Author Topic: Bruckner's Abbey  (Read 452943 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #260 on: June 29, 2007, 09:36:12 AM »
So MT, is the Fifth your favorite?  If so, I highly recommend hearing the Sinopoli with Dresden.  There is a great deal of love for it among Sinopoli fans since it was his last recording, but even if it weren't, everything about it is quite marvelous.

--Bruce
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mahlertitan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #261 on: June 29, 2007, 09:53:23 AM »
So MT, is the Fifth your favorite?  If so, I highly recommend hearing the Sinopoli with Dresden.  There is a great deal of love for it among Sinopoli fans since it was his last recording, but even if it weren't, everything about it is quite marvelous.

--Bruce

well, I guess. the fifth has always been a tough one for me to understand. I understood the 1st, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th quite easily, but I didn't really start to like the fifth after the Jochum's recording. I think my favorite is either the 7th or the 9th.

« Last Edit: June 29, 2007, 09:58:50 AM by MahlerTitan »

Offline Brewski

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #262 on: June 29, 2007, 10:04:57 AM »
well, I guess. the fifth has always been a tough one for me to understand. I understood the 1st, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th quite easily, but I didn't really start to like the fifth after the Jochum's recording.


If you use the popular "Bruckner symphonies are like cathedrals" analogy, somewhere I read a description of the Fifth as having "more empty space" than some of the others.  (I'm not necessarily agreeing, just reporting.)  I used to think that might be true until hearing the Sinopoli recording, followed by two excellent live performances: one by Sawallisch and Philadelphia, and another with Welser-Möst and Cleveland.  All of those seemed to minimize the "wandering around" feeling that can characterize the middle portions of the piece.  (Certainly by the end, with the brass section at full blast, I doubt anyone feels there is any "wandering around" going on... ;D)

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Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

George

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #263 on: June 29, 2007, 10:21:41 AM »
so finding "the best" is a difficult mission.



I guess as long as he's looking for HIS best, I think it's very possible, no?  :)

Choo Choo

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #264 on: June 29, 2007, 10:22:06 AM »
Bruckner is BBC Radio3's "Composer Of The Week" next week (5x 1-hr programmes Mon-Fri at 12:00 repeated 20:45 BST.)  Unlikely to be many new insights for habitués of this thread, but the recordings chosen for illustration are uncontroversial and good (e.g. Wand/BPO in #5, Boulez/VPO in #8.)  Full schedule can be viewed here (menu at right gives playlist for all 5 days)

Offline MishaK

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #265 on: June 29, 2007, 10:24:34 AM »
well, I guess. the fifth has always been a tough one for me to understand. I understood the 1st, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th quite easily, but I didn't really start to like the fifth after the Jochum's recording. I think my favorite is either the 7th or the 9th.

The fifth took me a while as well. Then I heard Furtwängler and suddenly it clicked and everything made sense. It's now a favorite. If you haven't heard his recording, you should. I also second the recommendation for Sinopoli, but Furtwängler really achieves something special.


Offline Brewski

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #266 on: June 29, 2007, 10:40:47 AM »
I guess as long as he's looking for HIS best, I think it's very possible, no?  :)

I suppose so, but for example (speaking solely for myself) if I were to try to pick a favorite single recording of each symphony, I don't think I could -- and that's not avoiding the question, just being honest!  For the Eighth, for example, I like Chailly for the sumptuousness of the playing and I like Furtwängler for what he seems to find that no one else does (although I wish his were in better sound).  Karajan's recordings (especially the last one) are extraordinary, but then I also like Welser-Möst with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, admittedly perhaps because I find the idea of this young orchestra playing this magnificent piece very inspiring.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline beclemund

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #267 on: June 29, 2007, 10:53:52 AM »
For Furtwängler's 1942 5th, is there anyone who is familiar with both the Opus Kura transfer and the Music & Arts one? And if so, which has better sound? It seems that both of those are readily available, so I just have to figure out which to opt for.

*edit: it also looks like some Amazon resellers have the DG release available as well, so there's a third transfer to consider...

« Last Edit: June 29, 2007, 10:57:59 AM by beclemund »
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Online Que

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #268 on: June 29, 2007, 11:31:17 AM »
For Furtwängler's 1942 5th, is there anyone who is familiar with both the Opus Kura transfer and the Music & Arts one? And if so, which has better sound? It seems that both of those are readily available, so I just have to figure out which to opt for.

*edit: it also looks like some Amazon resellers have the DG release available as well, so there's a third transfer to consider...


Of DG, M&A and Opus Kura (transfer of a Melodiya-LP), Opus Kura has beyond any doubt the very best sound.
The unknown (to me) factor in the equation is Melodiya's own recent reissue however. If it is as good as the other issue (Sibelius) I bought from their FW reissues, it could even be (a bit) better still. But the Opus Kura is very good - miles ahead in comparison to DG and M&A.

Q

 

mahlertitan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #269 on: June 29, 2007, 11:41:56 AM »
i also think Carl Schuricht's Bruckner fifth with SRSO deserves a mention.

« Last Edit: June 29, 2007, 11:48:45 AM by MahlerTitan »

Offline MishaK

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #270 on: June 29, 2007, 11:43:00 AM »
i also think Carl Schuricht's Bruckner fifth with SRSO deserves a mention.

The one with the VPO rather.

mahlertitan

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #271 on: June 29, 2007, 12:39:22 PM »
i was reading this article on Jstor, very informative.

Download the attachment!

Choo Choo

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #272 on: June 29, 2007, 01:16:49 PM »
i was reading this article on Jstor, very informative.

Download the attachment!

Interesting.  The article is from the ultra-conservative UK publication The Musical Times from 1955 - a time when Bruckner's music was unheard in British concert halls and barely available to any extent in recorded form (Derek Watson writes in his book that even in the 1970s he could find only 6 recordings of the 7th Symphony.)  So the article assumes a readership that is likely to be indifferent at best, dismissive and/or hostile at worst - and against that background, makes a pretty good case.

Offline beclemund

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #273 on: June 29, 2007, 03:06:30 PM »
Of DG, M&A and Opus Kura (transfer of a Melodiya-LP), Opus Kura has beyond any doubt the very best sound.
The unknown (to me) factor in the equation is Melodiya's own recent reissue however. If it is as good as the other issue (Sibelius) I bought from their FW reissues, it could even be (a bit) better still. But the Opus Kura is very good - miles ahead in comparison to DG and M&A.

Thank you, Que. I have ordered the Opus Kura as it seem to offer the best price and shortest distance from me to order.
"A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession." -- Albert Camus

George

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #274 on: June 29, 2007, 03:58:08 PM »
Thank you, Que. I have ordered the Opus Kura as it seem to offer the best price and shortest distance from me to order.

They are a great label IMO.  :)


M forever

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #275 on: June 29, 2007, 05:02:54 PM »
I completely agree.

And that is exactly what I said in the first place. Now we have one more page with all sorts of posts just repeating the same thing. Great discussion.

So MT, is the Fifth your favorite?  If so, I highly recommend hearing the Sinopoli with Dresden.  There is a great deal of love for it among Sinopoli fans since it was his last recording, but even if it weren't, everything about it is quite marvelous.

I don't tink it is. I think his last (commercial) recording was Dvořák's Stabat Mater. The last concert he did in Dresden was, I think, Verdi's Requiem, and there is a live recording of that.

But no matter if it was his last or not, that 5th is indeed spectacular in almost every respect, except I find the sound a little too dry, like on other live recordings made in the Semperoper. OTOH, some find that exactly fitting for this performance because it is so analytical and the dry, very immediate and clear sound supports that. Some of the recordings made in the Lukaskirche in Dresden are probably a little too reverberant and distant, OTOH, these do sound very nice and athmospheric, with lots of space around the sound, space for the orchestral sound to bloom, with some great sonic results especially in the 4th and 7th symphonies. I think DG found the ideal balance in the recordings of the 8th and Ein Heldenleben, for instance.

A very special 5th also comes from the Wiener Philharmoniker with Harnoncourt. Not surprisingly, NH brings his lifelong experience with "old" music to his reading of this, maybe Bruckner's most "baroque" symphony, and the way he outlines the counterpoint and shapes the long lines in a very idiomatic way is marvelous. The disc also contains rehearsal excerpts which are very interesting to listen to, the way he balances and clarifies the complex brass chorales, how completely thought through his concept is down to every detail and how it fits into the larger picture, and the way he talks to the orchestra ("I don't really know what Bruckner meant here, and you don't know that either") are highly interesting, and rather entertaining, too.

M forever

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #276 on: June 30, 2007, 06:24:16 PM »
Well, you did get some replies after all, including from me, and all these basically told you that there is no point in wondering who "the best Bruckner interpreter" is, that you should rather be open for all the different approaches a wide spectrum of wonderful Bruckner conductors offer.

Good night to you, too, and good luck.

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #277 on: July 01, 2007, 03:59:17 AM »
It's true that in the early stages of our musical experiences the impression a work makes on the average music lover (untrained as a musician) is very much dependent on the actual conditions of the musical discovery (performers, label, art cover even). "First love" effect, I guess.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 10:35:17 AM by Lilas Pastia »

M forever

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #278 on: July 01, 2007, 04:03:08 AM »
I think you are right. All the more reason to keep in mind there is no "the best" - it can easily lead to tunnel vision and deprive the listener of potentially great, challenging and enlightening listening experiences.

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bruckner's Abbey
« Reply #279 on: July 01, 2007, 10:50:21 AM »
Objectively speaking,  'the best' does not exist.  As a subjective experience it's always a shortcut to mean 'from those I know', or 'I like this one best'. But not many people use those qualifyers. Hyperbole is always catchier than a balanced statement.

'Experience' being an empirical accumulation of events, it's always possible that 'the best' has not happened yet, or will occur later on - maybe tomorrow, maybe in 25 years. What are we to make of today's 'the best' when we find something even better later on? ::)