Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 601311 times)

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Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey: Live Recordings with Jochum/Concertgebouw
« Reply #3640 on: November 05, 2021, 05:02:43 AM »

I’ve found them. They seem to hail from recorded concerts issued on the Altus label. Check the discography database on John Berky’s Bruckner web site for details.

The 4th is from 1975 - an incredible performance, better IMO than Jochum’s commercial recordings. Never heard such characterful playing from the winds and brass. What an orchestra !

I’’ve also listened to the 6th, a leisurely performance of great beauty. Klemperer with the same orchestra took 6 minutes less to go through the Adagio !


Aha!  The one place where I should have looked: I thought the recordings originated with that "Reference Recordings" group!  Thanks for the successful research!
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3641 on: November 05, 2021, 05:26:30 AM »
For the Haitink fans out there!

The Bruckner website is offering FLAC downloads of Bernard Haitink conducting the European Youth Orchestra in Bruckner's Seventh Symphony.




https://www.abruckner.com//downloads/downloadofthemonth/November21/


I have had no time to listen to these offerings yet.

A little late to this party, but thanks so much for posting this, as well as those other Haitink performances. His Eighth with the Concertgebouw was my introduction to the composer, and around 1979 or so, I listened to that recording obsessively. Still love Haitink for his gentle moulding, and of course, the sound quality of the ensemble.

And I guess I need to see what all the fuss is about with Vengazo! Interpretation-wise, I have a pretty broad range for Bruckner. After that initial Haitink exposure, continued with the luxuriously polished versions from Karajan and Berlin, but later found leaner readings from Abbado, Tintner, and others. Whether slow and massive, or faster with more sinews showing -- all are welcome.

Plus, all this conversation is making me really hungry for Bruckner of any kind. Will remedy that this weekend.

--Bruce
Even Beethoven's 5th was new once. Imagine being in that first audience

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Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3642 on: November 08, 2021, 04:36:10 AM »
A little late to this party, but thanks so much for posting this, as well as those other Haitink performances. His Eighth with the Concertgebouw was my introduction to the composer, and around 1979 or so, I listened to that recording obsessively. Still love Haitink for his gentle moulding, and of course, the sound quality of the ensemble.

And I guess I need to see what all the fuss is about with Vengazo! Interpretation-wise, I have a pretty broad range for Bruckner. After that initial Haitink exposure, continued with the luxuriously polished versions from Karajan and Berlin, but later found leaner readings from Abbado, Tintner, and others. Whether slow and massive, or faster with more sinews showing -- all are welcome.

Plus, all this conversation is making me really hungry for Bruckner of any kind. Will remedy that this weekend.

--Bruce


Someone sent this to me via a Bruckner fan-site: a televised performance of Eugen Jochum (in his later years, perhaps early 1980's?) conducting the Seventh Symphony with the Concertgebouw Orchestra.


<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/VuMef33J6aA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/VuMef33J6aA</a>
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Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3643 on: November 08, 2021, 04:42:50 AM »
A little late to this party, but thanks so much for posting this, as well as those other Haitink performances. His Eighth with the Concertgebouw was my introduction to the composer, and around 1979 or so, I listened to that recording obsessively. Still love Haitink for his gentle moulding, and of course, the sound quality of the ensemble.

And I guess I need to see what all the fuss is about with Vengazo! Interpretation-wise, I have a pretty broad range for Bruckner. After that initial Haitink exposure, continued with the luxuriously polished versions from Karajan and Berlin, but later found leaner readings from Abbado, Tintner, and others. Whether slow and massive, or faster with more sinews showing -- all are welcome.

Plus, all this conversation is making me really hungry for Bruckner of any kind. Will remedy that this weekend.

--Bruce

I forgot to mention the Mario Venzago: if you know German, here is a short interview - promotional video - for the Fifth Symphony with Mario Venzago giving a religious interpretation to "this monster of a symphony."

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/AJj3vtdXlZo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/AJj3vtdXlZo</a>
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3644 on: November 11, 2021, 05:48:09 PM »
I see that the Moores School Symphony Orchestra recording of the Symphonic Prelude has appeared on Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNVy_Upgvp8

The Symphonic Prelude MS was discovered in the effects of a former pupil of Bruckner's, with an ascription to the Master. This recording uses an orchestration that is more Brucknerian than the other two recordings which use a more dense orchestration, perhaps as an attempt to prove the thesis that this was really a student exercise by Mahler.

However the work sounds authentically Bruckerian, especially in this version. It's a very compressed first movement, very dramatic. The ascription has been doubted because of various harmonies in it that people think Bruckner would never have used. Can't a composer sketch and experiment?

I don't hear anything in this piece to contradict the idea that it was a sketch that Bruckner had lying about that he gave to a pupil of his as an orchestration exercise.

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3645 on: November 15, 2021, 06:44:24 AM »
I see that the Moores School Symphony Orchestra recording of the Symphonic Prelude has appeared on Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNVy_Upgvp8

The Symphonic Prelude MS was discovered in the effects of a former pupil of Bruckner's, with an ascription to the Master. This recording uses an orchestration that is more Brucknerian than the other two recordings which use a more dense orchestration, perhaps as an attempt to prove the thesis that this was really a student exercise by Mahler.

However the work sounds authentically Bruckerian, especially in this version. It's a very compressed first movement, very dramatic. The ascription has been doubted because of various harmonies in it that people think Bruckner would never have used. Can't a composer sketch and experiment?

I don't hear anything in this piece to contradict the idea that it was a sketch that Bruckner had lying about that he gave to a pupil of his as an orchestration exercise.



There is quite a story behind this manuscript, which for a while - and maybe the idea persists - was attributed to Mahler!


It begins with the discovery of the MS. in the papers of Rudolf Krzyzanowski, a student of Bruckner and friend of Mahler and Hans RottLeopold Nowak gets involved, the manuscript disappears and then re-appears, and on and on.


Check out the essay by Benjamin Cohrs, one of the musicologists who helped to complete the sketch of the Finale of the Ninth Symphony: the word "strangely" is used quite often!  His 2010 Postscript will leave you with your head shaking!   ???


An excerpt about this Manuscript from c. 1876:

Quote
... The soft first theme is, as being typical for Bruckner, repeated in
full  tutti  (b.  43),  leading  into  a  dark  chorale  (b.  59,  pre-shadowing  the  structure  of  the  chorale  theme
from the Finale of the Ninth Symphony
), and even a significant epilogue (b. 73), further to be used in the
development (b. 160). The second theme (b. 87) reflects some ideas of the Third Symphony, and in par-
ticular the famous miserere of the D minor Mass as well. The closing theme is an energetic trumpet call
with a repeated, remarkable minor Ninth, as at the beginning of the Adagio from the Ninth Symphony,
also pre-shadowing the Trumpets at the end of the first movement of this work to be composed some 25
years later. The second part (b. 148) brings two elements from the main theme in variants, similar as in
the first movement of the Ninth
,...



(My emphasis above)


It is fascinating to consider how elements of the Ninth Symphony were already swirling around in Bruckner's mind as musical possibilities decades earlier.

See


https://www.abruckner.com/down/articles/articlesenglish/cohrsprelude/bg_cohrs_bruckner_symphonic_prelude_100817.pdf

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Offline André

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3646 on: November 17, 2021, 07:44:16 AM »

Cross-posted:


A Bruckner evening with friends.





1878 and 1888 versions





The Sado 4th is played with an excellent ‘second tier’ orchestra who clearly has Bruckner’s idiom in their blood. Perfect balances with strong string and brass that blend instead of attempting to dominate proceedings. Pacing is natural, i.e. making room for full expression in the slower episodes, where strings sing and winds comment. Allowing due time for those pastoral episodes to unfold naturally is crucial in this symphony. Sado ends with a militant, bold view of the finale, with assertive brass and timpani. This is an excellent 4th, superbly recorded (live) in the fabled acoustics of the Vienna Musikverein. Warmly recommended.

Jakob Hrusa and the Bamberger Symphoniker have lent their considerable talents to an enterprising musicological journey into the 4th symphony’s tortuous genesis. There are basically 2 versions (1874 and 1878-80), plus a variant of the latter (1888) and a bevy of variants, sections of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th movements mostly, but also a full-blown alternate finale. All of these options have been thoroughly researched and documented by Bruckner scholar Benjamin Korstvedt. The set comprises 4 discs, one each for performances of the 1874, 1878-80 and 1888 versions, and one for all the variants (snippets of 1-2 minutes) plus the alternate Finale nicknamed Volkfest (popular fête).

Here too the orchestra dwells on a strong brucknerian tradition honed under the conductorships of Jochum, Keilberth and others. Its playing style is more blended, with forward, luminous winds, richly singing strings and burnished, sonorous but unassertive brass. Performances of all three versions are on the moderate side, allowing the many gesangsperioden full exposure. The first movement may be open to criticism at first as one may feel the playing to be more laid back than bold and brassy as is often the case. What is revealed is how much wind details emerge and how important their cumulative impact on the sound picture alters the conventional view of this movement as a confident, driving, brass-heavy piece. Think of early/mid period Dvorak to get an idea of the soundworld created here, one that harks back to the 1870s instead of the 1890s, to rustic austrian countryside, but also to the organ registrations that are never far in the background in Bruckner’s music. The slow movement in the 1878 and 1888 performances are absolutely mesmerizing, by far the most beautiful and mysterious I’ve heard in many a moon. The revelation though comes in the finales, where Hrusa adopts measured but sharply accented rythms that impart a mysterious, menacing atmosphere. Patient pacing in building the long crescendos pays rich dividends in making climaxes sound organic instead of abruptly pasted on. The coda is splendid, with its insistent Celibidachean accentuation of the march rythms in the violins. A crowning achievement for an unusual view of this familiar work.

The 6th from Poschner on Capriccio disappoints. There is an attempt to paste baroquisms on Bruckner’s music that is both ill-advised and unsatisfying. Strings play with a good weigth of tone but very little vibrato. Individual notes are generously peppered with hairpin crescendos throughout, with last notes elongated to make for a more ‘meaningful’ phrasing. It does have a kind of novelty effect at first but it quickly grows tiresome and emerges as musical tics applied without discernment. The finale sounds more herky-jerky than usual. It is propulsive and powerful, but is prone to sound impulsive and disorganized. It’s in the nature of this movement, but a strong guiding thread seems to be missing.

Finally, Ozawa’s First in the BP compendium with various conductors. Ozawa has the measure of the score but here what’s missing is simply a sense of the concert hall. The sound is forward but disembodied, with no sense of the work being played in a physical space. It sounds very ‘digital’, making a connection with the playing hard to establish. There’s no denying that conductor and orchestra give their all, especially in splendid accounts of the last 2 movements. In the end the two-dimensional soundstage makes this merely good instead of outstanding.

As a footnote, I will mention that I’ve listened to 2 YT videos from the Hurwitzer, who kills the Hrusa/Korstvedt enterprise and raves orgasmically over Poschner’s 6th. My conclusion is that he has utterly failed to understand the sound world and phrasing of the former, and fallen prey to the cheap tricks of the latter. Either way his judgment is wildly off.

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3647 on: November 18, 2021, 05:37:06 PM »
Cross-posted:


A Bruckner evening with friends.




1878 and 1888 versions


As a footnote, I will mention that I’ve listened to 2 YT videos from the Hurwitzer, who kills the Hrusa/Korstvedt enterprise and raves orgasmically over Poschner’s 6th. My conclusion is that he has utterly failed to understand the sound world and phrasing of the former, and fallen prey to the cheap tricks of the latter. Either way his judgment is wildly off.

Many thanks for the nice reviews!  You have interested me in the Bruckner Fourth Symphony collection with the Bamberg Symphony and Jakub Hrusa.

Hurwitz - from the various things I have read in recent years - seemingly wants to be the gadfly in the unguent.  Many are outraged by his trashing of Horenstein's 1959 London Symphony performance of the Mahler Eighth Symphony

In a recent (2019) revisit he called the recording a "CD From Hell" and "Obsolete."
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Offline LKB

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3648 on: November 18, 2021, 10:51:57 PM »
Many thanks for the nice reviews!  You have interested me in the Bruckner Fourth Symphony collection with the Bamberg Symphony and Jakub Hrusa.

Hurwitz - from the various things I have read in recent years - seemingly wants to be the gadfly in the unguent.  Many are outraged by his trashing of Horenstein's 1959 London Symphony performance of the Mahler Eighth Symphony

In a recent (2019) revisit he called the recording a "CD From Hell" and "Obsolete."

Hurwitz is probably trying to enhance his income by boosting his profile, and one way to do that is to generate controversy.

I do watch his videos out of boredom while at work, but his influence on my purchasing and preferences has always been exactly zero.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3649 on: November 20, 2021, 03:30:54 AM »
Hurwitz is probably trying to enhance his income by boosting his profile, and one way to do that is to generate controversy.

I do watch his videos out of boredom while at work, but his influence on my purchasing and preferences has always been exactly zero.


I would rather trust recommendations from GMG members!   8)


This was recommended via a FaceBook site:

Symphony #2 (Nowak 1877 version).  I did not listen to the entire performance yet, but what I did hear is excellent, and the comments are enthusiastic.

The Flanders Symphony Orchestra:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/cSCPFVMHtCs" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/cSCPFVMHtCs</a> 
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3650 on: November 22, 2021, 08:21:20 AM »
I would rather trust recommendations from GMG members!   8)


This was recommended via a FaceBook site:

Symphony #2 (Nowak 1877 version).  I did not listen to the entire performance yet, but what I did hear is excellent, and the comments are enthusiastic.

The Flanders Symphony Orchestra:

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

sounds very good!  unusual to see non-Viennese trumpets playing rotary valves I think.....?

Offline LKB

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3651 on: November 22, 2021, 01:30:08 PM »
sounds very good!  unusual to see non-Viennese trumpets playing rotary valves I think.....?

BPO has used rotary trumpets in the past, during the von Karajan era. Not sure about other ensembles, aside from ( presumably ) the Wiener Staatsoper.
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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3652 on: November 22, 2021, 07:36:27 PM »
sounds very good!  unusual to see non-Viennese trumpets playing rotary valves I think.....?

Can you tell from the sound, or are you going by a picture?

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3653 on: November 23, 2021, 02:57:56 AM »
Can you tell from the sound, or are you going by a picture?

Its from the video.  I'd like to tell you my ears are so forensically atuned to such detail that I could tell the difference.  But sadly I'd be lying!  I'm sure that proper brass players can hear a difference - I'm not sure why rotary valve trumpets are used except because of tradition.  If someone here on the site can explain why they are used and what to listen out for I'd love to know.  I do remember working with a British horn player in Germany who was a top top player who said they wouldn't get a position in a German orchestra because of the different playing style.  Of course, there is a British horn player in the BPO now (and has been for some years) - the very brilliant Sarah Willis - so I imagine she must have adapted her technique (and perhaps changed her instrument?) to fit into the BPO 'sound'.

Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3654 on: November 23, 2021, 04:08:05 AM »

sounds very good!  unusual to see non-Viennese trumpets playing rotary valves I think.....?



Can you tell from the sound, or are you going by a picture?




BPO has used rotary trumpets in the past, during the von Karajan era. Not sure about other ensembles, aside from ( presumably ) the Wiener Staatsoper.


This article offers a comparison:

https://www.reverbland.com/piston-vs-rotary-valve-trumpets/


e.g.


Quote


"...The bore size on a rotary trumpet is much smaller than on a regular piston trumpet. It is narrower all the way through.

The bore size specifically is the diameter of the tubing used to make the trumpet.

A smaller bore size results in a mellow, softer, controlled tone. A larger bore size, by contrast, results in a brighter, aggressive, more pronounced tone.

#3 — Rotary valve trumpets have bigger, broader-flared bells


When you get to the end, rotary trumpets have bigger, broader-flared bells than piston trumpet.

A rotary valve C-trumpet in comparison is about a quarter inch more than a piston valve C-trumpet. Again, this has a huge effect on how the instrument plays, how it feels to the player and what it sounds like.

A larger bell size creates darker tones, while providing a softer, mellow feel. A smaller bell size, by contrast, produces sharper, brighter, brilliant sounds.

#4 — Rotary valve trumpets are more subtle and colorful


One of the major differences in feel, when you play a rotary trumpet is how it blows.

I've always made the comparison that a rotary trumpet feels like a small sports car and a piston trumpet feels like a heavy-duty truck. These two have significantly different feels.

A rotary trumpet is capable of a lot more subtlety, and color than a piston trumpet.

The tonal spectrum of the piston trumpet remains the same throughout it's range whether it's soft or loud. The rotary trumpet changes color quite rapidly, from mellow in piano volume to white-hot molten in fortissimo...

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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3655 on: November 23, 2021, 04:45:50 AM »

This article offers a comparison:

https://www.reverbland.com/piston-vs-rotary-valve-trumpets/


e.g.

That is very interesting indeed - thankyou for your research.  So - to a brass layman such as me - the description of the rotary valve sound makes it closer to what I would expect of a cornet as used in brass bands or quite often in French orchestral scores (RVW uses an additional pair of cornets in his London Symphony - a Ravel legacy perhaps....?)


Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3656 on: November 23, 2021, 05:47:43 AM »

That is very interesting indeed - thankyou for your research.  So - to a brass layman such as me - the description of the rotary valve sound makes it closer to what I would expect of a cornet as used in brass bands or quite often in French orchestral scores (RVW uses an additional pair of cornets in his London Symphony - a Ravel legacy perhaps....?)


That was my impression also!

Given that the Bruckner Second Symphony is rather heavy on the trumpets, the two choices might at least partially affect the overall atmosphere of the work.  I don't believe either choice has any negatives by any means, but the results could be e.g. a beautiful green vs. a beautiful blue.

For those who missed it above, the reference is to this performance:


This was recommended via a FaceBook site:

Symphony #2 (Nowak 1877 version).  I did not listen to the entire performance yet, but what I did hear is excellent, and the comments are enthusiastic.

The Flanders Symphony Orchestra:

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


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

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

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3657 on: November 23, 2021, 06:05:59 AM »
That was my impression also!

Given that the Bruckner Second Symphony is rather heavy on the trumpets, the two choices might at least partially affect the overall atmosphere of the work.  I don't believe either choice has any negatives by any means, but the results could be e.g. a beautiful green vs. a beautiful blue.

For those who missed it above, the reference is to this performance:

Probably deeply inauthentically I do rather love "blazing brass" in Bruckner.  It might not be subtle, it might not be nuanced but goodness me it is exciting and uplifting.  So for me the likes of Chicago are a guilty delight!  I just had a quick check - Dresden use rotary valves as well and I love their Bruckner with Jochum and Sinopoli and I can't say I remember a particularly mellow trumpet sound - I'll have to revisit.....

EDIT:  Just dipped into these 3 versions of Bruckner 2:



All really fine (Actually the Horst Stein is particularly impressive!) but I'd be lying to say I can spot significantly mellower trumpets... I'll just sit back and enjoy the music

« Last Edit: November 23, 2021, 06:50:21 AM by Roasted Swan »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3658 on: November 23, 2021, 08:06:35 AM »
Recording, playback quality etc. probably have a rôle here as well. Among the first Bruckner (in 3, 4, 5) I heard was Wand/Cologne. It's not Chicago brass but sticking out nevertheless. I didn't always like this very much, found the music compared to the Beethoven or Brahms I was more used to, incredibly brass heavy.
When a bit later I got the 7th and 8th with Giulini/Vienna this was a far more luxurious, warmer, less brass heavy (although neither damped down) sound. I still tend to prefer a less dominant brass in Bruckner.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3659 on: November 27, 2021, 06:37:30 AM »

Recording, playback quality etc. probably have a rôle here as well. Among the first Bruckner (in 3, 4, 5) I heard was Wand/Cologne. It's not Chicago brass but sticking out nevertheless. I didn't always like this very much, found the music compared to the Beethoven or Brahms I was more used to, incredibly brass heavy.

When a bit later I got the 7th and 8th with Giulini/Vienna this was a far more luxurious, warmer, less brass heavy (although neither damped down) sound. I still tend to prefer a less dominant brass in Bruckner.


Whenever possible, I follow my Bruckner scores (Leopold Nowak, editor), although recently it has rarely been possible, unfortunately.  Anyway, it has always been disconcerting to see the score and not hear all the contributions of all the instruments.
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