence. I wonder how it would sound with the most obvious excrescences removed. I enjoyed it because what Bruckner did write was all there, meaningfully interpreted. And yes, orchestra and sound are terrific.

I also have his 5th - same orchestra, also recorded in St Florian. It is less extreme (same overall timing as Celi/Munich, no obvious recomposing) although the tendency to stretch and wallow is very much there, too. I didn’t listen to his 9th (with his own Finale).

Offline knight66

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3471 on: June 11, 2020, 11:08:23 AM »
Thanks very much André. I am pretty sure respectable scholars would hold their noses if listening to it. I had previously found the third difficult. I find Mahler’s Third difficult too. But I have really enjoyed this extended Bruckner. I am happy with the group of 5ths that I have, and I don’t feel I want to explore another completion to the 9th. I like the Rattle, but I also really like those great truncated Three movements. I have not heard this conductor in anything else. I will look and see what other repertoire he has recorded.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3472 on: June 11, 2020, 11:34:43 AM »
My comments may have come across as somewhat dismissive, but in truth I really enjoyed this. It was necessary to point the obvious extravagances, but actually I find Marthé less textually offensive than, say, Mahler in his version of the Bruckner 4th. All told, an original ‘essay’. Let’s not forget that the Third is Bruckner’s most self-tinkered symphony, so why not ?

Offline knight66

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3473 on: June 11, 2020, 12:21:09 PM »
André, I did not mean to imply that you had been other than factual and fair. I was thinking of the professional scholars. But like you, I really enjoyed it and it is not as though the other versions are being suppressed

Mike.
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3474 on: June 11, 2020, 02:27:58 PM »
I know, I know. But I felt I had been a bit dismissive  (succumbing to some scholarly disdain maybe ::)) whereas I had actually quite enjoyed this musical journey  ;).

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3475 on: June 14, 2020, 04:08:42 AM »
I returned to Sinopoli's Symphony No.8 yesterday.  He was a conductor that seemed to inspire quite a bit of negative comment - or at least comments that dammed with faint praise along the lines of "Symphony 'X' is one of Sinopoli's more successful....".  By my reckoning the Dresden Staatskapelle were not going to suffer any musical fools so they must've reckoned Sinopoli had a thing or two worth saying.  I love the grandeur of his No.8 and for sure the Dresden players sound superb - greatly enjoyed.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3476 on: June 14, 2020, 04:28:46 AM »
Helgoland comparison. From youtube.

Listen to the first minute under Barenboim in Berlin (11 mins):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrU0P-sKyIM


Breathless.

.........................

Then listen to Barenboim’s earlier take in Chicago (13:50):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvT1tG2zKgw


More breadth, more power.
..........................

Then listen to Wyn Morris in the same extract (15 mins):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CfWAfmRHZw


Breathtaking. The chorus is more imposing in sound, with sharper enunciation, the brass more cutting. You can see the rolling waves of the text:

For those who don't fancy paying inflated prices - Klassic Haus have coupled the Morris version of Helgoland with a performance of Symphony 6 here;

http://klassichaus.us/Bruckner%3A-Symphony-No--6---Bongartz-LGO.php



it sounds very well in the 320 kps download version I have.....

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3477 on: June 14, 2020, 07:47:48 AM »
This is all the more interesting since Bongartz’ 6th is a top choice. Good find !

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3478 on: June 20, 2020, 11:33:49 AM »
For those who don't fancy paying inflated prices - Klassic Haus have coupled the Morris version of Helgoland with a performance of Symphony 6 here;

http://klassichaus.us/Bruckner%3A-Symphony-No--6---Bongartz-LGO.php



it sounds very well in the 320 kps download version I have.....

Thanks for that. I just downloaded it. Excited to hear both the Morris Helgoland and the Bongartz 6th.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3479 on: June 20, 2020, 12:57:41 PM »
@André, you are so right, my friend, about this Morris/Symphonica recording. Outstanding. He makes this minor work of Bruckner's sound like seriously important music, and I think the slower tempo is a big part of that. Yet it doesn't sound slow at all. It has a big, fast momentum to it. It's going to be weird going back to the Barenboim now, as I can't imagine this working much faster than here.

Beyond Barenboim and Morris, has anyone else even recorded Helgoland?