Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 529117 times)

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Offline timwtheov

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3560 on: March 09, 2021, 07:29:15 AM »
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.

I think both sides are right here, for though I'm speaking as a mere listener (I can't read a note), I'd agree that Bruckner's range is limited, and so there's a similarity in sound, structure, etc. in all the symphonies. On the other hand, when you get to know them well enough their distinctions emerge, e.g., the slow movements have distinct melodies, no one brass fanfare is quite the same as another, etc. And if you like or even revel in that limited range, well, Bruckner's one of the best; and if not, not.

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3561 on: March 12, 2021, 02:46:12 PM »
A true story from the bloody, mud-filled, and totally vibed trenches of American Education!


Part of my duties this year, because of the stooopid virus, is to monitor the Fifth Grade during the morning, since we have now 4 divisions of every grade this year, rather than 2 "to separate the kids and keep them safe."     ::)  ::)   ::)

(Don't get me started!).

So this morning I played the Os Iusti of Anton Bruckner for one of the quarters: when Lent started, I discovered that one of the Fifth Graders in the other quarter is quite the pianist, so I thought he and the others would be able to appreciate the work.  I gave a quick introduction to Bruckner, the 9 symphonies, and told of my personal discovery of Bruckner when I found a study score of the Seventh Symphony at the Dayton Public Library, and was astounded by it.  The stereo LP was just coming into existence in the early 1960's, and by chance a DGG record of the work had arrived in the Music Department.  Our stereo was not the best, but I was hexed, charmed, enchanted, and thrilled by Bruckner's work.  I was probably the youngest person on the planet to own the complete 9 symphonies on DGG conducted by (Saint) Eugen Jochum!  😇


Anyway, I played the Os Iusti:



<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/AXv-QUU2mgk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/AXv-QUU2mgk</a>



The Fifth Graders were listening quite nicely and then at bar 11 ff. (q.v. et q.a.) I hear a loudly whispered "Wow!" from one of the Fifth Grade boys!  8)   0:)


That made my day!  The boy is the son of a former student from my days in the Catholic all-boy high school
in Toledo.


Yes, there is hope for the future!   :D
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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3562 on: March 17, 2021, 04:19:43 AM »
I came across this essay recently on Wilhelm Furtwängler and the Fourth Symphony.

An excerpt:


Quote


"...Although after  1938,  he used for  symphonies V to  IX,  the newly revised Robert Haas  «Original Edition», he has not been convinced by the amendments in the IVth. Why ?

During a 1951 debate with students of the Munich National Conservatoire of Music, Furtwängler adressed this issue. It stands out that for him Bruckner was more a "mystical" composer" than an artist who searches with the highest  objectivity the  expression  of a "cosmical order"  (as,  later,Günther Wand did). The Furtwängler recordings of the Vth and above all the VIIIth symphonies testify (to) an energetic hold of the score with accelerandi and ritardandi and an emotional expressivity that goes beyond the simple rendering of the score, thereby rubbing out the "deficiencies" of the composition seen by Furtwängler.

The preserved recordings ot the VIIth and of the IXth (but also the three preserved movements of the 1943 VIth), show the same intensity of the interpretation, but they follow more closely the tempi indications of the score. In the IVth, It is already by the choice of the Edition that we notice that Furtwängler, while basing himself on the score, tries to free himself from it by creating a sound world that goes beyond and transcends the written text"...."


See:

https://www.abruckner.com/down/articles/articlesEnglish/jacquard-philippe-furtwangler-and/Furtwaengler---Bruckner-Symphonie-IV-Welche-Fassung-English.pdf
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Online calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3563 on: March 20, 2021, 02:10:43 PM »
I had an idea for a long article or a short book but unfortunately I can’t read German so couldn’t read the necessary primary texts… so I’m giving the idea away hoping someone can run with it.

Bruckner lovers know of Hanslick the critic who, we know, was anti-Wagner and also wrote scathingly of Bruckner. However, I think we need a more nuanced account answering questions like:

1.   What did Hanslick actually say about Bruckner?
2.   What was this in reaction to, ie tying each review to the performance that provoked it and stating what it was Hanslick heard, which version of which Symphony, who was conducting, who was playing, was it a good performance, what did other critics think?
3.   Is there any evidence that Hanslick studied Bruckner’s music in MS or in published versions?
4.   Did Hanslick criticise Bruckner because he needed friends and allies of Wagner to criticise, or did he have a particular set against Bruckner?
5.   How does his Brucknerian criticism mesh with his published work on musical aesthetics, is it in line with it, or does he bend his own rules to bash Bruckner?
6.   Did other critics of the time react to Hanslick’s criticism of Bruckner, or was the critical consensus largely against Bruckner anyway during his lifetime?

I think such an article/book would be quite an interesting read.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3564 on: March 21, 2021, 12:51:16 AM »
At least some of this has probably been covered by Bruckner scholars although maybe not in a monograph or article but rather some chapters or subsection (and probably in German). I have not read anything specific (or I don't remember but I have not read much about Bruckner in particular although a bit in general about the epoch and the tensions between the Wagnerians and the rest.)
I do think that many musicians and critics were honestly puzzled by Bruckner's music. Brahms respected Wagner's music but his remarks wrt Bruckner are even more scathing than Hanslick's and somewhat personally demeaning (sth. like "a poor confused soul ruined by the popish priests of St. Florian). As Brahms was far more successful in their lifetimes he certainly gained little from such behavior. But Brahms was known to be very generous towards people/music he liked (e.g. Dvorak) but brutally scathing to anything that didn't meet his exacting standards.

But there was no consensus. Wagnerians like Hugo Wolf wrote in support of Bruckner although sometimes this also sounds as if it seemsed more important to them o support a symphonist of the "Wagnerian school" contra Brahms than to genuinely help Bruckner.

I will look up one or two of my books and add a bit later if I find more specific information regarding your questions.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
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The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3565 on: March 22, 2021, 02:21:26 AM »
I'm really falling for the 1st symphony lately. I only have one recording of it, which I very much like: Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Philharmonic on Warner/Teldec. What are some other great recordings of the work?

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3566 on: March 22, 2021, 03:53:15 AM »
I'm really falling for the 1st symphony lately. I only have one recording of it, which I very much like: Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Philharmonic on Warner/Teldec. What are some other great recordings of the work?

Hmmm, I'm not sure what is considered a great 1st symphony recording? I admittedly don't listen to the 1st very often these days.

I have Jochum Dresden and also Berlin that I enjoy.

Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3567 on: March 22, 2021, 05:20:32 AM »
I'm really falling for the 1st symphony lately. I only have one recording of it, which I very much like: Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Philharmonic on Warner/Teldec. What are some other great recordings of the work?

Definitely Haitink and the Concertgebouw. Fresh, direct and dynamic reading and the orchestra is on fire. Succulent winds, pliant strings and what a horn section !

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3568 on: March 22, 2021, 03:46:59 PM »
I had an idea for a long article or a short book but unfortunately I can’t read German so couldn’t read the necessary primary texts… so I’m giving the idea away hoping someone can run with it.

Bruckner lovers know of Hanslick the critic who, we know, was anti-Wagner and also wrote scathingly of Bruckner. However, I think we need a more nuanced account answering questions like:

1.   What did Hanslick actually say about Bruckner?
2.   What was this in reaction to, ie tying each review to the performance that provoked it and stating what it was Hanslick heard, which version of which Symphony, who was conducting, who was playing, was it a good performance, what did other critics think?
3.   Is there any evidence that Hanslick studied Bruckner’s music in MS or in published versions?
4.   Did Hanslick criticise Bruckner because he needed friends and allies of Wagner to criticise, or did he have a particular set against Bruckner?
5.   How does his Brucknerian criticism mesh with his published work on musical aesthetics, is it in line with it, or does he bend his own rules to bash Bruckner?
6.   Did other critics of the time react to Hanslick’s criticism of Bruckner, or was the critical consensus largely against Bruckner anyway during his lifetime?

I think such an article/book would be quite an interesting read.


Thank you for the interesting comments!

Penguin Publishing, under the Peregrine Books imprint, in the early 1960's offered a translation of some reviews by Hanslick from the last half of the 1800's.

https://www.amazon.com/Music-Criticisms-1846-99-Hanslick/dp/B00ADJMGEQ/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=Eduard+Hanslick&qid=1616453960&s=books&sr=1-3


It is still available: one of the chapters is Hanslick's review of Bruckner's Eighth Symphony, wherein Hanslick mentions studying the score and "preparing" for the premiere of the work in Vienna (Hans Richter conducting the Vienna Philharmonic).  Hanslick was quite thorough and fair in that regard.

To be sure, there is nothing nuanced about his review: it is quite hostile! 

e.g. "...tossed about between intoxication and desolation, we arrive at no definite impression and enjoy no artistic pleasure."  The review argues quite a bit with the "program" written by Josef Schalk, which admittedly is unnecessary, but shows why Hanslick was quite hostile to this symphony at least, for his aesthetic ideas repudiated "program music."


 In fact, any "Wagnerite" e.g. Richard Strauss (a composer "lacking in musical ideas" in Tod und Verklaerung), violated Hanslick's musical aesthetics, which disallowed extra-musical considerations in a musical work.  An opera libretto such as Lohengrin's, which Wagner said could be performed on its own as a regular drama, Hanslick found repugnant.  Wagner's early operas, more traditional in form, enthused him, but he broke with Wagner with the appearance of Lohengrin.

For Hanslick, Zukunftsmusik  or Gesamtkunstwerke were by definition paths to artistic artificiality and the degradation of Music as Music!

I do wonder what he would have thought of Bruckner's music, if the composer had not been connected to Wagner and if the Schalks and others had kept their programs to themselves!
 

« Last Edit: March 22, 2021, 03:49:52 PM by Cato »
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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3569 on: March 22, 2021, 03:54:35 PM »
I'm really falling for the 1st symphony lately. I only have one recording of it, which I very much like: Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Philharmonic on Warner/Teldec. What are some other great recordings of the work?

The Jochum/DGG is also a great recording!

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

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

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3570 on: March 23, 2021, 06:21:03 AM »
I had an idea for a long article or a short book but unfortunately I can’t read German so couldn’t read the necessary primary texts… so I’m giving the idea away hoping someone can run with it.

Bruckner lovers know of Hanslick the critic who, we know, was anti-Wagner and also wrote scathingly of Bruckner. However, I think we need a more nuanced account answering questions like:

1.   What did Hanslick actually say about Bruckner?
2.   What was this in reaction to, ie tying each review to the performance that provoked it and stating what it was Hanslick heard, which version of which Symphony, who was conducting, who was playing, was it a good performance, what did other critics think?
3.   Is there any evidence that Hanslick studied Bruckner’s music in MS or in published versions?
4.   Did Hanslick criticise Bruckner because he needed friends and allies of Wagner to criticise, or did he have a particular set against Bruckner?
5.   How does his Brucknerian criticism mesh with his published work on musical aesthetics, is it in line with it, or does he bend his own rules to bash Bruckner?
6.   Did other critics of the time react to Hanslick’s criticism of Bruckner, or was the critical consensus largely against Bruckner anyway during his lifetime?

I think such an article/book would be quite an interesting read.

Digging around, I found this excerpt from an Eduard Hanslick review of the Sixth Symphony:

Quote
 

.his artistic intentions are honest, however oddly he employs them. Instead of a critique, therefore, we would rather simply confess that we have not understood his gigantic symphony. Neither were his poetic intentions clear to us...nor could we grasp the purely musical coherence. The composer...was greeted with cheering and was consoled with lively applause at the close by a fraction of the audience that stayed to the end...the Finale, which exceeded all its predecessors in oddities, was only experienced to the last extreme by a little host of hardy adventurers...


Fascinating!  Was Hanslick (along with the majority of the audience, apparently) really bewildered even by the rather straight-forward Adagio, one of the finest and greatest pieces ever composed?  It would seem to be so.  Hanslick did not seem to be a disingenuous sort.
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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3571 on: March 23, 2021, 06:41:39 AM »
Digging around, I found this excerpt from an Eduard Hanslick review of the Sixth Symphony:

Fascinating!  Was Hanslick (along with the majority of the audience, apparently) really bewildered even by the rather straight-forward Adagio, one of the finest and greatest pieces ever composed?  It would seem to be so.  Hanslick did not seem to be a disingenuous sort.


Allow me to add a few more thoughts: at an early adolescent age, when I first discovered the score of the Bruckner Seventh Symphony in our public library, and found my amazement about the work increasing with every page, I have never considered a Bruckner work, no matter how "gigantic," incomprehensible!  How could a 13-year old American grasp something which an erudite and musically skilled critic had found impossible to understand?

Hanslick did not find e.g. the Fourth Symphony of Brahms incomprehensible, although when given a taste of it in piano form, he wrote that he felt as if he had been "clubbed by two intelligent ruffians."  Later, with the full orchestra performing it, he became enthusiastic.  Yet there are still some people who find that work rather enigmatic (For me, however, its somewhat enigmatic nature is one of its attractions.)

So perhaps the anti-Wagner bias in Hanslick prevented an understanding of Bruckner's works from properly forming.

« Last Edit: March 23, 2021, 06:43:33 AM by Cato »
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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3572 on: April 09, 2021, 02:25:01 AM »
A curiosity offered by the Anton Bruckner website: an opera called Geschnitzte Heiligkeit  (Carved Holiness/Sanctity) by a composer named Peter Androsch.  Apparently it deals with Bruckner and the few women in his life.


https://www.abruckner.com//downloads/downloadofthemonth/April21/


Skimming through the composer's remarks upon the libretto, I found a good deal of Freudian "mother fixation" given as the reason for Bruckner's "inability to approach the opposite sex."

Well, sure, why not?   ;)

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey: Bruckner Goes Star Trek + 5th Symphony
« Reply #3573 on: April 12, 2021, 03:25:42 AM »
A curiosity offered by the Anton Bruckner website: an opera called Geschnitzte Heiligkeit  (Carved Holiness/Sanctity) by a composer named Peter Androsch.  Apparently it deals with Bruckner and the few women in his life.


https://www.abruckner.com//downloads/downloadofthemonth/April21/


Skimming through the composer's remarks upon the libretto, I found a good deal of Freudian "mother fixation" given as the reason for Bruckner's "inability to approach the opposite sex."

Well, sure, why not?   ;)

No presence on YouTube!

Okay, I spent about 8 minutes with the Peter Androsch opera on "Bruckner and the women": the opening music is more of a "soundscape" with glissandos and clicks and pops, not unlike bargain-basement Stockhausen.  A low, growling voice like something from Scandinavian Suicide Krell-Metal Music comes on, then some Sprechgesang voices, followed by a kind of normal song for a minute or so, then we go back to the soundscape when slowly - for some unknown reason - the motto theme to the T.V. show Star Trek is intoned on the trumpet. ??? :o ??? :o ::)


Bruckner it ain't!   ;)


Anyway...I was thinking of Saint   0:)   Eugen  0:)   Jochum   0:) and specifically of his performances of the last pages in the  Finale of the Fifth Symphony.  Many years ago I read a book about Bruckner in which the author thought the conductor went awry on the DGG recording.  For the climax at the end, Jochum slows down things to a Celibidachean pace.  The author wrote that this was just wrong, and that, if anything, the ending should be speeded up.   (The score, as I recall, indicates nothing abut speeding up or slowing down for the final pages.)

Jochum does not slow things down in the same way on the 1970's recording for the Fifth Symphony with the Staatskapelle Dresden, nor with the Concertgebouw in the legendary 1980's performance.


Any thoughts on this?   What does your other favorite conductor  ;)   do at that moment?


* Canonization has not yet happened, but it is assured!  8)

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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey: Bruckner Goes Star Trek + 5th Symphony
« Reply #3574 on: April 12, 2021, 04:13:02 AM »
What does your other favorite conductor  ;)   do at that moment?

Dohnányi/Cleveland is my favorite Bruckner Fifth. He speeds up slightly going into the coda and maintains that pace through to the end.

* Canonization has not yet happened, but it is assured!  8)

 8)  ;D

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Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3575 on: April 12, 2021, 06:33:36 AM »
Haitink BRSO and Klemperer NPO set and keep a moderate tempo to the bitter end. The energy generated is practically unbearable. I can certainly understand a conductor getting carried away and speeding things up in a live performance. It’s almost inhuman to ask a normal person not to start levitating, arms flailing at that point.

Apart from the above performances my favourites include Jochum RCOA 1986 and Konwitschny. All are of the moderate/slow persuasion in the finale. I also love the faster, more dynamic Suitner and Rögner versions. They also boast superb playing and sonics.

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3576 on: April 12, 2021, 09:39:05 AM »

Haitink BRSO and Klemperer NPO set and keep a moderate tempo to the bitter end. The energy generated is practically unbearable. I can certainly understand a conductor getting carried away and speeding things up in a live performance. It’s almost inhuman to ask a normal person not to start levitating, arms flailing at that point.



 :D  I know and have known that feeling!



Apart from the above performances my favourites include Jochum RCOA 1986 and Konwitschny. All are of the moderate/slow persuasion in the finale. I also love the faster, more dynamic Suitner and Rögner versions. They also boast superb playing and sonics.




Dohnányi/Cleveland is my favorite Bruckner Fifth. He speeds up slightly going into the coda and maintains that pace through to the end.


Sarge


Many thanks for the recommendations!


I found the Konwitschny performance of the Fifth on YouTube: I have not heard the entire performance.  So far, the early 1960's sound is quite good.



<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/9Qm22wyZ02I" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/9Qm22wyZ02I</a>

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Online calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey: Bruckner Goes Star Trek + 5th Symphony
« Reply #3577 on: April 12, 2021, 11:56:41 AM »
(The score, as I recall, indicates nothing abut speeding up or slowing down for the final pages.)


So I guess conductors shouldn't do either  ;)

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey: Bruckner Goes Star Trek + 5th Symphony
« Reply #3578 on: April 12, 2021, 12:22:46 PM »

So I guess conductors shouldn't do either  ;)


 :D

Heh-heh!  Bruckner was fairly sparse in directions, which lack perhaps was Bruckner's way of allowing for interpretations.  Given what has been written about his abilities in improvising on the organ, I suspect that, if a conductor wanted to "improvise" something, he would not be against it. 
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3579 on: May 01, 2021, 04:40:19 AM »
A broadcast concert of the Bruckner Symphony #5 from Vienna.

Christian Thielemann conducting the Vienna Philharmonic:


https://oe1.orf.at/player/20210501/636042/1619859783268?fbclid=IwAR27fFw7weVVMddhkatq3hW0Rf8bCgVvm9z47_vp6Qw-cStL50JmM8KzQ5c
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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