Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 574082 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3540 on: March 02, 2021, 06:51:06 PM »
Thoughts on the Klaus Tennstedt/LPO live Bruckner 7th?



I'd be curious to hear it. 

The more I listen, the more I remain unconvinced by Karajan's Bruckner. I have the two late VPO recordings of the 7th and 8th, the latter of which I listened to this morning. I also have the EMI Berlin 4th, which sounds pretty good, but I can't say it's my favorite. I'm not sure what gives? It's clearly solid stuff, good conducting, good playing, but it doesn't seem to have the same kind of excitement that Karajan brings to the likes of Beethoven.

An unrelated thought, but I still don't seem to have much love for the 8th symphony. I wonder whether I'm alone in this.

We’re in disagreement about HvK’s Bruckner. His Bruckner is absolute tops for me and I’m talking about his Berliner performances on Deutsche Grammophon. These performances are where its at for me. You can keep his EMI and those later DG recordings. He could never top this Berliner DG cycle. Bruckner’s 8th is a monumental piece and it gets much, much love from Brucknerians, so, while you’re probably not alone, you’re definitely in the minority. The 7th is actually one of my least favorite Bruckner symphonies along with the earlier ones like the 00, 0, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, but I do like the 4th a lot. The 5th is another one that I’ve come to really enjoy over the years.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 06:56:51 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3541 on: March 03, 2021, 02:33:21 AM »
We’re in disagreement about HvK’s Bruckner. His Bruckner is absolute tops for me and I’m talking about his Berliner performances on Deutsche Grammophon. These performances are where its at for me. You can keep his EMI and those later DG recordings. He could never top this Berliner DG cycle. Bruckner’s 8th is a monumental piece and it gets much, much love from Brucknerians, so, while you’re probably not alone, you’re definitely in the minority. The 7th is actually one of my least favorite Bruckner symphonies along with the earlier ones like the 00, 0, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, but I do like the 4th a lot. The 5th is another one that I’ve come to really enjoy over the years.

I guess I'll have to check out the DG cycle before writing off Karajan the Brucknerian. I absolutely love the 7th. It might just be my favorite of them all. The 5th is also great.

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3542 on: March 03, 2021, 08:47:02 AM »
I guess I'll have to check out the DG cycle before writing off Karajan the Brucknerian. I absolutely love the 7th. It might just be my favorite of them all. The 5th is also great.

It is one of my favorite cycles.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3543 on: March 03, 2021, 09:28:48 AM »
I guess I'll have to check out the DG cycle before writing off Karajan the Brucknerian. I absolutely love the 7th. It might just be my favorite of them all. The 5th is also great.

And give the 8th more time to grow on you. Karajan’s account of it with the Berliners is exquisite.
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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3544 on: March 03, 2021, 09:59:01 AM »
And give the 8th more time to grow on you. Karajan’s account of it with the Berliners is exquisite.

I didn't like the 8th until I heard that recording.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3545 on: March 03, 2021, 10:33:12 AM »
I didn't like the 8th until I heard that recording.

Yeah, it’s quite something. I liked Boulez’s recording of it as well, but there are many fine accounts of this symphony.
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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3546 on: March 03, 2021, 11:29:09 AM »
I think one thing that needs saying re the Bruckner symphonies is that for all the critics’ talk about Bruckner writing the same symphony nine times in fact each symphony is completely different from every other. No one could possibly predict what the third symphony would sound like if Bruckner had died after completing the second. Similarly no one could predict what the eighth would sound like if Bruckner had died died after completing the seventh. In don’t have a favourite Bruckner symphony because each time I listen to any particular symphony it becomes my favourite.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3547 on: March 03, 2021, 01:33:25 PM »
I think one thing that needs saying re the Bruckner symphonies is that for all the critics’ talk about Bruckner writing the same symphony nine times in fact each symphony is completely different from every other. No one could possibly predict what the third symphony would sound like if Bruckner had died after completing the second. Similarly no one could predict what the eighth would sound like if Bruckner had died died after completing the seventh. In don’t have a favourite Bruckner symphony because each time I listen to any particular symphony it becomes my favourite.

Well, I think it’s true that he didn’t write the same symphony over and over, but there is some truth that his musical vernacular didn’t change that much over his career. What did change was his handling of the musical material --- the way he continued to stretch time and so forth. His structuring of the symphonies also became more complicated as he went along. One thing that is admirable about his development as a composer is how he never compromised this musical language. He may have cut some measures here or there at the urging of other conductors or well-meaning friends, but remained true to his own vision. There’s one thing for certain: no one sounded like him.
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3548 on: March 04, 2021, 12:42:25 AM »
I think one thing that needs saying re the Bruckner symphonies is that for all the critics’ talk about Bruckner writing the same symphony nine times in fact each symphony is completely different from every other. No one could possibly predict what the third symphony would sound like if Bruckner had died after completing the second. Similarly no one could predict what the eighth would sound like if Bruckner had died died after completing the seventh. In don’t have a favourite Bruckner symphony because each time I listen to any particular symphony it becomes my favourite.

That's only like saying that chicken vindaloo tastes different to chicken madras.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3549 on: March 04, 2021, 01:06:54 AM »
That's only like saying that chicken vindaloo tastes different to chicken madras.
Not sure what the point of the comment is.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3550 on: March 05, 2021, 01:41:40 AM »
I'm disagreeing with you. To most people, all Bruckner does sound the same.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3551 on: March 05, 2021, 02:02:36 AM »
They are structurally and in many other ways, e.g. shapes of themes, types of movements, time signatures etc. within a rather narrow compass, compared to e.g. Beethoven, Brahms or Dvorak. There is some variety, but it is rather "controlled", despite a few things that stick out, such as the 5th being the only symphony with a clearly separate slow introductin.
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)

Online MusicTurner

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3552 on: March 05, 2021, 06:43:59 AM »
I'm disagreeing with you. To most people, all Bruckner does sound the same.

Most people haven't heard any Bruckner. A few have heard some, and even fewer have heard a lot/~all. If psychologically more inclined to like him and explore the oeuvre, one will also find more differences in his music and its many details.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 06:47:27 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3553 on: March 08, 2021, 11:31:09 AM »


Most people haven't heard any Bruckner. A few have heard some, and even fewer have heard a lot/~all. If psychologically more inclined to like him and explore the oeuvre, one will also find more differences in his music and its many details.





Hearing a constant development in Bruckner's skills is what I have enjoyed, from the earliest symphonies to the Finale, such as it is, of the Ninth Symphony.


I am reminded of one of my German students from long ago, who reacted negatively when I mentioned that some excerpts of German operas would be part of the curriculum.

"I hate operas!"

"Oh: how many have you heard?"   0:)


And of course he had never heard an opera!   8)


Might we still - in some sense - be fighting the influence of Hanslick and the negative cliches from the 1800's about Bruckner's works?  I would think not: more performances and recordings seem to be happening.  One example: about a decade ago The Toledo Symphony performed a Bruckner symphony every year in the Roman Catholic cathedral.  The concerts were well attended and the orchestra handled the symphonies quite well.  They did not quite make it through the entire cycle. Stefan Sanderling left, and a new bishop came in, etc. and so things did not work out any more.

Still, the cathedral was much fuller than it was for the Masses!   0:)





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Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3554 on: March 08, 2021, 04:18:38 PM »


Hearing a constant development in Bruckner's skills is what I have enjoyed, from the earliest symphonies to the Finale, such as it is, of the Ninth Symphony.


I am reminded of one of my German students from long ago, who reacted negatively when I mentioned that some excerpts of German operas would be part of the curriculum.

"I hate operas!"

"Oh: how many have you heard?"   0:)


And of course he had never heard an opera!   8)


Might we still - in some sense - be fighting the influence of Hanslick and the negative cliches from the 1800's about Bruckner's works?  I would think not: more performances and recordings seem to be happening.  One example: about a decade ago The Toledo Symphony performed a Bruckner symphony every year in the Roman Catholic cathedral.  The concerts were well attended and the orchestra handled the symphonies quite well.  They did not quite make it through the entire cycle. Stefan Sanderling left, and a new bishop came in, etc. and so things did not work out any more.

Still, the cathedral was much fuller than it was for the Masses!   0:)

I stand corrected!  The Toledo Symphony did indeed play ALL the Bruckner symphonies: not all of them were played, however, in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Quote



Born in East Berlin in 1964, the son of the late legendary conductor Kurt Sanderling, Stefan Sanderling studied musicology at the University of Halle and conducting at the conservatory in Leipzig before leaving East Germany to continue his studies in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California.


From 1990 to 1995, Sanderling became one of Germany’s youngest conductors to take the position of General Music Director at the Brandenburgische Philharmonie and the Potsdam Opera. He was Music Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra and Staatstheater in Mainz 1995-2001 and served as Music Director of the Orchestre de Bretagne in France (1996-2004), before taking up his post as Music Director of The Florida Orchestra (2002-2012). He was Music Director of the Chautauqua Symphony orchestra 2007-2011 and he has been Principal Conductor and Music Advisor of the Toledo Symphony since 2002.


Sanderling was Awarded the Kilenyi Medal of Honor (Bruckner Medal) by the Board of Directors of the Bruckner Society of America for his contribution to the works of Anton Bruckner in April 2012, which included the performance of all of Bruckner’s symphonies with the Toledo Symphony over an 11 year period.


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

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

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3555 on: March 08, 2021, 04:41:21 PM »
I stand corrected!  The Toledo Symphony did indeed play ALL the Bruckner symphonies: not all of them were played, however, in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary.

That is badass. My whole family hails from Toledo. If I'm not mistaken I think I was baptized in that very cathedral. I need to catch a Toledo Symphony concert the next time I'm up there seeing family.

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3556 on: March 08, 2021, 05:02:13 PM »
That is badass. My whole family hails from Toledo. If I'm not mistaken I think I was baptized in that very cathedral. I need to catch a Toledo Symphony concert the next time I'm up there seeing family.


Yes!  The performances in recent years have been excellent!

Too bad that e.g. NAXOS did not record their performances of the Bruckner symphonies!  The local classical music station in Toledo undoubtedly has recordings of the performances.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline Maestro267

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3557 on: March 08, 2021, 11:18:46 PM »
Most people haven't heard any Bruckner. A few have heard some, and even fewer have heard a lot/~all. If psychologically more inclined to like him and explore the oeuvre, one will also find more differences in his music and its many details.

So if you BELIEVE hard enough, you'll convince yourself there are differences.

No, they're all quite similar to each other. In fact, I was kind of disappointed with the hyped completion of No. 9's finale that Rattle did, trying to pull another Mahler 10. Cooke/Mahler is lightning in a bottle. I got the impression from liner notes that the finale of Bruckner 9 would have been a truly modern groundbreaking masterpiece that basically did what Schoenberg would later do. In the end, it became another Bruckner finale. He works on such a narrow compass that it becomes repetitive. Heck, he has a dilemma whenever he tries to use even the most basic extra percussion in his 7th and 8th symphonies.

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3558 on: March 09, 2021, 12:01:24 AM »
For example, I hear a moving towards a more modernist expression in the oeuvre, culminating the 9th symphony; the 7th symphony as of a much more lyrical/melodical mood, with more long-stretched lines than the others; and the 5th as a more structurally strict, 'minimalist' work, based on comparatively few building stones.

A Bruckner specialist I knew, who had most of the Anton recordings and 8000 LPs spanning the entire classical repertoire, emphasized the diversities inherent in the symphonies too. It's fairly easy to locate academic texts emphasizing various differences in Anton too.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 12:07:25 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3559 on: March 09, 2021, 02:32:18 AM »
Obviously, the more detailed knowledge one has, the more one will hear/see differences.
I don't understand why using a bit of extra percussion should pose a "dilemma" (I think it is mostly superfluous but hardly disturbing/unfitting).
But the repetitiveness is a part of the style, it is mostly repetitive structures within the same piece/movement. Of course, there are also types of movements that repeat and in some parameters the settings are very similar or narrow. I have not checked everything, but I am not sure Bruckner ever wrote a 3/4 or x/8 movement not a scherzo; there is a 3/4 section e.g. in the slow movement of the Seventh but the main time signatures are always 4/4 or 2/2. Conversely, all scherzi but one (4th in 2/4 or actually 6/8) are in 3/4. And so on. Of course these are also identifiable "Brucknerian" features that make the music recognizable as Bruckner (although it becomes harder to tell which piece...)
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)