Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 488990 times)

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M forever

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #580 on: January 16, 2008, 10:40:32 PM »
That is a very diplomatic review for a really bad performance. A lot of the "fascinating new dissonances" are simply wrong notes, especially in the strings many of which are obviously overwhelmed with playing that material. Or are we talking about different performances? I am talking about the live recording that was posted on Operashare. "A less coherent" conception is also a really nice way to describe that there is really no control over the orchestra from the "conductor". All he does is add a few highlights here and there to fake "expressive phrasing". This is so bad, it is almost embarrassing to listen to it.

Offline MishaK

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #581 on: January 17, 2008, 09:29:47 AM »
I only listened to the last movement, not the first three. The first three mya be atrocious, I don't know. Without the score it's hard to say what are wrong notes and what are intentional dissonances. As you recall, Harnoncourt's lecture mentions that many dissonances in the original were mis-corrected in previous editions of the completion of the finale. My positive comments were indeed only on the new completion, not the performance, which I agree is terrible, both from the orchestra and the conductor. The main big theme is rendered as completely separate notes. You wouldn't even know it's a theme if you didn't know it beforehand. In fact, you wouldn't know it's Bruckner if you didn't know it beforehand.

M forever

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #582 on: January 17, 2008, 01:27:40 PM »
I only listened to the last movement, not the first three. The first three mya be atrocious, I don't know.

Same here. I only listened to the finale, and what I heard there did not make me want to listen to the first three movements. Maybe they are totally awesome though. Maybe we are missing the greatest ever performance of Bruckner 9.

Without the score it's hard to say what are wrong notes and what are intentional dissonances. As you recall, Harnoncourt's lecture mentions that many dissonances in the original were mis-corrected in previous editions of the completion of the finale.

What I meant is that there are a number of places where the strings are confused and you can clearly hear that part of one section plays wrong notes. I don't mean divisi sections either, just obvious confusedness with people contributing wrong notes to the section (not to even speak of bad intonation) effort. That's not necessarily the "newness" of the music either. The overall playing of that orchestra is simply surpisingly bad, but we have to take into account that they are very obviously not competently led either. I know that can sometimes make it really hard for the orchestra to bring everything together, especially when the material is now and unknown.

Offline MishaK

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #583 on: January 17, 2008, 01:30:06 PM »
What I meant is that there are a number of places where the strings are confused and you can clearly hear that part of one section plays wrong notes. I don't mean divisi sections either, just obvious confusedness with people contributing wrong notes to the section (not to even speak of bad intonation) effort.

Oh, totally. The strings are a mess. But those weren't the instances of the dissonances I was speaking of. The ones I meant were in the brass or brass vs. the rest of the orchestra.

Gustav

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #584 on: January 17, 2008, 01:44:42 PM »
which harding recording are you guys refering to? is there a chance that you can post the link here?

Offline MishaK

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #585 on: January 17, 2008, 03:24:36 PM »
It's a live broadcast performance with Harding conducting the Swedish radio symphony orchestra. You'd have to be a member of the operashare or concertarchive newsgroups to download it. It's on both. But it's not really worth your time and effort.

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #586 on: January 17, 2008, 06:39:43 PM »
Going out on a limb, there: I recently acquainted myself for the first time ever to the "00" symphony. I was struck particularly by the seemingly ramshackle structure of the first movement. Not that it's terrible. Just that it sounds like it's looking for a direction. Plus it is very fragmented, with little continuity until the recap. Like it's sending out balloons to test the waters - or the atmosphere, I should say. When I last listened to the completed finale of the 9th I had the exact same impression.

Thought # 1: Bruckner disavowed and never came back to this so-called "study symphony".
Thought # 2: Would he have wanted his work in progress on the 9th's finale to be immortalized in its obviously incomplete state?
Thought # 3: I just don't know what to think of the whole thing in terms of musical ethics.

Offline MishaK

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #587 on: January 17, 2008, 08:43:31 PM »
Thought # 1: Bruckner disavowed and never came back to this so-called "study symphony".
Thought # 2: Would he have wanted his work in progress on the 9th's finale to be immortalized in its obviously incomplete state?
Thought # 3: I just don't know what to think of the whole thing in terms of musical ethics.

Well, as long as audiences approach 00 and the 9 completions with the right mindset that these arent mature/final products, I don't see an issue with performing them. BTW, certain parts of the finale fo the 9th are indeed quite advanced in completion level and near final. It's just that numerous transitions are missing, as is the final fugue, which was supposed to have put the main themes of the preceding movements, as well as the main themes of the 5th, 7th and 8th symphonies on top of each other, like a personal apotheosis of Bruckner's oeuvre in the form of a musical layer cake.  ;D

M forever

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #588 on: January 18, 2008, 02:17:21 AM »
It is hard to say what Bruckner's music is "exactly" about, god, the universe, the powers that govern it, whatever it is, Bruckner wrote his music as a statement about something. He saw music as the language in which he could "word" his "message", so he studied music very intensely and worked very hard on his musical language and his compositions throughout all his life. For him, the music was a medium, what mattered was the "message".
For us, the music has become the primary object of interest. We don't see it as just a medium, we see it as the object of interest itself. Bruckner probably saw himself just as a messenger, a humble prophet, but for us today, his work is one of the towering achievements in music history. Because of the extraordinary quality and nature of his music, it is a very powerful expression of the creative and visionary human psyche as such. You don't have to see it just as a medium with a function. That's like studying church architecture or the history of art. Most of which is religious and functional in content and intent, too. You don't have to necessarily believe in its content and function to study and appreciate it. So it's just natural that we study Bruckner's music as an object of interest in itself, and that we want to know what he worked on during the last years of his life. We want to get at least a partial idea of what he wanted to "say" and how he wanted to "say" it.
That's like saying we have a partially preserved statue, should we throw it away or exhibit it? People in past ages often just threw away the "old stuff" or knocked it to pieces to reuse them, or painted it over. We see that as a great loss. So why should we throw away the finale fragments of Bruckner's last symphony? I don't think anyone would want that. The question is, in what way can we present them to do them most justice? I personally think at thispoint that the workshop concert solution is the best. But I haven't looked at all the other solutions enough yet to really form a definitive opinion about that.

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #589 on: January 18, 2008, 07:26:07 PM »
Very interesting, M. This addresses that 'musical ethics' matter that still puzzles me.

Your 'unfinished statue' example is very relevant. Here's a famous example, Michelangelo's Atlas:



One can sense the dynamism (movement), the general aesthetic, the brute force that radiates from the uncarved marble.

M forever

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #590 on: January 18, 2008, 08:27:05 PM »
Looks like someone knocked the naughty bits off!

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #591 on: January 19, 2008, 12:27:08 AM »
Looks like someone knocked the naughty bits off!

Those 'bits' are superfluous when you're supporting the whole universe in eternity.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #592 on: January 19, 2008, 10:05:28 AM »
Those 'bits' are superfluous when you're supporting the whole universe in eternity.

Nicely put, and that impression still comes across in its unfinished state.

I could understand some enthusiast casting a duplicate and attempting to carve it into a michelangesque lookalike. And then another enthusiast would jump into the fray and say, "no, no, no, you got it wrong. Let me show you how it should go"  :D

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #593 on: January 19, 2008, 11:15:43 AM »
I could understand some enthusiast casting a duplicate and attempting to carve it into a michelangesque lookalike. And then another enthusiast would jump into the fray and say, "no, no, no, you got it wrong. Let me show you how it should go"  :D

;D 
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #594 on: January 21, 2008, 03:59:57 PM »
A concert featuring the 9th symphony with Nézet-Séguin and the City of Birmingham S.O. last week. I was at their Montreal concert last October. And it was indeed formidable.


Offline Varg

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #595 on: January 23, 2008, 09:56:00 PM »
I had my first Bruckner experience a few weeks ago with his 9th (Skrowaczewski/Minnesota Orchestra). Such a majestic, intense work; exactly my cup of tea, and, with that particular recording, i cant ask for more.

Next one will be the 8th. What can i expect from it, especially from it's adagio?
« Last Edit: January 23, 2008, 10:00:11 PM by Varg »

Bonehelm

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #596 on: January 23, 2008, 10:40:09 PM »
I had my first Bruckner experience a few weeks ago with his 9th (Skrowaczewski/Minnesota Orchestra). Such a majestic, intense work; exactly my cup of tea, and, with that particular recording, i cant ask for more.

Next one will be the 8th. What can i expect from it, especially from it's adagio?

Glad you liked the 9th, Varg. You should also check out the more "mainstream" recordings, such as Giulini/VPO, Wand/BPO or NDRSO, Celibidache/MPO etc.

As for the 8th's adagio, I have only one word to describe it: heavenly. Wisely choose a recording. Karajan/WPO on DG is probably the most well known and highly regarded, and deservedly so. The finale (especially the coda) is awe-inspiring...just pay attention to the build-up of tension and sudden parallel key modulation at the coda. It's magical.

Welcome to the religion of Anton Bruckner!  :)

Gustav

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #597 on: January 23, 2008, 10:56:23 PM »
The 8th is amazing, truly, Bruckner at the height of his own confidence and ability. Pay attention to the basic themes, and what Bruckner does with them. (hint:pay attention to the beginning of the scherzo and the adagio and the final coda)

There are many great 8th recordings. Off the top of my head, two very hard to find yet definitive recordings: Wand's 8th with NDR that was recorded in a church(forgot the name), and the 8th by Sinopoli with S.Dresden. These two are tough to find, so a more practical choice is Giulini's 8th with Wiener Philharmoniker.

You are also in luck, because two great 8th are newly released:
i am talking about Keilberth's 8th with KRSO,

and Klemperer's 8th with SWR (I have yet to listen to this recording).

M forever

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #598 on: January 23, 2008, 11:38:30 PM »
Yes, that is a very good performance in every respect. I would recommend getting the video rather than the DG recording though. Or both, if you want. I have never gotten around to comparing them directly. I believe the video was filmed on one day, and the DG concert was edited together from two performances - I could be wrong though. My impression - again, without having compared the two side by side - is that the recorded sound on the video is better though. The DG recording is very reverberant, textures aren't really clear in many places and balances are sometimes a little off, even a little odd. Right now, both the CD and the video are in boxes on their way to the East Coast, but when I have caught up with them and unpacked all my stuff, I should really finally make that comparison.

The summit of Bruckner interpretation on disc for me is still the 8th with the WP and Giulini though. There are a few others which I think come very close to it, but this performance goes a little further still.

Offline Varg

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #599 on: January 24, 2008, 01:06:27 AM »
Glad you liked the 9th, Varg. You should also check out the more "mainstream" recordings, such as Giulini/VPO, Wand/BPO or NDRSO, Celibidache/MPO etc.

As for the 8th's adagio, I have only one word to describe it: heavenly. Wisely choose a recording. Karajan/WPO on DG is probably the most well known and highly regarded, and deservedly so. The finale (especially the coda) is awe-inspiring...just pay attention to the build-up of tension and sudden parallel key modulation at the coda. It's magical.

Welcome to the religion of Anton Bruckner!  :)

Thanks, M für immer!

I compared all the most praised recording when searching for the 9th. The Celibidache recording sounded fantastic, but the adagio let me down; i doubt i'll ever find an adagio that surpass the one of Skrowaczewski. The 8th is a different story, as Celibidache will probably win that round!