Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 452930 times)

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Bonehelm

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #180 on: June 15, 2007, 09:36:12 PM »
That's one of my favorite things about Bruckner: he seems to be looking farther into the past and farther into the future at the same time. His chorales (whether for brass in his symphonies or for voices in his masses) hark back to plainchant and the entire Christian musical tradition, while his chromaticism, dissonances, orchestration and harmonic clashes look forward beyond late romanticism deep into modernism. That's what makes those enormous symphonies of his a continuing source of discovery and rediscovery.

Well said, gives a brief summary of the composer's style. Thank you  :)

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #181 on: June 15, 2007, 11:31:20 PM »
Is it just me or does anyone hear a glimpse of classical music (Haydn, Mozart, early LvB) in Bruckner's symphonies? Also, the structure is always four movements...interesting.

I also hear some Schubert in his music is a primary influence, although I've never managed to pinpoint exactly which elements reflect this, more just a feel. Perhaps those effortlessly melodic scherzos are part of it.
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Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #182 on: June 16, 2007, 05:01:09 AM »
Lethe, O Mensch: you're both right on target. There IS indeed a "back to the future" musical agenda in the Bruckner symphonies. And there IS a schubertian blend of easy melody and earthy gruffness in the scherzos. As for the beethovenian influence, that of the 9th symphony is very prominent, particularly the 'primeval' beginning of I which has inspired the openings of just about every Bruckner first movement and the recapitulatory devices of the Finale, which Bruckner has used and expanded in many of his own last movements.

Offline Raisa

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #183 on: June 17, 2007, 03:51:03 AM »
I'm a huge fan of Bruckner! Who are your top five Bruckner conductors?

This is my top five:

1) Herbert von Karajan
2) Bruno Walter
3) Sergiu Celibidache
4) Günter Wand
5) Eugen Jochum

Cheers! 8)

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #184 on: June 17, 2007, 04:11:30 AM »
I'm a huge fan of Bruckner! Who are your top five Bruckner conductors?

Jochum (Enormous power, very good orchestras, no trace of the overly reverential playing of a lot of slow-as-snail modern conductors of the music)
[a significant gap]
Böhm (Is it wrong that I find Böhm's and Wand's interpretations overly similar? Very middle-ground and high quality, but I come out prefering Böhm)
Klemperer (Klemperer is always different, some of his performances are extremely driven to the point of sounding a little edgy)
Giulini (My favourite slow-coach)
Tennstedt (Didn't record as much as I'd have liked, so this is an eccentric choice, he did an awesome firey 8th with the BSO)

Honourable mentions: Wand, Boulez, Sinopoli, Karajan, Haitink, Harnoncourt, Walter... Abendroth did a fascinating 9th, very fast...
« Last Edit: June 17, 2007, 04:17:18 AM by Lethe »
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Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #185 on: June 17, 2007, 04:16:39 AM »
This is an interesting subject. "Bruckner conductors" don't really exist as a breed. Conductors who recorded the symphonies as a cycle don't have a high batting average. Jochum is an exception here, although his best performances are to be found outside his two commercially released cycles. My favourite performances for each symphony were not recorded as part of a cycle. 

Conductors with extraordinary accounts of at least 2 of the symphonies are (my own list, in alphabetical order): Böhm (3, 4, 7, 8 ), Keilberth (6, 9), Kubelik (3, 4), Leitner (6, 9), and Suitner (4, 5). Other conductors who also recorded what are for me some of the best performances are: Haitink (1), Stein (2, 6) Giulini (2, 9), Szell (3, 8 ),  Klemperer (5, 9), Blomstedt (7), Bongartz (6), Mehta and Wand (9).
« Last Edit: June 18, 2007, 03:20:59 AM by Lilas Pastia »

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #186 on: June 17, 2007, 04:21:58 AM »
Bongartz (6)

I don't think I've even heard of this guy before. I'll look into Leitner and Suitner too :)
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Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #187 on: June 17, 2007, 06:30:06 AM »
Yesterday's listening was devoted to the Toscanini 7th (NYPO, 1935). This is a newly found issue from the radio archives of the day. There's a spring shower in the background (shellac noise?), but once ears get adjusted, a surprising amount of detail comes through, esp. from the winds. It's amazing to hear the important clarinet interjections in the scherzo so clearly. In comparison, most modern recordings have them buried in a sea of string sound (worst offender being the soupy EMI Karajan).

This Toscanini version is quite a mystery. Some pages are missing (last seconds of I :o, a bit of the coda of II, and a section of IV). Not a lot is missing, maybe 2 minutes altogether. Overall this should be a 59-60 minutes interpretation. The phrasing is very natural, and there are some surprisingly affectionate broadenings in the Adagio. Overall these first two movements are unimpeachable. Toscanini's credentials as a musician can't be questioned and I was surprised to hear the effortless naturalness of the playing. The scherzo is too fast, though. The Finale is very well done, but the coda is quite fast, with the conductor clearly aiming for a bang finish. The disc ends with a timid spattering of applause. This may well have been the first time the New-york audience had ever heard a Bruckner work, or even the composer's name.

If the missing pages could be found and if some remastering wizard could clean up the sound this would definitely be on the 'must hear' list of any brucknerian. As it stands, this is for the Bruckner completist or Toscanini fan.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2007, 06:31:45 AM by Lilas Pastia »

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #188 on: June 17, 2007, 08:08:55 AM »
I'm a huge fan of Bruckner! Who are your top five Bruckner conductors?

This is my top five:

1) Herbert von Karajan
2) Bruno Walter
3) Sergiu Celibidache
4) Günter Wand
5) Eugen Jochum

Cheers! 8)

The five six (math was my weakest subject  ;D ) who score the most bulls-eyes in my opinion are:

Celibidache - 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
Karajan - 4, 7 (both EMI, and yes, I love them despite the murky sound), 8
Barenboim/Berlin - 2, 5, 9
Furtwängler - 5, 8, 9
Giulini - 2, 8, 9
Chailly - 0, 1, 3, 7

Obviously what I look for in Bruckner is considerably different than Lilas.


Some other favorite recordings: Szell 3 and 8, Inbal 3 (original "Wagner" version), Haitink 3, Sawallisch 6, Klemperer 6, Dohnányi 5, Maazel 8, Boulez 8, Abendroth 9.

Sarge
« Last Edit: June 17, 2007, 09:39:06 AM by Sergeant Rock »
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"

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #189 on: June 17, 2007, 08:44:52 AM »
Not that much different, really. A good 2/3 of those you list are among favourite versions. And maybe I should have added that Celibidache's 5 and 8 and Furtwängler 8 and 9 are right up there at the top, but they don't really compare with anyone else's. Hors concours, I should say.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #190 on: June 17, 2007, 09:34:16 AM »
Not that much different, really. A good 2/3 of those you list are among favourite versions. And maybe I should have added that Celibidache's 5 and 8 and Furtwängler 8 and 9 are right up there at the top, but they don't really compare with anyone else's. Hors concours, I should say.

You're right. In fact, the only conductor on your list that I've heard and haven't connected with is Böhm. For whatever reason, his Bruckner sounds cold and objective to me. But that's my problem--his Third and Fourth are acknowledged classics.

Sarge
« Last Edit: June 17, 2007, 09:36:02 AM by Sergeant Rock »
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"

Drasko

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #191 on: June 17, 2007, 09:42:07 AM »
Yesterday's listening was devoted to the Toscanini 7th (NYPO, 1935). This is a newly found issue from the radio archives of the day.......

And how it came to the light of day you can read all about in this classic whodunnit with elements of Hitchcockian suspense and neo-noirish denial......

Choo Choo

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #192 on: June 17, 2007, 10:33:26 AM »
No Schuricht?  :'(

Drasko

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #193 on: June 17, 2007, 10:35:37 AM »
No Matacic?  :'( :'(

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #194 on: June 17, 2007, 10:43:56 AM »
Stop adding names I have to investigate :(
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline rubio

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #195 on: June 17, 2007, 11:28:07 AM »
No Matacic?  :'( :'(

Which Matacic recordings can be considered top-notch? I think about ordering his critically acclaimed 7th on Supraphon, but I see there also is an 8th and a 9th available.

Has anyone here heard Sawallisch Bruckner 5th on Orfeo? It's one of the reference recordings on www.classicstoday.com for this symphony.
“One good thing about music, when it hits- you feel no pain” Bob Marley

Offline Que

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #196 on: June 17, 2007, 11:31:32 AM »
Another Matacic.



Q
« Last Edit: June 17, 2007, 11:33:23 AM by Que »

Choo Choo

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #197 on: June 17, 2007, 12:03:48 PM »
Has anyone here heard Sawallisch Bruckner 5th on Orfeo? It's one of the reference recordings on www.classicstoday.com for this symphony.

Yes.  It's good.  So is his #1 (also on Orfeo.)

Offline Israfel the Black

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #198 on: June 17, 2007, 05:50:56 PM »
I also hear some Schubert in his music is a primary influence, although I've never managed to pinpoint exactly which elements reflect this, more just a feel. Perhaps those effortlessly melodic scherzos are part of it.

I'm unconvinced there is any more Schubert influence in Bruckner than any other classical composer. Beethoven and Wagner are his biggest influences, however.

uffeviking

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #199 on: June 17, 2007, 06:20:16 PM »
Sergiu Celibidache will always be number one for me when it comes to Anton Bruckner, yet I try not to measure other conductor's performance against his, let them show me what they can do with Bruckner.

Nice surprise when I watched the DVD of Franz Welser-Möst conducting the famous No. 5 in a performance at the Stiftsbasilika St. Florian. - Is it a requirement for every conductor to swing his baton at this Benediktiner Monastery at least once in order to use the title 'Maestro'? Bernstein, von Karajan and now Franzi come to my mind immediately. -

Welser-Möst impressed me with his very sensitive touch, presenting the symphony with great respect and almost adoring emotion. I think someone here resented his slow tempi and I realised the reason for occasional hesitations. The acoustic in the basilika asks for great technical understanding of how to handle the echos, clearly heard on the DVD. I like Welser-Möst, he is good, and I certainly will watch it more than once.