Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 516573 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2258
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3440 on: May 02, 2020, 03:54:32 PM »
Thoughts on this?



$4 on Qobuz. Sounding pretty good to my ears.

Offline vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2258
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3441 on: May 08, 2020, 01:13:57 AM »
Listening to the 7th today and realized how much I prefer the second and third movements of his symphonies more than the first and fourth movements (not counting the unfinished ninth). If he only wrote a symphony with two movements it still would have worked for all the Bruckerian majesty and wonder he conjured up.

I love the first movement of the 7th. Might even be my favorite Brucknerian Allegro. The Adagio is too heavy and emotional for me to get through sometimes. I usually turn it off after the 2nd movement. But I would agree that as a rule he wrote some damn fine adagios and scherzos. The change of tone from the Allegro to the Andante in the 4th is always so striking in its contrast. One of the high points of the symphony for me.

Offline Herman

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2714
  • there's something wrong with my brain
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3442 on: May 09, 2020, 05:49:04 AM »
The finales are intended to be the crown and climax of these symphonies.

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5282
  • Location: Germany
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3443 on: May 09, 2020, 07:33:06 AM »
The Finale of the 7th is very uncommon for Bruckner because it is very short and condensed (for Brucknerian scales). I admittedly find some other Bruckner finales overambitious and somewhat overblown, that's why the 7th is one of my favorites (although mostly because of the wonderful first two movements, both also uncommonly rich in melodies).
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 Archaic Torso of Apollo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3463
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3444 on: May 09, 2020, 10:58:33 AM »
Interesting to read these takes on the Bruckner 7th.

It's always been one of my 3 or 4 favorite Bruckner symphonies. But I think it's kind of unbalanced, because the two opening movements are much "heavier" than the two following movements. Another odd thing about it is that it's the only famous symphony I can think of in E major. I wonder why symphonic composers tend to shun this key.

One possible way of rectifying the unbalance is to play the first movement faster, and I wonder why this isn't done more often. After all, it's Allegro moderato, not Moderato. This suggests to me it should come in around 17-18 minutes, rather than the 20+ we usually get.

On that subject: has any1 here heard Ormandy/Phila. recording of the 7th? Much faster than usual timings, with the 1st mvt. under 18 minutes.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5282
  • Location: Germany
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3445 on: May 09, 2020, 11:49:00 AM »
I have not heard the Ormandy, but Horenstein, Gielen, Rosbaud (I think also Bruno Walter and others) are around 18-19 min. I also think that balance among movements is somewhat overrated (although it is probably true that this apparent imbalance is exaggerated because 18 min first and 19-20 min second movements in the 7ths are rare and we often get 21 and 25 min). In fact Bruckner is here not so far from Haydn and Mozart where Menuet and finale are usually far shorter than the first two movements. But he himself had written some huge finales in his 4th and 5th (the one in the 3rd was cut almost down to half in the last version) and there was to follow another big one in the 8th. The sixth has also a more compact finale, though I find it a considerably weaker movement (while I like the scherzo of the 6th better and the first two almost as much as the ones from the 7th).
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 Archaic Torso of Apollo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3463
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3446 on: May 09, 2020, 12:29:53 PM »
In fact Bruckner is here not so far from Haydn and Mozart where Menuet and finale are usually far shorter than the first two movements.

Yeah, that's a good point. Maybe it just feels unbalanced to me because it's so much bigger than a Haydn or Mozart symphony.

I suspect conductors just like to milk that great long melody at the beginning for all it's worth, and this slows down the whole movement.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5282
  • Location: Germany
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3447 on: May 09, 2020, 12:46:49 PM »
I think that the difficulties for wind and brass with more remote keys created a tradition that made four or more accidentals from the beginning rare even in the mid/late 19th century symphonies when these instruments were more advanced and could in theory play almost any key. There seems also only one famous A flat major symphony, by Elgar. There are more in f minor but the "flat keys" tend to have more secondary passages/movements in key with fewer accidentals because of their dominant, tonic major etc.
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 Archaic Torso of Apollo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3463
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3448 on: May 09, 2020, 12:54:37 PM »
I think that the difficulties for wind and brass with more remote keys created a tradition that made four or more accidentals from the beginning rare even in the mid/late 19th century symphonies when these instruments were more advanced and could in theory play almost any key. There seems also only one famous A flat major symphony, by Elgar. There are more in f minor but the "flat keys" tend to have more secondary passages/movements in key with fewer accidentals because of their dominant, tonic major etc.

That sounds plausible. I was thinking of that Elgar symphony myself; a similar case I suppose. And I can't think of *any* symphony in B major or G# minor (5 accidentals).
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline calyptorhynchus

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 875
  • Location: Canberra, Australia
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3449 on: May 09, 2020, 01:42:55 PM »
Interesting to read these takes on the Bruckner 7th.

It's always been one of my 3 or 4 favorite Bruckner symphonies. But I think it's kind of unbalanced, because the two opening movements are much "heavier" than the two following movements. Another odd thing about it is that it's the only famous symphony I can think of in E major. I wonder why symphonic composers tend to shun this key.

One possible way of rectifying the unbalance is to play the first movement faster, and I wonder why this isn't done more often. After all, it's Allegro moderato, not Moderato. This suggests to me it should come in around 17-18 minutes, rather than the 20+ we usually get.

On that subject: has any1 here heard Ormandy/Phila. recording of the 7th? Much faster than usual timings, with the 1st mvt. under 18 minutes.

I've also come to think that the finale of the 7th needs another few minutes of development in the middle to make it a little longer and more substantial. This was a surprise to me because I'd found that Bruckner's movements were always well-proportioned and exactly the right length (in the original versions of course   ;)*).

I think in Bruckner the idea of fast and slow performances are misleading, it matters in music were there is poor musical movement that conductors don't wallow. But Bruckner has the secret of musical movement and so it doesn't matter how slow the tempo is, the music still moves (cf Celibadache).

* Except 4 and 8  ;) ;)

Offline vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2258
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3450 on: May 09, 2020, 01:44:36 PM »
That sounds plausible. I was thinking of that Elgar symphony myself; a similar case I suppose. And I can't think of *any* symphony in B major or G# minor (5 accidentals).

Shostakovich's 2nd is in B major. Mahler's 10th is in F-sharp major, 6 sharps.

Offline Mahlerian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3320
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3451 on: May 09, 2020, 04:48:03 PM »
That sounds plausible. I was thinking of that Elgar symphony myself; a similar case I suppose. And I can't think of *any* symphony in B major or G# minor (5 accidentals).

There's a Haydn Symphony in B major, No. 46.
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5282
  • Location: Germany
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3452 on: May 09, 2020, 10:59:16 PM »
And Haydn #46 is a great piece, one of the best of the early 1770s that also has the "cyclic" device of the menuetto theme recurring later in the finale. Haydn also has symphonies in E major (12, 29), f minor (49), f sharp minor (45), but they are of course string dominated with only horns/oboes.
Glazunov's first two are in E major and f# minor, also cf. Tchaikovsky's famous b flat minor piano concerto
I think by the early 20th century, composers had embraced the remote keys (hardly surprising when others got rid of home keys altogether).
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 vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 19944
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3453 on: May 09, 2020, 11:18:01 PM »
Here, apropos of nothing, are my favourite Bruckner symphonies in order:
No 8 and No 9
No 5
No 3
No 6
No 7
No 4
No 2
No 1
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Sergeant Rock

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22520
  • Location: Wine Country Germany
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3454 on: May 10, 2020, 05:12:11 AM »
Here, apropos of nothing, are my favourite Bruckner symphonies in order:
No 8 and No 9
No 5
No 3
No 6
No 7
No 4
No 2
No 1

Where does Die Nullte fit in?

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline Mahlerian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3320
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3455 on: May 10, 2020, 05:33:49 AM »
I think by the early 20th century, composers had embraced the remote keys (hardly surprising when others got rid of home keys altogether).

Which reminds me, Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony No. 2 is in E-flat minor (six flats!).


Anyway, to the person above who prefers the revised versions of the Fourth and Eighth, I'm inclined to say I generally agree, but would argue the original version of the Fourth is a lot better than people give it credit for, and its first movement has quite a few interesting features which were ironed out of the more straightforward revision.

That said, the coda of the finale is incomparably improved by being a gradual crescendo rather than fortissimo throughout...
« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 05:36:38 AM by Mahlerian »
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 19944
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3456 on: May 10, 2020, 06:23:10 AM »
Where does Die Nullte fit in?

Sarge
Don't really know that one Sarge and I don't think it appears in any of my Bruckner boxed sets.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3463
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3457 on: May 10, 2020, 08:42:06 AM »
I spent the morning listening to the Klemperer/Philharmonia 7th. This was a good way to spend the morning, because I think this performance is near-ideal. Klemp really does balance the symphony well. The timing of the 1st mvt. is 19:48, not fast really, but it flows very nicely. The finale has more weight, and its coda actually sounds like an evocation of the 1st mvt. coda, which I think is how it's supposed to sound. Plus, like most Philharmonia recordings of that vintage, it just sounds gorgeous throughout.

This doesn't seem to get as much love as Klemp's 6th with the same forces, but I think it's just as good.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2258
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3458 on: May 21, 2020, 03:52:36 PM »
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?

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5282
  • Location: Germany
Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #3459 on: May 21, 2020, 11:01:11 PM »
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


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)