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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Lilas Pastia on April 06, 2007, 06:15:30 AM

Title: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 06, 2007, 06:15:30 AM
Continuing the ol' thread...

Just received: the 7th, VPO Boulez. Will listen to it in the next few weeks (so many more to listen to ::)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on April 06, 2007, 07:13:28 AM
Glad this thread has been continued. Is that 7th a new recording?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 06, 2007, 07:21:01 AM
I believe it's this one:

Quote
Boulez         Vienna Philharmonic Orch. 5/6/05 Karna Musik CD KA 195M .......... 59:00 - 18:37 19:02  8:23 12:28
(from John Berky's discography)

I just got the disc by itself, no notes, covers, in an anonymous brown envelope 8). Who knows where it hails from exactly... I only hope it's not conducted by  René Köhler. I'd hate to have a Hatto pulled on me ;D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on April 06, 2007, 08:04:48 AM
Continuing the ol' thread...

Just received: the 7th, VPO Boulez. Will listen to it in the next few weeks (so many more to listen to ::)
I didn't know this was coming out. I heard a radio aircheck of a Boulez 7th which I thought was absolutely outstanding, except for a slightly lightweight first movement, so I guess that's another $20 of mine going to the pockets of Universal. :D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on April 06, 2007, 08:35:22 AM
just a question not related to the main topic. out of pure curiosity, why is that only males seem to enjoy the music of Bruckner?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on April 06, 2007, 09:29:19 AM
just a question not related to the main topic. out of pure curiosity, why is that only males seem to enjoy the music of Bruckner?

Speak for yourself. My wife loves Bruckner. One of our first dates was Bruckner 7th with Chailly/Concertgebouw.  :D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Brewski on April 06, 2007, 09:41:38 AM
Speak for yourself. My wife loves Bruckner. One of our first dates was Bruckner 7th with Chailly/Concertgebouw.  :D

What an absolutely sublime-sounding date. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on April 06, 2007, 09:52:36 AM
I didn't know this was coming out. I heard a radio aircheck of a Boulez 7th which I thought was absolutely outstanding, except for a slightly lightweight first movement, so I guess that's another $20 of mine going to the pockets of Universal. :D

I don't think it's coming out (at least I don't know anything about it). I believe all of us are listening to Austrian Radio digital airchecks. But if DG has the rights I hope they release it, fantastic performance.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on April 06, 2007, 02:57:27 PM
Speak for yourself. My wife loves Bruckner. One of our first dates was Bruckner 7th with Chailly/Concertgebouw.  :D

u r a lucky dude.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Burchest on April 12, 2007, 02:29:05 PM
just a question not related to the main topic. out of pure curiosity, why is that only males seem to enjoy the music of Bruckner?

 My wife has enjoyed Bruckner for years.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 13, 2007, 01:44:48 AM
just a question not related to the main topic. out of pure curiosity, why is that only males seem to enjoy the music of Bruckner?

Mrs. Rock enjoys Bruckner.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 18, 2007, 11:16:33 AM
Heard this week:

Symphony no 5
. Otmar  Suitner, Berlin Staatskapelle (Berlin Classics, 1990 recording). And another one by the BRSO under Sawallisch (Orfeo). I slightly prefer Suitner's orchestra and Berlin Classics' fabulous recording job. The maestro has some peculiar ideas about tempo, but in the end he carries the day with a very convincing performance. The Sawallisch is clearly more mainstream in terms of conception. An almost straussian reading (late Strauss, that is: Capriccio, not Frau ohne Schatten). Clear-headed, with incisive rythms and quite transparent textures. But slightly less well played and recorded. Not that it's deficient in any way, but the Berlin version is truly outstanding.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on April 18, 2007, 11:32:01 AM
Heard this week:

Symphony no 5
. Otmar  Suitner, Berlin Staatskapelle (Berlin Classics, 1990 recording). And another one by the BRSO under Sawallisch (Orfeo). I slightly prefer Suitner's orchestra and Berlin Classics' fabulous recording job. The maestro has some peculiar ideas about tempo, but in the end he carries the day with a very convincing performance. The Sawallisch is clearly more mainstream in terms of conception. An almost straussian reading (late Strauss, that is: Capriccio, not Frau ohne Schatten). Clear-headed, with incisive rythms and quite transparent textures. But slightly less well played and recorded. Not that it's deficient in any way, but the Berlin version is truly outstanding.

OK, I'm intrigued. I have heard great things about Suitner's Bruckner 4th as well and there seems to be an 8th as well. Unfortunately, none of the three are available at amazon. Where do can you get this stuff?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 18, 2007, 12:39:42 PM
I also have the 8th, with the same orchestra. However it is markedly inferior in sound -live from the Konzerthaus, Berlin vs the commercial 4 and 5 from Berlin's Christuskirche. Berlin Classics discs are easily obtainable in record stores here (Montreal), but I got the 8th from the Weitblick label at BRO (still available right now).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on April 18, 2007, 12:45:35 PM
OK, I'm intrigued. I have heard great things about Suitner's Bruckner 4th as well and there seems to be an 8th as well. Unfortunately, none of the three are available at amazon. Where do can you get this stuff?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bruckner-Symphony-No-4-Anton/dp/B0001IPC04 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bruckner-Symphony-No-4-Anton/dp/B0001IPC04)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on April 18, 2007, 02:03:14 PM
CDjapan has a Bruckner 4 with Kertesz/LSO. Does anyone know anything about this recording? Is it any good?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: vandermolen on April 19, 2007, 03:07:03 AM
Just bought Rozhdestvensky performing Bruckner Symphony 3 on Revelation which I thought excellent.  V interesting to hear a Russian orchestra play Bruckner (I also like my Svetlanov recording of Elgar Symphony 2)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on April 19, 2007, 07:44:56 AM
In addition to my questions regarding Kertesz, could anyone please recommend to me what are the best recordings of Asahina doing Bruckner? I was told there are good performances with Osaka, but at CDJapan I can only find recordings with Tokyo. There also seems to be a (absurdly expensive) DVD with the CSO. Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 19, 2007, 09:00:39 AM
I've not heard the Kertesz LSO for myself, but have seen reviews that differ markedly. An old Penguin guide describes Kertesz as "the master of the long crescendo", and his account to be "the most dramatic of all (this review dates from at least 30 years though)" American Record Guide acknowledges it is sometimes highly regarded, but refers to it as being "simply too fast. Much is lost that way".

It is from 1965 and playing and recording are referred to (Penguin again) as "magnificent". I'd never buy at testament's price, though. Keep in mind that for a long time it was found on a super budget lp (Decca's Ace of Diamonds series). Maybe if Decca would include it in a Kertesz box, though ::). He was a very fine conductor.

I believe someone here has a few Asahinas and could give you some input.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Danny on April 19, 2007, 09:37:04 AM
Just bought (an am liking) Bruckner's Fifth conducted by Welser-Most with the LSO.  I hear some hate this disc--and perhaps there are betters out there--but for the price I paid I cannot make any objections about its worth. 

Overall, I think its a very good interpretation and I especially love the first two movements. 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: quintett op.57 on April 19, 2007, 01:16:48 PM
Speak for yourself. My wife loves Bruckner. One of our first dates was Bruckner 7th with Chailly/Concertgebouw.  :D
My wife has enjoyed Bruckner for years.
Mrs. Rock enjoys Bruckner.

Does it mean my lady will start enjoying Bruckner as much as Chopin or Brahms as soon as I marry her?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on April 19, 2007, 04:02:49 PM
My wife heard the Toledo Symphony play Bruckner's Seventh and Fourth Symphonies in the cathedral and did not run to a divorce lawyer: she enjoyed it, although she really would have preferred James Taylor in Concert.   :o
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on April 20, 2007, 04:41:56 AM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/6e/4c/7ccba2c008a01930c086a010._AA240_.L.jpg)

Symphony No.9, Münchner Philharmoniker, April 1938 HMV (Preiser)

Flowing, swift (very swift in Scherzo) but I don't find it rushed. Unsentimental but not cold, nonhistrionic but neither reticent, structuraly coherent reading with achieved formidable orchestral clarity for the time. Münchner Philharmoniker of '38 doesn't need cutting any slack. Sound decent for 1938, lacking the lowest of lows and having limited dynamic range but nicely detailed and with enough presence.
I quite like it (it has high hummability factor*) but probably not to everybodys taste (most?).

This is I believe the only existing Hausegger recording, of anything, pity.

* I like to sing along with Bruckner, not that I can.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Que on April 20, 2007, 06:19:08 AM
Symphony No.9, Münchner Philharmoniker, April 1938 HMV (Preiser)

Flowing, swift (very swift in Scherzo) but I don't find it rushed. Unsentimental but not cold, nonhistrionic but neither reticent, structuraly coherent reading with achieved formidable orchestral clarity for the time. Münchner Philharmoniker of '38 doesn't need cutting any slack. Sound decent for 1938, lacking the lowest of lows and having limited dynamic range but nicely detailed and with enough presence.
I quite like it (it has high hummability factor*) but probably not to everybodys taste (most?).

This is I believe the only existing Hausegger recording, of anything, pity.

* I like to sing along with Bruckner, not that I can.

Hausegger's style sounds similar to Weingartner's.
Sounds like this might be something for me. :)

Q
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 20, 2007, 03:25:42 PM
Excellent description! I know it's not supposed to be, but when comparing Hausegger and Kabasta's ninths, I feel there's a similarity between the conductor's picture and the character of his performance !
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on April 24, 2007, 06:39:22 AM
(http://www.emiclassics.com/pack_image.php?icpn=0094638472322&size=190)

Speaking of the individuality of Bruckner’s work, Sir Simon said, “When I went on safari to Africa for the first time, flying in little planes over enormous valleys full of zebra and wildebeest, the only music that ever came to mind was Bruckner’s".
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on April 24, 2007, 07:01:56 AM
(http://www.emiclassics.com/pack_image.php?icpn=0094638472322&size=190)

Speaking of the individuality of Bruckner’s work, Sir Simon said, “When I went on safari to Africa for the first time, flying in little planes over enormous valleys full of zebra and wildebeest, the only music that ever came to mind was Bruckner’s".

Has anyone heard this? I heard Rattle do Bruckner 9 live with the BPO and it was one of the worst Bruckner performances I have heard. Totally incoherent and uncharacteristically sketchy playing from the BPO.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 07:04:50 AM
This is off-topic for Bruckner, and a dubious tangent at best on the Abbey . . . but yesterday I watched a little of an old Jackie Chan movie, something like 36 Crazy Fists . . . the dubbed voices (and dialogue as rendered in English) got in the way, and pretty much stayed there, so that at the last I couldn't bear to watch any more.

But it is the first occasion I have ever had to hear the line, "The abbott is an old fart."
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: jwinter on April 24, 2007, 07:40:05 AM
His Proms 7th was another turkey.  Fortunately God whipped up a thunderstorm that killed the power here at the start of the Scherzo, sparing me further suffering (I was listening to the radio hookup.).

Wow, I may have to rethink that whole agnosticism thing.  ;D

Great to see you back, btw!  :)

I haven't had much time for serious Bruckner listening lately (my 3 year old is not putting up with hour-long sessions on the headphones ;D ).  I finally picked up Giulini's VPO 8 & 9 a while back (excellent, a nice surprise to find something every bit as interesting as everyone says it is), and a friend sent me Schuricht's VPO 8 & 9 also (still digesting that one).  That's about the extent of it for the past couple of months...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on April 24, 2007, 08:36:29 AM
my 3 year old is not putting up with hour-long sessions on the headphones

Well Bill I guess headphones can be claustrophobic at that age - maybe she'd be happier listening through 'speakers?

I do very much approve - obviously - of weaning them onto Bruckner at the earliest possible opportunity.  ;D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 24, 2007, 03:15:04 PM
The next season of the Montreal symphony will include performances of the 2nd by Blomstedt and the 5th by Nagano.

I don't know what to expect. Nagano's 9th of last year was seemingly conducted with an overcooked fettucine. But his Berlin 8th was excellent if you like it on the slow side (download avalable here:http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,2142,9697,00.html (http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,2142,9697,00.html) .

As for the 2nd, that's a no-brainer: I'll be dead when they program it again, so I'm definitely going. And Blomstedt is a quite good brucknerian.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on April 24, 2007, 05:01:30 PM
The next season of the Montreal symphony will include performances of the 2nd by Blomstedt and the 5th by Nagano.

That's good to know. I've been meaning to visit a friend in Montreal. Now I know when to time the visit.  ;D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 25, 2007, 03:25:30 AM
Does it mean my lady will start enjoying Bruckner as much as Chopin or Brahms as soon as I marry her?

No, unfortunately it doesn't mean that. The exact opposite in fact: once you marry her, all your possessions become her possessions, too, and she will instantly trash your Bruckner recordings and never allow you to listen to him again. My sage advice: remain a bachelor, Q....or try to steal one of our wives ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on May 05, 2007, 10:03:34 AM
This week's Bruckner fare consisted of :

- Symphony no 5, Stuttgart, Schuricht (1962)
- Symphony no 7, Orchestre métropolitain du Grand Montréal, Yannick Nézet-Séguin (2007).


The Stuttgart 5th is well played and decently recorded (mono), but overall this failed to ignite any fireworks, only occasional sparks. Contrary to his 1963 VPO 5th, Schuricht doesn't have at his disposal an orchestra that lives and feeds on Bruckner as the viennese obviously do. Everything is a bit tame and cautious in comparison, so naturalness of utterance and expressiveness  suffer. The last movement has the exact same timing as the EMI Klemperer. The latter has a sense of purpose and destination, and even a feeling of spontaneity, but this Stuttgart version is all a bit too even. The final coda is suitably grand and spacious, but in terms of raising the roof, Klemperer has it game, set and match. Note that for a reason I cannot begin to understand, the Scherzo is cut  :P(second half of the Trio and first reprise of the Scherzo). Broadcast time limitations maybe?

The Nézet-Séguin 7th is a brand new issue, recorded live in the beautifully spacious and transparent acoustics of St-John the Baptist Church, Montreal. I was mightily surprised by this disc. It is so different from anything I've heard before as to be in a category of its own. The orchestra numbers about 75 players and as I've mentioned they play in a large venue, with a long sound decay (3-4 seconds). It has to be played at a substantially higher level than usual to achieve good sonic impact. Once the volume level has been adjusted, it sounds splendidly natural. What comes across is an extraordinarily luminous, reflective account. Beauty of phrasing seems to be the operative word form first note to last.

What struck me most was the total control exerted by the conductor over the rythms and dynamics. Tempi in the first 2 movements are spacious (22:00 and 25:40). Variations of pulsebetween sections are absolutely seamless. This induces a kind of trance-like, hypnotic feeling, although sometimes it makes one wish for some excitement. Forget about Jochum-like accelerandos as the climax of the Adagio is in sight: the same iron grip on the basic tempo makes that climax blossom instead of erupting with lightning and thunderbolts from the timpani. In a sense it's a bit disappointing, but what comes after is the most magical coda Ive heard on record. Similarly, the big orchestral crescendo-decrescendo that immediately precedes the coda of I is jaw-dropping in its collected intensity and beauty of execution. I mentioned the control over dynamics: this is an unusually undramatic account in terms of sound level: I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Bruckner's markings have been more closely followed here than in most other interpretations. A lot of the time the playing is between pp and mf. The few real climaxes are suitably brilliant and expansive.

The scherzo I found a bit tame, with an overly dreamy trio. The Finale is where Nézet-Séguin changes the perspective by adopting a swift basic tempo. The bold brass pronouncements are superb, and here the conductor's control achieves magic: the ensuing pauses' length exactly match the sound decay of the hall (an effect that was ruined in the Wand-Lübeck 9th, with musical phrases overlapping on the decay of the preceding ones). Things noticeably liven up in the coda, where a rush of adrenalin brings the movement to a triumphant E major close.

This is a live recording, but there's not a peep to be heard from the audience (only the booklet pictures let us know that the church was packed). I found the low winds a bit reticent (scherzo esp.), but there's a wealth of string details that stand like in no other recording I know (esp. violas in I an II). So altogether it doesn't replace my favourites (Blomstedt Dreden, Schuricht The Hague), but it comes right after those. Not bad for a 31 year old conductor and a 3rd tier orchestra.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: sound67 on May 05, 2007, 10:13:11 AM
This is off-topic for Bruckner

But this one isn't:

Bruckner is a bore. If God had wanted Wagner to write symphonies, he would have let him write symphonies.

Prayers that last in excess of 50 minutes are always boring.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 05, 2007, 11:48:05 AM
But this one isn't:

Bruckner is a bore. If God had wanted Wagner to write symphonies, he would have let him write symphonies.

Prayers that last in excess of 50 minutes are always boring.

Who let the curmudgeon in? No matter, I'll deal with him.

You see 67, the boredom inherent in Bruckner's music doesn't bother us at all. Most of us are disciples of Dunbar, that classic philosopher in Catch-22 who asserted that life could be prolonged if you simply cultivated boredom. The more boring something is, the slower time passes. We've discovered Bruckner is perfect for this. Myself, I frequently listen to Celibidache's Bruckner...my god, boredom made manifest in soundwaves!!! I've done calculations and can state without doubt that I'm going to live roughly twenty times longer than the average western middle-class male who eschews Bruckner. I owe it all to dear Anton...and Celi of course  :)

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on May 05, 2007, 11:57:43 AM
Who let the curmudgeon in? No matter, I'll deal with him.

You see 67, the boredom inherent in Bruckner's music doesn't bother us at all. Most of us are disciples of Dunbar, that classic philosopher in Catch-22 who asserted that life could be prolonged if you simply cultivated boredom. The more boring something is, the slower time passes. We've discovered Bruckner is perfect for this. Myself, I frequently listen to Celibidache's Bruckner...my god, boredom made manifest in soundwaves!!! I've done calculations and can state without doubt that I'm going to live roughly twenty times longer than the average western middle-class male who eschews Bruckner. I owe it all to dear Anton...and Celi of course  :)

Sarge

(http://www.ichef.com/uploads/heart_icon.gif)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 06, 2007, 07:02:08 PM
I don't find Celibidache's Bruckner particularly boring at all honestly. In fact, quite the contrary. To each one's own, but I don't assert slow tempo or long symphonies as a flaw or a necessary tedium that one must cope with in order to appreciate the more important aspects of the work. I embrace Bruckner as I embrace the world.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: max on May 06, 2007, 08:30:57 PM
But this one isn't:

Prayers that last in excess of 50 minutes are always boring.

...that's close to 2 movements of a Bruckner symphony. Methinks you have underestimated his boredom.
As for me, I find a temporary dose of euthanasia and being resurrected at the Final Coda to be extremely refreshing! After that, you kind of view the world with 'renovated eyes' or ears or both! ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on May 06, 2007, 08:47:47 PM
in general i don't find Bruckner's music boring, he has written some of most beautiful and majestic symphonic passages. However, there are a few symphonies that I don't find nearly as interesting as the "romantic" or the 7th.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on May 07, 2007, 04:12:48 AM
What fool hath added water to the sea?  Dareth an inVader to useth the B-word in Bruckner's Abbey!?!    :o

Fie and a pox on the churlish troll!  (Or should that be trollish churl?  Or maybe just "churly mahn"?)

Boredom is in the ear of the beholder!

All I needed was simply to see the score of a Bruckner symphony, when I was 9 years old, and I knew I was looking at greatness!

Jochum's recording later proved my imagination's ear correct!  Boredom? 

Exactly how are 9 struggles with all the malign and benign powers of the universe boring???

Ah well: many are polled, few are dozin' !
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 07, 2007, 04:33:06 AM
I don't find Celibidache's Bruckner particularly boring at all honestly.

Either do I...my comments to sound67 were made with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: karlhenning on May 07, 2007, 04:36:49 AM
Good neighbors, be prepared to embrace a little irony!  8)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: david johnson on May 07, 2007, 05:02:11 AM
But this one isn't:

Bruckner is a bore. If God had wanted Wagner to write symphonies, he would have let him write symphonies.

Prayers that last in excess of 50 minutes are always boring.

...what's this above?  a fool's rant??   :D

chuckle...

dj

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: karlhenning on May 07, 2007, 05:48:19 AM
Even I, cautious as I can be about certain composers, feel that Bruckner was sorely abused here  8)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on May 07, 2007, 11:17:37 AM
At the risk of blasphemy, one could almost quote Isaiah 53 here  0:)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on May 07, 2007, 02:14:44 PM
Even I, cautious as I can be about certain composers, feel that Bruckner was sorely abused here  8)


You ain't just whistlin' Dittersdorf, Karl!    0:)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: david johnson on May 21, 2007, 09:28:43 AM
B9 giulini/chicago.  oh, yeeeaaahhhhhh !!!!

dj
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: JoshLilly on May 21, 2007, 10:09:20 AM
Wagner did write symphonies, at least, both the Wagners I know of.
Richard wrote one and a half, and his son Siegfried wrote at least one.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on May 21, 2007, 11:04:45 AM
Wagner did write symphonies, at least, both the Wagners I know of.
Richard wrote one and a half, and his son Siegfried wrote at least one.

Siegfried's symphonies are.... not very good.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 21, 2007, 11:06:10 AM
Siegfried's symphonies are.... not very good.

Neither are Richard's, just be glad RIchard didn't keep writing symphonies.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: AB68 on May 21, 2007, 12:24:53 PM
B9 giulini/chicago.  oh, yeeeaaahhhhhh !!!!

dj

Giulini's 9 with Wiener Philharmoniker is even better.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: quintett op.57 on May 24, 2007, 11:55:24 PM
But this one isn't:

Bruckner is a bore. If God had wanted Wagner to write symphonies, he would have let him write symphonies.

Prayers that last in excess of 50 minutes are always boring.
It's not an effort for me to listen to Sy 5 two consecutive times without doing anything else. Gripping!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: david johnson on May 25, 2007, 12:56:11 AM
Giulini's 9 with Wiener Philharmoniker is even better.

gasp...sacrilege ;)  i'll have to check that one out.  when it comes to #9 favorites i stay mostly with this chicago or the late 60s hvk/bpo.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on May 27, 2007, 08:20:09 AM
Giulini's Chicago recording is still in print in a decent four disk budget package:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/417CC20WCCL._AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Recordings-Ludwig-van-Beethoven/dp/B0001ZMBV0)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on May 27, 2007, 09:07:10 AM
http://www.demonoid.com/files/details/1092639/9933642/
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on May 27, 2007, 10:40:53 AM
Giulini's Vienna 8th is available from Arkiv Music (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=56689&album_group=8)... how does it compare to his performance with the Philharmonia Orchestra a year earlier?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on May 28, 2007, 05:23:25 PM
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/Bruckner_arrives_in_heaven.jpg) "Anton Bruckner arrives in Heaven".
Bruckner is greeted by (from left to right): Liszt, Wagner, Schubert, Schumann, Weber, Mozart, Beethoven, Gluck, Haydn, Handel, Bach.
(Silhouette drawing by Otto Böhler)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: max on May 28, 2007, 08:30:06 PM
Say What! Wagner made it to heaven! His personality must have been more charismatic than anyone who ever lived. I don't think Martin Luther made it there. And what happened to poor Nietzsche! Was he condemned for his Wagner diatribes??
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Heather Harrison on June 10, 2007, 08:58:32 AM
With interests as broad as mine, it is inevitable that I will overlook certain composers for a time; Bruckner is in this category.  While I have encountered (and liked) a few of his works in the past, I haven't gotten around to a deeper exploration... at least until now.  The expansive style of late-Romanticism has always appealed to me; for years, I have had a strong interest in Wagner, Mahler, and R. Strauss, and I have recently added Elgar to that list.  Bruckner seemed like a good choice to add to this, so when I saw it in a store, I decided to buy this set of Jochum's classic recordings for DG:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/31Z7HB0QJBL._AA240_.jpg)

This set contains all of the symphonies except Nos. 0 and 00, which I'll have to find somewhere else (possibly in another set).

I was going to start a thread to talk about my impressions of his symphonies as I listen to them, but I saw this thread and chose to add to it instead.

Yesterday, I listened to Symphony No. 1, and I posted my first impressions in the "Purchases Today" thread.  What I found was a stormy work with great power and energy, punctuated by a nice interlude in the form of a lovely slow movement.  I was especially amazed at the scherzo; seldom have I heard one with such power.  Considering that this is an early work, and not generally considered the best of his output, I will be interested to hear the others.  I am listening to them in order, so I'll be posting something about No. 2 before long.

I would be interested to hear the thoughts of others about No. 1, and about the others as I move on to them.  Also, recommendations for a second Bruckner cycle would be useful; these seem like symphonies that I should have more than one performance of.  Also, perhaps when I'm done with these I will move on to some of his other music.  Any thoughts on his masses?

See...  there are women who like Bruckner!

Heather
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Daverz on June 10, 2007, 10:07:33 AM
This set contains all of the symphonies except Nos. 0 and 00, which I'll have to find somewhere else (possibly in another set).

They are in the Skrowaczewski set, and you can get them (Symphony in F and Symphony No. 0) separately as well (http://shopping.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AjPesWrU23OxbYFFttu.0lkEgFoB;_ylu=X3oDMTBhNjRqazhxBHNlYwNzZWFyY2g-?p=skrowaczewski+bruckner&did=&x=0&y=0).

Quote
Yesterday, I listened to Symphony No. 1 [...] What I found was a stormy work with great power and energy, punctuated by a nice interlude in the form of a lovely slow movement.  I was especially amazed at the scherzo; seldom have I heard one with such power.

Spot on, it's a great work, but for a power scherzo, wait until you get to No. 8.  For the masses, there's a Jochum set, and Barenboim on EMI has great choral work.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on June 10, 2007, 10:43:18 AM
Anyone heard Gunter Wand's 4th with Munich Philharmonic? I have the live recording and it sounds BETTER than most studio recordings. It wasn't until the end where the audience broke out with thunderclap that I realized it was an on-stage performance.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on June 10, 2007, 10:46:44 AM
And what happened to poor Nietzsche! Was he condemned for his Wagner diatribes??

His music was too bad :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Steve on June 10, 2007, 10:47:46 AM
Anyone heard Gunter Wand's 4th with Munich Philharmonic? I have the live recording and it sounds BETTER than most studio recordings. It wasn't until the end where the audience broke out with thunderclap that I realized it was an on-stage performance.

I've only heard it twice, but I defintely enjoyed it. For a live recording, the sonics were excellent. Boneheim, what is you studio-reference recording for this piece? I generally prefer Karajan in the 4th.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on June 10, 2007, 11:04:55 AM
I've only heard it twice, but I defintely enjoyed it. For a live recording, the sonics were excellent. Boneheim, what is you studio-reference recording for this piece? I generally prefer Karajan in the 4th.


I wasn't comparing it to a performance of the 4th in particular, but rather studio recordings as a whole. Don't you think everything sounds so crisp and clear (especially the ending flourishes, BRILLIANT)? Some studio recordings have duller sound and the layers of the sound aren't projected as smoothly.

P.S. Not to be a spelling nazi or anything, but could you please start calling me Bonehelm instead of heim? Thanks a lot  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on June 10, 2007, 11:21:47 AM
Anyone heard Gunter Wand's 4th with Munich Philharmonic? I have the live recording and it sounds BETTER than most studio recordings. It wasn't until the end where the audience broke out with thunderclap that I realized it was an on-stage performance.

Which one? I assume there are several. Mine on Profil Medien is very nice, but didn't blow me away as much as Jochum (EMI) or Karajan (EMI)'s.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on June 10, 2007, 11:39:40 AM
Which one? I assume there are several. Mine on Profil Medien is very nice, but didn't blow me away as much as Jochum (EMI) or Karajan (EMI)'s.

Robert Haas edition, with Naxos.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Steve on June 10, 2007, 11:44:33 AM


I wasn't comparing it to a performance of the 4th in particular, but rather studio recordings as a whole. Don't you think everything sounds so crisp and clear (especially the ending flourishes, BRILLIANT)? Some studio recordings have duller sound and the layers of the sound aren't projected as smoothly.

P.S. Not to be a spelling nazi or anything, but could you please start calling me Bonehelm instead of heim? Thanks a lot  :)

Yes, sorry about misspelling your name so often.  ;)

Bonehelm,

Yes, the entire recording was quite vibrant. Have you heard Karajan?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 10, 2007, 11:45:32 AM
I've only heard it twice, but I defintely enjoyed it. For a live recording, the sonics were excellent. Boneheim, what is you studio-reference recording for this piece? I generally prefer Karajan in the 4th.

If you haven't heard Kubelik (BRSO/Sony) or Böhm (VPO/Decca), you should. Karajan has nowhere near the detail of these two nor the inexorable organic progression.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Steve on June 10, 2007, 11:48:25 AM
If you haven't heard Kubelik (BRSO/Sony) or Böhm (VPO/Decca), you should. Karajan has nowhere near the detail of these two nor the inexorable organic progression.

Of those two, I've only heard the Bohm, and I don't remember being entirely impressed.

'has nowhere near the detail'

Could you elaborate?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on June 10, 2007, 12:05:13 PM
Yes, sorry about misspelling your name so often.  ;)

Bonehelm,

Yes, the entire recording was quite vibrant. Have you heard Karajan?

Yes, Steve. I have but I still prefer Wand's. As Mensch had said, I find HvK's interpretations not as crisp, and often rushed...as is the case with his LvB symphonies (except for the 5th's 1st movement, where the momentum and force delivers at a perfect pace - probably my favourite interpretation of that particular movement).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 10, 2007, 12:43:28 PM
'has nowhere near the detail'

Could you elaborate?

I mean the sectional balances and the phrasing of the secondary parts. Much of that is simply inaudible with Karajan. A lot of the woodwind parts as well as violas and second violins are hard to hear at all with Karajan. There is a lot more texture and polyphony to this stuff than you would glean from hearing just Karajan. Wand (BPO, especially, but NDR as well) is also mandatory listening. I would also get the Celibidache Munich version on EMI, just for the ability to see everything laid out in unsurpassed color in slow motion, not as an interpretive reference. After hearing Celi, when you listen to anyone else, you won't miss anything!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 10, 2007, 12:48:39 PM
Yesterday, I listened to Symphony No. 1, and I posted my first impressions in the "Purchases Today" thread.  What I found was a stormy work with great power and energy, punctuated by a nice interlude in the form of a lovely slow movement.  I was especially amazed at the scherzo; seldom have I heard one with such power.  Considering that this is an early work, and not generally considered the best of his output, I will be interested to hear the others.  I am listening to them in order, so I'll be posting something about No. 2 before long.

His first symphony is early in terms of chronology with the other symphonies, but it was completed at the ripe young age of 42. Bruckner was long a student of the form before he was inspired to craft his symphonies. And, as you are aware, the Study Symphony and the Nullte were begun before his first (though the 0 was revised after completion of the 1st). From that view, the first can be considered a mature work. It is certainly an exciting piece especially with Jochum's mercurial tempi. The sound is particularly good in the set you have... it is almost hard to believe the performances are from the 60's (other than the '58 5th which does show its age).

I would be interested to hear the thoughts of others about No. 1, and about the others as I move on to them.  Also, recommendations for a second Bruckner cycle would be useful; these seem like symphonies that I should have more than one performance of.  Also, perhaps when I'm done with these I will move on to some of his other music.  Any thoughts on his masses?

Jochum's DG masses with the same Bavarian group from that DG symphony cycle are also very good. Barenboim's EMI recordings of Bruckner's vocal works are also quite good, and the set includes Bruckner's Te Deum which he considered his finest work. It certainly sounds that on the EMI set.

As far as other cycles go, I think you might be best served with an à la carte selection of your favorite symphonies. Georg Tintner has a great cycle from Naxos that is budget priced. But if I had to do it over again, I probably would have selected only his 3rd and 7th as I don't find I listen to any of the others near as much. Stanislaw Skrowaczewski's Saarbrücken set is another that has received strong positive reviews. His timings seem very similar to Jochum's though, so you may get a general feeling of sameness with that set. Tintner's cycle on the other hand features a broader reading and some interesting versions (non-standard). Both of those sets, however, can be purchased piecemeal so if you wanted to add the 0 and 00 symphonies, you could purchase them separately rather than the whole cycle.

There will be a great variety of suggestions on which composers you should seek to compliment your cycle. Sinopoli's 5th, along with Karajan's EMI 7th and '88 8th, and Giulini's 2nd (and OOP 8th--but available as a CD-R from Arkiv) make for some of the finest recordings of all Bruckner's symphonies. Tennstedt's budget priced 4th and 8th combo is another great choice. Klemperer's 1964 Philharmonia 6th, Wand's late 6th with the BPO and Böhm's 4th (along with Karajan's 4th--the EMI release is lower priced and just as fine as the later DG release) are all among those that I would not want to be without. If money is not an object, Barenboim's Chicago 1st coupled with Te Deum is another fine recording; it is OOP though, so you would have to seek it out on the secondary market.

I just ordered the Celibidache box from EMI and I am looking forward to his controversial interpretations. And Inbal's 4th (original version) is next on my list as the Scherzo is completely different from the later "hunting horn" scherzo in the Haas edition.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 10, 2007, 12:55:26 PM
I wasn't comparing it to a performance of the 4th in particular, but rather studio recordings as a whole. Don't you think everything sounds so crisp and clear (especially the ending flourishes, BRILLIANT)? Some studio recordings have duller sound and the layers of the sound aren't projected as smoothly.

That is actually true of Wand's last recordings with the BPO as well--full of exciting, live tension while having clear studio-like sound. I think I may have to add those Munich performances to my list though. ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on June 10, 2007, 01:13:13 PM
That is actually true of Wand's last recordings with the BPOas well--full of exciting, live tension while having clear studio-like sound. I think I may have to add those Munich performances to my list though. ;)

 ??? I meant the MPO recording, not Berliner Philharmoniker.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 10, 2007, 01:21:23 PM
??? I meant the MPO recording, not Berliner Philharmoniker.

I think that's why he said "as well".
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 10, 2007, 01:29:48 PM
If you haven't heard Kubelik (BRSO/Sony) or Böhm (VPO/Decca), you should. Karajan has nowhere near the detail of these two nor the inexorable organic progression.

Agree with you, O, about the detail in the Böhm but still I've never liked that recording. It seems souless to me. I get no rush from it. I admire it; can't love it. Karajan (EMI) remains my favorite version despite the lack of clear detail...or maybe because it lacks detail. The recording makes the Berlin Phil sound like a giant organ (especially so on my old Angel LPs) and I think that works very well for Bruckner. Somebody said Karajan rushes. I've never felt that...and I'm the guy who claims you can't play Bruckner too slowly. In other words, I generally prefer my Bruckner slow. No way would Karajan's Fourth be my favorite if he were a speed demon. Listen to the chorale in the climax of the first movement's development. It's like time is standing still. Listen to how rushed Böhm is. No...I definitely prefer Karajan....and Celi.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on June 10, 2007, 01:42:22 PM
I think that's why he said "as well".

Oh I'm sorry, didn't read the post carefullly.  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Heather Harrison on June 10, 2007, 02:03:24 PM
This thread certainly got going again.

I just listened to the Second; it is an interesting contrast to the First.  It doesn't have the same raw energy; rather, it is more introspective.  I found the finale especially striking in its rapid and frequent changes of mood.  I also love the chorale-like passages in the slow movement.  Like the First, this one was also immediately appealing to me, but additionally I got a sense that there was, perhaps, more going on here; while the First seemed immediately accessible, the Second may need a few more hearings.

So far, I am impressed with the sound quality of this set, especially given its age.  It seems that I made a good choice.

I'll be listening to the Third soon, and I will post my thoughts.

Heather
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 10, 2007, 02:20:55 PM
Agree with you, O, about the detail in the Böhm but still I've never liked that recording. It seems souless to me. I get no rush from it. I admire it; can't love it. Karajan (EMI) remains my favorite version despite the lack of clear detail...or maybe because it lacks detail. The recording makes the Berlin Phil sound like a giant organ (especially so on my old Angel LPs) and I think that works very well for Bruckner. Somebody said Karajan rushes. I've never felt that...and I'm the guy who claims you can't play Bruckner too slowly. In other words, I generally prefer my Bruckner slow. No way would Karajan's Fourth be my favorite if he were a speed demon. Listen to the chorale in the climax of the first movement's development. It's like time is standing still. Listen to how rushed Böhm is. No...I definitely prefer Karajan....and Celi.

I am listening to Wand with the BPO right now. So much more compelling. Throbbing with life and such rich textures. Far better attention to dynamic range, too.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Heather Harrison on June 10, 2007, 03:07:24 PM
I just finished listening to the Third.  To me, it seems more like the Second than the First, but compared to the Second, I get more of a sense of grandeur.  I especially notice this in the finale; there are passages of Wagnerian grandeur interspersed with lovely lyrical sections.  (I understand that this one was dedicated to Wagner, and that earlier versions contained quotes from his music.)  The slow movement seems to run through a great range of emotions, evoking grandeur, darkness, despair, and triumph at various moments.  Like the Second, this one has a great deal going on, and it will likely require several hearings to bring out all of the details.

Heather
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on June 10, 2007, 03:29:15 PM
It's neat to hear comments about someone not already fully familiar with his syms, I'm reading your updates with interest.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on June 10, 2007, 04:59:28 PM
I am listening to Wand with the BPO right now. So much more compelling. Throbbing with life and such rich textures. Far better attention to dynamic range, too.

Yeah, Mensch. I love Wand and his Bruckner. I love it a lot more than Karajan...gotta try his Mahler sometime.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bogey on June 10, 2007, 06:19:43 PM
I need my first recording of the 9th and am not sure what to go with, while not going the box set route.  Start dropping me some "pearls" please....Whoo-ah!  ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 10, 2007, 07:12:29 PM
I need my first recording of the 9th and am not sure what to go with, while not going the box set route.  Start dropping me some "pearls" please....Whoo-ah!  ;)

Another GMG'er posted a favorable review of Skrowaczewski's 9th on the Listening thread. My favorite 9th is Giulini's:

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/416K5KAEQGL._AA240_.jpg)

Jochum's Dresden 9th is also reviewed favorably and available on a budget two-fer with the 8th.

Hopefully, I will be able to make an appraisal of Celibidache's Munich 9th in a few days.   :)

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on June 10, 2007, 07:18:17 PM
I need my first recording of the 9th and am not sure what to go with, while not going the box set route.  Start dropping me some "pearls" please....Whoo-ah!  ;)

I'm never sure whether to recommend historic recordings for a first time, but given how excellent this is, and it being a budget disc, it is a good choice:

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/5188122.jpg) (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//5188122.htm)

Coupled with the Te Deum (on one disc). Bruno Walter, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Sony Masterworks. I'm sure an American store would have it for cheaper.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 10, 2007, 07:30:16 PM
I need my first recording of the 9th and am not sure what to go with, while not going the box set route.  Start dropping me some "pearls" please....Whoo-ah!  ;)

If it's a 'pearl' you're after, Bogey, here's the capstone of Bruckner 9th's, in glorious technicolor sound:


(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/3934966.jpg)


Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Daverz on June 10, 2007, 08:44:41 PM
I'm never sure whether to recommend historic recordings for a first time, but given how excellent this is, and it being a budget disc, it is a good choice:
Coupled with the Te Deum (on one disc). Bruno Walter, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Sony Masterworks. I'm sure an American store would have it for cheaper.

Oh, no, the Walter is historic now  :o  ;)

I love this recording.  Here's the latest remastering:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/517XAYWM1EL._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on June 10, 2007, 09:08:11 PM
If it's a 'pearl' you're after, Bogey, here's the capstone of Bruckner 9th's, in glorious technicolor sound:


(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/3934966.jpg)




What the blue hell...Handel and Bruckner both in one package?  ???
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on June 10, 2007, 09:24:47 PM
What the blue hell...Handel and Bruckner both in one package?  ???

I've been meaning to buy this disc for ages due to many excellent reviews, I'm glad I got reminded of it. Apparently the Handel was played to be as deliberately Bruckner-sounding as possible, and works very successfully as a coupling.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 03:16:43 AM
Oh, no, the Walter is historic now  :o  ;)


Damn...you know what that means, Dave: It means you and I are now historic too.  :(

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 03:35:21 AM
My favorite 9th is Giulini's:

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/416K5KAEQGL._AA240_.jpg)

Jochum's Dresden 9th is also reviewed favorably and available on a budget two-fer with the 8th.

Hey, Bogey. I concur completely with beclemund's recommendations. Giulini is my favorite too, and Jochum, a very different reading, is intensely dramatic and blistering. Haitink/Concertgebouw is also excellent, with a very broad first movement, just the way I like it. Barenboim's Berlin 9th (available separately from the box, I think) is probably the best thing in his cycle...which means it's very good indeed. Many swear by Furtwängler, and I understand why, but he rushes climactic moments; excting, yes, but at some loss of Brucknerian majesty and grandeur. I haven't heard Donwyn's Kubelik...I'd like to.

Have you heard the Eighth yet? If not, I guess my first recommendation would be  this one (http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphonies-Nos-8-9/dp/B00004SRG7/ref=sr_1_7/105-7245042-3406051?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1181564871&sr=1-7). For the price, $7.25 new, it can't be beat.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bogey on June 11, 2007, 03:48:23 AM
Continued thanks folks, I will try to sample all....out of the recs. which would you consider to be the slowest/darkest(?) reading?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 11, 2007, 04:12:37 AM
Heather, your assessment is excellent. This is a compact (for Bruckner) yet full-blown symphonic statement. The scherzo is indeed the work's most striking movement, a harbinger of other brucknerian scherzos to come (0, 2, 3, 6 and 7 also have the same kind of punchy peasant dance model). Note also the Tannhauser quasi-quotations at the beginning of the Finale. That particular movement seals the work in a grand, confident, almost exuberant way.

I concur with Beclemund: don't go for a second set, it's much too restrictive in terms of interpretational points of view and also brucknerian orchestral culture (a major point often insufficiently appreciated). As for specific interpretations for individual symphonies, you'll get recommendations aplenty.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on June 11, 2007, 04:18:10 AM
For 9ths, a combination of Walter and Furtwangler is both cheap and covers both poles of Bruckner interpretation in superb performances.

I have yet to hear either Giulini or Kubelik, however, so I believe I may have a treat in store for me. ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 04:43:50 AM
Continued thanks folks, I will try to sample all....out of the recs. which would you consider to be the slowest/darkest(?) reading?

Of the recordings I own on CD (have several more on LP), Giulini is definitely the slowest. But Jochum's tempos don't prevent his from being dark, very dark indeed. But you can see they stand at opposite interpretive extremes, at least in regards tempo. Giulini takes 35 seconds longer to reach that first, apocalyptic climax in the first movement. Jochum sounds like he's ignored Bruckner's misterioso marking (not that misterioso means slow but in practice it comes out that way).

Giulini         28:02   10:39   29:30
Klemperer    26:43   11:23   27:12
Barenboim   25:30   10:41    27:17   
Haitink        25:11   10:51   26:28
Abendroth    23:24    8:58    21:34
Jochum        23:06    9:49    27:39

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Que on June 11, 2007, 04:49:11 AM
Of the recordings I own on CD (have several more on LP), Giulini is definitely the slowest.

Giulini is the slowest in anything. :)

Q
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 05:04:18 AM
I understand that this one was dedicated to Wagner, and that earlier versions contained quotes from his music.

Yes, the first version, the version Wagner saw when Bruckner asked permission to dedicate the symphony to him, has blatant quotes. If you're familiar with Wagner, they're easy to spot. Lots of fun. As originally written, the Third is actually Bruckner's longest symphony too.

The Third was my first Bruckner, recommended by a friend. It's still my sentimental favorite despite its flaws. Hearing it live even inspired me to wrote a poem:


THE D MINOR, THIRD VERSION, NOWAK

for David "Pete" Petersen

Conducting the Cleveland, Aldo Ceccato, baton
like a sword, was charging his way through the finale
of Bruckner's symphonic cathedral to Wagner
like it was the gallop from Rossini's Tell

(Latin temperament irrepressible, allowing
no monumental peasant piety nor Ländler lope)
when I noticed the afro among the three thousand
palefaces in attendance at Severance:

as the coda approached, that majestic moment
when trumpet theme returns for a major recycling,
the white woman beside him tapped his shoulder,
alerting. He tensed forward, straining to hear,

fanfares rallentando and. . .wholly Hallelujah!!!
Cleveland explodes!
braying horns, tuba and trombones erupting,
trumpets machine-gunning triplets.

I was showered in brass shrapnel, fifths,
goose bumps; a silly grin spreading. And
black and white
beamed enormously at each other

as he shook his head yes! O yes! up and down,
up and down, yes! and yes! And yes,
I thought amazed, this ain't Miles or Marvin,
stereotypes burning away in Brucknerian blaze.

Yes. . .make color and culture irrelevant,
build your Gothic structure of sound,
hurl your themes toward heaven like spires
and stride, augmented, through the macrocosm, Anton: sainted!

And let your majors and minors linger in my mind…


Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Novi on June 11, 2007, 05:10:20 AM
Of the recordings I own on CD (have several more on LP), Giulini is definitely the slowest. But Jochum's tempos don't prevent his from being dark, very dark indeed. But you can see they stand at opposite interpretive extremes, at least in regards tempo. Giulini takes 35 seconds longer to reach that first, apocalyptic climax in the first movement. Jochum sounds like he's ignored Bruckner's misterioso marking (not that misterioso means slow but in practice it comes out that way).

Giulini's tempo works really well in the 9th imo. For me, the third movement becomes almost unbearably devastating and intense almost to breaking point.

I also like Furtwangler 1944 BPO for a more rugged and urgent account.
Timings for this are:
   23'41     9'35     25'38

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 05:12:02 AM
Giulini's tempo works really well in the 9th imo. For me, the third movement becomes almost unbearably devastating and intense almost to breaking point.

I also like Furtwangler 1944 BPO for a more rugged and urgent account.
Timings for this are:
   23'41     9'35     25'38

Thanks for the times. I own that on LP and the times aren't included on the sleeve or the record.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 11, 2007, 09:03:02 AM
The Third is my favorite as well, Sarge. I only have Jochum's BPO, Tintner's RSNO, and Inbal's Frankfurt 3rds, however. The later two are both performances of the original version. Of those three, the Tintner performances is far and away my favorite. The Inbal recording seems a little muddy and lacks the clarity of the Naxos disc. I'm not sure if it was an issue of microphone placement or sound engineering. The RSNO also seems more committed to Tintner's vision and they play with real fervor. I cannot really place where the Jochum recording goes wrong for me, but I seldom make it through the entire symphony... much less the first movement.

We had an unexpected early closing at the office today, so on my way home, I visited the library for Karajan's 3rd (the disc doesn't specify a recording date, but it's a DG '81 release--the discography says '80 recording). I also picked up a '36 Böhm recording and Furtwängler's BPO 5th and 9th from '42 and '44 respectively. It will be a busy day of Bruckner. :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 11, 2007, 09:19:08 AM
The Third is my favorite as well, Sarge. I only have Jochum's BPO, Tintner's RSNO, and Inbal's Frankfurt 3rds, however. The later two are both performances of the original version. Of those three, the Tintner performances is far and away my favorite. The Inbal recording seems a little muddy and lacks the clarity of the Naxos disc. I'm not sure if it was an issue of microphone placement or sound engineering. The RSNO also seems more committed to Tintner's vision and they play with real fervor. I cannot really place where the Jochum recording goes wrong for me, but I seldom make it through the entire symphony... much less the first movement.

You need to get Kubelik's 3rd with BRSO (Sony) and Haitink's 3rd with the VPO (on Philips). Tintner's orchestra is distinctly subpar.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 11, 2007, 09:22:25 AM
Barenboim's Berlin 9th (available separately from the box, I think) is probably the best thing in his cycle...which means it's very good indeed.

Very good, yes, but I still prefer the earlier CSO version.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: jwinter on June 11, 2007, 09:49:42 AM
I have and enjoy Barbirolli's and Karajan's Gold (more expensive) live version.  :)

I assume you mean for the 8th?  I think Bill was asking about the 9th.  I like Barbirolli's 8th, but his BBC 9th is not so hot, and the sound is lousy IMO.

Lots of good recs here for the 9th.  I'll toss in another vote for Bruno Walter, though the Orfeo Kubelik is also superb.  Giulini is excellent as well, and certainly fits the slow & dark criteria (he also has a nice version on DVD with a rehearsal sequence, if you're into that sort of thing).  The Furtwangler is very intense, I don't think I'd recommend it as a first recording, but if you end up enjoying the 9th and want a 2nd alternative, look no further.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: George on June 11, 2007, 11:49:35 AM
I assume you mean for the 8th?  I think Bill was asking about the 9th.  I like Barbirolli's 8th, but his BBC 9th is not so hot, and the sound is lousy IMO.

Lots of good recs here for the 9th.  I'll toss in another vote for Bruno Walter, though the Orfeo Kubelik is also superb.  Giulini is excellent as well, and certainly fits the slow & dark criteria (he also has a nice version on DVD with a rehearsal sequence, if you're into that sort of thing).  The Furtwangler is very intense, I don't think I'd recommend it as a first recording, but if you end up enjoying the 9th and want a 2nd alternative, look no further.

No I messed up worse than that. I was recommending M9.  ::)

Sorry about the confusion.  :-\
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 11, 2007, 11:52:43 AM
I just finished listening to Böhm's 1936 4th with the Sächsische (aka Dresden) Staatskapelle. I have to say, it is a unique reading and hard to make out what exactly was "Romantic" about it ;). It is very quick--too much so; nicht zu schnell did not compute, I supose. I know some are on the outs with Böhm's '73 VPO recording because he does have relatively brisk timings, but it is wholy expansive compared to this early recording. The bright side, the scherzo is very aggressively 'moving' and really flies. It does not feel as energetic as Jochum's BPO sherzo even with the faster timings. But that may have more to do with the gorgeous DG sound on that Jochum cycle.

It also didn't help that the transfer source was probably not in very good shape (1995 Golden Memories). There was more hiss and popping than I could tolerate, and there seemed to be a warp in the source, so there is a background squeek that becomes more prominant as the needle approaches what would be the center of the record--moreso on the first two movements. It only accentuates the already frenetic performance... and not positively.

The transfer on Furtwängler's 1944 9th (1996 Iron Needle), however, is just about perfect... though it may only be due to listening to that bad recording just before it. :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on June 11, 2007, 12:22:15 PM
The transfer on Furtwängler's 1944 9th (1996 Iron Needle), however, is just about perfect... though it may only be due to listening to that bad recording just before it. :)
Probably. The Iron Needle transfer is actually a pirate copy of the DG one with reverb added and heavy noise filtering.

M&A or DG (if they can be found) are to be preferred.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 12:28:45 PM
I just finished listening to Böhm's 1936 4th with the Sächsische (aka Dresden) Staatskapelle. I have to say, it is a unique reading and hard to make out what exactly was "Romantic" about it ;). It is very quick--too much so; nicht zu schnell did not compute, I supose. I know some are on the outs with Böhm's '73 VPO recording because he does have relatively brisk timings, but it is wholy expansive compared to this early recording. The bright side, the scherzo is very aggressively 'moving' and really flies. It does not feel as energetic as Jochum's BPO sherzo even with the faster timings. But that may have more to do with the gorgeous DG sound on that Jochum cycle.

It also didn't help that the transfer source was probably not in very good shape (1995 Golden Memories). There was more hiss and popping than I could tolerate, and there seemed to be a warp in the source, so there is a background squeek that becomes more prominant as the needle approaches what would be the center of the record--moreso on the first two movements. It only accentuates the already frenetic performance... and not positively.

Interesting review. Thanks. One more bit of proof that performances overall have been getting slower and slower since the first half of the last century?

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Novi on June 11, 2007, 12:53:26 PM
Probably. The Iron Needle transfer is actually a pirate copy of the DG one with reverb added and heavy noise filtering.

M&A or DG (if they can be found) are to be preferred.

The Furtwangler can be found in this DG box:

(http://images.ciao.com/ide/images/products/normal/587/Wilhelm_Furtwangler_an_Anniversary_Tribute_Box_Set_Various__1481587.jpg)

or as a single disk from  hmv japan (http://www.hmv.co.jp/product/detail/1839461).

 :)


Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: George on June 11, 2007, 12:57:04 PM
The Furtwangler can be found in this DG box:

(http://images.ciao.com/ide/images/products/normal/587/Wilhelm_Furtwangler_an_Anniversary_Tribute_Box_Set_Various__1481587.jpg)

or as a single disk from  hmv japan (http://www.hmv.co.jp/product/detail/1839461).

 :)




Or here for $1.35: 

http://www.classicalmusicmobile.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=32&products_id=466 (http://www.classicalmusicmobile.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=32&products_id=466)

 :D

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 01:15:33 PM
Very good, yes, but I still prefer the earlier CSO version.

As does the Hurwitzer. I suppose I am in the minority here but his Chicago Bruckner doesn't pull me in like the Berlin does. Come to think of it, there is very little Bruckner by American orchestras I do like. The Dohnányi/Cleveland Fifth. Szell's Eighth. That's about it. I'm sure M could tell us why that is  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 11, 2007, 01:19:06 PM
Probably. The Iron Needle transfer is actually a pirate copy of the DG one with reverb added and heavy noise filtering.

M&A or DG (if they can be found) are to be preferred.

Thank you for the heads up, Edward. I will be sure to find either the DG or Music & Arts release when I add this fine performance to my collection. I wonder what the library will do if I alert them to the nature of the pressing I borrowed from them.

The Furtwangler can be found in this DG box:

(http://images.ciao.com/ide/images/products/normal/587/Wilhelm_Furtwangler_an_Anniversary_Tribute_Box_Set_Various__1481587.jpg)

That'll do it.  ;D

Thanks!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on June 11, 2007, 01:25:53 PM
Thank you for the heads up, Edward. I will be sure to find either the DG or Music & Arts release when I add this fine performance to my collection. I wonder what the library will do if I alert them to the nature of the pressing I borrowed from them.
Probably nothing. The laws against piracy are effectively unenforceable when it it comes to such recordings (how do you prove it's someone else's transfer when extra filtering has been applied anyway?).

I just try to stay away from dubious labels like Iron Needle, Golden Memories, Grammofono 2000 and Urania (particularly when no remastering engineer is credited, or the one credited is the near-ubiquitous Alessandro Nava).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 11, 2007, 01:28:46 PM
As does the Hurwitzer. I suppose I am in the minority here but his Chicago Bruckner doesn't pull me in like the Berlin does. Come to think of it, there is very little Bruckner by American orchestras I do like. The Dohnányi/Cleveland Fifth. Szell's Eighth. That's about it. I'm sure M could tell us why that is  ;D

It depends. There is a lot of Bruckner by non-American orchestras that is equally not compelling. It's really more a function of the conductor, I think. But it's hard to fault Giulini's CSO 9th. Some of the Bruckner Masur did with NYPO was outstanding. The absolute hands down finest 8th I ever heard live was NYPO with Eschenbach (he's doing the 7th with the CSO at Ravinia this summer which I'm greatly looking forward to). I heard 4, 5, 7 and 9 live (in some cases multiple times) with Barenboim CSO all of which were outstanding, a Carnegie 4th and a Berlin tour 9th ranking among my most memorable Bruckner experiences ever. I'd have to say though that the most consistently great Bruckner I have heard live has been with the Concertgebouw (an unforgettable 7th with Chailly and a searing 9th with Haitink, in particular).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 11, 2007, 01:45:59 PM
Interesting review. Thanks. One more bit of proof that performances overall have been getting slower and slower since the first half of the last century?

It may have more to do with the evolution of recording media...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bogey on June 11, 2007, 01:46:33 PM
Was able to sample Giulini but cannot find streams of Furtwängler, Walter, Kubelik or Haitink for that matter.....is this stuff classified Sarge?  8)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: George on June 11, 2007, 01:48:12 PM
Was able to sample Giulini but cannot find streams of Furtwängler, Walter, Kubelik or Haitink for that matter.....is this stuff classified Sarge?  8)

Here's a sample of the Furtwangler:

Or here for $1.35: 

http://www.classicalmusicmobile.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=32&products_id=466 (http://www.classicalmusicmobile.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=32&products_id=466)

 :D


Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bogey on June 11, 2007, 01:54:05 PM
Here's a sample of the Furtwangler:


What is the date on that George and who is the ensemble....it is quite good.

Never mind buddy, got it!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 02:06:16 PM
Was able to sample Giulini but cannot find streams of Furtwängler, Walter, Kubelik or Haitink for that matter.....is this stuff classified Sarge?  8)

The Furtwängler is so powerful it's classified Cosmic Top Secret Atomal. Luckily, I have that clearance. I'm only authorized to give you short clips though.

 Furtwängler Ninth (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/9817449/rk/classic/rsk/hitlist)

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Novi on June 11, 2007, 03:23:06 PM
Was able to sample Giulini but cannot find streams of Furtwängler, Walter, Kubelik or Haitink for that matter.....is this stuff classified Sarge?  8)

Walter can be found  here (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/lang/en/currency/GBP/rsk/hitlist/rk/home/hnum/2743589), assuming we're talking about the ColSO recording. The samples for the 9th are the 4th row down :).

 Haitink (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/7876129/rk/home/rsk/hitlist), Concertgebouw.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bogey on June 11, 2007, 03:40:08 PM
First of all, thank you very much to everyone for all your efforts/reviews here and the digging up of samples for me.....all was most helpful.  Out of the four that I have sampled the results are:

1st Giulini
2nd Walter
3rd Furtwängler
4th Haitink

I still need to sample the Kubelik, if samples are to be found, but I have to say that any of the above would be a nice addition to my shelf.  However, I would want another recording if I only had the Furtwängler....liked it more than Haitink, but still was missing something that Giulini and Walter had to offer....maybe save that one for my historic section.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 03:48:34 PM
It may have more to do with the evolution of recording media...

That's always been my suspicion. Hard to prove though.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 11, 2007, 03:59:38 PM
First of all, thank you very much to everyone for all your efforts/reviews here and the digging up of samples for me.....all was most helpful.  Out of the four that I have sampled the results are:

1st Giulini
2nd Walter
3rd Furtwängler
4th Haitink

I still need to sample the Kubelik, if samples are to be found, but I have to say that any of the above would be a nice addition to my shelf.  However, I would want another recording if I only had the Furtwängler....liked it more than Haitink, but still was missing something that Giulini and Walter had to offer....maybe save that one for my historic section.

The Giulini will be immensely satisfying, I am certain. I suppose I have a bit of a bias against historic recordings, so while I acknowledge the Furtwängler is an engaging performance, I cannot get over the sound limitations, so I would not want it to be my only Ninth. I do prefer the broader, expansive accounts very often, so I cannot wait until the Celibidache EMI box arrives later this week to explore those Munich performances.

[edit: I just ordered the Walter 9th for under 6 USD from an Amazon reseller... nothing to lose there. ;)]
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 11, 2007, 05:26:02 PM

I still need to sample the Kubelik, if samples are to be found...

Bogey, I searched in vain for some samples for the Kubelik 9th. In lieu of that I offer a review from the Hurwitzer on Classics Today. (http://classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=3683) Note his 'reference' picks.

BTW, timings for the Kubelik are as follows:

23:58
10:25
26:17

Compared to the times listed by Sarge:

Giulini         28:02   10:39   29:30
Klemperer    26:43   11:23   27:12
Barenboim   25:30   10:41    27:17   
Haitink        25:11   10:51   26:28
Abendroth    23:24    8:58    21:34
Jochum        23:06    9:49    27:39


FWIW, Kubelik's 9th is worlds away from his Mahler. Kubelik tends to keep his Mahler a bit on the 'lighter' side but this Bruckner 9th is another matter.

Dark, brooding, introspective, and revelatory.


Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Heather Harrison on June 11, 2007, 06:01:30 PM
When I get ready to buy more recordings of Bruckner's symphonies, I'll have to go back through all of the recommendations here.

Anyway, I listened to Nos. 4 and 5 today.  Like 1 and 2, there is a striking contrast between these.  No. 4 is big and powerful, at times sounding Wagnerian.  It is immediately appealing and easy to like.  The "Hunt" scherzo is quite exciting, and I like the contrast of the more delicate trio.  The slow movement exhibits and interesting range of emotions; at times it sounds like a funeral march, while other passages take on a more positive mood.

No. 5 seems to be heading in a different direction; the Wagnerian grandeur is much diminished, and it is replaced by a more austere, introspective mood.  I sense a great deal of emotional depth here, and after only one hearing, I feel like I have barely scratched the surface and there is likely a lot more to be discovered.  There are frequent shifts of mood.  In particular, the scherzo starts out rather dark and stormy, but quickly shifts to a brighter phrase.  In the finale, I was unsure until the very end whether I thought it would end on a tragic or a triumphant note; it kept me in suspense for a long time.

It would be difficult to pick a favorite so far; there is enough variation in the style that I might pick a different one depending on my mood.  However, for some reason I felt a deeper emotional connection with the Fifth than with the others; I have a feeling I will be exploring this one more deeply after I finish with the set.

This type of exploration is unusual for me; typically, I explore a composer's symphonies (and other works) piecemeal.  In this case, I bought the set after having only limited previous exposure to this composer's symphonies.  Nos. 7 and 9 are the only ones that were previously in my collection, and I hadn't spent a lot of time with them.  Now, the three great masses are added to my list; I found Jochum's performances in a Barnes & Noble today; I'll post my impressions of them as I listen to them.  Oddly enough, this was the only Bruckner CD there today; none of the symphonies were present.

Heather
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bogey on June 11, 2007, 06:06:43 PM
When I get ready to buy more recordings of Bruckner's symphonies, I'll have to go back through all of the recommendations here.

Heather

Yes, this just became my No. 1 Bruckner resource guide.

Don,
Thanks for the review and trying to dig up some samples.  I was hoping that it would say what a "weak" performance it was so I could cross it off my list.  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 11, 2007, 06:15:29 PM
Don,
Thanks for the review and trying to dig up some samples. 

Pleasure, Bill!

Quote
I was hoping that it would say what a "weak" perforance it was so I could cross it off my list.  :)

 0:) :D


Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 11, 2007, 08:23:43 PM
Bogey,

There might be a sample of Kubelik's 9th here... (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=&sql=43:94263)

Good luck!


Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 12, 2007, 03:48:51 AM
Footnote on Karajan's DG 3rd: a superb performance, but marred by a bad trumpet clam at the worst possible moment: the highest trumpet note at the exultant climax of the coda of IV  :(

FWIW, my favourite 9ths are (alphabetically)

Giulini VPO
Keilberth
Klemperer
Leitner
Mehta
Wand NDR in Hamburg (NOT the impossibly reverberated Lübeck one).

The Keilberth, Leitner and Wand currently hold the top spot. Note that the Leitner is available as a cheap download at eclassical. I've had it on disc for the past 5 years and it's still firmly in place as my overall 'benchmark' recording. 

Of equal artistic value, but flawed by technical or orchestral limitations:

Abendroth
Delman
Furtwängler
Kubelik (I find the orchestra audibly tires in III and it mars the end result somewhat; notwithstanding, it's a magnificent interpretation, esp. in I)

Other very satisfying worthies:

Barenboim CSO
Blomstedt Gewandhaus
Giulini CSO (M Forever pointed to a horn clam in the introduction about 1' in and I find it hard to get past it now  :'( .).
Walter

Still not listened to (or too long absent from my shelves): the BPO Karajans (2) and Wand.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on June 12, 2007, 03:56:48 AM
Leitner
I have the Leitner 6th on the way to me: would it provide a good way to assess the potential merits of his 9th?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 12, 2007, 04:23:11 AM
If it's the SWF production (Freiburg and Baden-Baden), yes, absolutely. Same granitic, high voltage, uneccentric playing and conducting and superb recording. That's one of my top picks for that work, and it comes with his indispensable Hartmann 6th.

There's another Leitner 6th out there (Basle, Switzerland) which is quite different. I love that one too, but it's not one for everyday consumption.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on June 12, 2007, 04:24:19 AM
If it's the SWF production (Freiburg and Baden-Baden), yes, absolutely. Same granitic, high voltage, uneccentric playing and conducting and superb recording. That's one of my top picks for that work, and it comes with his indispensable Hartmann 6th.

There's another Leitner 6th out there (Basle, Switzerland) which is quite different. I love that one too, but it's not one for everyday consumption.
Thanks.

It is the one with the Hartmann: I'll be interested to see how that compares to Kubelik and Fricsay too.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 12, 2007, 04:59:11 AM
When I get ready to buy more recordings of Bruckner's symphonies, I'll have to go back through all of the recommendations here.

Anyway, I listened to Nos. 4 and 5 today.  Like 1 and 2, there is a striking contrast between these.  No. 4 is big and powerful, at times sounding Wagnerian.  It is immediately appealing and easy to like.  The "Hunt" scherzo is quite exciting, and I like the contrast of the more delicate trio.  The slow movement exhibits and interesting range of emotions; at times it sounds like a funeral march, while other passages take on a more positive mood.

No. 5 seems to be heading in a different direction; the Wagnerian grandeur is much diminished, and it is replaced by a more austere, introspective mood.  I sense a great deal of emotional depth here, and after only one hearing, I feel like I have barely scratched the surface and there is likely a lot more to be discovered.  There are frequent shifts of mood.  In particular, the scherzo starts out rather dark and stormy, but quickly shifts to a brighter phrase.  In the finale, I was unsure until the very end whether I thought it would end on a tragic or a triumphant note; it kept me in suspense for a long time.


If you like #4 you owe it to yourself to listen to the original 1874 version of this work such as this one:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/611C6WZDA9L._AA240_.jpg)
Dennis Russell Davis conducting the Bruckner Orchestra of Linz in a 2003 live recording at a place called the Brucknerhaus.
The 3rd movment is another piece of music. The other movements are so drastic from the Jochum version that you won't recognize it much. It is not as brazenly scored and is more reserved that the later version. I think the later version is vastly superior but this one is a must-hear if you are a Bruckner fan.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Marple on June 12, 2007, 06:20:18 AM
About original versions this just slipped my feets:

Simone Young’s work as music director of the Hamburg Philharmonic and general manager of the Hamburg State Opera has created a furor – both at the opera house as well as in the Laeiszhalle, where symphony concerts are held. One of her major focuses will be the performance of Bruckner symphonies in their original versions – a series to be documented by OehmsClassics. The live recording of her March 2006 concert of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 2 in the original version from 1872 is now available. Listening to this performance, it is amazing how much impetuousness and originality, in the formal sense, Bruckner’s music lost in later “toned down” revisions. The original version of the “Second”, published by William Carragan in 2005, shows the entire creative energy of a symphonic composer who has set out to conquer the musical world.

(http://real1.phononet.de/cover/small/614/486/cx03erjm.j31)

Have any of you heard this recording?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 12, 2007, 06:46:20 AM
Didn't hear Simone Young's Bruckner, but the description is very tempting. Tintner also uses that original edition of the second. While very interesting, there's no denying that he stretches the tempi to unnatural lengths. A more bracing interpretaiton would probably give a better idea of what this edition is all about.

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 12, 2007, 09:56:55 AM
Didn't hear Simone Young's Bruckner, but the description is very tempting. Tintner also uses that original edition of the second. While very interesting, there's no denying that he stretches the tempi to unnatural lengths. A more bracing interpretaiton would probably give a better idea of what this edition is all about.

I'm curious, too. FWIW, Young apprenticed with Barenboim, so she should know her way around a Bruckner symphony.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on June 12, 2007, 10:47:09 AM
FWIW, my favourite 9ths are (alphabetically)

Giulini VPO
Klemperer
Leitner
Mehta
Wand NDR in Hamburg (NOT the impossibly reverberated Lübeck one).

The Leitner and Wand currently hold the top spot. Note that the Leitner is available as a cheap download at eclassical. I've had it on disc for the past 5 years and it's still firmly in place as my overall 'benchmark' recording. 

Of equal artistic value, but flawed by technical or orchestral limitations:

Abendroth
Delman
Furtwängler
Kubelik (I find the orchestra audibly tires in III and it mars the end result somewhat; notwithstanding, it's a magnificent interpretation, esp. in I)

Other very satisfying worthies:

Barenboim CSO
Blomstedt Gewandhaus
Giulini CSO (M Forever pointed to a horn clam in the introduction about 1' in and I find it hard to get past it now  :'( .).
Walter

No Keilberth?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Marple on June 12, 2007, 11:13:43 AM
Young apprenticed with Barenboim, so she should know her way around a Bruckner symphony.

Yes you can be pretty much sure about that! ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 12, 2007, 11:24:29 AM
(http://real1.phononet.de/cover/small/614/486/cx03erjm.j31)

Have any of you heard this recording?


Only short clips  here at JPC (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/9699658/rk/classic/rsk/hitlist)

Sounds interesting...the Finale taken at a much faster pace than her mentor Barenboim.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 12, 2007, 11:58:58 AM
Young's 2nd gets a review on SA-CD.net (http://www.sa-cd.net/showtitle/4461) and a run down of other non-Carragan version 2nds are also provided for comparison's sake. Sounds like an interesting reading. The review mentions the timings are identical to Tintner's Carragan 2nd on Naxos (20:54 10:59 18:06 21:19 according to my iTunes library) but does not make any other mention of that performance beyond that coincidence.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 12, 2007, 01:29:51 PM
Young's 2nd gets a review on SA-CD.net (http://www.sa-cd.net/showtitle/4461) and a run down of other non-Carragan version 2nds are also provided for comparison's sake. Sounds like an interesting reading. The review mentions the timings are identical to Tintner's Carragan 2nd on Naxos (20:54 10:59 18:06 21:19 according to my iTunes library)

Identical to Tintner??? Maybe Young is the new Joyce Hatto  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 12, 2007, 01:44:17 PM
Young's 2nd gets a review on SA-CD.net (http://www.sa-cd.net/showtitle/4461) and a run down of other non-Carragan version 2nds are also provided for comparison's sake. Sounds like an interesting reading. The review mentions the timings are identical to Tintner's Carragan 2nd on Naxos (20:54 10:59 18:06 21:19 according to my iTunes library) but does not make any other mention of that performance beyond that coincidence.

Interesting review. Thanks for posting the link. It's funny how differently we respond to music. He trashed all my favorite Seconds: Wand, Jochum/BRSO (it's better than the Dresden), Barenboim/Berlin (that "lumbering" Finale is the very reason I love it)...well, he did have nice things to say about Stein. I didn't realize that was now available on CD. Time to replace my LP.

The odd thing is, though, he didn't compare Young directly to Tintner. I'd like to know why I should invest in Young if I already own Tintner. He didn't give me a reason.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 12, 2007, 02:08:36 PM
The odd thing is, though, he didn't compare Young directly to Tintner. I'd like to know why I should invest in Young if I already own Tintner. He didn't give me a reason.

I was curious about that myself and with the coincidence on the timings, I was hoping he would tell us what contrasts to expect... at the least. I do not have any recordings featuring the Hamburg Philharmonic, so it may be an interesting place to start.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 12, 2007, 02:29:29 PM
The odd thing is, though, he didn't compare Young directly to Tintner. I'd like to know why I should invest in Young if I already own Tintner. He didn't give me a reason.

I'll give you one: her orchestra can't possibly be worse than Tintner's.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 12, 2007, 02:32:30 PM
I'll give you one: her orchestra can't possibly be worse than Tintner's.

That's what I'm thinking. But is it THAT much better? 16 Euro better?

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 12, 2007, 03:14:55 PM
I'll give you one: her orchestra can't possibly be worse than Tintner's.

I think you are being more than unfair to the RSNO. Sure, the group lacks the Bruckner resumé of a Vienna, Berlin, Dresden or even Munich or Bavarian group, but they certainly did provide Tintner's vision with capable play. The performances and sound on much of the Tintner cycle is competent and engaging... particularly considering they were often working from non-standard repertoire (in terms of the editions recorded) throughout the cycle. The first and the third from that cycle are among some of my favorites of all of the Bruckner recordings I have heard, but then, I am far from an expert. ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on June 12, 2007, 03:18:10 PM
I think you are being more than unfair to the RSNO. Sure, the group lacks the Bruckner resumé of a Vienna, Berlin, Dresden or even Munich or Bavarian group, but they certainly did provide Tintner's vision with capable play. The performances and sound on much of the Tintner cycle is competent and engaging... particularly considering they were often working from non-standard repertoire (in terms of the editions recorded) throughout the cycle. The first and the third from that cycle are among some of my favorites of all of the Bruckner recordings I have heard, but then, I am far from an expert. ;)
IIRC, the Tintner 2nd is with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, which is distinctly wobblier an ensemble than the RSNO (not that I am a fan of the RSNO, having put up with far too many poor performances from them back when I lived in Scotland).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 12, 2007, 03:34:39 PM
IIRC, the Tintner 2nd is with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, which is distinctly wobblier an ensemble than the RSNO (not that I am a fan of the RSNO, having put up with far too many poor performances from them back when I lived in Scotland).

Ah, you are correct. Maybe I spoke too soon. ;)

I usually do not get beyond Giulini's 2nd. I will have to revisit Tintner's to see how the NSOI performs.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on June 12, 2007, 03:35:15 PM
I have some off-air recordings of Simone Young conducting the Oslo PO in Bruckner, and they're fine.  Not particularly distinctive, but fine.

However I really do not know why anyone bothers with that Carragan edition of the 1872 #2.  I have both the Tintner and the (much better) Eichhorn - but neither comes close to comparing with e.g. Giulini/VSO or Konwitschny/BerlinRSO conducting the (1877) Haas edition.  Stick with that, would be my advice.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 12, 2007, 03:36:11 PM
I'll give you one: her orchestra can't possibly be worse than Tintner's.

She looks really bored in that picture. You sure she know what she's doing?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 12, 2007, 03:38:50 PM
However I really do not know why anyone bothers with that Carragan edition of the 1872 #2.  I have both the Tintner and the (much better) Eichhorn - but neither comes close to comparing with e.g. Giulini/VSO or Konwitschny/BerlinRSO conducting the (1877) Haas edition.  Stick with that, would be my advice.

Isn't Carragan the same who inflicted upon us that atrociously cleaned up Hollywood-ish performing version of the finale to the 9th that Talmi recorded? To anyone who has heard Harnoncourt's performance and lecture about the surviving bits of the original, the Carragan completion is completely unlistenable. It's as if he tried to make all the errors Harnoncourt complains of.

She looks really bored in that picture. You sure she know what she's doing?

She looks more like she's having a contest of willpower with a disobedient second clarinet.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on June 12, 2007, 03:40:57 PM
Isn't Carragan the same who inflicted upon us that atrociously cleaned up Hollywood-ish performing version of the finale to the 9th that Talmi recorded? To anyone who has heard Harnoncourt's performance and lecture about the surviving bits of the original, the Carragan completion is completely unlistenable. It's as if he tried to make all the errors Harnoncourt complains of.

Exactly.  The very same.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 12, 2007, 03:56:13 PM
No Keilberth?

I knew I was missing one! :o

Thanks, I've corrected my post.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Heather Harrison on June 12, 2007, 04:25:34 PM
Today, I took a break from the symphonies and listened to the D minor Mass (No. 1).  Although it is earlier than the symphonies I have listened to, I can detect Bruckner's distinctive style in it.  It is a work of both great power and serenity.  I especially loved the very lyrical Benedictus.  The sound quality in Jochum's recording is generally good, but as is usually the case with older analog recordings (1972, in this case), the choir distorts a bit in loud passages.  I'm glad I stumbled onto this set in the store; it is a nice complement to his set of symphonies.

I have noted with interest how many different versions exist for the symphonies; this must certainly create a mess (and therefore a lot of work) for musicologists.  After I have had some time with the symphonies and masses that I have now, I might seek out some of the alternate versions that have been mentioned here (or if I stumble upon them in a store, I'll grab them).  I am also curious about the Ninth Symphony and the various attempts to bring the fragmentary finale to the public.  I'll take note of what people are posting here about it.

Heather
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on June 12, 2007, 04:37:08 PM
I wasn't intending to post in this thread - but now that I'm here, I feel I should mention that beclemund's unfortunate experience with the 1936 Böhm #4 - though typical, sadly - is not a true representation of this fine performance.

The problem with these pirate transfers is that they take any old ratty set of 78s, and record them through any old equipment - often without bothering to apply the correct equalisation - or even play them at exactly the right speed - and then try to "process" them with crudely added reverb / bass lift / treble cut / whatever - and the result is, generally, unlistenable.

Fortunately that 1936 Böhm / Dresden #4 exists in a superb transfer on Dutton - who appear to have taken a virgin set of shellacs and read them with a laser rather than a pickup - and the result is remarkable for its age.  I checked this again a couple of nights ago - and for the first time, actually read the sleeve notes, which say:

Quote
Comparing this 1936 recording with the Decca Vienna Philharmonic recording Karl Böhm made 38 years on, one finds that the Vienna Philharmonic performance has slightly slower speeds and a glowing, streamlined sound;  but it is the warmer, distinctive timbre of the Dresden orchestra which perfectly echoes the composer's title Romantic.  The sounds of nature, and in particular the first movement fanfares with their old-world feel, the resignation of the second, the thrill of the hunt in the third, and the classes of poetry and high drama in the Finale, are perfectly balanced in this splendid recording.

I had not read this before - but it expresses exactly how I feel about this recording.  It's not just that I prefer it to the later (recommended - and good) VPO recording, but that it has a special, rare quality, that you just don't find nowadays.

Worth seeking out.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on June 12, 2007, 05:07:41 PM
The problem with these pirate transfers is that they take any old ratty set of 78s, and record them through any old equipment - often without bothering to apply the correct equalisation - or even play them at exactly the right speed - and then try to "process" them with crudely added reverb / bass lift / treble cut / whatever - and the result is, generally, unlistenable.
Often they don't even take any set of 78s at all: just "process" someone else's transfer that's already been issued on CD. Why bother locating old discs when you can steal the results of someone else's hard work?

Of course, even Urania has occasionally done their own transfer work: there was iirc a Rosbaud Bruckner 8 they did transfer from the original 78s, except they forgot to transfer one disc from the middle of the adagio. Ahem.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on June 12, 2007, 05:09:27 PM
Yes, I have that.  Sad.  The rest of it is rather good.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 12, 2007, 05:35:38 PM
Thank you for that information, Choo Choo. And thank you for the more promising review of that '36 performance. I will definitely, seek out an alternative issue to add to my personal collection. Those historic recordings were all from a local library (that Böhm performance and two Furtwängler performances), and it seems that they are pirate labels in each case. It is  unfortunate. I may see if I can replace their volumes with legal transfers (and probably higher quality ones) after speaking with the head librarian. Then everyone who visits the library can enjoy better transfers and the *real* labels can be compensated for the earlier theft.

I must admit, I am very unfamiliar with the historical recordings market, so I was not aware of the extent of pirate copies in a regular library collection.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on June 12, 2007, 05:54:24 PM
She looks really bored in that picture. You sure she know what she's doing?

Opposed to the Wand discs where he looks like he's already died? :P
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on June 12, 2007, 07:51:15 PM
Fortunately that 1936 Böhm / Dresden #4 exists in a superb transfer on Dutton - who appear to have taken a virgin set of shellacs and read them with a laser rather than a pickup - and the result is remarkable for its age.  I checked this again a couple of nights ago - and for the first time, actually read the sleeve notes, which say:


Worth seeking out.

You made me interested so I did a bit of search and it appears that at this moment disc is only available directly from Dutton. That is not the end of it - it seems that their stock on that one is so low that the order can't be placed directly online but it has to be e-mailed or phoned in.
So if anybody wants it my advice would be - be quick

http://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.asp?prod=CDEA5007 (http://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.asp?prod=CDEA5007)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on June 13, 2007, 01:03:18 AM
Well I hope no-one buys this based solely on my recommendation, as my tastes in these things are well known to be, shall we say, somewhat "individual".  Which is why I try to stay out of the discussions, mostly.

However it is certainly true that once a Dutton issue sells out, that's it.  I was too slow off the mark when Dutton were flogging off their Jensen/Nielsen recordings, and once I realised what I'd missed, no amount of pleading would get Michael Dutton to source me a copy.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 13, 2007, 05:33:34 AM
I am also curious about the Ninth Symphony and the various attempts to bring the fragmentary finale to the public.

If you're interested in the finale for the 9th, I would get the Harnoncourt/VPO recording first as it contains a performance of all surviving original fragments (which is actually quite a bit) as well as a lecture by Harnoncourt on what the finale would have been like if it had been completed (which is actually very informative as Harnoncourt also provides a general primer on Brucknerian symphonic structure). The early 80's Carragan completion (recorded by Talmi and others) is quite frankly wretched. It makes all the errors Harnoncourt assaults in his lecture, in particular it "corrects" many harmonic clashes without which Bruckner would not be Bruckner, thus turning it into undramatic mush. I am unfamiliar with the Samale/Mazucca version. Carragan revised his version 2003 and again 2006 (hopefully correcting his prior errors and incorporatnig newly discoevred original material) and there is also Marthe version from last year, which should also incorporate the most recent scholarship. But I have not heard either one of those and recordings of these are few and far between.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on June 13, 2007, 05:48:35 AM
I find the the Mazzucca/Cohrs/etc reconstruction makes a much more convincing case than that wretched Carragan effort.  Of the two recordings I have, Eichhorn/Linz is the better performance overall, but Wildner/Westphalia on Naxos is a good runner-up - and actually not a bad #9 with or without the Finale (and also cheap, if it's still available.)

You do have to bear in mind that, as Robert Simpson puts it, "this is not a Mahler #10 situation".  If a Bruckner symphony is a cathedral, then what we here are the blocks in the stonemasons' yard round the back, from which it was intended that the missing North Transept would one day have been constructed.  A good deal of "creativity" goes into any attempt to make more of it than a forensic survey of the various bits.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 13, 2007, 05:57:44 AM
I find the the Mazzucca/Cohrs/etc reconstruction makes a much more convincing case than that wretched Carragan effort.  Of the two recordings I have, Eichhorn/Linz is the better performance overall, but Wildner/Westphalia on Naxos is a good runner-up - and actually not a bad #9 with or without the Finale (and also cheap, if it's still available.)

Thanks for that. I will seek out those discs. The Naxos at that price should be a fairly low risk purchase.

You do have to bear in mind that, as Robert Simpson puts it, "this is not a Mahler #10 situation".  If a Bruckner symphony is a cathedral, then what we here are the blocks in the stonemasons' yard round the back, from which it was intended that the missing North Transept would one day have been constructed.  A good deal of "creativity" goes into any attempt to make more of it than a forensic survey of the various bits.

Yes and no. Have you listened to the Harnoncourt? There is actually a substantial amount of the finale that Bruckner finished and completely orchestrated. The problem is that a number of transitions are missing and it's anybody's guess how he meant to get from one unrelated key to another. Also, the final section of the finale was supposed to be a gigantic fugue of the main themes from the 5th, 7th, 8th and the preceding movements of the 9th and we have at best scant information as to what that was supposed to look and sound like.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on June 13, 2007, 06:10:07 AM
Have you listened to the Harnoncourt?

Yes I have.  Well, mostly.  My problem with that recording, as with all of Harnoncourt's Bruckner that I've heard (in the concert hall as well as on disk) is staying awake until the end.  One of these days I'm hoping to manage it.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 13, 2007, 06:38:50 AM
Yes I have.  Well, mostly.  My problem with that recording, as with all of Harnoncourt's Bruckner that I've heard (in the concert hall as well as on disk) is staying awake until the end.  One of these days I'm hoping to manage it.

Well, you really need to only listen to the fragments of the finale. Those are not that long.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 13, 2007, 06:55:29 AM
Well I hope no-one buys this based solely on my recommendation, as my tastes in these things are well known to be, shall we say, somewhat "individual".  Which is why I try to stay out of the discussions, mostly.

It was quite nearly compelling enough with the bad recording I listened to. With an understanding that it is far from a decent transfer, I am curious enough to hear what a good transfer might sound like. And in the end, I plan on donating it to the library, so even if I am disappointed by it, it will not be a lost cause. :)

I do enjoy Böhm's '73 Vienna recording, so it makes for an interesting exploration.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Heather Harrison on June 13, 2007, 06:43:55 PM
Today, I listened to Nos. 6 and 7 (and Mass No. 2).

Symphony No. 6 seemed like somewhat of a continuation of No. 5; a similar dark, introspective mood was present.  However, the mood seemed a bit more varied and I tried to figure out what this symphony had to say, with only limited success.  To not quite "get" a late Romantic symphony on the first hearing isn't entirely unusual; if anything, it is a good sign that there might be some real depth to it.  This is one that I will be spending more time with.

Symphony No. 7, in contrast, exhibited a return to the power and grandeur of some of the earlier ones, and was more immediately easy to appreciate.  It would be hard for me to find words to describe the slow movement; it is almost a half-hour of sheer beauty that had me completely absorbed.

Mass No. 2 is more austere and serene than No. 1.  It lacks soloists, and the orchestra consists only of woodwinds and brass.  It is polyphonically rich (as is much of Bruckner's music) and, in a way, sounds both ancient and Romantic at the same time.  There is a lot going on here; I will certainly have to listen to it a few more times to gain a deeper understanding.

I'm about through the symphonies and masses; I suppose the next step will be to listen to some of them a few more times to gain a better understanding, and to collect some additional performances and check out alternate versions.  Bruckner certainly is a fascinating composer.

Heather
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 14, 2007, 05:05:25 AM
Symphony No. 6 seemed like somewhat of a continuation of No. 5; a similar dark, introspective mood was present.  However, the mood seemed a bit more varied and I tried to figure out what this symphony had to say, with only limited success.  To not quite "get" a late Romantic symphony on the first hearing isn't entirely unusual; if anything, it is a good sign that there might be some real depth to it.  This is one that I will be spending more time with.

Not sure I agree with that. The 5th has that incredible, glorious finale with that massive fugue that is kicked off by the clarinet's quizzical interruptions of quotations from the prior three movements. It's rather unique in Bruckner's output. The 6th by contrast is in many ways Bruckner's most intimate symphony.

Symphony No. 7, in contrast, exhibited a return to the power and grandeur of some of the earlier ones, and was more immediately easy to appreciate.  It would be hard for me to find words to describe the slow movement; it is almost a half-hour of sheer beauty that had me completely absorbed.

It is also an endless exercise in inversion by contrary motion. It's really astounding how far Bruckner could take the concept.

Mass No. 2 is more austere and serene than No. 1.  It lacks soloists, and the orchestra consists only of woodwinds and brass.  It is polyphonically rich (as is much of Bruckner's music) and, in a way, sounds both ancient and Romantic at the same time.  There is a lot going on here; I will certainly have to listen to it a few more times to gain a deeper understanding.

To me, Mass No. 2 has one of the most magical openings of any work in the entire musical catalogue. It is also a pinnacle of Bruckner's experimentation with Beethoven's concept from the first movement of the 9th where a theme gradually materializes out of nothingness. The openings of most of his symphonies starting with the 3rd are some variation of this idea, some more openly so (e.g. the 3rd which takes the actual melody of the theme from Beethoven's 9th as it's main theme and the 8th which takes the rhythm of the opening theme of Beethoven's 9th for the rhythm of its main theme).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 14, 2007, 05:15:49 AM
Not sure I agree with that. The 5th has that incredible, glorious finale with that massive fugue that is kicked off by the clarinet's quizzical interruptions of quotations from the prior three movements. It's rather unique in Bruckner's output. The 6th by contrast is in many ways Bruckner's most intimate symphony.

Not sure I agree with that last statement. I hear, at least in the first movement, a wide-screen, cinematic sweep and grandeur. Nothing intimate about it. But then, the main theme sounds remarkably similar to the main theme of Lawrence of Arabia. Maybe if I could get that allusion out of my head it would sound more intimate. ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: karlhenning on June 14, 2007, 05:18:09 AM
. . . kicked off by the clarinet's quizzical interruptions of quotations from the prior three movements. It's rather unique in Bruckner's output.

But . . . now, what does that remind me of?  8)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: karlhenning on June 14, 2007, 05:19:26 AM
Mass No. 2 is more austere and serene than No. 1.  It lacks soloists, and the orchestra consists only of woodwinds and brass.  It is polyphonically rich (as is much of Bruckner's music) and, in a way, sounds both ancient and Romantic at the same time.  There is a lot going on here; I will certainly have to listen to it a few more times to gain a deeper understanding.

Yes, Heather, this made a very favorable impression when I heard it sung live here in Boston.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 14, 2007, 06:04:12 AM
But then, the main theme sounds remarkably similar to the main theme of Lawrence of Arabia. Maybe if I could get that allusion out of my head it would sound more intimate. ;D

Now that's a stretch. I can see why you would say that though.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 14, 2007, 06:05:29 AM
But . . . now, what does that remind me of?  8)

Yes, obviously. But LvB does it a bit differently.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 14, 2007, 08:52:18 AM
However it is certainly true that once a Dutton issue sells out, that's it.  I was too slow off the mark when Dutton were flogging off their Jensen/Nielsen recordings, and once I realised what I'd missed, no amount of pleading would get Michael Dutton to source me a copy.

It would seem Dutton's last copy of Böhm's '36 4th is completely sold out now.  ;)

For others interested, however, there are two copies available from Amazon US marketplace sellers.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Philoctetes on June 14, 2007, 10:34:14 AM
I love the robustness of Bruckner's symphonies. They contain the element that I seek the most in the orchestral music I listen to, with the most frequency.

Lots of brass.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Heather Harrison on June 14, 2007, 04:18:58 PM
Today, I finished listening to the Bruckner sets.

The last two symphonies are so massive and complex that my first impressions are unlikely to do justice to them.  As with No. 7, both have massive nearly-half-hour slow movements which seemed to draw me into their sound world.  While the other movements may have more power and grandeur, it is these slow movements that I find especially appealing.  Within the other movements, I found the scherzo of No. 9 quite fascinating; it is quite a stormy piece, with a rather unusual trio.  I definitely want to listen to these symphonies a few more times before developing a strong opinion.  But so far, I like them very much.

Mass No. 3, like No. 1, includes soloists and the full symphony orchestra; it is a powerful, complex piece of music that varies considerably in mood.

This exercise in listening to Bruckner's symphonies and masses, one after another, over a relatively short time, has been fascinating.  I have gone through them and come up with first impressions, which may be unreliable.  Subsequent hearings will likely cause me to change my mind about some of the ideas I have posted here.  And for those pieces which I didn't find immediately accessible, subsequent hearings will help me understand them better.  Music this complex can seldom be understood well without repeated serious listening, so I can't claim to understand them now.

I am glad I finally got around to going through Bruckner's music; there is a lot here that I like, and I will likely be listening to these CDs often in the future.  Now I wish the Utah Symphony would perform a Bruckner symphony or mass; they do a great job with other late Romantic repertoire (i.e. Mahler, Elgar) so I am sure they would give a good performance of Bruckner's music.

Heather
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on June 15, 2007, 04:20:15 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Heather Harrison on June 15, 2007, 06:33:24 PM
I noted that too; I do find it interesting that he stuck to the four-movement form, while at the same time pushing the envelope in other ways.  Apparently, he considered Beethoven to be a strong influence, so it shouldn't be surprising to hear a bit of the influence of the later Classic period in his work.  I also noticed a bit of this while listening to his symphonies, and as I explore them more deeply, perhaps I will find more.

Heather
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 15, 2007, 07:29:52 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.

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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm 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  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Raisa 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)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich 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...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia 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).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich 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 :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock 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
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock 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
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko 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 (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.music.classical.recordings/browse_thread/thread/d89f8b023738a1c5/f5899f769bb22284?q=toscanini+fake&lnk=ol&) classic whodunnit with elements of Hitchcockian suspense and neo-noirish denial......
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on June 17, 2007, 10:33:26 AM
No Schuricht?  :'(
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on June 17, 2007, 10:35:37 AM
No Matacic?  :'( :'(
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on June 17, 2007, 10:43:56 AM
Stop adding names I have to investigate :(
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Que on June 17, 2007, 11:31:32 AM
Another Matacic.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/8788061.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo 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.)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Israfel the Black 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: uffeviking 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on June 17, 2007, 06:39:30 PM
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.

Start just with 7th, Czech Philharmonic has very particular sound (brass especially) in Bruckner. It's better to see whether you like it or not on that one before eventually buying more.   
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: CS on June 17, 2007, 07:51:22 PM
Which Matacic recordings can be considered top-notch?

One of my favorite 3's:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZP6FWA8VL._AA240_.jpg)

I actually haven't listened to it in some time -- about to change that.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 18, 2007, 03:28:28 AM
And how it came to the light of day you can read all about in this (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.music.classical.recordings/browse_thread/thread/d89f8b023738a1c5/f5899f769bb22284?q=toscanini+fake&lnk=ol&) classic whodunnit with elements of Hitchcockian suspense and neo-noirish denial......

Thanks: so Berky confirms, I trust he's done his homework. The orchestration changes Toscanini made seem to me limited to the timpani parts (Finale at two places - very effective!). Anyone spotted other changes?

There are just too many good  - even great - versions of Bruckner symphonies to list all the conductors involved. Schuricht yes, for the VPO 5, and Matacic's 9. But more importantly , I forgot to list my current top 9, Wand NDRSO in Hamburg. I edited my post.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on June 18, 2007, 04:01:00 AM
Thanks: so Berky confirms, I trust he's done his homework. The orchestration changes Toscanini made seem to me limited to the timpani parts (Finale at two places - very effective!). Anyone spotted other changes?

2nd theme of the 4th movement is given to horn instead of strings. First appearance 1:04-1:21.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 18, 2007, 05:04:05 AM
No Schuricht?  :'(

No Matacic?  :'( :'(


No, I haven't heard these conductors in Bruckner yet. I'll rectify that.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 18, 2007, 05:05:26 AM
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.

I haven't heard his 5th but his 6th is superb.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 18, 2007, 06:14:06 AM

No, I haven't heard these conductors in Bruckner yet. I'll rectify that.

Sarge

You MUST get Schuricht's VPO Bruckner 8th. It's unbelievable. Such energy, such inexorable forward motion.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Steve on June 18, 2007, 06:20:18 AM
You MUST get Schuricht's VPO Bruckner 8th. It's unbelievable. Such energy, such inexorable forward motion.

I couldn't imagine being without his 6th. Just an incredible performance.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/512SM1G78GL._AA240_.jpg[/url])

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 18, 2007, 06:27:33 AM
You MUST get Schuricht's VPO Bruckner 8th. It's unbelievable. Such energy, such inexorable forward motion.

Isn't that OOP?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on June 18, 2007, 06:38:27 AM
Matacic's 9. But more importantly , I forgot to list my current top 9, Wand NDRSO in Hamburg. I edited my post.

Which Matacic 9 do you refer to (the NHK or the VPO)? Is it this Wand 9th you mention (from Musikhalle Hamburg)?

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HCZFHW9XL._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: CS on June 18, 2007, 08:11:33 AM
I haven't heard his 5th but his 6th is superb.

Sarge

I also enjoyed his 6th on Orfeo, but found his 9th on Orfeo, which he tries to do similarly (very blended, lush wall of sound), a bore.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 18, 2007, 08:42:11 AM
You MUST get Schuricht's VPO Bruckner 8th. It's unbelievable. Such energy, such inexorable forward motion.

I found a used copy for €5.80 from a seller in Germany. Should have it within the week.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 18, 2007, 08:43:09 AM
Isn't that OOP?

Seems to be.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 18, 2007, 09:00:47 AM
I couldn't imagine being without his 6th. Just an incredible performance.

I have his 4th (SWR), 5, 8 & 9 (VPO). With which orchestra did he record the 6th?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on June 18, 2007, 10:08:19 AM
I have his 4th (SWR), 5, 8 & 9 (VPO). With which orchestra did he record the 6th?

None, as far as I know.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 18, 2007, 01:45:52 PM
There's no Schuricht 6. He's one of those old school conductors who couldn't be bothered with the 'smaller' symphonies ::).

Rubio, my informer  8) tells me this is another avatar of the Wand B9 I talked about. I think it also has his 5th, but I'm not sure which one exactly. I treasure his Hamburg late-seventies one. Go for that set !
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Daverz on June 18, 2007, 03:10:49 PM
Toshiba EMI will be reissuing the Schuricht/VPO Bruckner 8 & 9 in August (http://www.hmv.co.jp/search/index.asp?target=CLASSIC&genre=700&adv=1&keyword=schuricht+bruckner) according to HMV.

The Schuricht/VPO 3 is still available (http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphony-No-3-Anton/dp/B000035QA1/ref=sr_1_4/002-2634653-4340048?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1182211797&sr=8-4).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 18, 2007, 03:59:14 PM

looks like Schuricht's B8 is also here:

http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VBA378MVL._AA240_.jpg

which is also oop in the US >:(
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 18, 2007, 06:15:44 PM
As with No. 7, both have massive nearly-half-hour slow movements which seemed to draw me into their sound world.  While the other movements may have more power and grandeur, it is these slow movements that I find especially appealing.

I can only guess that you would probably very much enjoy Giulini's 8th and 9th (and his 2nd as well) since you have expressed an enjoyment for the slow movements of these pieces. Giulini's expansive readings of these symphonies expose great detail in the slow movements. The Adagio to the 8th is particularly moving. His 2nd is available from Testament (http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphony-No-2-Anton/dp/B00005K3PZ) and his 8th through Arkiv's OOP reprinting (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=56689). His 9th is available from DG (http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphonie-No-9-Anton/dp/B000001GAM). Some have stated a preference for his Chicago 9th over the Vienna DG release... the former is still available on a budget box from EMI (http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Recordings-Ludwig-van-Beethoven/dp/B0001ZMBV0) as well.

That is if you were looking to add more Bruckner to your library. :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 20, 2007, 08:31:20 AM
The problem with these pirate transfers is that they take any old ratty set of 78s, and record them through any old equipment - often without bothering to apply the correct equalisation - or even play them at exactly the right speed - and then try to "process" them with crudely added reverb / bass lift / treble cut / whatever - and the result is, generally, unlistenable.

Fortunately that 1936 Böhm / Dresden #4 exists in a superb transfer on Dutton - who appear to have taken a virgin set of shellacs and read them with a laser rather than a pickup - and the result is remarkable for its age.

Thank you again for this information, Choo Choo. The Dutton transfer arrived in the mail yesterday and I have had the pleasure of listening through it several times now. It is certainly a far better performance than I gave it credit upon listening to the poorer, pirate transfer earlier. While I still enjoy the broader VPO recording from the early 70s, this one is a fine performance with great sound for its age. I am glad you followed up my post with your thoughtful response.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on June 20, 2007, 09:19:27 AM
And thank you for posting this update.  I'm glad you had a better experience with that transfer. :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 20, 2007, 01:37:02 PM
You MUST get Schuricht's VPO Bruckner 8th. It's unbelievable. Such energy, such inexorable forward motion.

The Amazon seller was fast! I got the Schuricht 8th today. I may have time to listen to it tomorrow.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 20, 2007, 01:38:51 PM
The Amazon seller was fast! I got the Schuricht 8th today. I may have time to listen to it tomorrow.

Happy listening.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MISHUGINA on June 20, 2007, 06:02:52 PM
where can I still order the elusive last Bruckner 5 by Jochum/Concertgebouw on Tahra? How much is it?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on June 20, 2007, 08:13:34 PM
where can I still order the elusive last Bruckner 5 by Jochum/Concertgebouw on Tahra? How much is it?

I think this is the only place it still exists. It includes my favourite Bruckner 5 (together with Furtwangler/BPO and Karajan/BPO). Act fast!

http://www.alapage.com/-/Fiche/MusiqueClassique/509136/symphonies-n-4-5-et-6-anto-bruckner-anton-bruckner-symphonie-de-l-epoque-romantique.htm?fulltext=bruckner%20jochum%20tahra&id=123491177193533&donnee_appel=ALAPAGE

(http://www.alapage.com/resize.php?ref=509136&type=2&w=250&h=250&r=0.4&s=0.6)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 21, 2007, 02:29:02 AM
I just bought the 1986 Tahra 5th, but it's a different release (only that symphony). I haven't listened to it yet. There's a fascinating comment by Jochum on his interpretation of that symphony. He explains how and why he reinforces the brass with 11 additional instruments (4-3-3-1) in the coda  of the last movement.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: CS on June 21, 2007, 02:22:58 PM
I haven't listened to it yet. There's a fascinating comment by Jochum on his interpretation of that symphony.

On the audio recording?

-CS
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 21, 2007, 04:32:32 PM
No, it's in the booklet notes, in German, French and English. The symphony is spread over 2 discs, and this is easily Jochum's broadest interpretation of the score. I guess I'll give it a spin this weekend.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 21, 2007, 04:46:07 PM
You all have made me curious enough about this one, so I had to locate a copy... It seems I found the set Lilas bought with the 5th on two discs on eBay. Maybe I will get a chance to take it for a spin early next week if the seller ships in a timely manner...  ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Daverz on June 22, 2007, 02:27:38 AM
Giulini's expansive readings of these symphonies expose great detail in the slow movements. The Adagio to the 8th is particularly moving. His 2nd is available from Testament (http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphony-No-2-Anton/dp/B00005K3PZ) and his 8th through Arkiv's OOP reprinting (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=56689).

I wouldn't bother with a $30 CD-R from Archiv when you can still get pressed CDs from Japan (http://www.hmv.co.jp/search/index.asp?target=CLASSIC&genre=700&adv=1&keyword=giulini+bruckner) for $25 including shipping.  Unfortunately, no English notes in the Japanese issue, either.  Also, they have the Chicago 9th as a separate issue.  I don't like the brass playing in that one; it seems too cutting for Bruckner.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 22, 2007, 06:41:53 AM
I wouldn't bother with a $30 CD-R from Archiv when you can still get pressed CDs from Japan (http://www.hmv.co.jp/search/index.asp?target=CLASSIC&genre=700&adv=1&keyword=giulini+bruckner) for $25 including shipping.  Unfortunately, no English notes in the Japanese issue, either.  Also, they have the Chicago 9th as a separate issue.  I don't like the brass playing in that one; it seems too cutting for Bruckner.

Thank you for the link. HMV is another storefront I can add to my growing bookmark list when looking for CDs. :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 22, 2007, 06:45:21 AM
I wouldn't bother with a $30 CD-R from Archiv when you can still get pressed CDs from Japan (http://www.hmv.co.jp/search/index.asp?target=CLASSIC&genre=700&adv=1&keyword=giulini+bruckner) for $25 including shipping.  Unfortunately, no English notes in the Japanese issue, either.  Also, they have the Chicago 9th as a separate issue.  I don't like the brass playing in that one; it seems too cutting for Bruckner.

87 minutes for the Nowak Edition? He is getting close to Celibidache territory although I think Celi uses the Haas.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 22, 2007, 12:24:38 PM
87 minutes for the Nowak Edition? He is getting close to Celibidache territory although I think Celi uses the Haas.

They both use Nowak... for a time, I thought it could not get any more broad than that Giulini. I have only just begun absorbing Celibidache's 8th this week. I cannot imagine ever returning to Jochum's 1964 Berlin 8th (also Nowak) as it just seems way too quick in contrast at around 74 minutes. :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 22, 2007, 12:27:13 PM
If anybody happens to be in NYC there are a few copies of the Giulini B8 at Academy Records for $18.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 22, 2007, 01:33:34 PM
They both use Nowak... for a time, I thought it could not get any more broad than that Giulini. I have only just begun absorbing Celibidache's 8th this week. I cannot imagine ever returning to Jochum's 1964 Berlin 8th (also Nowak) as it just seems way too quick in contrast at around 74 minutes. :)

Neither can I, but not for the same reasons. My preferences for the 8th are broad enough to find plenty of satisfaction in interpretations that span a wide range of timings. It's not so much the tempi. By and large Van Beinum, Haitink Amsterdam (1969), Jochum Berlin, Mrawinsky, Carlos Païta and Barbirolli are in the same timing range ( 72-74 minutes) but taken together they cover a huge canvas of interpretive possibilities.

Few interpretations over 84 minutes satisfy me, but the Celibidache does, even though it's a good 12-15 minutes than the next slowest.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 23, 2007, 09:58:03 AM
Neither can I, but not for the same reasons. My preferences for the 8th are broad enough to find plenty of satisfaction in interpretations that span a wide range of timings. It's not so much the tempi. By and large Van Beinum, Haitink Amsterdam (1969), Jochum Berlin, Mrawinsky, Carlos Païta and Barbirolli are in the same timing range ( 72-74 minutes) but taken together they cover a huge canvas of interpretive possibilities.

Few interpretations over 84 minutes satisfy me, but the Celibidache does, even though it's a good 12-15 minutes than the next slowest.

Well, there is more about the Jochum that is less appealing to me than the other interpretations I own other than his timings. Though I have to admit, other than the Jochum BPO, every interpretation I own tops 82 minutes... Haitink's latest with the RCO, Karajan's '88, Wand's last Berlin, along with Celi, Giulini and Tintner all tipping the scales on the broader end of the spectrum. As I look at the handful of recording I own, I realize I lack any historical performances, so this might be a good place to consider adding Abendroth's 8th if I can find it.

Speaking of historical performances, I was delighted to see a poster on the listening thread with a favorable first impression of the Kabasta 7th. Prieser Records also has a Kabasta 4th in their catalog. I think I may add that pair to my library.

Does anyone have any other recomendations for historic Bruckner performances... particularly those with great transfers? I would like to add a Knappertsbusch 3rd (though '62 does not seem to qualify as historic--if so, then I am fast approaching relic status myself) as I understand it was his favorite symphony (mine as well). But I do not have any real idea where to go with the other symphonies other than Klemperer for the 6th (though which performance). I may have to investigate Testament's catalogue.

Where should I start with Horenstein (though he seems to fall largely in the last half of the last century)? What are your favorite Furtwängler performances? Klemperer? Beinum?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rw1883 on June 23, 2007, 03:42:57 PM
A good place to start with Horenstein is the live 5th from 1971 on BBC (http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphony-5-Anton/dp/B00004SV5H/ref=sr_1_3/002-1287825-4426453?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1182643330&sr=1-3 (http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphony-5-Anton/dp/B00004SV5H/ref=sr_1_3/002-1287825-4426453?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1182643330&sr=1-3))...it's been on different labels through the years.  Berkshire has the Music & Arts transfer (http://www.berkshirerecordoutlet.com/cgi-bin/seek.pl?StartRow=1&Label=&QueryText=horenstein&RPP=10&AndOr=OR&Meth=Some&pprice=&genre= (http://www.berkshirerecordoutlet.com/cgi-bin/seek.pl?StartRow=1&Label=&QueryText=horenstein&RPP=10&AndOr=OR&Meth=Some&pprice=&genre=)), but I haven't heard it.

For Furtwangler...they are all worth hearing many times.  The wartime recordings are all great, but the 1949 8th's are my favorites.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 23, 2007, 07:07:22 PM
The Tennstedt Boston 8 (1974) is historical in the best sense. Although there's hiss and the occasional bout of static interferences, this broadcast is in very good sound and captures an incandescent performance. I was surprised at the incredible commitment of the orchestra. I don't think they must have been familiar with this work, or with much Bruckner at all. They clearly trust their conductor and give their all. It's a strange Bruckner sound, almost a mix of Munch BSO with Mrawinsky LPO. Strings slash into their parts with wild abandon, and I've never heard such a brass section as this. Trumpets shear through the mighty climax of I, the wild scherzo sections and the martial portions of IV like they're going to war. The coda is wildly exultant and crushing. Throughout, Everett Firth presides over the timpani with ferocious energy.

Personally I found Tennstedt's and the orchestra's intensity almost offputting in the first two movements. It's as if they're intent at burning their collective ship early in the game. But the Adagio is very collected and intense, with a hushed and anguished coda. Surprisingly, this is the place where the Boston audience spontaneously showed its approval with applause and bravos. How often does that happen after a slow movement? Quite typical of a great night at the symphony, where risks are taken, spontaneous combustion occurs and occasionally thwarts the balance in unexpected ways. The qualities that emerge the most here are intensity and sheer gusto. This is as far removed as could be from the german model as exemplified by Kempe, Karajan, Jochum or Knappertsbusch. I can't say I like this particular orchestral sound in Bruckner, but there's no denying the interpretation is memorable.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 25, 2007, 05:26:27 PM
Another superb 8th, this time from an unlikely provenance. The Tokyo NHK Symphony under austro-croatian conductor Lovro von Matacic. The same comments I made about the Tennstedt 8 might apply here, with a few differences. First is the sound of the orchestra. Trumpets dominate and the whole brass section is very powerful, with clear, ringing tone. Strings lack weigth and warmth: you'd never mistake this band for a german orchestra. Powerful, crisp timpani. The player ends all the numerous fff rolls with a bang, a device that eventually becomes a bit complacent.

The Adagio is slower than Tennstedt's but not as intense. Indeed the coda is intense and collected but lacks a sense of grief, resignation, hope mingled with despair. These last minutes of III offer a kaleidoscope of emotions but one wouldn't guess it from that interpretation. The Finale is tumultuous and heroic, culminating in a magnificently volcanic account of the coda (the whole brass section cover themselves with glory here).

The Denon sound is crystal clear and very wide ranging. However, as in all the recordings I've heard from that source, there is no deep bass. The telluric, subterranean groans and growls that should be underpinning much of I and III are nowhere to be found. This is a refined, transparent, cool engineering job. A contemporaneous 7th recorded by Denon in Dresden shows what's missing here. Notwithstanding my caveat, this is a smashing good version that almost joins the elite of recorded 8ths.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 26, 2007, 05:40:20 PM
I will have to settle for Matacic's CPO 7th for now. I saw the 8th at HMV from an unfamiliar label, Altus. I am waiting for another order to arrive from HMV before I decide to use their service again tho'. Thank you for the recommendations, Lilas Pastia.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 26, 2007, 06:20:43 PM
Today's listening was devoted to the Tahra Jochum 5th, his very last concert with the Concertgebouw (December 1986). This is  5-7 minutes broader than the familiar BRSO and SD versions on DG and EMI. The extra time is spread over all four movements. The recording is very natural, with lots of detail and fine resonance. Note that Jochum's COA sounds different form Haitink's: more somber in colour, more 'spread' in phrasing.

In the program notes Jochum explains how and why he did retouchings in the score. For example, where strings and brass play ff, the brass have no problem being heard, but the strings tend to lose presence. Jochum asks the brass to play slightly softer so the important string lines are clearly heard. Also, in the coda of IV, where in a live performance the brass are at the limit of their forces and are asked to produce that roof-raising final climax, he adds 11 additional instruments. These either take over the regular payers' lines or double them altogether. Obviously these adjustments are unnecessary in a recording, where balances can be fine-tuned in different ways. Also, the finale can be played when the players are still fresh. The unusual prominence of the strings in that recording is indeed noticeable. I don't feel it's just that the recording is clear - there's more to it. Not that the brass are slighted, just that the strings have more presence than usual in the complex, loud passages. And the coda does blaze more and show an extra oomph without necessarily sounding louder. It sounds fuller. I 've never heard the famous 1964 Ottobeuren recording, but since it was a live occasion, I wonder if the same adjustments were made? I haven't seen any mention of those adjustments before, but in those program notes, Jochum clearly details them as his usual way of performing the symphony.

Tempi being all on the slow side, there's a certain stoic quality to I and II. The orchestra always seem to have lots of extra tone, lung or muscle power in reserve. They never force. The scherzo is also slower than usual, but very sharp and animated. The Finale is built slowly, as is clear right from the introduction, which is laid out spaciously but with very pointed details. Suffice to say that it's one of the most succesful I've heard. IMO Klemperer builds a hotter head of steam, but to other ears he sounds dyspeptic, so there you have it: slow tempi can either sound majestic, granitic, and inevitable or OTOH comatose, arthritic and dispirited.  To my ears this 5th has all of the former attributes, and none of the latter. Those seeking an antidote to a geriatric 5th can look for the Gielen on Accord, easily the best of the 70 minutes versions.

In short: this moves ahead of the other Jochums available, and near the top of the list. It's a very deep experience.

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: sidoze on June 28, 2007, 09:54:31 AM
Quote
In short: this moves ahead of the other Jochums available, and near the top of the list. It's a very deep experience.

Thanks, that sounds like a great performance. Some of your description reminds me of Jochum's B7 with the Concertgebouw in Japan (1986 too) which I liked a lot.

http://www.hmv.co.jp/product/detail/747998

Quote
I saw the 8th at HMV from an unfamiliar label, Altus.

Excellent label -- the Jochum sym I mentioned above is on that label.

question: Solti's B7 with the VPO, is that available in the west? Anyone know when it was recorded?

http://www.hmv.co.jp/product/detail/2514397
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on June 28, 2007, 10:02:21 AM
question: Solti's B7 with the VPO, is that available in the west? Anyone know when it was recorded?

http://www.hmv.co.jp/product/detail/2514397
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 28, 2007, 10:12:08 AM
question: Solti's B7 with the VPO, is that available in the west? Anyone know when it was recorded?

http://www.hmv.co.jp/product/detail/2514397

I haven't heard the VPO B7, but I used to have his VPO B8 from around the same time and found it an intolerable hack-and-slash browbeating of the score. It doesn't make me the least bit curious about his VPO B7. The CSO B7 recorded some twenty years later, by contrast, is a very fine performance.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: sidoze on June 28, 2007, 10:35:54 AM
Thanks to both of you, I will not have to work for that particular CD right now :)

Searched through HMV Japan and discovered that there's a whole Asahina world which opens up if you search for the maestro in Japanese. Found this B9 he recorded near the end of his life (http://www.hmv.co.jp/product/detail.asp?sku=488895). Checked the timings at the B discography, think I'll pass on it, not extreme enough compared to his 30+ minute outer movements with the CSO from '96 (plus that one was free = less work).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on June 28, 2007, 07:55:56 PM
Any other thoughts?

Yes, my thought is this is yet another totallly nonsensical thread. Bruckner's music is way too complex for any one interpreter to get it "right", let alone be the "best". We may all have personal preferences and "favorites" maybe for each of the symphonies, but even these are vague and rarely absolute, and even if we think so in individual cases, that doesn't make anyone "the best" interpreter of Bruckner's vast symphonic oeuvre.

In order to "decide" that, one would have to "completely understand" Bruckner's music. Which no one does.

The question in itself is ridiculous, and anyone who thinks he can answer that question automatically disqualifies himself and reveals himself as a total Bruckner ignorant.

And since this is the Beginner's Forum, let me say, asking question like this is the worst possible way to begin exploring Bruckner's music. Those who have done so for a long time and who have listened to more than just 5 complete cycles know it is a long and fascinating, quite possibly never ending journey. Which is exactly what makes it so fascinating. Not this "the best" kindergarten stuff.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PSmith08 on June 28, 2007, 08:35:37 PM
After hearing no less than 5 different cycles of Bruckner's symphonies, i have conclude that it is Eugen Jochum, his live recording of the fifth (Ottobeuren 1964) has to be one of the finest out there.

any other thoughts?

I'll bite. Why, do you think, is Eugen Jochum the "best" interpreter of Bruckner? Is this a universal best, i.e., does Jochum do each of Bruckner's symphonies better than anyone else; or, is it based on the whole cycle(s)? Not to get picky, and not for M forever's reasons, but I'm not sure that adjectives like "best" can be applied in most cases, especially to interpretations. How do we define best? Most faithful to the score? (If so, which version(s)?) Most "Bruckner-ian" sound environment? Still, when we get into that, we'd have to agree about what that environment is and how you quantify it. Simply saying something is the "best," without definitions and evidence, seems a bit arbitrary and possibly beyond justification.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on June 28, 2007, 09:57:41 PM
How do we define best? Most faithful to the score? (If so, which version(s)?) Most "Bruckner-ian" sound environment? Still, when we get into that, we'd have to agree about what that environment is and how you quantify it. Simply saying something is the "best," without definitions and evidence, seems a bit arbitrary and possibly beyond justification.

Or in other words:
In order to "decide" that, one would have to "completely understand" Bruckner's music. Which no one does.

Why, do you think, is Eugen Jochum the "best" interpreter of Bruckner?

I think the queston almost answers itself. One has to have a very thorough misconception of the nature of this music and/or a nearly complete misunderstanding of its substance to even ask that question in the first place.
Or in other words, there is no answer to the question. Maybe there is one to the question why that question was asked in the first place, but that has noting at all to do with Bruckner.

I understand you are not repeating the first, but asking the second question.

I think Jochum itself would heartily agree. After all, he conducted the music different all the time, he reviewed his ideas and reapproached the music in new ways literally all his musical life, right up to his death. Not because he was still trying to find the "right" way. But because he had a very deep understanding of the music and knew that it is "inexhaustible". One could say that made him one of the really good, or, if you need that word, "one of the great" Bruckner conductors, but the elusive nature of the subject forbids such classifications as "the best". Especially across the board, like here.


For some reason, I thought we were in the Beginner's Forum. But obviously, we are not. No idea why I thought that. Probably because of the nature of the above posts.


Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: uffeviking on June 28, 2007, 10:27:08 PM
You are correct, M forever, you were in the beginners section, but I doubt any beginner to classical music would be familiar with five cycles of Bruckner's music, hence I moved it here where MahlerTitan's question and your reply could receive further deserving comments. 

uffeviking  $:)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 29, 2007, 03:11:52 AM
You are correct, M forever, you were in the beginners section, but I doubt any beginner to classical music would be familiar with five cycles of Bruckner's music, hence I moved it here where MahlerTitan's question and your reply could receive further deserving comments. 

Where is Mahler Titan's question? I saw M's reply but had no idea what he was replying to. When I first read it, I assumed he was condemning this thread (Bruckner's Abbey).

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PSmith08 on June 29, 2007, 06:41:31 AM
Where is Mahler Titan's question? I saw M's reply but had no idea what he was replying to. When I first read it, I assumed he was condemning this thread (Bruckner's Abbey).

Sarge

Maybe it got left behind in the other thread?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 29, 2007, 07:05:47 AM
Maybe it got left behind in the other thread?

I checked there but it was gone. And I see now that MT deleted the thread. That explains it.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 29, 2007, 07:14:27 AM
i deleted, M forever thought i asked a stupid question, so there is no point for me to have this stupid thread here. the original posts simply says, "who do you think is the best interpretor of Bruckner"

Oh, that's an easy question to answer. Celibidache, of course. 8)  But only the most committed Brucknerites understand this. It separates the true disciples from the posers. It takes years of intense study and meditation in order to achieve this level of insight. You need at least thirty years experience, listening to all other conductors, subsisting on brown rice and Bohemian-style beer before the revelation, like a burning light, strikes and you just KNOW: Celi is the man.

Sarge 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 29, 2007, 07:21:43 AM
i deleted, M forever thought i asked a stupid question, so there is no point for me to have this stupid thread here. the original posts simply says, "who do you think is the best interpretor of Bruckner", according to M forever, by saying that I am stupid, and belong to kindergarten.

Certainly not. Bruckner's music, perhaps more than that of many other composers, can sustain a very wide interpretive spectrum. If you like the music to begin with, you will find that there are many gratifying approaches to his work, many of which will make you want to revisit other interpretations as well. Interpretive styles can range from the urgent (Jochum), to the classically poised (van Beinum), to the mystic (Giulini), to the anguished (Furtwängler, at least in the 9th), to the majestic (Karajan), to the driven (Schuricht), to the suspended in time (late Celibidache), etc. And all of these are vast simplifications. There is little point in anointing someone as the "best" where the interpretive variety is so broad and diverse, yet among that variety there are so many equally convincing and gratifying approaches that to put one above the others would serve no purpose.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on June 29, 2007, 07:40:16 AM
Certainly not. Bruckner's music, perhaps more than that of many other composers, can sustain a very wide interpretive spectrum. If you like the music to begin with, you will find that there are many gratifying approaches to his work, many of which will make you want to revisit other interpretations as well. Interpretive styles can range from the urgent (Jochum), to the classically poised (van Beinum), to the mystic (Giulini), to the anguished (Furtwängler, at least in the 9th), to the majestic (Karajan), to the driven (Schuricht), to the suspended in time (late Celibidache), etc. And all of these are vast simplifications. There is little point in anointing someone as the "best" where the interpretive variety is so broad and diverse, yet among that variety there are so many equally convincing and gratoying approaches that to put one above the others would serve no purpose.

i guess they really have a problem with the word "Best", and i admit that the word "best" is quite a problematic word, but i wasn't trying to make a serious statement or anything, and off M forever goes with all of his personal attacks, which i think was quite uncalled for.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on June 29, 2007, 08:07:21 AM
i guess they really have a problem with the word "Best", and i admit that the word "best" is quite a problematic word, but i wasn't trying to make a serious statement or anything, and off M forever goes with all of his personal attacks, which i think was quite uncalled for.

MT, there are no stupid questions.  ;) You are looking for the highest quality, which is commendable. It's just very hard to find common parameters for measuring "best" in this case.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 29, 2007, 08:25:07 AM
In any case, amid the huffing and puffing were some very judicious comments. I agree that there can't be an answer to this question. Who would be Beethoven's best interpreter? or Mozart's?

 The quest for excellence is always commendable and it should be the focus of discussion. I myself react rather negatively to the eternal "best Bruckner cycle" question. It never existed and never will. Period. Case closed 8). Unless one agrees that the total  (any cycle) is much less than the sum of its parts (pick any half dozen favourite recordings of the individual symphonies, preferably played by orchestras and conductors of different cultures and eras). And here I join Mforever's insightful comment on the inexhaustible depth and  richness of Bruckner's music. I think this is the main reason this particular thread has been going for over 3 years now - it started life in GMG's former incarnation.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Brewski on June 29, 2007, 08:38:59 AM
Echoing O Mensch and Lilas, I also think "the best Bruckner" cycle is elusive, given the huge number of interpreters and orchestras involved over decades of performance.  Just to take one symphony, the Eighth: I must have 10 or 12 recordings of the piece, and don't "not like" any of them.  Like most composers, Bruckner can withstand many approaches, so finding "the best" is a difficult mission.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on June 29, 2007, 09:06:19 AM
Even if you tried to construct a cycle of the "best" single performances, there would be trouble as there are many that stand out for each symphony in their own way. I have just begun to digest the symphonies and while I began with Jochum's DG set a few years ago and Tintner's Naxos set a few years after, it was only recently that I began to investigate the weight of Bruckner's symphonic output and the vast potential for real joy in exploring a wide variety of interpretations. I have as many interpretations of his 8th today as there are symphonies in his cycle, and I am far from content with my exploration even of that one symphony (and even farther from the others).

If you are looking for a starting point to capture the whole of Bruckner's symphonic output (or most of it anyhow), either of Jochum's sets can make for a good beginning, as can sets from Skrowaczewski, Barenboim, Wand, Karajan, Tintner, Celibidache or whichever conductor you prefer. And while each of those sets will feature some standout individual performances, the whole will probably leave you wanting more. Or you could approach the symphonies à la carte and take suggestions from others as to which individual performances are likely to resonate with you.

The one thing that all in the Bruckner appreciation society seem to have in common is that they seldom stop at one. You can have seventeen favorite 5ths (so long as Sinopoli's Dresden and Jochum's '86 Amsterdam are among them ;)) and still find something new in a previously unheard interpretation.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: CS on June 29, 2007, 09:26:47 AM
I have more Bruckner in my collection than any other composer (well over 100 cd's), and I never stop seeking more :)

One of the reasons Bruckner is so great is because there is no "greatest" boxset or recording; there are so many ways to play and interpret his music that comparison often becomes a useless tool, and one must simply judge the recording on its own merits.

--CS
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Brewski 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
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan 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.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41507ZFR7QL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Brewski 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)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: George 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?  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo 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 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/cotw/pip/ekn6q/) (menu at right gives playlist for all 5 days)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK 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.

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Brewski 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
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund 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...

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/95/06/b268a2c008a0bdf7c596c010._AA240_.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Que 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...

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/95/06/b268a2c008a0bdf7c596c010._AA240_.L.jpg)

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

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/44/685144.jpg)  (http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/9581491.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on June 29, 2007, 11:41:56 AM
i also think Carl Schuricht's Bruckner fifth with SRSO deserves a mention.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/512SM1G78GL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on June 29, 2007, 12:39:22 PM
i was reading this article on Jstor, very informative.

Download the attachment!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: George 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.  :)

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia 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? ::)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on July 01, 2007, 03:46:08 PM
nice discourse on the definition of "Best" and all, but, since the title of this thread is clearly on Bruckner, is it possible that we get our focus back onto his music?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 01, 2007, 04:11:31 PM
It's actually the basis of this thread...  ::)

This whole discourse on the merits on various interpretations, styles of orchestral playing or conducting in Bruckner is what the Bruckner Abbey is all about.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on July 01, 2007, 04:19:54 PM
This whole discourse on the merits on various interpretations, styles of orchestral playing or conducting in Bruckner is what the Bruckner Abbey is all about.

yes, yes, please, do discuss these things.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 02, 2007, 06:57:16 AM
I've read that Matacic actually uses the Schalk edition for the Fifth. Is that true? Does anyone have a preference for either of the two Matacic recordings I've found: one on Naive with the Orchestre National de France (1979), the other on Supraphon with the Czech Phil (1970)?

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 02, 2007, 07:30:52 AM
Dunno. I have heard that, too, but Berky lists his two recordings under Nowak.

I once looked at the score of the Schalk edition, there was some pretty weird stuff going on in there. For instance, Schalk made the rising fanfares of the first tutt entry all legato, slurred upwards, kind of of Heldenleben-like. And plenty more of that strangeness. But he only meant well!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 02, 2007, 11:38:27 AM
Dunno. I have heard that, too, but Berky lists his two recordings under Nowak.

I once looked at the score of the Schalk edition, there was some pretty weird stuff going on in there. For instance, Schalk made the rising fanfares of the first tutt entry all legato, slurred upwards, kind of of Heldenleben-like. And plenty more of that strangeness. But he only meant well!

I have the Knappertsbusch recording. Really wild. Additional brass and percussion, the score severely cut, are the most obvious changes. It's a fun listen and gives you a good idea of what Bruckner's misguided disciples thought would make his music more popular.

I was surprised to read Matacic still used the Schalk edition this late in the game. I just can't remember now where I read that. I'll do some research.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 02, 2007, 11:56:05 AM
Matacic uses the standard edition, not the Schalk arrangement (cut by some 15 minutes and reorchestrated). The only extant recordings of the latter are the Knappertsbusch and Botstein. In addition to these two, there seems to be a recording from Japan, where Bruckner gives Buddah a run for his money in terms of popularity.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 02, 2007, 12:09:55 PM
Matacic uses the standard edition, not the Schalk arrangement (cut by some 15 minutes and reorchestrated). The only extant recordings of the latter are the Knappertsbusch and Botstein. In addition to these two, there seems to be a recording from Japan, where Bruckner gives Buddah a run for his money in terms of popularity.

I've gone completely senile then.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 02, 2007, 12:13:02 PM
Found it. A review in ClassicsToday, beginning, "It's a curious thing that as late as 1973 Lovro von Matacic would choose to record the Schalk edition of Bruckner's Symphony No. 5..."

Full review here:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11058

Seems not to be the full Schalk edition but a Matacic hybrid.


Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: CS on July 02, 2007, 01:01:05 PM
Has anyone heard Goodall in Bruckner? I have only looked at Hurwitz's reviews, and they are all extremely negative. I'd like to hear another opinion!

Any thoughts on Horenstein would be appreciated as well. This is a name that I hear often, but have never explored his Bruckner.

Thanks
--CS
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on July 02, 2007, 01:14:13 PM
Any thoughts on Horenstein would be appreciated as well. This is a name that I hear often, but have never explored his Bruckner.

The only Horenstein I heard was his Bruckner 7th with the BPO from the 20s which was supposedly the BPO's first electric recording. Sound aside, that is a very nicely paced and well structured performance. I find the recording more interesting for the playing style of a bygone era than for the interpretation. I haven't heard any of his postwar recordings but am curious as well if there are any top recommendations one should hear.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 02, 2007, 02:08:44 PM
Found it. A review in ClassicsToday, beginning, "It's a curious thing that as late as 1973 Lovro von Matacic would choose to record the Schalk edition of Bruckner's Symphony No. 5..."

Full review here:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11058

Seems not to be the full Schalk edition but a Matacic hybrid.


Sarge

Thanks for the correction. I had checked Berky's usually foolproof discography, which lists it as pure Nowak. It seems that practically all the cuts have been ignored, but most elements (not all) of Schalk's orchestration have been used. Including cymbals and piccolo  ::)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on July 06, 2007, 09:19:26 AM
Advance notice that next Thursday morning at 01:00 BBC Radio3 will be broadcasting this:

1.00am
A concert recorded in Istria, Croatia in 1973.
Bruckner, Anton (1824-1896): Symphony No 7 in E
Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra
Lovro von Matacic (conductor)

Some time ago they broadcast a performance of #9 by the same forces, recorded at around the same time, which was worth a listen.  I'll be recording this (if I remember.)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: sidoze on July 06, 2007, 09:31:24 AM
Advance notice that next Thursday morning at 01:00 BBC Radio3 will be broadcasting this:

1.00am
A concert recorded in Istria, Croatia in 1973.
Bruckner, Anton (1824-1896): Symphony No 7 in E
Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra
Lovro von Matacic (conductor)

Some time ago they broadcast a performance of #9 by the same forces, recorded at around the same time, which was worth a listen.  I'll be recording this (if I remember.)


Do you know Matacic's 8th with the NHK on Denon? I read a few claiming that it has some of the best sound they've heard on any modern recording. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available now.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on July 06, 2007, 10:14:02 AM
Not so advanced notice - Psalm 150 and Te Deum here in about 10 minutes

http://www.rts.co.yu/radiobgd2.ram (http://www.rts.co.yu/radiobgd2.ram)

Serbian Radio and TV Chorus and Orch. / Mladen Jagust
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Greta on July 06, 2007, 04:00:26 PM
Okay, I'm beginning the Bruckner journey, and can finally post here. ;)

I have the Karajan/Berlin set to listen to. Is he a good introductory set?

So far I have heard his "Study" symphony on the radio and really liked it, #00? Or #0? Don't remember the performers. The numbers and version of Bruckner's symphonies can get quite confusing!

And what I've heard of the 9th floored me, the 1st mvmt so far (the impetus being M's MO game).

I just finished the 1st and it is mightily impressive. :) I have concluded I just cannot listen to Bruckner on headphones because he so often has the orchestra blasting away at full tilt for long periods and it is just too much. Bruckner must be a total trip live.

I don't know what comments to make about the 1st yet, except the triumphant finale is amazing, and I loved the Scherzo. Love. Is it wrong to say its Beethoven-ish? It's incredible. Last part of the 1st movement is really exciting. The Adagio will take more listening but the slow build to the rapturous peak near the end is beautiful.

Are there any particular symphonies that are good choices to go to next?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on July 06, 2007, 07:08:19 PM
Okay, I'm beginning the Bruckner journey, and can finally post here. ;)

I have the Karajan/Berlin set to listen to. Is he a good introductory set?

So far I have heard his "Study" symphony on the radio and really liked it, #00? Or #0? Don't remember the performers. The numbers and version of Bruckner's symphonies can get quite confusing!

And what I've heard of the 9th floored me, the 1st mvmt so far (the impetus being M's MO game).

I just finished the 1st and it is mightily impressive. :) I have concluded I just cannot listen to Bruckner on headphones because he so often has the orchestra blasting away at full tilt for long periods and it is just too much. Bruckner must be a total trip live.

I don't know what comments to make about the 1st yet, except the triumphant finale is amazing, and I loved the Scherzo. Love. Is it wrong to say its Beethoven-ish? It's incredible. Last part of the 1st movement is really exciting. The Adagio will take more listening but the slow build to the rapturous peak near the end is beautiful.

Are there any particular symphonies that are good choices to go to next?

The 4th and 7th symphonies of Bruckner is more accessible for Bruckner newcomers. I started with 4th, with the Munich philharmonic conducted by Gunter Wand (Haas edition). The 4th's 1st movement is probably the most melodic, easy to follow yet BEAUTIFUL, GORGEOUS music he ever wrote in a symphony. Go try it, you'll love it im sure :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on July 07, 2007, 02:05:09 AM
I have the Karajan/Berlin set to listen to. Is he a good introductory set?

Yep :)

Are there any particular symphonies that are good choices to go to next?

The first two numbered ones are generally considered a step down from the 3rd, but are very decent (much like Beethoven's first two). From the 3rd onwards they are all mature, and especially by the 4th. The 4th and 7th are generally considered the most popular, but many consider the 8th his greatest - I certainly do. Among the mature ones, the 5th is introspective and a lot of people have problems getting into it, and the 6th is an underdog which seems a bit less popular than all the others around it (this is certainly backed up with number of recordings/performances).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: sidoze on July 07, 2007, 02:09:18 AM
The 4th...is more accessible for Bruckner newcomers.

The 4th was probably the first I heard, and several years later, I still don't understand why it's so popular. I'd suggest the 9th as an intro, for what that's worth  ::)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on July 07, 2007, 05:07:57 AM
The 4th was probably the first I heard, and several years later, I still don't understand why it's so popular.

Given your taste nowadays for the slower interpretations, perhaps you should try the Tennstedt / BPO recording recently issued (along with a breakneck #8) on EMI Gemini.  One of the best examples of its kind.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, I am re-acquainting myself with the live Kubelik / BRSO recording - a full 7 minutes faster than their studio offering, and 10 minutes faster than Tennstedt.  Zowie! ;D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on July 07, 2007, 07:13:13 AM
While we are still at the 4ths, is anyone familiar with this one, looks interesting (and sadly very much oop)

http://www.tahra.com/?ref=328&lang=en (http://www.tahra.com/?ref=328&lang=en)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 07, 2007, 07:35:30 AM
Never heard it, but I'd be cautious. Klemperer in those days was a very brusque conductor. Note that this clocks in at 55 minutes, which is way under par for this work. His Concertgebouw 6 is a very strange animal indeed.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on July 07, 2007, 07:44:18 AM
Yes, I've noticed the timing but I am rather fond of his also swift first Das Lied and somewhat later Köln Bruckner 8th.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 07, 2007, 07:44:57 AM
Indeed, both are remarkable.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on July 07, 2007, 08:15:21 AM
Okay, I'm beginning the Bruckner journey, and can finally post here. ;)

I have the Karajan/Berlin set to listen to. Is he a good introductory set?

So far I have heard his "Study" symphony on the radio and really liked it, #00? Or #0? Don't remember the performers. The numbers and version of Bruckner's symphonies can get quite confusing!

And what I've heard of the 9th floored me, the 1st mvmt so far (the impetus being M's MO game).

I just finished the 1st and it is mightily impressive. :) I have concluded I just cannot listen to Bruckner on headphones because he so often has the orchestra blasting away at full tilt for long periods and it is just too much. Bruckner must be a total trip live.

I don't know what comments to make about the 1st yet, except the triumphant finale is amazing, and I loved the Scherzo. Love. Is it wrong to say its Beethoven-ish? It's incredible. Last part of the 1st movement is really exciting. The Adagio will take more listening but the slow build to the rapturous peak near the end is beautiful.

Are there any particular symphonies that are good choices to go to next?

the logical choice would be the 4th, maybe the 7th. Take your pick, i would hold 9th until a little later.

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 07, 2007, 09:19:17 AM
Here is a great documentary about Eugen Jochum rehearsing Bruckner and Haydn in Amsterdam, Hamburg and Bamberg. He also talks about the music and a few musicians talk about working with him. Then there are some fairly long concert excerpts.

I originally thought this video documents a celebratory tour for his 85th birthday in 1987, but that can't really be since he passed away in March 1987, a few months before his 85th birthday. This must have been filmed in 1986 then when I saw him in Berlin with the Concertgebouworkest with the same Wagner and Bruckner program he rehearses in Amsterdam in this video.

Big download (600MB or so), not so great 80s TV video and sound quality. But still very worth watching. Sorry, only in German, no subtitles, but it's still very interesting to watch Jochum at work. And sooner or later, all of you who are really seriously interested in "classical music" have to learn German anyway.
Maybe in the meantime, Sarge will help you if you have questions about what Jochum is saying in the video.

Download the 7 parts and join them with HJSplit.

http://rapidshare.com/files/14193365/Jochum.wmv.001.html
http://rapidshare.com/files/14195227/Jochum.wmv.002.html
http://rapidshare.com/files/14197055/Jochum.wmv.003.html
http://rapidshare.com/files/14221671/Jochum.wmv.004.html
http://rapidshare.com/files/14198920/Jochum.wmv.005.html
http://rapidshare.com/files/14200500/Jochum.wmv.006.html
http://rapidshare.com/files/14191396/Jochum.wmv.007.html
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 08, 2007, 03:39:11 AM
This is rather special... :o A download offered by John Berky on his Bruckner site

Quote
A Bruckner Meltdown
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and the Cleveland Orchestra.
August 6, 1976 at the Blossom Music Center.
This must have been a live broadcast...

Download: http://www.abruckner.com/Data/Downloads/abrucknermeltdown/Skrowaczewski_b3_flub.mp3
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 08, 2007, 06:31:47 AM
That is pretty funny. I laughed hard.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Que on July 08, 2007, 08:21:46 AM
While we are still at the 4ths, is anyone familiar with this one, looks interesting (and sadly very much oop)

http://www.tahra.com/?ref=328&lang=en (http://www.tahra.com/?ref=328&lang=en)

Drasko, I have it and can reassure you: you are not missing out on a major recording.
It's interesting and it is a 4th on high voltage, but it's also erratic, inconsistent and unstable. Plus the sound is bad: I guess this was recorded on acetate disc, as was custom in Amsterdam before, and shortly after the war (that's WWII - for the youngsters from the US here). It is not better than the studio recording on EMI (GROC), which I find disappointing too. I prefer the Kubelik/ BRSO in both instances.

(http://www.tahra.com/img/couv/328.jpg)

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on July 08, 2007, 08:28:40 AM
Related to that, I wonder what this is like (another B4):

(http://www.hbdirect.com/coverm/08/987608.jpg)

Very in-print, dunno about the sound.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Que on July 08, 2007, 08:32:09 AM
Related to that, I wonder what this is like (another B4):

(http://www.hbdirect.com/coverm/08/987608.jpg)

Very in-print, dunno about the sound.

Just came across an on line REVIEW (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2007/June07/Bruckner4_Klemperer_MM0012.htm).

Q
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on July 08, 2007, 10:13:43 AM
It is some time since I last heard it, but I recall thinking that '66 BRSO recording to which the review also refers the best of the bunch - in fact, surprisingly so:  quite different from the (roughly contemporaneous) Philharmonia recording.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on July 08, 2007, 01:43:17 PM
I just finished the 1st and it is mightily impressive. :) I have concluded I just cannot listen to Bruckner on headphones because he so often has the orchestra blasting away at full tilt for long periods and it is just too much. Bruckner must be a total trip live.

Sorry for the late reply, Greta. I hope you enjoy your exploration of Bruckner. I have found it very difficult to get off the Bruckner bandwagon once climbing aboard.  ;)

As for the blasting orchestra, that may have more to do with the Karajan readings than Bruckner--granted, the sound does get quite big no matter who is interpreting it. I have only listened to a handful of Karajan recordings, but in all of them, there seems to be very little middle volume. It is booming loud or nearly muted lows and the transitions from one to the other are quite abrupt. It was especially true of a 3rd I heard not long ago which is one of the recordings I believe may be in your set. Though his '88 8th is one of my favorites.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Heather Harrison on July 08, 2007, 03:23:43 PM
I'm also a bit slow to reply, Greta.  I recently did an exploration of Bruckner; if you look back through the thread, you will find my posts on my first impression of each of the symphonies (except Nos. 0 and 00, which I still haven't heard).  I bought Jochum's 1960's-vintage cycle on DG.  I listened to them in numerical order, as I was curious to follow how Bruckner's style developed.  I found that to be a good way to approach his work.  (Incidentally, I also got Jochum's performances of the Masses at the same time.  They are well worth exploring.)  Some of the symphonies (i.e. Nos. 1 and 4) are big, powerful, fairly straightforward, and easy to appreciate, while others (i.e. Nos. 5 and 6) are more introspective and perhaps a bit more difficult to get to know.  While I like all of them, it is those in the latter category that intrigue me more and I will likely spend more time with.  Today, I found Harnoncourt's interpretation of Symphony No. 5 in a store, and since I want to compare a few performances of this symphony, I had to buy it.  After I listen to it, I'll post my impressions of it and see how it compares to Jochum's interpretation.

Heather
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on July 10, 2007, 03:22:46 PM
I thought I was done with Bruckner's 8th (in terms of acquiring new interpretations beyond my current dozen) until a package arrived today that I had very nearly forgotten about... Music & Arts transfers of Abendroth and Furtwängler 1949 performances. :)

So, does anyone have a decent quality cover scan of Furtwängler's 8th they can attach to a post here so I can include it on my ID3 tag? The image on Amazon (which I normally rely on for cover art) is pretty poor, and I have not been able to locate another.

And does anyone have both the M&A and Testament '49 performances (they seem to be from consecutive days in March) and have any information on what, if anything, I might be missing out on from the Testament release?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sean on July 10, 2007, 11:54:50 PM
(Moved from M's orchestras thread-)

By the way M, I've checked and the Accolade/ Galleria LPs of Karajan's Ninth I admired so much were the 1966 performance; I then bought the 1975 CD, which reveals little interpretive shift. Penguin hold that the earlier has 'natural gravity and profound contemplation in greater measure, with manners a degree more affectionate' with the later recording inevitably emphasizing strength, but they're both absolutely vintage Karajan, noble and direct, letting the music speak.

I admire all you Bruckner enthusiasts, especially as he is a somewhat acquired taste (the Bruckner abbey thread was extraordinary). Here's my modest exposure to the symphonies on disc-

00- Rozhdestvensky (& a radio recording before that)

0- Barenboim LP & Rozhdestvensky (Rozhdestvensky's 00 & 0 were in a double CD set and I strongly recommend the slightly lightweight Russian tinge he brings- the recording's also a landmark in realism)

1- Karajan (ruthless)

2- Haitink LP (Haas) & Karajan (Nowak) (Haitink very beautiful, this piece suiting his temperament well)

3- Haitink (1877) LP & Karajan (Nowak)

4- Karajan's EMI LP (both rustic charm and architecture)

5- Haitink LP & Karajan (Haitink's timid bevelling of edges annoys)

6- Baremboim LP & Karajan (Karajan doesn't quite succeed in finding the same gravity, if indeed it's in the piece)

7- Boehm LP (lacks magic, becoming turgid) & Karajan (magnificent). Also heard Masur live with Leipzig orchestra in Birmingham ~1989- v. fine and committed, from memory and batonless)

8- Karajan EMI LPs (Haas) & CD (Nowak) & VPO CD (Haas) (EMI is very strong with perhaps the finest slow movement, with the extended Haas sections, ever recorded; the VPO is a curious late disc, tempos and phrasing judged to absolute perfection but with controversial overbearing control at the same time).

9- Karajan LP (1966) & CD (sheer seriousness and grip over the whole canvass hard to match). Also the Samale, Phillips and Mazzuca completion of the last movement- very interesting towards the end, building up to a height of angry passion heard nowhere else in Bruckner.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 13, 2007, 05:11:55 PM
Lately I've  listened to a live performance of the 7th performed by the VPO under Boulez (from Vienna's Konzerthaus, 2005). Here are some impressions:

This is definitely one of the important recordings. It doesn't happen to have the qualities I'm looking for in that work, but there's no denying that it's extremely powerful and magnificently put together here. The orchestra's sound here is noticeably different from what I hear in other VPO versions of the work I own. Strings are rather leaner and more athletic, while still retaining a compact and very dense collective sound. Timpani are rather subservient and even diffident, a rather uncommon occurence. In other versions, even while not playing particularly loud they have better definition. That could be the hall (this orchestra is normally recorded in the Musikverein), the engineer's or the conductor's balances. The brass are their imposing, nay - jaw dropping- ususal self. Those trombones could stop an advancing army! Most different from what I usually hear is the wind sound. Here it's very much a dense, blended, collective sound, the harmonie as a conspectus instead of a series of individual sections with their own identity. That is most apparent in the first movement. Or maybe I just got used to it and stopped noticing anything unusual.

The interpretation is tight-coiled without being tense, determined but not hurried, powerful but never overbearing. The control over the mass of sound is amazing, and the very difficult rythmic frame is x-rayed with uncommon clarity. What it lacks is any indication that the conductor has found that deep layer of heart-on-sleeve emotion that lies at the core of the first two movements. It's not cold (this is the VPO after all), but it's never very warm. The coda of the Adagio is particularly disappointing in that respect. It never radiates as it does in many, many recordings.  Another disturbing element is the recording's total lack of soft dynamics. Forget about pp or ppp: a healthy p or mf is just about all we get. Is it the engineer's or the conductor's doing, I have no idea. At the other end of the spectrum, the sound is bright, glowing and very precise at all levels.  Altogether, this is extremely impressive and it certainly imposes itself as one of the incontournables among modern versions. It's just not what I like best. I got a similarly strong impression from their 8th, but this time I think Boulez' way was better suited to the work's grittiness and high drama.

Intrigued by the way Boulez had transformed the VPO sound for this reading, I played the first 2 minutes of the work from other versions to compare: 3 VPO (Böhm, Karajan, Giulini, all on DG), 3 Staatskapelle Dresden (Haitink, Blomstedt, Jochum), and 2 BPO (Jochum DG and Karajan EMI). Although the VPO is recognizably itself throughout, there are lighting subtleties that make for fascinatingly different hues (esp. from Karajan). With the SD, we get a different sound, and here the variations are more marked between recordings. This is a sleeker, silkier string sound, and the brass is slightly softer in sound, but sharper in profile. Jochum  clearly has the strongest personality here, and he brings out markedly darker colours from  the strings. In Berlin I couldn't detect any particular personality. In any case, the sound is so markedly different between the DG and EMI issues that engineering choices clearly take precedence. I believe these were recorded in the same venue (Jesus-Christus Kirche), but whereas the DG is clear and immediate, the EMI is hazy and has exaggerated front to back depth, making the wind choirs very recessed indeed. To make sure I played the scherzo, and the theme played by the solo trumpet seems to have been recorded a mile aways. Winds are almost like wallpaper. Slick, glitzy engineering. Nice in a way, but too cotton candy-like for Bruckner. The two Karajans are amazingly different from one another (I listened to them whole recently).  One feature I noticed is that Jochum, in both recordings - but esp so in Dresden - starts the work not with shimmering, hazy violin tremolos, but with sharply accented, electrically charged ones.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sean on July 13, 2007, 10:37:47 PM
Hi Lilas, great post and interesting to hear about the Boulez- I really don't like his conducting usually, or mostly anything about him, but would like to give this Seventh a go.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 14, 2007, 02:00:20 AM
I have that, too, and also the 9th live with Boulez and both the WP (it's not called "VPO", they don't speak English in Vienna, well, some do, but it's still called "Wiener Philharmoniker") and I find these all highly interesting. Good to have these recordings and a loud boo! for DG because they didn't record and release them which I think would have made sense because the 8th was a very successful recording which I hear also sold rathr well (for "classical" music standards).

I think the lack of timpani definition and the narrow dynamics are mostly caused by the recording which is a live radio recording. Not ideal, but still good enough, and it's good to have this highly interesting performance. The Konzerthaus actually has a somewhat harder, brighter, a little "glassier" overall sound than the Musikverein.

I haven't listened to either the EMI or the DG Karajan 7 in a long time, so my memory is not very fresh here, but when it comes to the 4th which was also recorded by both labels within only a few years around the same time, I vastly prefer the EMI recording. I think the DG 4 and 7 were actually both recorded in the JKK, not the Philharmonie, but I am not sure (and too lazy to get up and check!). Even though the sound is much more reverberant and in some respects less well defined, I find the timbres of the orchestra, the blend of the section, the overall "feel" of the sound and playing as captured by EMI much more representative of the way the BP actually sounded live under Karajan than the bright, glossy, sometimes a little screechy DG recordings. I would have to return to the recordings of the 7th to see if my impression there are similar, but right now, I am not so much in the mood to listen to this symphony.

You may find a somewhat similar approach to what you heard from Boulez in Dohnányi's Cleveland recording (Decca) which is also lean and mean and musically highly detailed and meticulously phrased. A very different approach, and one of my favorite recordings, is heard in Sinopoli's SD recording which is very lyrical and searching, but it also builds up to massive, explosive climaxes and it is one of the mostly sheerly beautiful sounding recordings, rich and colorful yet scintillating and with that typical Dresden string sheen and that flexible, vibrant quality which distinguishes this orchestra's playing.



Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 14, 2007, 05:26:10 AM
Thanks, I'll certainly investigate the Sinopoli 7th ! I'm not very familiar with his Bruckner. I only had the 3rd, but although it was fine overall and impressive, I wasn't thrilled at the time (in those days my budget didn't allow for multiple purchases, so I traded a lot, and that was before I could burn a copy  :-\). I had issues with the edition (I hate the extra coda appended to the scherzo, it sticks out like a sore thumb), and at the time I favoured a much leaner approach, such as the Szell Cleveland (Sony). IIRC, the SD sound in that Sinopoli recording couldn't be more different than the Cleveland! That 'flexible, vibrant  quality' is something I have come to savour for its own sake. It certainly imparts a kind of organic pulse in the music that is independent of whom is conducting them. From my experience, only the greatest orchestras have that corporate personality that resists (or continues to shine through) any conductorial bias.

Back to the 7th, the 'lean and mean' approach works well in some cases, although I prefer a more expansive, affectionate way. Among the former, I love Gielen and  Schuricht in Den Hague (undernourished strings and coarse brass notwithstanding). For the latter, Blomstedt SD, Böhm and Giulini are transcendent. Karajan's VPO recording is unique and defies any description. I find Karajan's Bruckner extremely variable, but this is probably his finest, and one of the great Bruckner symphony recordings from any era.

Footnote on the comparisons I made yesterday. Even though his recording was made live in the cavernous Royal Albert Hall, the Haitink SD has a touch I didn't find so well done anywhere else: in the repeat of the theme, a horn chord underpins the strings (around 1:20 in). They come out clearly here even if marked pp (I suppose). That horn chord is usually buried (that's bad) or blended (that's better) in other versions. It brings a subtle shaft of light to that moment. Haitink may be a bit faceless as a conductor, but he's an extremely competent one. Going back to his recording to check that moment's timing  had me admiring the orchestra's strings again. Those magnificent cellos bring a tummy wobble. I checked the MPO under Thielemann immediately after that and the magic wasn't there.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on July 14, 2007, 05:39:11 AM
I'll also be trying to investigate Sinopoli's 7th (I only know his 5th, and think it superb).

I also have that Boulez aircheck and like it: the extra drive he puts into the last two movements help me to avoid the feeling I often get that they're a bit of a letdown after the superlative first two.

M forever: do you remember where you got the Boulez/WPO Bruckner 9? I'd like to hear that, but I can't see whether it's on OperaShare as the search feature there isn't working right now.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 14, 2007, 05:46:22 AM
I do remember that. I got it from my good friend Ramon, on CD-R.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on July 15, 2007, 10:15:09 PM
This week's Bruckner fare consisted of :

- Symphony no 7, Orchestre métropolitain du Grand Montréal, Yannick Nézet-Séguin (2007).[/b]


The Nézet-Séguin 7th is a brand new issue, recorded live in the beautifully spacious and transparent acoustics of St-John the Baptist Church, Montreal. I was mightily surprised by this disc. It is so different from anything I've heard before as to be in a category of its own. The orchestra numbers about 75 players and as I've mentioned they play in a large venue, with a long sound decay (3-4 seconds). It has to be played at a substantially higher level than usual to achieve good sonic impact. Once the volume level has been adjusted, it sounds splendidly natural. What comes across is an extraordinarily luminous, reflective account. Beauty of phrasing seems to be the operative word form first note to last.

What struck me most was the total control exerted by the conductor over the rythms and dynamics. Tempi in the first 2 movements are spacious (22:00 and 25:40). Variations of pulsebetween sections are absolutely seamless. This induces a kind of trance-like, hypnotic feeling, although sometimes it makes one wish for some excitement. Forget about Jochum-like accelerandos as the climax of the Adagio is in sight: the same iron grip on the basic tempo makes that climax blossom instead of erupting with lightning and thunderbolts from the timpani. In a sense it's a bit disappointing, but what comes after is the most magical coda Ive heard on record. Similarly, the big orchestral crescendo-decrescendo that immediately precedes the coda of I is jaw-dropping in its collected intensity and beauty of execution. I mentioned the control over dynamics: this is an unusually undramatic account in terms of sound level: I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Bruckner's markings have been more closely followed here than in most other interpretations. A lot of the time the playing is between pp and mf. The few real climaxes are suitably brilliant and expansive.

The scherzo I found a bit tame, with an overly dreamy trio. The Finale is where Nézet-Séguin changes the perspective by adopting a swift basic tempo. The bold brass pronouncements are superb, and here the conductor's control achieves magic: the ensuing pauses' length exactly match the sound decay of the hall (an effect that was ruined in the Wand-Lübeck 9th, with musical phrases overlapping on the decay of the preceding ones). Things noticeably liven up in the coda, where a rush of adrenalin brings the movement to a triumphant E major close.

This is a live recording, but there's not a peep to be heard from the audience (only the booklet pictures let us know that the church was packed). I found the low winds a bit reticent (scherzo esp.), but there's a wealth of string details that stand like in no other recording I know (esp. violas in I an II). So altogether it doesn't replace my favourites (Blomstedt Dreden, Schuricht The Hague), but it comes right after those. Not bad for a 31 year old conductor and a 3rd tier orchestra.

I completely agree, this recording just blew me away, i was so surprised by its high quality i still can't believe what i was hearing.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on July 15, 2007, 10:47:24 PM
has anyone listened to this one:
Giulini WPO (http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphony-Philharmonic-Orchestra-Giulini/dp/B000IY05ZI/ref=sr_1_15/104-3587152-8390368?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1184571929&sr=8-15)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 16, 2007, 04:44:40 PM
I have it. Mediocre picture and sound quality, OK orchestra but obviously just thrown together for the "occasion". But it is highly interesting to watch Giulini conduct the piece, how he really leads the orchestra, breathes with them and prepares what comes next instead of posing along what's already happening, like so many lesser conductors, how he shaped the music in long paragraphs, and that alone is worth having it. For me, it also has a nostalgic aspect because it reminds me of when I saw him conduct the 8th live with the BP around the same time. That was a lifetime experience.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on July 19, 2007, 10:03:54 AM
A bit of advice...

I am looking to add a Klemperer 6th. Which of the following two do you prefer?

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/5188Y1ARWHL._AA240_.jpg)(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41YK4WV560L._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 19, 2007, 01:28:05 PM
I've read great things about the BBC one.

Things to consider:

- both feature an english orchestra, so forget about idiomatic playing. In any case, I don't think Klemperer gave much thought to that particular concept.
- the Testament is a live recording, which in Klemperer's case often meant big tempo differences from contemporaneous studio efforts. OTOH these two issues seem to have relatively similar timings, so the live vs the studio may be somewhat faster, but not by much. and in the case of the slow movement, that faster tempo may be a mixed blessing.
- the coupling is much more interesting on Testament: if I'm not mistaken this is the only Klemperer Te Deum and from reviews I've read it's quite the ticket.

I know the EMI studio one well, and although I find it imposing, it's never really won me over. I have never heard the Testament, but OTOH I have a Concertgebouw version from the same year, and that is one of the weirdest Bruckner performances I've heard.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on July 19, 2007, 02:15:09 PM
- the Testament is a live recording, which in Klemperer's case often meant big tempo differences from contemporaneous studio efforts. OTOH these two issues seem to have relatively similar timings, so the live vs the studio may be somewhat faster, but not by much. and in the case of the slow movement, that faster tempo may be a mixed blessing.

Judging by the timings on Berky's site, the BBC performance is quite a bit brisker, up to a minute and a half shorter for certain movements.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 19, 2007, 04:55:18 PM
The proof of the pudding and all that... ;) Personally I'd certainly splurge if I found it at the second hand shop, if only for that Te Deum!

Meanwhile, on the domestic front:

- The 3rd symphony, Oeser Edition (the one with the longer Finale): Kubelik and the Concertgebouw, 1954 live recording. This is for the enthusiast first, but musical rewards are great. Lots of saturation and distortion in the sound, no sense of the famed Concertgebouw ambience and depth of sound. But: a galvanized orchestra, under an inspired conductor. Timpani are a very dramatic presence, and strings lash out ferociously. I can't say I sense much nobility or sense of 'rustic chivalry' here, but there is drama aplenty. The rather brusque transitions highlight - rather than mask - this work's complicated and bizarre structural facelifts. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the young Bernard Haitink had been in attendance at that concert. He himself chose the then new Oeser edition for his first Bruckner 3 recording (1963), and there is a lot in that excellent version that recalls what is to be heard here. The trademark Kubelik fire and spontaneity are replaced by Haitink's typical attention to structural smoothness and euphonious orchestral textures. It makes for a rather more noble but still impulsive interpretation.

In a nutshell: the sound is quite terrible, but the interpretation is really unique, if not the last word in refinement.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on July 19, 2007, 06:39:08 PM
How does it compare to the studio Kulbelik 3rd with the BRSO on Sony? I mean interpretively, not sonically, obviously.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 20, 2007, 03:04:59 AM
There are 2 BRSO 3rds available with Kubelik : a 1970 live (En Larmes or Audite),  and the sometime available 1980 Sony studio. There's another one which I haven't heard from 1954. I own the first 2.

That 1954 Concertgebouw is more combustible than the others, and the orchestra is definitely weightier (particularly dramatic timpani). OTOH there's a lot to be said for the later Kubelik-BRSO trademark balance of fire and refinement. Note that there's no comparison sonically: both BRSO issues are immensely superior, and the studio one in particular is resplendent.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 20, 2007, 03:21:02 AM
How does it compare to the studio Kulbelik 3rd with the BRSO on Sony? I mean interpretively, not sonically, obviously.

You like that recording? The SOBR Bruckner 3rd on SONY that is? It didn't bow me over as better than anything I have. But I have only listened to it once.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on July 20, 2007, 06:04:39 AM
I know the EMI studio one well, and although I find it imposing, it's never really won me over. I have never heard the Testament, but OTOH I have a Concertgebouw version from the same year, and that is one of the weirdest Bruckner performances I've heard.

Thank you for the information, Lilas. I opted for the safer option with the EMI which seems to have pretty consistent critical approval. A few reviews of the Testament release were lukewarm at best, but the Te Deum was praised, so I may add that disc to my collection at a later date.

And my curiosity got the better of me so I also ordered the Audite release of Kubelik's 3rd (along with his 9th on Orfeo D'or). So thank you all for bringing that one up. ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on July 20, 2007, 06:41:42 AM
I recently listened to this recording of Bruckner's 9th, and I have to say i am very impressed.
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BGKTNBMRL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on July 20, 2007, 06:56:10 AM
I recently listened to this recording of Bruckner's 9th, and I have to say i am very impressed.
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BGKTNBMRL._SS500_.jpg)

Yes, all of Wand's last Bruckner recordings with the BP are quite satisfying. Had he finished the entire cycle before his death, I am sure his would be the favorite cycle to recommend for many.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on July 20, 2007, 07:02:06 AM
You like that recording? The SOBR Bruckner 3rd on SONY that is? It didn't bow me over as better than anything I have. But I have only listened to it once.

I do like it very much but precisely for the reason Lilas Pastia mentioned: balance of fire and refinement. I do find it a bit too broad though. My first choice for the 3rd remains Haitink/VPO and I also like Barenboim/BPO.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 20, 2007, 10:15:05 AM
Well, if you find the Sony a mite broad, the Haitink VPO is even broader, isnt' it?
Personally I love this Kubelik studio 3 (and the 4th as well) and consider both crème de la crème recordings. Note that the Audite 3 is a bit faster, and faster still is that Concertgebouw version - although it seems to have a finale that is a full 2 minutes longer - I didn't find it slow at all, quite the contrary in fact, so it could well be a printing mistake (I'll check that out).

For a combination of 1877 Oeser (without the silly Scherzo codetta), Concertgebouw orchestral splendour and natural, no-nonsense pacing, the 1963 Haitink is very satisfying.

This weekend I'm trying on a Leipzig Kegel version that has patiently waited for me for almost a year...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 20, 2007, 10:20:25 AM
I like the Chailly/RCO very much. I also like Sinopoli, a refreshing, detailed reading with immense power at times.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on July 20, 2007, 10:53:44 AM
Well, if you find the Sony a mite broad, the Haitink VPO is even broader, isnt' it?
Personally I love this Kubelik studio 3 (and the 4th as well) and consider both crème de la crème recordings. Note that the Audite 3 is a bit faster, and faster still is that Concertgebouw version - although it seems to have a finale that is a full 2 minutes longer - I didn't find it slow at all, quite the contrary in fact, so it could well be a printing mistake (I'll check that out).

Well, I don't find that the Haitink.VPO 3rd feels as broad as the Kubelik/BRSO/Sony. Haitink is in rare form in that performance and it really catches fire in a way that the Kubelik doesn't. I totally agree on the Kubelik/BRSO/Sony 4th. I bought that upon recommendation from someone here on the old board and it quickly became my favorite 4th by far. The grandeur of the codas of the outer movements has to be heard to be believed.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 20, 2007, 04:28:03 PM
The Leipzig Gewandhaus Kegel recording: I listened to this twice today. It is one of the most idiomatic interpretations I've heard of the truncated 1889 version. The orchestra is really magnificent, with powerful, rich and sonorous horns (they're often swamped under the trumpets and massed strings), and dramatic, imposing timpani. Strings are not well caught in the recording (no stereo directionality to speak of), but they do make a deep wall of sound that is very satisfying in itself. Winds are excellent. The recording has a lot of front to back perspective, so the soundstage is deep and rich, if recesssed and lacking in detail.

Kegel presents all the movements in the most natural way, so while this clocks in at a rather 'normal' 56 minutes, the feeling is of a very relaxed pacing, where everything unfolds inevitably. The Adagio and Scherzo have ideal balance between tonal refinement and rythmic gruffness.

For a totally different, almost contradictory view, the Cleveland Szell will prove an invaluable complement. I wouldn't be without either. Going from memory, I think the SD Jochum might well present a nice synthesis of the two approaches. I still prefer the 1877 version, but there is a case for such a fine, hugely committed and totally idiomatic view of the shorter 1889 score.

Re: the Haitink Vienna recording (1877 version): I love and admire it esp for the magnificent orchestral playing and deep affection evidently emanating from the podium. But it is broader than the Kubelik, so any impression of the latter being less fiery has nothing to do with tempi or timings. Personally I find it goes the other way around, but these are just personal impressions. If you like Haitink's way with the 3rd, do try the Concertgebouw recording: it's swifter, the orchestra is blunter, and the spurious scherzo codetta is judiciously omitted (Bruckner crossed it on one of his scores with the mention 'not to be printed').
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 20, 2007, 05:05:05 PM
There is also a nice live recording of the first version of the 3rd with Blomstedt and the GOL.

Yes, all of Wand's last Bruckner recordings with the BP are quite satisfying. Had he finished the entire cycle before his death, I am sure his would be the favorite cycle to recommend for many.

That was never the plan. He didn't conduct the 1st and 2nd symphonies at all in his later years after the Cologne cycle, as he found the pieces to be problematic and "krank", especially the first symphony. While that word translates as "sick, disturbed", it doesn't really describe well in English what he meant. He meant that the music showed too much of that Bruckner was guided by the need to fulfill external expectations rather than following his own inner voice. So there would not have been new recordings of these pieces anyway. He did conduct and record the 3rd with the NDR, and the 6th was on the program and scheduled to be recorded in Berlin just 2-3 months before he died. So there would have been new recordings of 4-9 with the BP, but most likely no 3rd, and definitely no 1st and 2nd.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 20, 2007, 05:30:27 PM
The 'problematic' aspects of the early symphonies also prevented their being played in concert by Karajan, Jochum, Klemperer, Böhm or Celibidache. All were noted Bruckner conductors, and the first two did record them in the studio, but AFAIK, never played them in concert. The third was a sort of bridge between the early and 'mature' symphonies.

Leipzig seems to be a great place for playing Bruckner. One of my favourite 6th is from there (Bongartz), and the Abendroth 8th is a classic. BTW there seems to be a bunch of Leipzig Radio symphony Orchestra recordings from before 1950, but it doesn't seem to exist anymore - unless its new name was changed to Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, currently Leipzig's  'other' orchestra ??
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on July 20, 2007, 06:23:30 PM
Re: the Haitink Vienna recording (1877 version): I love and admire it esp for the magnificent orchestral playing and deep affection evidently emanating from the podium. But it is broader than the Kubelik, so any impression of the latter being less fiery has nothing to do with tempi or timings. Personally I find it goes the other way around, but these are just personal impressions. If you like Haitink's way with the 3rd, do try the Concertgebouw recording: it's swifter, the orchestra is blunter, and the spurious scherzo codetta is judiciously omitted (Bruckner crossed it on one of his scores with the mention 'not to be printed').

I have Haitink's whole Concertgebouw cycle. I still prefer the Vienna 3rd, coda and all. It glows in a way that neither his Concertgebouw recording nor the Kubelik do.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 20, 2007, 06:30:44 PM
Leipzig seems to be a great place for playing Bruckner. One of my favourite 6th is from there (Bongartz), and the Abendroth 8th is a classic. BTW there seems to be a bunch of Leipzig Radio symphony Orchestra recordings from before 1950, but it doesn't seem to exist anymore - unless its new name was changed to Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, currently Leipzig's  'other' orchestra ??

Yes, it's the same orchestra. It has more or less continually existed as radio orchestra since 1924, but the name changed a number of times. Now it is the MDR Sinfonieorchester.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: beclemund on July 21, 2007, 07:41:45 AM
That was never the plan. He didn't conduct the 1st and 2nd symphonies at all in his later years after the Cologne cycle, as he found the pieces to be problematic and "krank", especially the first symphony. While that word translates as "sick, disturbed", it doesn't really describe well in English what he meant. He meant that the music showed too much of that Bruckner was guided by the need to fulfill external expectations rather than following his own inner voice. So there would not have been new recordings of these pieces anyway. He did conduct and record the 3rd with the NDR, and the 6th was on the program and scheduled to be recorded in Berlin just 2-3 months before he died. So there would have been new recordings of 4-9 with the BP, but most likely no 3rd, and definitely no 1st and 2nd.

Thank you for that clarification, M. I guess I am still surprised how different conductors react to a body of a composers work, but that probably says more about my naivety than anything. ;) Though it would seem that Bruckner was guided, on more than those two symphonies, by external pressure. The entire history of the multiple revisions of his symphonies is part of what keeps me so engaged by them.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 01, 2007, 11:36:44 PM
The very first performing version of Bruckner's 9th symphony is edited by Ferdinand Lowe, i was wondering if anyone has heard of this version. personally, after listening to Knappertsbusch's 1950 recording with BP, Ferdinand Lowe really should've been hanged; he completely changed the the 9th symphony, for the worse. For instance, in the second movement, the opening pizzicato is accompanied by woodwinds!!! did the man have no ears? Why did he do this? and How did the original version finally come to light?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: val on August 02, 2007, 12:12:37 AM
The original version was published by Alfred Orel in 1932, followed by Nowak. It was the conductor von Hausseger that played and recorded it for the first time in 1932. Then it was Furtwängler that imposed that original version.
I never heard Hausseger version, but the CD exists although I don't know on what label.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on August 02, 2007, 01:37:52 AM
...the CD exists although I don't know on what label.

It's on Preiser and is well worth hearing.  If nothing else, it demonstrates that slower does not necessarily mean better.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Marple on August 02, 2007, 04:43:47 AM
Last month his 9th was broadcasted on 3sat live from Cologne Cathedral. Did someone watch it? Sir Gilbert Levine conducted the WDR Symphony Orchestra, and it was a concert that I enjoyed very much! The next day I bought an old recording of it with the Columbia Orchestra and Bruno Walter, and though I also have one with Karajan and the Berliner, this one with old Bruno is very special. I love his lyrical interpretation. I'm a big fan of Walter! ;D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 02, 2007, 07:20:40 AM
Last month his 9th was broadcasted on 3sat live from Cologne Cathedral. Did someone watch it? Sir Gilbert Levine conducted the WDR Symphony Orchestra, and it was a concert that I enjoyed very much! The next day I bought an old recording of it with the Columbia Orchestra and Bruno Walter, and though I also have one with Karajan and the Berliner, this one with old Bruno is very special. I love his lyrical interpretation. I'm a big fan of Walter! ;D

yes, Walter is a very good choice, i have his recordings of 4,7,9th symphonies by bruckner, unfortunately, that's all he ever recorded (and the 8th with PSNY which i don't have).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on August 02, 2007, 07:27:04 AM
The original version was published by Alfred Orel in 1932, followed by Nowak. It was the conductor von Hausseger that played and recorded it for the first time in 1932.

Recording is from 1938, I wrote few not very significant lines about it on page 2 of this thread.

If nothing else, it demonstrates that slower does not necessarily mean better.

[insert nodding smiley}
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 02, 2007, 07:39:17 AM
to show you guys what i was talking about, this is an excerpt of Knappertsbusch's 1950 recording with BP.

http://www.mediafire.com/?8yvvzyvujj2

i hope you all can hear the difference between Orel.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on August 02, 2007, 07:53:46 AM
and the 8th with PSNY

That's an excellent performance disfigured by atrocious sonics.  Apparently the story is that the recording was rescued from corroded metal master discs fished out of a dumpster - and it sounds like it.  One of those where you weep for what might have been. :'(
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 04, 2007, 06:26:06 AM
Do any of you have the Chailly cycle, if so, how is it?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 05, 2007, 06:10:17 AM
The Rögner 4th was on the menu this week. It's with the Berlin Radio SO and was recorded (splendidly) in 1984. This is a fast and very direct interpretation. At 58 minutes it is one of the quickest around. Timings are approx 15-14-11-18. Right from the beginning of I this scores by having the tremolo strings register with real weight and presence, even though the playing is suitably pp, not any louder than normal. Very good orchestral work. They're a size under the VPO-BPO-SKD or a few other heavyweights, but this band deosn't put a foot wrong and the conductor paces and balances everything brilliantly. One will notice how much the winds have to do (esp. in the quieter portions of the score). I don't think I've heard such felicitous wind balances before. The finale really jolts by starting at a militantly expecting pace rather than the funeral march one often hears. This is adrenalin-pumping stuff.

Definitely not an everyday version, but a refreshing, sometimes startlingly different reading. Available for a song on Berlin Classics. Nowak version, no cymbal crash in IV.

BTW, I detect 2 instances of outright (unconscious?) borrowing from the Bruckner 4th by Mahler: the timpani rythm at the end of the Andante is reproduced in the slow movement of Mahler's own first symphony, whereas the low strings rythm at the beginning of IV is exactly the same as the start of Mahler's 6th. there's no doubt Mahler knew the work inside out: he even produced  his own (reorchestrated and truncated) version of it. It's been recorded by Rozhdestvensky.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 05, 2007, 06:19:36 AM
The Rögner 4th was on the menu this week. It's with the Berlin Radio SO and was recorded (splendidly) in 1984. This is a fast and very direct interpretation. At 58 minutes it is one of the quickest around. Timings are approx 15-14-11-18. Right from the beginning of I this scores by having the tremolo strings register with real weight and presence, even though the playing is suitably pp, not any louder than normal. Very good orchestral work. They're a size under the VPO-BPO-SKD or a few other heavyweights, but this band deosn't put a foot wrong and the conductor paces and balances everything brilliantly. One will notice how much the winds have to do (esp. in the quieter portions of the score). I don't think I've heard such felicitous wind balances before. The finale really jolts by starting at a militantly expecting pace rather than the funeral march one often hears. This is adrenalin-pumping stuff.

Definitely not an everyday version, but a refreshing, sometimes startlingly different reading. Available for a song on Berlin Classics. Nowak version, no cymbal crash in IV.

I was also pleasantly surprised by Rogner's version, it's pretty good, but in comparison with Chailly's 4th with RCO, I'd rather prefer chailly RCO.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 05, 2007, 06:23:10 AM
That's not the point, really. There's no need to pit A vs B etc. This is an endless and mindless game. It's different and stands on its own merits.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 05, 2007, 06:37:45 AM
That's not the point, really. There's no need to pit A vs B etc. This is an endless and mindless game. It's different and stands on its own merits.

i know, Rogner's good, but you might want to hear Chailly too.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on August 06, 2007, 10:55:49 AM
That's not the point, really. There's no need to pit A vs B etc. This is an endless and mindless game. It's different and stands on its own merits.

Well said. I actually don't know any of Rögner's Bruckner recordings, but would like to check them out some time. The orchestras in East Germany had (and to a certain extent, still have) preserved a number of stylistic features of the "old" German orchestral school which, combined with an unfussy, good craftsman approach like I would expect from Rögner could produce an interesting result. They actually recorded all the symphonis 4-9 and some of the sacred choral works. My only reservation would be if Berlin Classics once again used the damn Sonic Solutions NoNoise signal processing on these recordings, as they did on many of their releases. They really shouldn't have, as these are fairly "modern" recordings from the early 80s. A lot of the recordings made by the engineers of the "People's Own" record label Eterna in East Germany actually sound really good. So there shouldn't be any need for "remastering" these anyway, much less for "NoNoise". But Berlin Classics have proudly messed up some really nice 60s and 70s recordings with that system (which may result in less noise, but creates very harsh highs and very audible artifacts), such as Suitner's Mahler 1, Sanderling's Borodin 2, or Garaguly's Sibelius 1.

BTW, I detect 2 instances of outright (unconscious?) borrowing from the Bruckner 4th by Mahler: the timpani rythm at the end of the Andante is reproduced in the slow movement of Mahler's own first symphony, whereas the low strings rythm at the beginning of IV is exactly the same as the start of Mahler's 6th. there's no doubt Mahler knew the work inside out: he even produced  his own (reorchestrated and truncated) version of it. It's been recorded by Rozhdestvensky.

There is no doubt Mahler knew Bruckner's music very well and was influenced by it, but in much deeper ways than just "borrowing" elements of the music. These two examples are very basic musical structures, just a 1-5-1-5 alteration and a pulsing fundamental note, Bruckner didn't really come up with that either. There may be some musical and athmospheric connection between the "nocturnal marches" in Brucner 4 and Mahler 1, but I don't think there is much of a connection between the finale of Bruckner 4 and the opening of Mahler 6.

Last month his 9th was broadcasted on 3sat live from Cologne Cathedral. Did someone watch it? Sir Gilbert Levine conducted the WDR Symphony Orchestra, and it was a concert that I enjoyed very much!

I am happy for you, but I thought that was a horrible display. The orchestra played very well, but the conductor just put on a big slimy show. What a hollow poser, gesturing along dramaticaly with the orchestra, and what a clichéed and kitschy interpretation, with the cathedral setting to round that off. Bruckner in Disneyland. They could also have filmed that in Neuschwanstein. No wonder we haven't heard much of "Sir Gilbert Levine" yet, and I hope we won't anymore. If you "like to watch", check out the great videos of Bruckner 9 with Giulini and the SWR orchestra (which also includes some rehearsa footage) or Wand with the NDR. There is also a great live concert video with Karajan and the WP from the late 70s (which incidentally also closes with the Te Deum) which was available on DVD in Asia but is really hard to find now.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 06, 2007, 12:59:29 PM
I agree the connection between Bruckner 4:IV and Mahler 6:I is rather flimsy: it's the rythm only, and all on a single note at that. I never noticed it before listening to Rögner's 4th: he takes it at the exact same halting military clip we usually hear in the Mahler work. When taken at a broader tempo, the chords at the beginning of 4:IV are much less slashing than those of 6:I, even at Barbirolli's tempo, so it's not that obvious. It's only through that (chance?) combination of tempo and rythm that I established this possibly fortuitous link.

Be that as it may, it remains fascinating to hear musical cross-pollination between great composers.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 06, 2007, 01:34:51 PM
having heard both the music of Mahler and Bruckner, i must say that despite both masters shared a close personal relationship, there is little similarity in their music. If there is any (which i doubt) was definitely unconscious on Mahler's part. i remember that Bruno Walter gave an interview once, where he said that he has never heard a single note of Bruckner in Mahler, (excerpt in the 2nd, interestingly). To which I also agree, you can try to make things up and make fancy connections here and there, but the connections are nothing more than "notes" juggling.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 06, 2007, 01:52:06 PM
I see... ::)

No music or work of art exists in a vacuum. I don't think there's any problem in finding or acknowledging influences here and there (didn't Bruckner quote liberally from Wagner's works?).

But I guess if Walter's ghost has been summoned from Hades to help your argument, there's nothing else to add. Too bad, it could have been an interesting discussion.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 06, 2007, 02:10:55 PM

But I guess if Walter's ghost has been summoned from Hades to help your argument, there's nothing else to add. Too bad, it could have been an interesting discussion.

gee, i didn't realize... sorry about that
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on August 06, 2007, 02:19:24 PM
All this music did indeed not come out of a vacuum, and none of these composers actually completely "made up" their music. They filtered and concentrated it from what was around them. So it is very hard to say which common elements were "quoted" from each other, or which were "in the air", or which were just part of basic musical vocabulary, unless it is a direct quote where the nature of the quote and the context make it obvious and a reference is intended. Just like authors quote from and elaborate on each others' ideas using all the same basic material of language. In your first example, Bruckner described the music as a nightly procession of knights or monks something like that (or maybe something completely different, I don't remember since it never interested me much what he said about that, it is obvious that he just made that up to satisfy the contemporaries' hunger for programme notes). In Mahler's 1st, we have a (nightly?) funeral procession, so there are definitely some athmospheric parallels. In how far Mahler thought of Bruckner 4 when he came up with that, we don't know. The parallel is just too thin to assume he must have. It is just a very basic piece of musical vocabulary. As far as the opening of the 4th movement and the beginning of Mahler's 6th are concerned, I personally would say they have next to nothing to do with each other. In both cases, it is just a repetition of notes as a framework on which the music is build. But the athmospheric situations appear to me to be almost exactly opposite. In Bruckner's 4th, the repeated note form a steady, underlying pulse to a highly charged, but steadily floating musical structure above which motivic elements float in and out of sight, and it is these elements which propel the music forward - the underlying rhythmic structure actually held everything together and back. In Mahler's 6th, it is the exact opposite. It is the driving force of the pulse which relentlessly drives the developent of the music forward.

There are certainly a lot of parallels between Bruckner and Mahler, but these are more athmospheric and general than concrete. There are also a lot of parallels between them in some elemens of their "tone", and not just in the obvious cases, e.g. the use of folkloristic elements. Bruckner's influence on Mahler can be very clearly felt in things such as the way both use these folkloristic elements and blow them up to demonic, cosmic proportions. Or the overlaying of very opposite musical structures such as folk music themes and religious chorales (e.g. in the finale of Bruckner 3).

It is pretty obvious that there is a lot of the musical tradition which preceded him, all of it, not just Bruckner, in Mahler's music, and this is a very interesting and complex subject. Constantin Floros' book "Mahler und die Symphonik des 19. Jahrhunderts in neuer Deutung" explores this subject in depth with many musical examples, highly recommended reading just like the two accompanying volumes "Die geistige Welt Gustav Mahlers in systematischer Darstellung" and "Die Symphonien".
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Choo Choo on August 06, 2007, 03:10:55 PM
My only reservation would be if Berlin Classics once again used the damn Sonic Solutions NoNoise signal processing on these recordings, as they did on many of their releases.

Alas they have done precisely that on their recent reissue of Rögner's recording of #9 - and it's like listening with both ears full of mud - which is a great shame because even so, you can tell that underneath all that mush and clatter there must have been a fine performance.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 06, 2007, 04:10:55 PM
Thanks, M forever, for this most interesting development of this idea :D. I feel it's just what my unerudite and untrained mind is picking up (but without the ability to understand and phrase it properly).  :P

Of course it's easy to play the tune detective and come up with the kind of examples I gave, but it's something different to explain the context in which such similarities are perceived. In this view, I won't call them 'borrowings' from Mahler, although the 1st symphony's slow movement seems more prone to that decription than the other example I gave. The utter disparity of mood and language between 4:IV and 6:I is something that makes this quasi-common starting point all the more startling.

Mahler himself was prone to self-quoting, so I don't think it's farfectched to detect influences in his music, esp. his earlier works (as is obviously the case with the Rott symphony - if that's not a blatant case of borrowing friom Mahler, I don't know what is).

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 06, 2007, 04:49:56 PM
Mahler himself was prone to self-quoting, so I don't think it's farfectched to detect influences in his music, esp. his earlier works (as is obviously the case with the Rott symphony - if that's not a blatant case of borrowing friom Mahler, I don't know what is).


there is a big difference between "self-quoting" and "others-quoting"

see, although Hans Rott's scherzo "sounds like" Mahler, his development section of the Scherzo is highly unmahlerian. (and the excessive use of triangle too). To me, this might've been a huge coincidence, that Hans Rott's scherzo sounded so much like Mahler's 1st.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on August 06, 2007, 06:13:43 PM
In this view, I won't call them 'borrowings' from Mahler, although the 1st symphony's slow movement seems more prone to that decription than the other example I gave. The utter disparity of mood and language between 4:IV and 6:I is something that makes this quasi-common starting point all the more startling.

Hmm...no, sorry, these two examples are simply too basic to assume more, really. The alternation 1-5-1-5, that's one of the most basic pieces of musical vocabulary, not an idea of Bruckner either, not really a musical idea in general, just a very basic building block, that's been used millions of times, and the same applies to the repeated single note in the other example.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on August 07, 2007, 05:07:16 AM
M, would you do the not-so-well-educated-in-music members like me a favor and sum up the similarities and differences of the two composers, Gustav and Anton? These are what I know now, please correct and add something if you will:


Mahler's music: Self-indulgent, emotional, direct, overwhelming, constantly-changing, complex, progressive, over the top.

Bruckner's music: Subtle, religious, spacious, broad, sacred, warm, lush, metallic (the German brass), impressionist, dissonant.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 07, 2007, 05:09:05 AM
M, would you do the not-so-well-educated-in-music members like me a favor and sum up the similarities and differences of the two composers, Gustav and Anton? These are what I know now, please correct and add something if you will:


Mahler's music: Self-indulgent, emotional, direct, overwhelming, constantly-changing, complex, progressive, over the top.

Bruckner's music: Subtle, religious, spacious, broad, sacred, warm, lush, metallic (the German brass), impressionist, dissonant.


where did you hear those? (9th symphony aside of course)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on August 07, 2007, 05:53:49 AM
where did you hear those? (9th symphony aside of course)

I read those from a review of a recording of that symphony.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 07, 2007, 06:01:52 AM
I read those from a review of a recording of that symphony.

good, that's all i need to hear.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on August 07, 2007, 06:27:11 AM
M, would you do the not-so-well-educated-in-music members like me a favor and sum up the similarities and differences of the two composers, Gustav and Anton? These are what I know now, please correct and add something if you will:


Mahler's music: Self-indulgent, emotional, direct, overwhelming, constantly-changing, complex, progressive, over the top.

Bruckner's music: Subtle, religious, spacious, broad, sacred, warm, lush, metallic (the German brass), impressionist, dissonant.


I have mentioned at various times a marvelous analysis by child prodigy/musicologist/composer Dika Newlin, which was published 60 years ago: Bruckner, Mahler, Schoenberg, which is still available. She shows the connections among all 3.

I will suggest that you read that and then rethink your opinion.

Interesting that you do not mention "religion" also in connection to Mahler.  Both he and Schoenberg were drunk with religion!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 07, 2007, 06:33:39 AM
Interesting that you do not mention "religion" also in connection to Mahler. Both he and Schoenberg were drunk with religion!
AGREED!!! :D if there ever was a man so fascinated with religion, that man is Mahler. let me quote Bruno Walter again" the difference between Mahler and Bruckner is, Bruckner has found God, while Mahler was searching for God throughout his life..".
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sean on August 09, 2007, 12:27:35 AM
M

This was linked on the Classical videos thread, Karajan with the Bruckner 9 scherzo- I remember you saying you hadn't heard him in it for a while: amazing power and excitement from absolute minimum of means; I don't really think this kind of musicianship is matched elsewhere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO6HltIxevU
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 09, 2007, 05:47:42 AM
M

This was linked on the Classical videos thread, Karajan with the Bruckner 9 scherzo- I remember you saying you hadn't heard him in it for a while: amazing power and excitement from absolute minimum of means; I don't really think this kind of musicianship is matched elsewhere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO6HltIxevU

i have the bruckner 8th with Karajan conducting Wiener Philharmoniker too
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on August 10, 2007, 12:29:45 PM
AGREED!!! :D if there ever was a man so fascinated with religion, that man is Mahler. let me quote Bruno Walter again" the difference between Mahler and Bruckner is, Bruckner has found God, while Mahler was searching for God throughout his life..".

You have to be careful with Walter and his quotes. He was obviously an important eyewitness, but he also had his own ideas and agendas and saw everything through the prism of his own somewhat convoluted world view. His writings are quite tedious to read and full of pseudo-philosophic musings, so you should take him always as just Walter, not a reliable and "objective" witness.

M

This was linked on the Classical videos thread, Karajan with the Bruckner 9 scherzo- I remember you saying you hadn't heard him in it for a while: amazing power and excitement from absolute minimum of means; I don't really think this kind of musicianship is matched elsewhere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO6HltIxevU

It doesn't really matter what you think about musicianship, since you are not a musician yourself, Sean, just lean back and enjoy and don't try to figure out and judge these things. You can't.

But thanks for linking to the clip, that is from the TV recording (it actually has the logo of the 2nd public German TV channel in the corner) of a concert in 1985 that I went to myself. If the camera panned up a little higher, you could actually see me, I sat right above the bass section. That video is available in Japan and I already have it on my wish list. There is also a concert video of the 9th with the WP from the late 70s which I have. Then there is a live video of the 8th with the WP from a concert, again in the 70s in St.Florian. The well known video of the 8th with the WP in the Musikvereinssaal (which is the same performance as the late DG recording of the 8th), BTW, is not a live performance, it is studio, they just filmed it that way to make it look like a concert.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 10, 2007, 12:36:05 PM
But thanks for linking to the clip, that is from the TV recording (it actually has the logo of the 2nd public German TV channel in the corner) of a concert in 1985 that I went to myself. If the camera panned up a little higher, you could actually see me, I sat right above the bass section. That video is available in Japan and I already have it on my wish list. There is also a concert video of the 9th with the WP from the late 70s which I have. Then there is a live video of the 8th with the WP from a concert, again in the 70s in St.Florian. The well known video of the 8th with the WP in the Musikvereinssaal (which is the same performance as the late DG recording of the 8th), BTW, is not a live performance, it is studio, they just filmed it that way to make it look like a concert.

i uploaded that too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh2L5V8eWwc
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on August 20, 2007, 09:29:18 PM
Today, I found Harnoncourt's interpretation of Symphony No. 5 in a store, and since I want to compare a few performances of this symphony, I had to buy it.  After I listen to it, I'll post my impressions of it and see how it compares to Jochum's interpretation.

Heather

which one?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Que on August 25, 2007, 07:24:52 AM
I had two blank draws before on Klemperer/Bruckner 4. The GROC/EMI is calcified/"granite" and doesn't rock my boat at all. The '47 RCO (Tahra) has its good moments but is erratic and inconsistent. I'm hoping third time is lucky... :)
Anyone familiar with this recording?

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/08/987608.jpg)

Funkhaus, Saal 1, WDR Cologne, 5 April 1954

Q
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on August 28, 2007, 03:05:40 AM
No to the above question, but I have never heard a decent Klemperer performance of Bruckner.

I once sat through his arthritic 5th Symphony back in the 1960's and was positive the record speed had to be on 16 by mistake, instead of 33 1/3, but no.

In fact I cranked it up later to 78, and aside from raising the key, it was a great performance!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sean on August 28, 2007, 08:36:49 AM
M, I've only just seen your post, two weeks late. Well I guess I've listened and thought more about the big K than any other conductor, being especially won over by his Bruckner in my late teens, performances I still think are of absolutely transcendental character (don't ask me to explain, that's partly the point). He did have this very odd way though of his phrasing sometimes sounding both coercive and perfectly judged- the VPO Bruckner 8 and the live Mahler 9 being the best examples I know. The Bruckner 8 is obviously a very great performance with immense authority and a lifetime's thought in it but raises questions at the same time: does he imbue the orchestra from within with his perspective or is the approach to the players perhaps too imperious...

Did you meet Karajan?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: karlhenning on August 28, 2007, 08:39:11 AM
In fact I cranked it up later to 78, and aside from raising the key, it was a great performance!

 0:)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on August 28, 2007, 09:13:45 AM
No to the above question, but I have never heard a decent Klemperer performance of Bruckner.

I once sat through his arthritic.......

Try to hear his earlier (pre 60s) recordings. His '57 Köln 8th is 12-13 minutes faster than 70s EMI one :o.
And I believe he shaves off some 5 minutes in this 4th linked by Que compared to EMI studio. And that '47 Concertgebouw is probably even faster (still interested, if anyone runs across a copy let me know).

Nothing arthritic about those....
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Keemun on September 02, 2007, 08:25:40 AM
No to the above question, but I have never heard a decent Klemperer performance of Bruckner.

Have you heard Bruckner 6 performed by Klemperer and New Philharmonia Orchestra (1965)?  I think it's a great recording.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 06, 2007, 05:58:43 PM
Listened to this week: the First symphony, with the redoubtable Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester under Vaclav Neumann. Although this is over 40 years old, it still holds up very well indeed as a sound experience.

Once more I realize how much the orchestra's personality is the defining factor in a Bruckner performance - probably more so than for any other major composer I know. The conductor worth his salt will bring out the players' commitment and direct the traffic, adding an ounce or two of personal inflections here and there. Not more, nor less. It doesn't mean the results would be similar from one good performance to another. Quite the contrary. Instead of having Maestro X layering his copyrighted Bruckner sauce in New-York, London and Berlin to no audible difference, I'd rather have it the other way around.

In this case, Neumann brings solid musicianship and strong leadership to an orchestra that knows its stuff inside out. My previous sole favourite used to be the very different Haiting COA version: tart trumpets, emerald green, bottled horns, perky winds, athletic and aristocratic strings, all enthusiastically responding to Haitink's no-nonsense, youthful exuberance. At 5 minutes more (11 percent slower), the Neumann-Leipzig is perforce weightier in sound, but no less trenchant or committed. This orchestra's forte is a string section of immense weight and personality. They carry the burden of the argument in terms of momentum and orchestral colour, with the big, boomy timpani and loud-mouthed brass section contributing their own imposing sonorities to the work.

Either way, Bruckner's first emerges as a work of tremendous vitality and almost demonic energy. Were it not for the fact that it's been composed before the so-called "nullte", I'd probably vote it as the most promising in a 'first symphony' contest.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 18, 2007, 05:38:41 PM
Listened to this week: the ninth under Pierre Boulez. Two versions, Chicago 1999 and Vienna 2001. There are of course similarities between the two interpretations, but the orchestral playing is vastly different, and so is the conductor's approach in these live performances.

Both are big, grim, unsmiling interpretations. There are some surprising rhetorical broadenings in Vienna. In Chicago one hears only the brass and timpani in the climaxes. Strings disappear totally. It's probably not how it came across in concert, but on disc it's quite obvious. Very refined and yet commanding and almost militarily disciplined. Timpani taps at the onset are clear yet ominous, very well judged.  This work has many such seemingly small details that imprint on the memory. Unfortunately the disc crackles badly in most of the loud spots. I'll refrain from passing a judgment.

The Vienna recording hails from the Schauspielhaus, Salzburg. It is clearer. Strings never disappear under the weigth of brass and timpani, indeed they are magnificent throughout, with that telltale sweet, almost saccharine tone.  But it's congested when Pierre and the boys whip it up - which happens a lot. I don't think I've ever heard as many decibels in this work as here. Except from the contemporaneous, disgusting Ozawa Vienna broadcast. With Boulez it works - most of the time. This is the kind of very loud, brutal, dense-coiled orchestral playing one expected from Karajan and the BPO in the late seventies. The coda of I is excellent, with a surprising slowdown and ritard on the last chord. The Scherzo is one mean brute here, it left me speechless. I'd think this particular movement is an unqualified success. The clarity and lucidity of the brass playing at this speed and dynamic level is just astounding. The adagio is not so successful. It's a bit aloof, and the coda is a full December moon harshly beaming on the landscape. No tenderness, no transfiguration, no ecstasy, no spirituality. Unfortunately the horns clam loudly on the ascent to the last chord - and yes, it's loud throughout and stops abruptly. In this particular context it doesn't go down well.

In any case, if that comes out on a commercial recording, I'll certainly buy it. That kind of unsentimental, tough, forbidding interpretation is not my cup of tea, but it's hugely impressive. I would say this is the polar opposite of the Walter concept.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on September 18, 2007, 11:03:21 PM
Listened to this week: the First symphony, with the redoubtable Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester under Vaclav Neumann. Although this is over 40 years old, it still holds up very well indeed as a sound experience.

I know this recording very well, Lilas Pastia, and it's my favourite First. The Finale under Neumann is electrifying.

Brucknerian greetings from Delft, the Netherlands!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on September 22, 2007, 07:25:07 AM
Uploaded an out of print Helgoland performance by Wyn Morris and the Symphonica of London from CD on request.

I strongly recommend that anybody on a connection better than 56k give this piece a try. It'll appeal to Wagner fans, it's a mature composition, and whether or not you consider the text silly (I don't have an English translation sadly, see the Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helgoland (Bruckner)) for the German text), it's a stirring and musically wonderful composition.

http://www.mediafire.com/?1szm3gt93xg
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on September 22, 2007, 07:32:16 AM
Uploaded an out of print Helgoland

Thanks :-*


Demanding sob that I am, can't help but asking, would you happen to have the accompaning Liebesmahl?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on September 22, 2007, 07:36:05 AM
Thanks :-*


Demanding sob that I am, can't help but asking, would you happen to have the accompaning Liebesmahl?

I almost considered beginning uploading that and saying it's on the way, but I thought "nobody can be as obsessively completist as me... I won't bother". :D

Uploading now - it'll take up to 40 mins. :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on September 22, 2007, 07:39:51 AM
 :-* :-* :-*
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on September 22, 2007, 07:43:45 AM
Thanks, Lethe, for Helgoland! I know this work exists, and that it's a late work, but this is the first time I'll be listening to it!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Keemun on September 22, 2007, 07:50:19 AM
Uploaded an out of print Helgoland performance by Wyn Morris and the Symphonica of London from CD on request.

Thanks, downloading now.   :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 22, 2007, 07:59:53 AM
Anybody who likes Brahm's overtures will know what to expect - and not to expect: mature, full-blown brucknerian language and rhetoric but in a 'lesser' form. It's one of those great "occasional" works that really deserves to be heard more often.

This particular performance defines the term 'granitic'. Suitable for a work that describes an impregnable rocky island in the North Sea. Yes, the place does exist!
(http://www.aerosoft2.de/downloads/helgoland/aero_helgo2_28.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on September 22, 2007, 08:05:32 AM
Excellent. This performance really does blow Barenboim away: it's amazing how much more gravitas the work has when played this much slower.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 22, 2007, 08:07:58 AM
Off to listen to it!

P.S.: Lethe, you wouldn't happen to have the original lp coupling, Wagner's Liebesmahl des Apostel ? ;D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on September 22, 2007, 08:20:30 AM
Demanding sob that I am, can't help but asking, would you happen to have the accompaning Liebesmahl?

P.S.: Lethe, you wouldn't happen to have the original lp coupling, Wagner's Liebesmahl des Apostel ? ;D

http://www.mediafire.com/?9umjye3in22
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 22, 2007, 09:13:16 AM
A dream come true!  :-*

Wagner's Liebesmahl is a weirdly constructed work. It's about 35 minutes long and for the first 25 minutes it's strictly a capella. Then the orchestra comes in, at the moment where the Holy Ghost descends on the apostles. From there on it's an exciting orchestral-choral pageant. Thrilling stuff.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: marvinbrown on September 22, 2007, 02:13:26 PM


  TODAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2007 I discovered Bruckner for the first time in my life.  I listened to symphony no.0 (Skrowaczewski) and symphony no.00 (Tinter) today and just fell in love with Bruckner's music. Much like the music of Wagner  0:) (one of my all time favorite composers) Bruckner's first 2 symphonies had a profound emotional effect on me.   I had to find out more and just bought this set from amazon. For the first time in a very long time I am really excited!!!

  (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41C44QDJ6HL._SS500_.jpg)

  Just wanted to come on board this thread, I know I am late, but hope there is room for me, a Bruckner newbe, here.

  I will spend all of next week listening to Bruckner's symphonies. 
 
   marvin



 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 22, 2007, 02:18:06 PM
Welcome, Marvin! You're in for an epochal journey. :D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: marvinbrown on September 22, 2007, 02:20:37 PM
Welcome, Marvin! You're in for an epochal journey. :D

  Thank you Lilas  :)

  marvin
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on September 22, 2007, 02:30:07 PM

  TODAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2007 I discovered Bruckner for the first time in my life. I will spend all of next week listening to Bruckner's symphonies. 

Lucky you! If you're bowled over by symphonies 0 and 00, prepare to be overwhelmed! Mountains are looming...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Mark on September 22, 2007, 02:38:10 PM
Keep an ear open for No. 7, Marvin. My favourite of them all. ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on September 22, 2007, 02:43:59 PM
I wish I started with the first ones. It'd probably have made my head fall off by the time I had reached the last few :D

Glad you chose the Jochum, and glad you didn't go for the best ones first, it will make listening through them all more rewarding.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: marvinbrown on September 22, 2007, 02:53:45 PM
I wish I started with the first ones. It'd probably have made my head fall off by the time I had reached the last few :D

Glad you chose the Jochum, and glad you didn't go for the best ones first, it will make listening through them all more rewarding.

  Lethe, in all honesty, I did not know what to expect with Bruckner.  So I figured start at the beginning, I did some minor reading and picked the first 2 symphonies Bruckner composed.  I instantly loved what I was hearing, much like my first reaction to Wagner......this sort of thing does not happen very often and when it does its a real joy. Sadly with Mahler the initial reaction was not so pleasant. 

  marvin
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: marvinbrown on September 22, 2007, 02:54:19 PM
Keep an ear open for No. 7, Marvin. My favourite of them all. ;)

  Will do Mark  :).

  marvin
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on September 22, 2007, 03:16:27 PM
  Lethe, in all honesty, I did not know what to expect with Bruckner.  So I figured start at the beginning, I did some minor reading and picked the first 2 symphonies Bruckner composed.  I instantly loved what I was hearing, much like my first reaction to Wagner......this sort of thing does not happen very often and when it does its a real joy. Sadly with Mahler the initial reaction was not so pleasant. 

  marvin

It's just that, if Wagner comes to mind in the first few symphonies, you're going to be over the moon with the next ones :D

Btw, you bought pretty much the ideal set with the Jochum/DG. It's less nuts (in the brass) than the EMI/Brilliant Classics one, yet represents his insights into the composer just as well.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 22, 2007, 04:41:57 PM
Listened to tonight:

Helgoland. Symphonica of London, Wyn Morris. We've discussed this already. The conception is even better than I had remembered. What a rocky, billowy ride!
Sound is much sharper that I had remembered it to be, and it's probably different (early digital remastering) than the spacious and well-defined LP recording I hear in my memory.

Symphony no. 6. Two versions: Leonard Bernstein and the NYPO , and Heinz Rögner and the Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester Berlin. Both are live recordings dating from 1976 (presumably Avery Fisher Hall) and 2001 (Berlin's Philharmonie) respectively.

The Bernstein didn't strike me as wholly successful. In the first movement he doesn't seem to know exactly how he wants it to go, almost as if he's feeling his way into the movement. The massive broadening in the coda makes the movement sound like it's progressively running out of steam, and the big ritard on the last chord sounds gratuitous. The Adagio is superb, sweet and seraphic in feeling. Scherzo and Finale are well paced, but again I could do without the rhetorical broadening at the end. The orchestra doesn't sound like it understands the music. Still, this is characterful and shows a powerful personality shaping the proceedings.

Rögner has practically the same timings as Bernstein's and these two readings are indeed alone in my collection to show the same ratio of speeds relative to one another. This orchestra has the music in its bones and the difference is striking right at the outset. They play better, make more sense of the mendelssohnian winds/string balance and their brass is more homogeneous. The conductor has some of the same ideas though: rhetorical broadenings on the codas of I and IV, but more smoothly achieved. One senses a slowdown, not a heavy braking.

I prefer the Rögner and would term it as good as the Haitink COA, Jochum BRSO, Lopez-Cobos Cincinnati, Kegel Leipzig, but slightly behind the two Leitners, the Keilberth BPO , Bongartz Leipzig Gewandhaus and Stein VPO. It's been too long since I heard the Celibidache and Klemperer, but if memory serves, they wouldn't be in the first rank.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on September 24, 2007, 03:09:32 AM
Happy Brucknerosis to Marvinbrown!

A disease with no known cure!

Except maybe continuing the journey to Mahler and Schoenberg!    :o

I first came upon Bruckner via the score of the Seventh Symphony and then Jochum's DGG recording.

Quite a spiritual experiment for our colleague Marvinbrown to follow the earliest study symphonies to the mighty Ninth!    0:)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: marvinbrown on September 24, 2007, 11:50:27 AM
Happy Brucknerosis to Marvinbrown!

A disease with no known cure!

Except maybe continuing the journey to Mahler and Schoenberg!    :o

I first came upon Bruckner via the score of the Seventh Symphony and then Jochum's DGG recording.

Quite a spiritual experiment for our colleague Marvinbrown to follow the earliest study symphonies to the mighty Ninth!    0:)

  Thank you Cato.  My order was dispatched today (First Class postage) and should arrive tomorrow.  My plan is simple, one symphony every night after work starting chronologically 1 -> 9.  When exploring new composers, I usually like to start at the beginning (Beethoven was an exception),  I like to see (or hear) where the composer came from.  I was surprised to read after hearing symphony no.00 "study symphony" that Bruckner was "plagued with doubt as to his own capabilities which came from his crtitics' harsh comments and friends who thought that they could help by changing the content of his works"- and they say a friend in need is a friend indeed! 

These early symphonies are quite remarkable- filled with so much emotion- they certianly caught my attention.

  marvin     

 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 24, 2007, 02:01:43 PM
Next Saturday there's an organ concert I could attend. On the program, a transcription of the third symphony. Has anyone ever heard such transcripts? I know there's a disc of it, which I've never seen. It seems to me that, of all the symphonies, the third might be the best suited for that kind of thing. The eight has been done (Rogg), but I don't like it. And of course, a recording can't compare to an organ concert in situ.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on September 24, 2007, 02:12:15 PM
Next Saturday there's an organ concert I could attend. On the program, a transcription of the third symphony. Has anyone ever heard such transcripts? I know there's a disc of it, which I've never seen. It seems to me that, of all the symphonies, the third might be the best suited for that kind of thing. The eight has been done (Rogg), but I don't like it. And of course, a recording can't compare to an organ concert in situ.

I didn't like the 8th either. There is another organ disc which has a few transcriptions on (6th sym adagio, study sym scherzo) by Erwin Horn on the Novalis label, but I'm not convinced by the idea.

The 6th adagio in particular cannot help sounding choppy during the big themes, perhaps demonstrating that Bruckner DID write idiomatically for orchestra, as it wasn't successful in organ form, at least on this disc...

Good luck with the concert though - make us a bootleg recording of it :P
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 24, 2007, 02:19:59 PM
Well, I'm an organ fan, it's a nice Casavant, and a large church with fine acoustics (same venue as those Nézet-Séguin Bruckner recordings). So I might give it a try and forget my preconceptions at the door ;). .

Also on the program, transcriptions of Wagner's Pilgrim's Chorus (Tannhaüser) and Ride of the Walkyrie, and the Wesendonck lieder. For some reason, I'm more skeptical about those...

It's a konzept thing, titled Hommage à Wagner.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on September 24, 2007, 02:39:37 PM
Organ transcription of Ride of the Valkyres...  :o I guess nobody can claim that organists don't have a sense of humour ;D

Even if the Bruckner is boring, that would make the visit worth it... Oh man, I am reeling from imagining how funny that Ride could be... :D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on September 24, 2007, 02:52:15 PM
To throw a little change of topic in this thread, anyone have strong recording preferences for the String Quintet?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on September 24, 2007, 02:58:28 PM
To throw a little change of topic in this thread, anyone have strong recording preferences for the String Quintet?

It would be deceptive for me to recommend the recording I have without saying that it's the only that I have heard - but it's very well played and really turned me onto the piece: Melos Quartet, Harmonia Mundi. It's currently available in a digipak (yuck) on their budget Musique d'Abord label. The other commonly recommended option is L'Archibudelli, which I haven't heard, but can't be a bad choice.

I have a few vinyl rips by the Amadeus and Keller quartets, but I haven't really given them much of a listen. Too much music, too little time...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 24, 2007, 04:13:46 PM
I've known and loved the Melos for over 30 years. Its latest incarnaiton is on Harmonia Mundi. Then there's the clean, elegant Raphael ensemble on Hyperion, and my favourite is the probing, gusty Leipziger Streichquartette on MDG. I yet have to hear the L'Archibudellli version. Any comments on that one?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on September 25, 2007, 03:04:52 AM
  Thank you Cato.  My order was dispatched today (First Class postage) and should arrive tomorrow.  My plan is simple, one symphony every night after work starting chronologically 1 -> 9.  When exploring new composers, I usually like to start at the beginning (Beethoven was an exception),  I like to see (or hear) where the composer came from.  I was surprised to read after hearing symphony no.00 "study symphony" that Bruckner was "plagued with doubt as to his own capabilities which came from his crtitics' harsh comments and friends who thought that they could help by changing the content of his works"- and they say a friend in need is a friend indeed! 

These early symphonies are quite remarkable- filled with so much emotion- they certianly caught my attention.

  marvin     

 

Later some of his "student friends" (the notorious Schalk Brothers, Franz and Joseph)would edit the symphonies into performing versions which were awful:

http://books.google.com/books?id=o8ejri7nVZYC&pg=PA192&lpg=PA192&dq=schalk+brothers&source=web&ots=k9ir0K1Jjp&sig=20VXaSt8EmT-Spcb1fB6OgudeLg#PPA192,M1

Their work is parallel with my experience with "literary editors" who are actually frustrated writers with no talent, no style, and no soul, but still fancy themselves able to "improve" someone's book with their "helpful hints"...except they aren't.    8)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: CS on October 06, 2007, 04:40:54 AM
I've not heard this recording yet, is it really that superior to other recordings of Bruckner's 8th?

No. Not in my opinion, anyway, and I don't think I'm alone. I own the said recording and think it's a very fine account, but I'll reach for Böhm, Giulini, Jochum, Barbirolli, Kubelik, Furtwängler, Boulez, and Wand before Karajan (all very different approaches). Karajan and the WP certainly achieve something unique, but not entirely to my taste, and certainly not the last word on Bruckner. This is a prolifically recorded work, and necessarily so -- no one recording can cover the range of emotions and soundscapes this symphony is capable of producing.

--CS
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 06, 2007, 09:12:23 AM
One conductor's approach - and its relative success - can vary widely over time. Böhm, Karajan, Haitink, Celibidache, Wand and Jochum for example have recorded the 8th 3 to 8 times each, with vastly different results. For each of these four conductors I would not hesitate to pick one recording among my favourites, while the other 2 or 3 they committed would be some way down the list.

Even the 1949 Furtwängler BPO exists in apparently similar versions, but the results are different enough to make one a firm recommendation (the March 15 performance), while the other is only half-baked (March 14).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on October 09, 2007, 11:28:04 AM
Even the 1949 Furtwängler BPO exists in apparently similar versions, but the results are different enough to make one a firm recommendation (the March 15 performance), while the other is only half-baked (March 14).
Not to mention the various pirate issues of March 14, which are actually a mixture of the two performances. Buyer beware!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on October 23, 2007, 10:50:28 AM
There are two recorded performances (That i know of). One by Johannes Wildner with NPW and the other by Kurt Eichhorn with BOL. Although they use the same score, the performance are very different. For instance, Wildner's finale lasted 23 minutes, while Eichhorn's lasted an amazing 30 minutes! Personally, I prefer the Wildner version, as for the completion. There were some less than spectacular moments in the finale, for instance; it felt as if traces of 8th symphony was "pasted" onto the score, and it had a few awkward timpani beats atypical to Bruckner's usual rhythms... These "deficiencies" however, did not effect the overall quality of the completion. The ending was convincingly "Brucknerian". Moreover, it is a fact that almost everything in SPMC were actually written by Bruckner himself.

Does anyone like this finale? What do you guys think about it?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 23, 2007, 02:46:31 PM
Define SPMC please...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on October 23, 2007, 04:17:41 PM
Define SPMC please...

from wikipedia:
Samale/Mazzuca/Phillips/Cohrs completion (1992 / rev. 1996 / new rev. 2005)

For this venture Samale and Mazzuca were joined by John A. Phillips and Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs. This completion proposes one way to realize Bruckner's intention to combine themes from all four movements. This version has been recorded by Johannes Wildner and also by Kurt Eichhorn, with the Bruckner Orchestra of Linz, for the Camerata label.

A new, revised edition of this completion was published in 2005 by Nicola Samale and Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs (www.musikmph.de). Cohrs´ latest research made it also possible to recover the musical content of one missing bifolio in the Fugue fully from the particello-sketch. This new edition, in all 665 bars long, makes use of 569 bars from Bruckner himself.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on October 24, 2007, 01:26:09 PM
There are two recorded performances (That i know of). One by Johannes Wildner with NPW and the other by Kurt Eichhorn with BOL. Although they use the same score, the performance are very different. For instance, Wildner's finale lasted 23 minutes, while Eichhorn's lasted an amazing 30 minutes! Personally, I prefer the Wildner version, as for the completion. There were some less than spectacular moments in the finale, for instance; it felt as if traces of 8th symphony was "pasted" onto the score, and it had a few awkward timpani beats atypical to Bruckner's usual rhythms... These "deficiencies" however, did not effect the overall quality of the completion. The ending was convincingly "Brucknerian". Moreover, it is a fact that almost everything in SPMC were actually written by Bruckner himself.

Does anyone like this finale? What do you guys think about it?

I haven't heard the Eichhorn version. Compared to the abysmal Talmi recording, the Wildner is excellent. I was also positively surprised by the first three movements and the orchestral execution generally. Do you have the Harnoncourt performance of the fragments with his lecture? The version Talmi recorded seemed to have made every (mis)"correction" and mistake that Harnoncourt complains of in his lecture. The Wildner, by contrast seems to contain all of the original material that Harnoncourt performs in his lecture. The rest (which includes some transitions mostly) is of course made up. But the Wildner version is the most convincing completion I have heard so far. I guess we will  never know what the final fugue on key themes from his major symphonies was really supposed to sound like.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on October 24, 2007, 01:30:15 PM
I haven't heard the Eichhorn version. Compared to the abysmal Talmi recording, the Wildner is excellent. I was also positively surprised by the first three movements and the orchestral execution generally. Do you have the Harnoncourt performance of the fragments with his lecture? The version Talmi recorded seemed to have made every (mis)"correction" and mistake that Harnoncourt complains of in his lecture. The Wildner, by contrast seems to contain all of the original material that Harnoncourt performs in his lecture. The rest (which includes some transitions mostly) is of course made up. But the Wildner version is the most convincing completion I have heard so far. I guess we will  never know what the final fugue on key themes from his major symphonies was really supposed to sound like.

Yes, I have the Harnoncourt one, but his version is not really a "performing" version. He just played the fragments (with added commentary). Comprehensive though they were, the music is still unfinished.

What's so great about Wildner's recording is that it uses the newest material, and more impressively it offers an "ending" that most of us would find satisfying.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 24, 2007, 06:21:13 PM
I haven't heard any completion that sounded remotely satisfying to my ears, including those heard on the Inbal, eichhorrn or Wildner versions. But on an interpretive basis, I give high marks to the Eichhorn. I doubt very much that this particular quest will ever result in any satisfactory result. I have the same problem with the various Mahler 10 completions. They all sound woefully incomplete, sort of watching skeletons parade with Chanel, Versace or Gautier outfits. Under the fabric, colours and variously (un)felicitous shapes, the bones are poking uncomfortably.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 24, 2007, 06:49:56 PM
Heard tonight at the Symphony:

Bach: concerto no. 1, with Peter Serkin
Bruckner: Symphony no. 2
Herbert Blomstedt cond. the Montreal SO.


The Bach worked much better than I had thought it would. Surprisingly well, actually. Good choice from the soloist, and excellent rapport between him and the conductor. I only question the rather bizarre choice of a tinkly harpsichord in the continuo.

The symphony was of course the major offering here, and I was surprised to see that the hall was rather well filled (1800-2000 by rough estimate). This is a rarely performed work, and the first time I ever heard it in concert. Maestro Blomsted is an old hand at Bruckner, having recorded some of the symphonies
with quite superb results (his Dresden 7th earns my unabated admiration, and the Leipzig 9th is close behind). This was only the second time I was hearing him in concert, and both times it was in Bruckner ! Apparently, there might be a cycle in the works (John Berky thinks so).

One of the salient features of tonight's concert was the choice of the Carragan version (revised 1995). This is much fuller than the olden Haas or Nowak versions that have been recorded many times in the sixties and seventies. That lasts some 53-58 minutes, whereas this performance went on for a goodish 65' (Tintner goes on to an unprecedented 72'). I'm a bit confused as to the status of this version. Berky's site mentions two Carrragan efforts. One is labeled "1872 First concept version. Ed. William Carragan [2005]" and the other "1873 First performance version. Ed. William Carragan" with no mention of date. So, given that the program notes mention 1995, I'd assume this would be "1873 First performance version. Ed. William Carragan". But Berky's site gives the middle movements' order for this as Adagio and Scherzo, whereas what we heard was Scherzo and Adagio (the order Berky gives for the 2005 version!). Are you still with me? ::)

In any case, this concert was hugely successful, with the orchestra giving their all, and the audience erupting in surprisingly enthusiastic ovations at the end (Mr B. came back 3 times to acknowledge the applause). Whatever, it didn't change my view of this symphony as probably the most episodic in the  Bruckner canon. It is entirely typical and quite wonderful in itself, but it lacks a few key ingredients the composer was to develop over time: a strong, flowing and thematically memorable slow movement (however seraphic that concluding horn solo is, it doesn't a great adagio make) - and a taut, tightly constructed Finale. The latter point could be argued, and I suspect I could easily be mollified, but I still thing the best case for this symphony is made in the later revisions (as exemplified by the Giulini, Stein, Karajan, Haitink and Jochum recordings).

Notwithstanding, if ever a recording materializes and you're interested in the second, this would possibly be THE version to have. HB is pushing 80, but like former Montreal SO MD Franz-Paul Decker (well into his eighties), he is a masterful Bruckner conductor and his unflagging energy carries huge conviction and sweeps any reservations by the wayside.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on October 24, 2007, 08:59:15 PM
I realized Blomstedt's mastery of Bruckner's music not long ago. By sheer luck, I encountered a live recording of him conducting Bruckner's 3rd (1873 Verison) with SFS. That was an amazing performance, and i was quite shocked that SFS never released it on CD.

I will, in the near future, share this wonderful performance with everyone.

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 25, 2007, 04:43:02 AM
Please do!

Apparently, Mr. Carragan was in the audience last night. That might give credence to rumours of future recordings. Something's cooking in the kitchen.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on October 25, 2007, 05:44:38 AM
Yes, I have the Harnoncourt one, but his version is not really a "performing" version. He just played the fragments (with added commentary). Comprehensive though they were, the music is still unfinished.

I didn't claim it was. Like I said in my initial post: "the Harnoncourt performance of the fragments". It's just helpful as background in order to know what's original and what's not in the various completions.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on October 25, 2007, 06:06:15 AM
recorded live from Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall. 2005 10.14

http://www.mediafire.com/?11zzhnw2wss

http://www.mediafire.com/?2dus4rc5b4f

http://www.mediafire.com/?80mnmqzns9p

http://www.mediafire.com/?9evjy5xxxa2
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Keemun on October 25, 2007, 06:36:09 AM
MahlerTitan, thanks for uploading those!   :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on October 25, 2007, 08:32:26 AM
I re-listened to the NAXOS CD of the Finale of the Bruckner Ninth conducted by Johannes Wildner last night, and compared it to the Carragan version.

Certainly the Wildner version gives a greater hint at the structural and emotional complexity which Bruckner was imagining, especially the unexpected return of the 1st movement's huge opening proclamation, and the dissonant clashing in several of the climaxes goes beyond the earlier version. 

Still, we are not yet there yet, and can only hope some archive has the last parts of the puzzle: supposedly the entire movement was completed in unorchestrated form, but taken as souvenirs by his students and others after Bruckner's death.

See also :

http://mahlerarchives.net/archives/cyphersB9.pdf
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 28, 2007, 05:55:17 PM
I’ve gone through all my personal recordings of the 6th symphony in the past couple of months. Of all Bruckner’s symphonies, the 6th is probably the only one that never makes me want to stop replaying it until I’ve exhausted all possible listening sessions. Like all the other symphonies from 2 to 9 it’s endlessly fascinating. But unlike the others, it never overwhelms me emotionally or sonically. It just begs for repat visits! The slow movement in particular is a thing of endless beauty and wonder.  It is framed by 3 other movements where rythmic emphasis rules, probably the reason why Bruckner famously termed the symphony his boldest (« die sechste ist die keckste »)

Footnote : the first movement is marked  « Majestoso ». The 'j' in Majestoso is possibly a misspelling of the Italian Maestoso, as the German word is majestätisch. The « j »  is thus not a misprint, but possibly an ur-misspelling from the composer!

I’ll quote here from a very good web article for a short description of the work :

Quote
Although a work with many fine passages, and a great deal of internal consistency, the sixth has always been regarded as somewhat imperfect; as Bruckner specialist Georg Tintner put it, it consists of "three perfect movements, and one [the finale] that is somewhat problematic."

it is distinguished by richly varied orchestration and hugely contrasted thematic ideas. The opening movement begins with an urgent rhythmic ostinato played by the violins [I liken this rythmic figure to a morse code message]; The opening ostinato figure returns frequently and unaltered as the movement progresses, and becomes especially potent at the climax of the development section. During the coda, trumpets and horns challenge each other antiphonally, as if sounding across vast distances of time and space.

The Adagio which follows is Bruckner's only symphonic slow movement in conventional sonata form  [I love that one above all other Bruckner slow movements]. The hymn-like F major opening theme suggests reverential awe in an elegiac string threnody, over which the oboe responds plaintively. A second theme lightens the texture, with a richly-hued episode for strings, but particularly impressive is the extended and yearning coda, after the manner of a funeral march [NB : personally I see this as a distinct theme, but it does immediately follow the second one] .

The scherzo is perhaps the most fantastical of any to be found among Bruckner's nine symphonies; whereas others are bucolic and rustic in mood, this is demonic and threatening, its fearsome tensions only assuaged during the more relaxed trio section.

The finale presents an austere, purposeful idea for the violins, on which the second clarinet comments; a contrasting lyrical melody follows. The music progresses in urgent style.  When the long-awaited resolution arrives, Bruckner brings back the ostinato rhythm heard at the start of the symphony, along with its main first subject idea, now played by three trombones.

Here are the versions I’ve heard, presented in alphabetical order. A short comment will follow and a RebLem-type notation follows (like it or hate it, it’s still rather convenient to use!). First note is for conducting and orchestral playing, second for sound). Timings are taken from Berky’s discography.

Bernstein NYP (1976) a  live, not a commercial recording). 56:48 15:29 17:31 8:41 14:29.   Bernstein has some excellent ideas, but they don’t cohere within movements, and he doesn’t seem to have an integrated conception of the work. And his orchestra is not quite idiomatic (whatever that means – but you know when you hear it). Still, it’s powerful and fervently put across. The best movement is the seraphic Adagio. ……………….. 8/7

Bongartz , Leipzig Gewandhaus O. (Berlin Classics, 1964). 58:31 17:25 18:10 8:24 14:32. This is the best of all recordings I know. The conductor’s vision is a bold, energetic, emphatic one. Orchestral playing is brilliant and massively sonorous, fully the equal of what one would expect from Berlin, Chicago or Vienna. And yet it coheres beautifully and never sounds like a military operation. Note that this version takes a couple minutes more for the first movement, emphasizing the majestoso marking, but with sharp rythmic accentuation. 10/9

Celibidache Munich Philharmonic O.  (EMI 1991 –live). 62:29 17:02 22:01 8:18 15:08 . Here’a description I found on the net to which I can’t add or take away anything : « Celibidache directs an amiable reading, not as brilliant or precise in ensemble as the finest but warm and convincing, with some wonderful playing. He steers an ideal course between expressive warmth and architectural strength. At slower speeds than usual, Celibidache’s rhythmic lift both in the slow movement and in the finale brings exhilarating results, sparkling and swaggering. Throughout, Celi has an unerring sense of purpose and the momentum never slackens ». True, but I miss a sense of militantism and exultation. Atttacks are uniformly soft and a bit spongy. 8/9

Haitink, Concertgebouw O (Philips 1970)
53:59 15:16 17:25 7:51 13:27. This has long been one of my favourite performances. It sparkles, glows with a dark luminescence (the orchestra’s familiar burnished yet trenchant sound), and the conductor never imposes any specific ideas that would impede the flow of the music. It’s unimpeachable.  9/10

Jochum Bavarian Radio S. O.  (DGG 1966) 55:05 16:31 17:08 7:55 13:20. The above comment could also be used to describe the Jochum version, with the difference that Jochum is more impulsive, his orchestra lighter and brighter of tone, and the recording more dated. Overall it’s not as characterful or imposing as the Staatskapelle Dresden from 1978 (56:23 16:11 18:36 7:58 13:35). The latter is probably the best among the easily obtainable commercial recordings. The orchestra play as if they own the core. 7/7 and 9/8 respectively.

Kegel with the Leipzig Radio Symphony O.  (1972, Ode Classics
- 55:15 16:22 15:33 8:18 14:56). This is very audibly from the same cultural and musical school of interpretation and playing as the Bongartz and Dresden Jochum versions. These orchestras play with a tonal heft and rythmic sharpness that makes the work sound huge, downright immense at times. This orchestral culture requires from the conductor the patience to let the players sound the notes with the fullest possible tone. And that, in turn, requires the tempi to be relatively broad (note the timing of the finale here). This Kegel version is notable for the orchestra’s gargantuan but slightly blunt tonal resources and the rather emphatic conducting. Overall it’s hugely imposing, in a Götterdämmrung-like way. Not my favourite, but highly original. 9/7

Klemperer and the Concertgebouw (1961, Living Stage). 51:00 17:12 12:43 8:34 12:07. Note here some timing idiosyncrasies :  they are not printing mistakes! At the beginning the ’morse code’ rythmic figure is played with an arthritic, comatose, legotoese feeling that makes one’s jaw drop – and the first theme has not even been sounded! When it does it is suitably swaggering, in a slightly ragged way.At that tempo, the whole movement should last over 22 minutes. But no : Bongartz and Celibidache have the same overall timing. The rest of the movement has the speeds lurching forward and backward at will, but somehow it’s always arresting and despite orchestral infelicities (the players must have been through hell that night!) it’s a really interesting reading. The odd thing about the adagio is that at that very flowing tempo I never had any sense of rush or undue speed. Like an Eroica Marcia Funebre of the same length it can be made to work.  But enough said. Nobody but the diehard completist will place an order for this when there are at least a dozen more idiomatic performances readily available. I like it for its sheer perversity, but will not make it a recommendation. 8/5

Keilberth and the Berlin Philharmonic (1963, Telefunken
- 55:50 17:06 14:40 8:46 15:18). This is probably my second favourite version. It has all that Bongartz offers, with slightly less ‘face’ to the conducting, but more refined tone from the orchestra. Here the BPO cover themselves in glory. They have the chops to play the work to the hilt without ever sounding crass or overbearing. They deliver tons of decibels but also loads of refined tone and sensitive phrasing. Probably the most remarkably played version around. The 1963 sound is better than all but the most recent efforts. A classic. 10/9

Leitner and the SWR O. Baden-Baden und Freiburg (1982, Hänssler classics
- 55:45 15:47 15:28 9:18 15:05) : This is on a par with the Bongartz and Keilberth versions. Probably the most ‘natural’ of all interpretations I’ve heard. All the qualities of power, beauty, refinement, resilience and exhilaration I want to hear are heard in this recording, but within  a calmly authoritative vision that gives the feeling of inevitability. The orchestra is spectacularly natural and authoritative. Recorded sound is magnificent : spacious and translucent, sonorous and well detailed, with beautiful front to back perspective. No ‘in your face’ agression here. (NB : this is famously coupled with the same conductor’s staggering Hartmann 6th symphony). 10 years later Leitner revisited the work with the Basel Sinfonieorchester (live recording on Accord (61:55 18:02 18:13 9:09 16:23). I use the word ‘revisited’, in its secondary meaning of "reconsider" or "reevaluate". Note here that  three of the movements have considerably broadedned, making this the longest of all (not counting Celibidache’s eccentrically elongated Adagio). This version demands patience form the listener but it is repaid in spades, as what comes across is a magnificent symphonic edifice of immense beauty and huge power. Rythms are still sharply etched, but orchestral attacks are slightly blunted à la Celi, so to speak. Altogether this is a specialist’s version which I heartily recommend to those who have so far concentrated on the sharply rythmic versions and wish to explore the work’s inherent beauty and grandeur. 10/10 and 9/10 respectively.

Lopez-Cobos and the Cincinnati S. O. (1991 Telarc, 56:44 16:00 17:52 8:21 14:14). This is the lyrical pendant to the slightly more youthful Haitink version. Lopez-cobos emphasizes the beauty of the scoring, the plasticity of the themes, the nobility of the end movements. Note too that his orchestra has darker trombones and trumpets, wherear Haitink’s has bolder horns and more ringing trumpets. Both are like healthy, similarly good-looking siblings with a slightly different personality : one outgoing and dynamic, the other at once strong yet sensual. An excellent choice. 9/10.

Heinz Rögner and the Rundfunk sinfonieorchester Berlin (2000, Audio Pure Music 60:00 16:12 18:01 8:54 16:36 – NB : not to be confused with the 1980 recording, a vastly different recording of some 8 minutes’ shorter duration). Another version in the Bongartz-Kegel mould. Hard-hitting and boldly assertive, but less sharply contoured than either. Excellent in its way (they all feature my preferred B6 orchestral sound), but it gives short shrift to the work’s never absent mendelssohnian influences. 8/9

Skrowaczewski and the Saarbrücken (or Saarland) Radio Orchestra. On Arte Nova
- 56:53 15:39 18:36 8:43 13:53. note that this is the closest in timing to the Haitink version, but it’s an entirely different interpretation. Frankly, it’s a bit faceless. Efficient and proficient, but ultimately deficient (too low-keyed). I could certainly imagine someone liking this and learning to love the work through it (quite an accomplishment), but there’s a lot more that remains to be discovered through a more adventurous, bolder interpretative stance. 7/9

Horst Stein and the Vienna Philharmonic. This is a Decca recording from 1972 (54:41 16:42 16:10 8:06 13:43). It is one of the top three or four among this list. First and foremost one notices the orchestra’s Rolls-Royce refinement and Ferrari power. Stein’s best attribute is his ability to let this great orchestra do their thing as only they can. This sounds utterly different from any other version I’ve heard : it’s not just the famous brass, but the strings ands winds lend their inimitable colour to the interpretation. In a sense, this is as ‘exotic’ sounding as could be imagined. It has such refinement and authority that it’s hard to imagine it done any other way. Brilliant, colourful, sweepingly dynamic playing. Grandly resonant and bold recording, with powerful and precise bass - one of the very best around. 9.5 / 10.

In short : Bongartz, Keilberth, Leitner SWR  and Stein. These four. 


It’s been  too long since I last heard the Karajan, Barenboim CSO, Klemperer Philharmonia, Tintner and Sawallisch, but while they were in my possession they all left something to be desired. Of those I wish I could hear are the various Blomstedts and Wands
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on October 28, 2007, 05:57:31 PM
Awesome post, I read your reviews in this thread with interest, and your 6th reviews in particular have given me several names I haven't heard in Bruckner to check out.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on October 28, 2007, 07:27:29 PM
Very nice reviews, informative too. I haven't started on the 6th yet, (I am currently infatuated with the 00, 2,3rd symphonies, but i'll get to the 6th sooner or later). There are some names there that i don't have a clue about, like Bongartz? Kegel? Who? I would like to know more about them. I also heard some of the recording on your list, but i need more "careful" listenings to actually "understand" the work. I am also in the process of getting hold of a Keilberth copy. And last but not least, could you please be so kind as to share the Bernstein 6th with us?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Daverz on October 28, 2007, 08:28:15 PM
I’ve gone through all my personal recordings of the 6th symphony

I think you pretty much covered it.  If you can't find a compatible recording in that list, forget it.

One thing I love about the Celibidache is that it is so much more Romantic and colorful than any other 6th I've heard.  Really a very different sound conception.  Actually, I'd say the same about the 3rd from Stuttgart.

Also, I love the Klemperer studio recording for it's huge soundstage and pinpoint imaging.  Great fun to listen to when I had the big Dunlavy speakers spread out.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 29, 2007, 12:58:14 PM
Hi, there everybody, thanks for the kind words. This was just what you call a labour of love :D.

Briefly: Kegel, Bongartz, Rögner, Konwitschny, Suitner and Leitner are names you will see in the austro-german concert circuit (the radio orchestras mostly) and although they are not as well known as Keilberth and Tintner, they are of the same caliber, if not higher (I'm thinking of Tintner in particular, who is overrated IMO). What militates against their standing in the "famous conductors" roster has nothing to do with their musical culture or technical abilities, and everything to do with the relative isolation brought by concentrating their carreer locally. With no or little "western" appointments (particularly true if they worked in the former GDR), their status was more or less that of "Heinz Who?" or "Otmar What?". Only if you land a position in Munich, Vienna, Dresden and Berlin will English or Americans take note. As for the French, never mind, they wouldn't pay attention anyway. ::). Getting a stint in Bayreuth helps (cf. Knappertsbusch, Keilberth, Kraus), but other than that, we have to be content with those radio releases (note how many "Rundfunk" discs are included!).

With the extremely high technical level these orchestras have, and given a conductor who has been steeped in the tradition and soundworld of Bruckner, I'd have no hesitation top pick them any day over their more famous colleagues. There is simply no substitute for the REAL austro-german orchestra sound and their musical culture. The end result is audibly superior in most cases. And that's the only thing that counts in my book!

I'd have to check where I got that Bernstein link. If it's still in my Outlook I can get it easily here. If it's on my hard disc only that means I 'd have to upload it. Now, that's something entirely different for me: I've never done it before!!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on October 29, 2007, 01:03:36 PM

I'd have to check where I got that Bernstein link. If it's still in my Outlook I can get it easily here. If it's on my hard disc only that means I 'd have to upload it. Now, that's something entirely different for me: I've never done it before!!

it's actually very simple.
1) go to www.mediafire.com
(create an account if you want to, although you don't have to create an account to upload)
2) upload your file. it takes some time, the speed depends on your internet connection.
3) copy and paste the link it gives you
4) done!

note: if the file(s) added together are less than 100mb, you should seriously consider zipping all the movements up, before upload.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 29, 2007, 04:45:27 PM
http://www.mediafire.com/?0vvyamn3zzm
http://www.mediafire.com/?co3cvxy42yr
http://www.mediafire.com/?dy5ywym3h2h
http://www.mediafire.com/?0ovb0cywlx3

(crossing fingers) Tell me if it works ...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on October 29, 2007, 09:36:14 PM
http://www.mediafire.com/?0vvyamn3zzm
http://www.mediafire.com/?co3cvxy42yr
http://www.mediafire.com/?dy5ywym3h2h
http://www.mediafire.com/?0ovb0cywlx3

(crossing fingers) Tell me if it works ...

Great, it works fine. Thank you again for your great contribution!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on October 30, 2007, 01:49:27 AM
Of those I wish I could hear are the various Blomstedts and Wands

Gielen / Baden-Baden and Dohnanyi / Cleveland are worth checking out. I have Wand / NDR (RCA '95) if you're interested.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 30, 2007, 04:13:56 AM
Ben , yeah, all three of them! :D

I still have to warm up to Dohnanyi's Bruckner, but Gielen is tops in 5 and 7 (brisk and sinewy readings, totally different from his vast, expansive 8 )
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: david johnson on October 31, 2007, 02:02:55 AM
go bongartz!  i'll have to check that stein.

dj
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 01, 2007, 03:56:09 PM
Anyone here listened to Dohnanyi's Bruckner? Hurwitz gave him high marks, what do you guys think?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on November 01, 2007, 05:58:59 PM
Anyone here listened to Dohnanyi's Bruckner? Hurwitz gave him high marks, what do you guys think?

I will hear him do the 4th live with the CSO on Saturday. Will report.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: david johnson on November 02, 2007, 01:10:27 AM
Anyone here listened to Dohnanyi's Bruckner? Hurwitz gave him high marks, what do you guys think?

i did not enjoy it.

dj
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on November 02, 2007, 03:26:57 AM
Anyone here listened to Dohnanyi's Bruckner? Hurwitz gave him high marks, what do you guys think?

If I am not mixing up my conductors, about 10 years ago I had the opportunity to hear the Cleveland Orchestra live under Dohnanyi in the Bruckner Fifth Symphony and was most impressed with everything!

I was prepared to quibble greatly, since this is probably one of the trickiest symphonies to perform satisfactorily, but any quibbling dribbled away quickly!    $:)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on November 02, 2007, 05:42:16 AM
Interesting discussion in the Melodya Madness thread about various orchestral sound cultures in Bruckner. Obviously this centered around Melodia issues (Mrawinsky's in particular).

John Berky is making available downloads from his private collection and features them as RECORDING OF THE MONTH (http://www.abruckner.com/downloads/downloadofthemonth/downloadfile/) on his web site. And guess what? For his first offering, he gives us the 4th symphony in a Melodya issue from 1978: Emil Tchakarov conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. ;D

And I'll be eagerly listening! :D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on November 02, 2007, 05:57:08 AM
Hmm, that's an amazingly good thing for him to do - although it's totally unneccessary that he pays for the bandwidth (I imagine after a while the series will become rather popular) with so many free hosts around, hehe...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 02, 2007, 09:35:38 AM
Interesting discussion in the Melodya Madness thread about various orchestral sound cultures in Bruckner. Obviously this centered around Melodia issues (Mrawinsky's in particular).

John Berky is making available downloads from his private collection and features them as RECORDING OF THE MONTH (http://www.abruckner.com/downloads/downloadofthemonth/downloadfile/) on his web site. And guess what? For his first offering, he gives us the 4th symphony in a Melodya issue from 1978: Emil Tchakarov conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. ;D

And I'll be eagerly listening! :D

Berky is da man! I downloaded the recording weeks ago, it sounds fantastic! Maybe we should invite him to the forum? There is much we can learn from the Man.

Oh, btw, i recently acquired a broadcast of Nagano's Bruckner's 6th symphony with DSOB, it's actually a different performance from the harmonia mundi release, i'll upload it if anyone is interested.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 02, 2007, 09:38:35 AM
Hmm, that's an amazingly good thing for him to do - although it's totally unneccessary that he pays for the bandwidth (I imagine after a while the series will become rather popular) with so many free hosts around, hehe...

I advised him to upload everything on Mediafire.com, but he believed that they(files) won't stay up very long ???.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Keemun on November 02, 2007, 10:40:42 AM
Oh, btw, i recently acquired a broadcast of Nagano's Bruckner's 6th symphony with DSOB, it's actually a different performance from the harmonia mundi release, i'll upload it if anyone is interested.

How is the performance?  If it's good, I'm interested.   :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: George on November 02, 2007, 08:13:30 PM
I advised him to upload everything on Mediafire.com, but he believed that they(files) won't stay up very long ???.

That's not true, they stay up "indefinitely" according to Mediafire. I've had some stuff up over 3 months and they still download.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 02, 2007, 09:14:26 PM
That's not true, they stay up "indefinitely" according to Mediafire. I've had some stuff up over 3 months and they still download.

exactly, but, i doubt that he'll listen to my advice.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 03, 2007, 08:18:41 PM
How is the performance?  If it's good, I'm interested.   :)

It's Kent Nagano, what do you think?  ???
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on November 04, 2007, 05:15:30 AM
Nagano's 8th is surprisingly decent (a Deutsche Welle broadcast with his Berlin orchestra) . But that's the only Bruckner I ever heard him do that had any interest (the others are 3, 6 on disc and 9 live). He should stay away from Bruckner.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Keemun on November 04, 2007, 08:01:09 AM
It's Kent Nagano, what do you think?  ???

Actually, I don't know what to think.  I've only heard his Bruckner 8 referenced above, and it was a while back.  I remember it sounding kind of odd.  Are you implying that it his Bruckner 6 is not any good?   ???
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 04, 2007, 08:37:45 AM
Actually, I don't know what to think.  I've only heard his Bruckner 8 referenced above, and it was a while back.  I remember it sounding kind of odd.  Are you implying that it his Bruckner 6 is not any good?   ???

I am implying that getting Nagano's 6th is a no-brainer. I haven't heard his 8th (the broadcast?) and 3rd, but you should pay attention to his 6th. He is probably one of the better Bruckner conductors out there, but, then that's just my opinion, you don't have to listen to me.

I have never heard his Harmonia Mundi release of the 6th, but the broadcast recording that i found is around the same period, so i don't suppose there is huge difference between the two.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Keemun on November 04, 2007, 05:31:32 PM
I am implying that getting Nagano's 6th is a no-brainer. I haven't heard his 8th (the broadcast?) and 3rd, but you should pay attention to his 6th. He is probably one of the better Bruckner conductors out there, but, then that's just my opinion, you don't have to listen to me.

I have never heard his Harmonia Mundi release of the 6th, but the broadcast recording that i found is around the same period, so i don't suppose there is huge difference between the two.

Ah, thank you for the explanation.  I'm interested in listening to it if you would be so kind as to upload it for us.   ;D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 04, 2007, 05:40:34 PM
Ah, thank you for the explanation.  I'm interested in listening to it if you would be so kind as to upload it for us.   ;D

sure, i'll upload it soon.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on November 05, 2007, 07:51:13 AM
I will hear him do the 4th live with the CSO on Saturday. Will report.

My thoughts on Dohnanyi's Bruckner 4 with the CSO here (http://tonicblotter.blogspot.com/2007/11/pope-does-bruckner.html).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Brewski on November 05, 2007, 08:00:41 AM
My thoughts on Dohnanyi's Bruckner 4 with the CSO here (http://tonicblotter.blogspot.com/2007/11/pope-does-bruckner.html).

Nice write-up, Mensch!  :D  I like Dohnányi a lot--he just did a sensational Beethoven 5 here last week--but I don't think I've heard him do that Bruckner 4.  Your comments on his attention to inner details are similar to what I experienced, too.  And reminds me that I haven't heard any live Bruckner in quite awhile.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on November 05, 2007, 09:58:11 AM
And reminds me that I haven't heard any live Bruckner in quite awhile.

That needs to be remedied, Bruce.  ;) Though, there doesn't seem to be much Bruckner this season in NY. I only found this after a quick search.

http://www.carnegiehall.org/article/box_office/events/evt_10211.html?selecteddate=11082007

http://nyphil.org/attend/season/index.cfm?page=eventDetail&eventNum=1275&seasonNum=7

http://nyphil.org/attend/season/index.cfm?page=eventDetail&eventNum=1290&seasonNum=7
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Brewski on November 05, 2007, 10:10:30 AM
I've heard two glorious Fifths in the last few years--first by Sawallisch making his return with Philadelphia, and then with Welser-Möst and Cleveland.  Muti doing the Sixth should be excellent, and I'm excited by what Maazel might make of the Eighth.  But yes, the season seems to be a little on the dry side, Bruckner-wise.  :'(

--Bruce
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: toledobass on November 05, 2007, 10:17:04 AM
The 'little orchestra that could' will be doing the 9th this season:

Toeldo Symphony at Rosary Cathedral (http://www.toledosymphony.com/performances/special/rosarycathedral.html)


Allan


Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Brewski on November 05, 2007, 10:20:04 AM
The 'little orchestra that could' will be doing the 9th this season:

Toeldo Symphony at Rosary Cathedral (http://www.toledosymphony.com/performances/special/rosarycathedral.html)


Allan




You must be thrilled!   :D  Is that cathedral a "plus," acoustically, for this piece?  Sounds like it could be...

--Bruce
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on November 05, 2007, 10:25:31 AM
The 'little orchestra that could' will be doing the 9th this season:

Toledo Symphony at Rosary Cathedral (http://www.toledosymphony.com/performances/special/rosarycathedral.html)


Allan




And even though our big-city folks might not think it, I have followed the Toledo Symphony's "Bruckner in the Cathedral" series from its inception, and they have done spendidly so far!

Acoustically, yes, the other-worldly echoing is enormous at times, although it helps to sit up front to get the full impact of the full orchestra.

Last season's Eighth Symphony was another triumph: even my non-classical-music-loving-mathematician-twenty-something son was impressed!   :o

If you have the money, it is worth flying in to hear: you can also stay and spend a day at the Toledo Museum of Art, one of the top 10 museums in the country, with several Rembrandt's, El Greco's, etc. etc. etc. not to mention the mighty Athanor by Anselm Kiefer.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: toledobass on November 05, 2007, 10:29:45 AM
You must be thrilled!   :D  Is that cathedral a "plus," acoustically, for this piece?  Sounds like it could be...

--Bruce

It's very much a plus acoustically and visually.  There is some amazing stained glass in there.  It's the exact opposite of our usual hall so it never 'feels' right but when I review the recordings the effect is glorious. I know Stefan looked all around the city before programming the annual Bruckner offering at Rosary. Apart from having to listen to all of the grumpy musicians complaining about having to play Bruckner,  the only bummer is that the orginal program also included Messaien's L'ascension.  That is a hell of a piece and one that I wish I would have had the opportunity to play.

Allan
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on November 05, 2007, 01:46:33 PM
Acoustically, yes, the other-worldly echoing is enormous at times, although it helps to sit up front to get the full impact of the full orchestra.

That reminds me of one of the mid-90s BPO European Concerts where Barenboim was conducting at the Basilica of El Escorial. At one point after the final chord Barenboim looks at the ceiling in puzzlement for what seems like several seconds, waiting for the echo to subside.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Keemun on November 05, 2007, 02:56:26 PM
sure, i'll upload it soon.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 05, 2007, 06:33:32 PM

http://www.mediafire.com/?ae9v5km3xzv
http://www.mediafire.com/?7tcgy5mtfnt
http://www.mediafire.com/?7meejkco9fz
http://www.mediafire.com/?7gjkmmmsmi4

"Aufnahme vom Bayern Klassik Juli 3, 2005.7.3
Kissingen Sommer Festival"


Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 06, 2007, 11:12:31 AM
is Keilberth's Bruckner 6th with BP out of print or something? I can't find it anywhere!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on November 06, 2007, 11:43:45 AM
is Keilberth's Bruckner 6th with BP out of print or something? I can't find it anywhere!

Joseph Keilberth had a slam-dunk performance of Hindemith's opera Cardillac on DGG with Fischer-Dieskau in the title role.

This is now available for $10. or so on the Opera d'Oro label.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on November 06, 2007, 11:53:29 AM
is Keilberth's Bruckner 6th with BP out of print or something? I can't find it anywhere!

Yes, it's out of print, same as his 9th with Hamburg State Orchestra, both last seen on Japanese Teldec.

His Köln 8th is just being released though

(http://www.orfeo-international.de/covers/18592g.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 06, 2007, 11:56:01 AM
Yes, it's out of print, same as his 9th with Hamburg State Orchestra, both last seen on Japanese Teldec.

His Köln 8th is just being released though

(http://www.orfeo-international.de/covers/18592g.jpg)

yeah, the other day I was listening Keiberth's 6th BP in the university library. I liked it very much and would like to buy it, but i can't find it anywhere! I figured it's probably out of print....

Oh, I "sampled" the 8th, but I didn't like the sound, so I chose Kubelik's 8th instead.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: marvinbrown on November 06, 2007, 02:50:57 PM

  Hello Bruckner fans, I disappeared for a while after I acquired my complete Bruckner Symphony set (Jochum-on DG).  I wanted to spend some time getting to know these symphonies well before I reported back.  I heard the complete symphony cycle once, put it aside and came back to it a few weeks later and relistened to all of them once again.  I am now on my 3rd time.  I am stunned at the sound that man creates, his symphonies appear to be composed of "blocks" of emotionally filled musical expressions that sweep the listener away.  My most favorite symphony of them all so far is the 5th, the adagio of the 5th symphony is to die for.  I kept replaying that adagio over and over again.  The 7th was my next favorite symphony- I like the contrast in style represented here- it has beautiful spiritual moments and playful moments as well. On the other hand I ran into a problem with the 9th,  couldn't quite grasp what Bruckner was trying to "represent" with that sudden eruption of horns or trumpets midway through the symphony, somebody please correct me here. I am going to have to revisit the 9th again.  Symphonies 3 "dedicated to Wagner" and 4 "romantic" also had breathtaking music.  Symphonies 1 and 2 were not as captivating on 2nd hearing as the rest, and I think at this point  I prefer the "Nullte" over the 1st symphony. I am not sure how many of you would agree with me on this one.

  Anyway just wanted to report back as I am a relative newbie to this composer and I am sure my appreciation of his works will grow in time.

  marvin   
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 06, 2007, 03:24:41 PM
  Hello Bruckner fans, I disappeared for a while after I acquired my complete Bruckner Symphony set (Jochum-on DG).  I wanted to spend some time getting to know these symphonies well before I reported back.  I heard the complete symphony cycle once, put it aside and came back to it a few weeks later and relistened to all of them once again.  I am now on my 3rd time.  I am stunned at the sound that man creates, his symphonies appear to be composed of "blocks" of emotionally filled musical expressions that sweep the listener away.  My most favorite symphony of them all so far is the 5th, the adagio of the 5th symphony is to die for.  I kept replaying that adagio over and over again.  The 7th was my next favorite symphony- I like the contrast in style represented here- it has beautiful spiritual moments and playful moments as well. On the other hand I ran into a problem with the 9th,  couldn't quite grasp what Bruckner was trying to "represent" with that sudden eruption of horns or trumpets midway through the symphony, somebody please correct me here. I am going to have to revisit the 9th again.  Symphonies 3 "dedicated to Wagner" and 4 "romantic" also had breathtaking music.  Symphonies 1 and 2 were not as captivating on 2nd hearing as the rest, and I think at this point  I prefer the "Nullte" over the 1st symphony. I am not sure how many of you would agree with me on this one.

  Anyway just wanted to report back as I am a relative newbie to this composer and I am sure my appreciation of his works will grow in time.

  marvin   

good for you! You can't go wrong with Jochum, but personally I prefer the EMI cycle. I mean, you really haven't heard the 9th until you have listened to the one on EMI.

You troubles with the 9th may have something to do with the recording, i didn't like the overall recording quality of the DG cycle. I would suggest that for the symphonies that you did not enjoy, try other alternatives.

There are the important 9ths that everyone should have.

(http://wa000119.host.inode.at/images/multishop/prod488_2.jpg)
Giulini's 9th with WP - absolutely amazing performance, perfection in just about every category. Words are powerless to describe this performance, because you need to hear it in order to feel its power.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/9243149.jpg)
J.Wildner's 9th on Naxos. This performance is "special" in that it actually has the newest (at the time) completion of the 4th movemnet of the 9th. So, finally you can hear the conclusion of the 9th the way Bruckner intended.

(http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/9720000/9729302.jpg)
Eugen Jochum's 9th on EMI.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on November 07, 2007, 08:57:42 AM
There are the important 9ths that everyone should have.
...

Nice, but you're missing these:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/213N03AD77L._AA130_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BDF8PNQGL._AA240_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XBFD0C7TL._AA240_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41P67W4DH5L._AA240_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ENQBG8B5L._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 07, 2007, 09:13:19 AM
Nice, but you're missing these:



(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/213N03AD77L._AA130_.jpg)
i just bought the Kubelik, and i am waiting for the delivery  ;)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BDF8PNQGL._AA240_.jpg)
Barenboim? i have never heard the CSO one, how is it?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XBFD0C7TL._AA240_.jpg)
I have heard the celi, but it was so long ago, i don't remember how it was.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41P67W4DH5L._AA240_.jpg)
I generally stay away from Furtwangler, but if the sound quality is good, i might consider it

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ENQBG8B5L._AA240_.jpg)
DVD? I might not buy it, too pricey for me, but i'll try to borrow it from my library.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on November 07, 2007, 09:29:17 AM
Nice, but you're missing these:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XBFD0C7TL._AA240_.jpg)

I've seen dead people more bewegt and lebhaft than that scherzo and before that trio mistakenly believed to know the meaning of word schnell in German.

And if you mention epiphenomena I'll upload you whole Bruckner 7 played by French National Orchestra. ;D

 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on November 07, 2007, 09:37:09 AM
I've seen dead people more bewegt and lebhaft than that scherzo and before that trio mistakenly believed to know the meaning of word schnell in German.

I know, but it's still a very special performance worth hearing.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 07, 2007, 09:52:13 AM
oh, i found another broadcast of Bruckner's 3rd with Blomstedt and NHK:
Broadcasted Live from
Tokyo Suntory Hall on 8th February 2006

http://rapidshare.com/files/8038649/Blomstedt__NHK__SO__20060208.zip.html
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on November 07, 2007, 11:19:00 AM
The few Bruckner things I have heard conducted by Celibidache made me believe the man was in dire need of Bayer Aspirin for that arthritis.

Also, I came across an old-lady cult of Celibidache in Germany, and have been even more skeptical of him ever since!   :o
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on November 07, 2007, 11:23:06 AM
Barenboim? i have never heard the CSO one, how is it?

It's more taut and more cleanly played than the BPO version. In general, I find his earlier CSO cycle more compelling (though the 2nd & 5th from the BPO cycle are outstanding).

I generally stay away from Furtwangler, but if the sound quality is good, i might consider it

I don't have this particular release, but the sound quality on mine is fine. Furtwängler's 9th has to be heard to be believed. It is the most tumultuous, riveting and ultimately tragic reading I have ever heard.

DVD? I might not buy it, too pricey for me, but i'll try to borrow it from my library.

There are other Wand 9ths on CD as well. But I think the video performance with the NDR (IIRC recorded in the last two years of his life) is just stupendous and it has the spontaneity that his other recordings lack.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: marvinbrown on November 07, 2007, 11:26:10 AM
good for you! You can't go wrong with Jochum, but personally I prefer the EMI cycle. I mean, you really haven't heard the 9th until you have listened to the one on EMI.

You troubles with the 9th may have something to do with the recording, i didn't like the overall recording quality of the DG cycle. I would suggest that for the symphonies that you did not enjoy, try other alternatives.

There are the important 9ths that everyone should have.

(http://wa000119.host.inode.at/images/multishop/prod488_2.jpg)
Giulini's 9th with WP - absolutely amazing performance, perfection in just about every category. Words are powerless to describe this performance, because you need to hear it in order to feel its power.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/9243149.jpg)
J.Wildner's 9th on Naxos. This performance is "special" in that it actually has the newest (at the time) completion of the 4th movemnet of the 9th. So, finally you can hear the conclusion of the 9th the way Bruckner intended.

(http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/9720000/9729302.jpg)
Eugen Jochum's 9th on EMI.


  Thanks for the suggestion.  The 9th gave me the most trouble and I will look into sampling other recordings to see if the response is better.  The EMI recording now is a bit late in the game for me I certainly won't want another complete cycle by the same conductor.  I will have to find individual recordings on the 9th as recommended by yourself and other Bruckner experts here.

  marvin
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on November 07, 2007, 11:31:36 AM
  Thanks for the suggestion.  The 9th gave me the most trouble and I will look into sampling other recordings to see if the response is better.  The EMI recording now is a bit late in the game for me I certainly won't want another complete cycle by the same conductor.  I will have to find individual recordings on the 9th as recommended by yourself and other Bruckner experts here.

The Jochum/Dresden/EMI 9th is available paired with the 8th on a cheap twofer thus:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JCMZHVNBL._AA240_.jpg)

It also was once available on an even cheaper Seraphim twofer paired with the 4th.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41SQNZ7ZPEL._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: marvinbrown on November 07, 2007, 11:40:16 AM
The Jochum/Dresden/EMI 9th is available paired with the 8th on a cheap twofer thus:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JCMZHVNBL._AA240_.jpg)

It also was once available on an even cheaper Seraphim twofer paired with the 4th.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41SQNZ7ZPEL._AA240_.jpg)

  Oh thank you O Mensch, you have the ideal solution to my problem  :).

  marvin
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on November 07, 2007, 01:12:05 PM
Don't forget this stunning performance: out of print but still shows up in various places

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41T1X9V7C8L._SS500_.jpg)

Right now I think it's probably the 9th that gets the most play here, what with the way that Mehta brings out the disturbingly radical aspects of the score. (I wouldn't want to be without Kubelik, Furtwangler or Giulini, though, and need to revisit Jochum.)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on November 08, 2007, 09:45:28 AM
I've seen dead people...

(http://movies.sulekha.com/moviepics/sixthsense.jpg)


That's a remarkable gift, Drasko.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on November 08, 2007, 12:48:52 PM
That's a remarkable gift, Drasko.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on November 12, 2007, 08:51:17 AM
Two 'Romantics' yesterday, with two more to go.

The Czech Philharmonic under Franz Konwitschny: this is an old recording (1952) and unfortunately the sonic limitations per force limit the enjoyment of what is  a truly remarkable interpretation. This was taped in the cavernous expanses of the Rudolfinum, Prague. By design or by result, the strings are the major element that give this reading its overriding character. They are very present, extremely sonorous and athletic, and the constant aural focus on the string lines help give this slow reading a very propulsive character. Winds are personable but too hazy; brass and timpani are a sonic disaster. They come from way behind the rest of the orchestra, as if behind the scenes actually. The first enunciation of the forceful braas theme in I comes as a shock: it is so feeble and indistinct as to be from an electrical recording.

Despite those major limitations, this is an extremely characterful reading. The force of the conductor's personality is obvious throughout. He imparts immense dignity and sadness to the andante (one of the very best I ever heard!), and right from the start the Finale grips by the ferocious digging into the rythms from the low strings. Even such a strong personality cannot hide that movement's 'sectional' structure (one of Bruckner's most problematic movements). The coda is absolutely engulfing in its tension and power. Overall, well worth the outlay and the occasional listening.

The Leningrad Philharmonic under Emil Tchakharov. This is John Berky's "download of the month". It's a transcript form lp source (complete with surface noise). Recorded in the late seventies, in a bold, expansive yet very precise and immediate acoustic. The orchestra is the thing here. They play with boldness and complete confidence. They are as comfortable in the idiom as they would in their 'native' repertoire. The sound they make is noticeably different from what they sound like under Mrawinsky. Brass are solid and rounded, and only the occasional fruity vibrato on exposed horn notes betray a non-occidental origin. Strings are vigorous and athletic, winds never force their tone (a characteristic Mrawinskian device whereas in fortissimo passages they sound on the verge of splitting). Excellent pacing, leisurely in I, flowing in II, bracing in III and solidly steady in IV. So far, so good. But there are limitations to this recipe and its various ingredients. This is very much a 'communist' interpretation: personality is corporate, never individual. Orchestral sections invariably produce the same kind of phrasing and tone.Timpani rumble imposingly and loudly, at the very same dynamic level, whatever the climax they're playing in.  One never hears this mighty machine forcing. Everything is confidently encompassed, this great orchestra's almost limitless reserves of muscle and lung power never prodded for that extra ounce of oomph we know they can give. This reading reminds me very much of the superb Chicago-Barenboim one, without the latter's occasional impetuosity. Still, I recommend it for those who like to hear a Big Machine in full gear and perfect working order.

Too bad the very real and rewarding qualities of the Konwitschny and Tchakharov versions couldn't be combined!

Coming up soon: Furtwängler VPO (recorded in Stuttgart) and Skrowaczewski Hallé .
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 12, 2007, 09:39:35 PM
Bogey was kind enough to refer me to this thread ...

Can somebody explain this Bruckner piece to me??  A hour of movie theme music   ???

Self-quote: "In general my Bruckner appreciation effort have been thwarted by his music".

i am not sure i understand what you are asking? please explain why you feel it is 'a hour of movie theme music"
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on November 13, 2007, 12:55:56 AM
Bogey was kind enough to refer me to this thread ...

Can somebody explain this Bruckner piece to me??  A hour of movie theme music   ???

Self-quote: "In general my Bruckner appreciation effort have been thwarted by his music".

Can't like everything :P

Perhaps try to imagine it not as dramatic depictive music, but as absolute music with deep influences from Schubert (those repetetive scherzos didn't come out of nowhere :) He also takes plenty of cues from Franz in other places) and the first movement of Beethoven's 9th, but written facing (and embracing) the realities of Wagner's advances. The influences are very evident, but his style is also perfectly honed and individual, and the results are incredibly coherent. When attuned to his style (which is admittedly quite "extreme" for a romantic), the progress of his music can seem among the most inevitable ever written, despite its very long scope, which to someone who doesn't enjoy the style can seem drawn out and without structure.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on November 13, 2007, 08:08:22 AM
Thanks for your comments, Lethe, and I will continue to listen to Bruckner for time to time.

I'm hampered by any technical understanding of music, so generally need to have the structural aspects, as well as the "deep influences", pointed out to me -- this is why I asked to have the 9th explained to me.  I general, I admit, I'm not a lover of Romantic music.  Schubert, a great genius, IMO for what that's worth, is an exception, and there are few others such as Dvorak.

If your library has it available, I would recommend the "Essence of Bruckner" book by Robert Simpson. It is considered definitive enough to probably be available from any library in any English-speaking country (although I am unsure whether in a country as large as the US or Canada, they can get books from other libraries for you like in the UK). Some CD booklet notes are very useful. The Solti/Decca cycle, for example, while not being particularly recommendable on musical terms (I bought it cheaply, fully aware of this) has a good overview of his style and use of architecture in his works - I presume the Harnoncourt booklet is less useful?

I can mention a few rambling thoughts of my own, although they are low on content and structure :P

A few observations I have made regarding the Schubert link is that Schubert had an almost unparalleled melodic gift, but lacked some of Beethoven's craft - sometimes entirely giving up on pieces which he couldn't find a way to complete, or that he had simply grown tired of. While he composed many fully-formed works, some seem to rely on that melody to carry the piece (or deciding that the piece needs no more work, and is perfect as it is) rather more than Beethoven would - and occasionally the melody may be repeated in a less developed way than another composer would.

This could have influenced Bruckner's overall style, and specifically the more literal repetition of the scherzos (which he also tended to base on folk tunes, which by their nature were simpler and less-developed than classical forms). The adagios sound further more repetitive after the scherzo (which is the movement order in the 8th and 9th - it was reversed in earlier symphonies), but the seemingly repetitive themes are modified and placed in different contexts much more than in the more literal repetition of the scherzos. The 9th is possibly the worst example of this type of folk-based scherzo theme though, as it is has a unique position in his work - no other movement written by him is so relentlessly dark and oppressive. It also shows him at his most innovative. His scherzos are certainly a lot different from Dvořák's 7th, which isn't repetitive at all, it's a more nimble and constantly unfolding tune.

The first movements of Bruckner symphonies tend to be highlights, and I sometimes get the feeling that he struggled to match the first movement of some pieces with a final movement that is just as engaging. But due to the craftsman he is, his final movements never get boring. They always adhere to the sonata form (albeit in much modified/extended guise) of introducing a theme, a second theme, development and a coda. This adherence to "standard practice" in form, and despite his love of Wagner's music, must be testament to his reverence of those two early Romantics, as well as his almost obsession with academic study and recognition (and music establishments of the time would've tended to be conservative, valuing learning forms which were currently understood, and rather frowing on Wagner's style, who was not anywhere near universally accepted until after Bruckner's death).

His mature symphonies all begin quietly before building to a main theme - his most obvious debt to Beethoven's 9th - and while some people have said that this more or less indicates that he wrote the same symphony multiple times (how many times has that accusation been applied to all manner of great composers?), what he does after that gradual build-up to the main theme varies immensely. The 4th is an almost pedantic (but in a good way :P) step-by-step increasing in thickness and sound to build up to the thundering theme, while the 7th begins in a more direct manner, with a very memorable few notes played by the strings, before organically building to a series of themes that will be played throughout the movement.

One thing which is also a big part of Bruckner's style is the importance of the first movement's coda. While classical era composers sometimes dispensed with the coda in a rather offhand way, Bruckner's codas are equal in brilliance to his main themes. In particular the immense coda of the 8th, or the beautiful and energetic one of the 6th are highlights of the entire genre IMO.

The 9th in its three movement state is emotionally very deceptive, as Bruckner intended the 9th to end with a 4th movement which would re-balance the symphony, which in its first 3 movements could seem extremely dark. In its current state, the adagio ends with a swelling dissonant climax which falters into a whisper, followed by a devastating silence, making the work appear enormously tragic. But his intention must've been to counter this with a far more upbeat introduction to the final movement (as-per his usual format) before moving into his planned grand summary of his work, including a large fugue.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Kullervo on November 13, 2007, 08:22:02 AM
i am not sure i understand what you are asking? please explain why you feel it is 'a hour of movie theme music"

Keep in mind this is the same person that said that Schumann makes him puke. :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on November 13, 2007, 09:10:20 AM
I presume the Harnoncourt booklet is less useful?

Actually, in his lecture on the last movement on the second CD Harnoncourt goes through some basic aspects of Brucknerian structure that I found quite helpful and intelligent.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on November 13, 2007, 09:11:35 AM
Actually, in his lecture on the last movement on the second CD Harnoncourt goes through some basic aspects of Brucknerian structure that I found quite helpful and intelligent.

Perfect :) I don't own the CD myself, but heard good things about his lecture from M.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on November 13, 2007, 09:41:38 AM
Just a few nits.

This could have influenced Bruckner's overall style, and specifically the more literal repetition of the scherzos (which he also tended to base on folk tunes, which by their nature were simpler and less-developed than classical forms). The adagios sound further more repetitive after the scherzo (which is the movement order in the 8th and 9th - it was reversed in earlier symphonies), but the seemingly repetitive themes are modified and placed in different contexts much more than in the more literal repetition of the scherzos.

I don't know that this is the case. The Adagios all work themselves up into a clear climax, usually right before a coda. The material morphs as it goes along. It is not rote repetition. E.g. the 7th.

The 9th is possibly the worst example of this type of folk-based scherzo theme though, as it is has a unique position in his work - no other movement written by him is so relentlessly dark and oppressive. It also shows him at his most innovative. His scherzos are certainly a lot different from Dvořák's 7th, which isn't repetitive at all, it's a more nimble and constantly unfolding tune.

But that is because "tunes" aren't the point. Building blocks and counterpoint are what Bruckner is after (following Beethovenian and Bachian examples). Even when he unfolds a longer melodic element (such as the opening of the 7th), it is designed to work as a building block for something larger (that aforementioned first movement of the 7th is essentially an extended exercise in inversion by contrary motion).

The first movements of Bruckner symphonies tend to be highlights, and I sometimes get the feeling that he struggled to match the first movement of some pieces with a final movement that is just as engaging. But due to the craftsman he is, his final movements never get boring. They always adhere to the sonata form (albeit in much modified/extended guise) of introducing a theme, a second theme, development and a coda.

Is that the case? In most cases, Bruckner reverts to LvB 9th's model of reintroducing thematic material from the prior movements in the finale. E.g. 5th. Also e.g., the first climax of the finale of the 4th occurs when the main theme of the first movement is reintroduced. It is not really a "standard practice" model he is using in sofar as the LvB 9th that he is using as a model broke so many standards itself.

while the 7th begins in a more direct manner, with a very memorable few notes played by the strings, before organically building to a series of themes that will be played throughout the movement.

The opening theme is played by cellos plus solo horn, not the rest of the strings. But that movement is actually one of his most economical. There is little else beyond variations, fragmentations and inversions of the initial theme from which this movement is constructed.

The 9th in its three movement state is emotionally very deceptive, as Bruckner intended the 9th to end with a 4th movement which would re-balance the symphony, which in its first 3 movements could seem extremely dark. In its current state, the adagio ends with a swelling dissonant climax which falters into a whisper, followed by a devastating silence, making the work appear enormously tragic.

There is actually an extended coda after that climax which ends in a major key (those ascending major notes in the brass mirror the minor key ascending theme of the opening of that movement - from deepest darkness to a glimmer of light). No matter. The climax is still devastating and the sheer beauty of those sustained high notes held out in the Wagner tubas heightens the tragic impression despite the major key ending.

But his intention must've been to counter this with a far more upbeat introduction to the final movement (as-per his usual format) before moving into his planned grand summary of his work, including a large fugue.

According to Harnoncourt's lecture, the idea was to end the symphony with The Mother of All Fugues, which would incorporate central themes from the prior movements, as well as from the 5th, 7th and 8th symphonies and superimpose them on top of each other - sort of an apotheosis of his entire oeuvre. (PS: if you consider that selection together with Bruckner's dedication of this symphony to the "dear Lord", it gives you an idea of what he himself considered to be his best works.)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on November 13, 2007, 09:52:29 AM
Just a few nits.

Thanks for them - I'm constantly learning :)

Is that the case? In most cases, Bruckner reverts to LvB 9th's model of reintroducing thematic material from the prior movements in the finale. E.g. 5th. Also e.g., the first climax of the finale of the 4th occurs when the main theme of the first movement is reintroduced. It is not really a "standard practice" model he is using in sofar as the LvB 9th that he is using as a model broke so many standards itself.

I phrased that one terribly - I was referring to the opening movements being in (reasonably) standard sonata form rather than the finales, and didn't notice it being out of place when proof-reading.

The opening theme is played by cellos plus solo horn, not the rest of the strings. But that movement is actually one of his most economical. There is little else beyond variations, fragmentations and inversions of the initial theme from which this movement is constructed.

Indeed, I find that movement to be quite different from his usual style, it's often delicate and almost ghostly - I can often listen to it at times when other Bruckner works could exaust me.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on November 13, 2007, 03:05:58 PM
I posted this under a different topic, and just in case people do not check every little thing, here it is:

Decades ago I spent hard-earned money on The Bruckner Society of America, mainly for its marvelous journal Chord and Discord which was edited by the famous music critic and scholar Jack Diether.

The society also pushed Mahler in the 40's and 50's when few people knew about Mahler.

The journal contained great stuff, like this essay by Bruno Walter on the connections, and disconnections, between Bruckner and Mahler.

See:

http://www.uv.es/~calaforr/walter.html

An excerpt by Walter on what he learned about Bruckner from those who knew the man:

Bruckner was a retiring, awkward, childishly naive being, whose almost primitive ingenuousness and simplicity was mixed with a generous portion of rustic cunning. He spoke the unrefined Upper-Austrian dialect of the provincial and remained the countryman in appearance, clothing, speech, and carriage till the end, even though he lived in Vienna, a world-metropolis, for decades. His conversation never betrayed reading, whether literature or poetry, nor any interest in scientific matters. The broad domains of the intellectual did not attract him. Unless music was the topic he turned his conversation to the narrow vicissitudes and happenings of everyday existence. Nevertheless his personality must have been attractive, for almost all reports agree upon the peculiar fascination exerted by his naivete, piety, homely simplicity, and modesty, bordering at times on servility, as borne out by many of his letters. I explain this attractive power of his strange personality to myself as due to the radiance of his lofty, godly soul, the splendor of his musical genius glimmering through his unpretending homeliness. If his presence could hardly be felt as "interesting", it was heartwarming, yes, uplifting.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on November 14, 2007, 01:56:32 AM
Perfect :) I don't own the CD myself, but heard good things about his lecture from M.

I can also recommend it. Harnoncourt's lecture, albeit somewhat "clunky" in the English version, where he's obviously reading a pre-translated text, has enlightened me to quite an extent; and not not only about the finale of Bruckner's 9th, but also the rest of the symphony, and what Bruckner did with (or in) it. :)

Also a very interesting excerpt, Cato, and a link I, at least, will certainly investigate later. Thank you!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Cato on November 14, 2007, 04:35:50 AM

Also a very interesting excerpt, Cato, and a link I, at least, will certainly investigate later. Thank you!

You're very welcome!

A Google search seems to indicate that the society is defunct: there are many private webpages honoring Bruckner, and of course the Internationale Bruckner Gesellschaft.

Interesting: I did come across a "Nevada Bruckner Society" !   8)

Their webpage contains this marvelous sentence:

"Like Nevada, Bruckner was a (divine) gift for all of mankind."     :o

Well, who needs the spiritual uplift of a Bruckner symphony more than the denizens of Sin City?   0:)

See:

http://www.geocities.com/bruckner_Wagner/
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 14, 2007, 07:54:07 AM
actually, you can listen to the Harnoncourt lecture(as well as the 9th) for free. If you sign up for Rhapsody(rhapsody.com (http://rhapsody.com)). You get 24 free listens, you can listen to 24 tracks for the full duration.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: mahlertitan on November 27, 2007, 10:11:19 PM
http://stage6.divx.com/user/kutapika/video/1821077/Bruckner---Symphony-No-4-1st(extract)-&-4th-mov-
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 01, 2007, 07:34:48 AM
John Berky is posting this in his Downloads section :

Symphony No. 5
Shunsaki Tsutsumi
Shunyukai Symphony Orchestra
January 19, 1997
From Shunyukai CD SYK-009
75'20"
Fourth movement includes music from the first concept as edited by William Carragan.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on December 06, 2007, 08:59:58 AM
I would be curious to know if anyone here has any recommendations on a good collection of Bruckner's organ works. Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on December 06, 2007, 09:34:44 AM
I would be curious to know if anyone here has any recommendations on a good collection of Bruckner's organ works. Thanks in advance.

If I recall correctly, so little were written down that a "complete" set could fill one CD, with space for the usual adagio transcription which all of them see fit to include. The adagio is always the highlight. The only one I am familiar with is this one, which I would not spend money on, but was worth borrowing out of interest:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41FDE4E5HSL._AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Organ-Works-Anton/dp/B000001MQ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1196962333&sr=1-1)

The playing is fine, but the works sound undemanding anyway, so I'm not sure that a bad recording could be found...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 07, 2007, 05:38:44 AM
Brucknerians, rejoice!

Rolf von Otter is offering the van Otterloo 7th on his site
http://homepages.ipact.nl/~otterhouse/

van Otterloo was a fiery conductor as feared by the players as Rodzinski and Szell were. And he was much the same kind of musician. This is from a long OOP lp:
23-26/10/54   Epic LP SC 6006    64:00    18:07    24:46    9:42    11:05
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on December 07, 2007, 09:00:51 AM
Brucknerians, rejoice!

Rolf von Otter is offering the van Otterloo 7th on his site
http://homepages.ipact.nl/~otterhouse/

van Otterloo was a fiery conductor as feared by the players as Rodzinski and Szell were. And he was much the same kind of musician. This is from a long OOP lp:
23-26/10/54   Epic LP SC 6006    64:00    18:07    24:46    9:42    11:05

There's another Otterloo 7th on Operashare too, if interested:

1. Bartok. violin concerto nr. 2.
Radio Filharmonisch Orkest o.l.v. Willem van Otterlo.
Henryk Szering, violin.
25-6-1962 Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
2. Bruckner. Symphony nr. 7 in E. Radio Filharmonisch Orkest o.l.v.
Willem van Otterloo. 2-4-1958.

http://rapidshare.com/files/72836811/otterloo-live2a.zip
http://rapidshare.com/files/72836924/otterloo-live2b.zip
http://rapidshare.com/files/72836885/otterloo-live2c.zip
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 07, 2007, 04:20:30 PM
There's another Otterloo 7th on Operashare too, if interested:

1. Bartok. violin concerto nr. 2.
Radio Filharmonisch Orkest o.l.v. Willem van Otterlo.
Henryk Szering, violin.
25-6-1962 Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
2. Bruckner. Symphony nr. 7 in E. Radio Filharmonisch Orkest o.l.v.
Willem van Otterloo. 2-4-1958.

http://rapidshare.com/files/72836811/otterloo-live2a.zip
http://rapidshare.com/files/72836924/otterloo-live2b.zip
http://rapidshare.com/files/72836885/otterloo-live2c.zip

Thanks for that, Lethe! This is the performance Rolf talks about on his web site. I see it's been recorded in Amsterdam's Concertgebouw (with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic), so the sound should be ok. Yummy!  :D

And that bartok should be a good listen too: Szeryng's version with Haitink has long been a favourite, but with van Otterloo at the helm, there must be as much grit as there was to be refinement in the later version.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on December 18, 2007, 05:10:25 PM
Here is a nice live recording of Bruckner's 5th symphony with the Münchner Philharmoniker conducted by Sergiu Celibidache from the inaugural concert of the Philharmonie am Gasteig on November 10, 1985.

I think this live recording, although the sound has some limitations, reflects much better than many of the recordings published by EMI what the MP under Celibidache really sounded like. Many of these were obviously recorded with a lot of spot mics, probably in an attempt to cope with the halls problematic acoustics, but resulting in breaking up the very round and blended sound Celibidache achieved. He rarely ever allowed the brass to play "brassy" and stick out of the textures.

This recording gives you a much better idea of what that sounded like.

1st movement
http://preview.tinyurl.com/yskwuu

2nd movement
http://preview.tinyurl.com/22yhqt

3rd movement
http://preview.tinyurl.com/24n2ew

4th movement, part 1
http://preview.tinyurl.com/296n4y

4th movement, part 2
http://preview.tinyurl.com/yrk8ky

Parts 1 and 2 of the 4th movement have to be joined with HJSplit! (http://www.freebyte.com/hjsplit/)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 18, 2007, 08:15:21 PM
I'm glad to hear it's faithful to the orchestra's sound. I've had it for a couple of years and it's definitely one of the most interesting, imposing and intense versions I've heard (another way of saying it's one of the best, ever ;)). And yes, the orchestra sounds splendid here. Another Celi bruckner recording I immensely enjoy is the 8th from Lisbon. I wonder if that is faithful to the orchestra/conductor sound as well?  Coincidentally, these non-EMI recordings are the only two Celi Bruckner discs I enjoy without reservations. But honestly I can't tell if it's a question of sound.

This week I listened to two recordings of the 7th under Willem van Otterloo. Both are frome the mid-late fifties, in mono. First, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic recordedn in 1957 in Amsterdam's Concertgebouw (for the unawares, Concertgebouw simplay means Concert Hall, so it's not only the Amsterdam Concertgebouw that plays there, but other ensembles as well). There's no denying that this orchestra is good, but not on the level of its big brother. Nevertheless, a masterly conductor is clearly at the helm. This flowing, organically conceived and energetic interpretations is very much like Gielen's recording, except that the Adagio here is very slow, extremely solemn (as per the score's marking), and utterly compelling (no cymbal crash). The only fault I could find was the stubborn refusal for even the slightest rhetorical broadening. This can pass in I, but at the symphony's end an emphatic close is always welcome, esp. as it helps differentiate the various strands of the orchestra - one of the rare occasions where Bruckner's scoring is induces confusion.

Then there is the 1955 Vienna Symphony studio version (from the Musikverein?). This is the one I shall return to, as it has all the qualities of the 1957 concert, plus bettter sound, slightly but audibly better playing and no drawback whatsoever (except for the same unbending rush to the finish). I really like this kind of Bruckner 7th.

In the same mould are the Minneapolis Ormandy, Haitink Amsterdam I (1960) and Gielen. In the same vein but not as good are the Toscanini and VPO Boulez. The polar opposite (just as interesting) is represented by the great trio of DGG Vienna versions (Giulini, Karajan and Böhm), as well as the glorious Blomstedt Dresden and Berlin RSO Chailly.  Those are fervent, radiant, lovingly moulded but very disciplined and just as organically conceived as the others. Somewhere in between are the various Jochums - alternately volatile and ecstatic in feeling. There are many other good versions, but those I've mentioned are all superb. I'm very happy to have the van Otterloos in my collection. He was a fantastic conductor.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on December 18, 2007, 09:19:42 PM
Here is a nice live recording of Bruckner's 5th symphony with the Münchner Philharmoniker conducted by Sergiu Celibidache from the inaugural concert of the Philharmonie am Gasteig on November 10, 1985.

I think this live recording, although the sound has some limitations, reflects much better than many of the recordings published by EMI what the MP under Celibidache really sounded like. Many of these were obviously recorded with a lot of spot mics, probably in an attempt to cope with the halls problematic acoustics, but resulting in breaking up the very round and blended sound Celibidache achieved. He rarely ever allowed the brass to play "brassy" and stick out of the textures.

This recording gives you a much better idea of what that sounded like.

1st movement
http://preview.tinyurl.com/yskwuu

2nd movement
http://preview.tinyurl.com/22yhqt

3rd movement
http://preview.tinyurl.com/24n2ew

4th movement, part 1
http://preview.tinyurl.com/296n4y

4th movement, part 2
http://preview.tinyurl.com/yrk8ky

Parts 1 and 2 of the 4th movement have to be joined with HJSplit! (http://www.freebyte.com/hjsplit/)

The exact same thing applies for his 9th with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony. In the first movement where the brass plays octave jumps, a chromatic scale and then a lower octave jump, most recordings have the trombones/trumpets really brassy and edgy, sticking out completely. But in Celi's version, the warmth of the strings is more prevalent than the power of all the brass combined.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: jwinter on December 19, 2007, 07:02:40 AM
Thanks for posting that performance, M.  :)

I've recently started working my way through Barenboim's Berlin set.  Anyone have thoughts on that one?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: George on December 19, 2007, 07:13:10 AM
Thanks for posting that performance, M.  :)

I've recently started working my way through Barenboim's Berlin set.  Anyone have thoughts on that one?

I'd love to hear your thoughts as well, when you are ready J, as I sure love Barenboim's Beethoven symphonies. 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: jwinter on December 19, 2007, 07:24:45 AM
I'd love to hear your thoughts as well, when you are ready J, as I sure love Barenboim's Beethoven symphonies. 

Sure.  I agree that his Beethoven is top-notch, as is his Mozart (I have the late symphonies with the English Chamber Orchestra and the late concerti with the BPO, both very, very good) and the recent Mahler 7.  Looking forward to hearing these...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on December 30, 2007, 08:35:23 AM
Here is a nice live recording of Bruckner's 5th symphony with the Münchner Philharmoniker conducted by Sergiu Celibidache from the inaugural concert of the Philharmonie am Gasteig on November 10, 1985.

And here is the Scherzo from a concert given at the Suntory Hall, Toyko, 22 Oct 86, on the Altus label.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/gm2/Bruck5Celi.jpg)

Ripped and posted so that a sound quality comparison can be made:

http://rapidshare.de/files/38164406/bruckner5-scherzo.mp3.html

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 30, 2007, 01:12:29 PM
Listened to this week: a 2007 Berlin Classics release of 1990 performances: the E minor mass (that's no. 2) and the Te Deum. Heinz Rögner conducts the RSO, Berlin.  This is my first ever Mass no. 2 . For some reason I had managed to miss it on numerous occasions, but here it is, and a splendid interpretation is obviously encased here. Beautiful singing from the choir and transparent recording. The harmonie doesn't attempt to upstage the singers. They support them throughout in a most euphonious way. Brass in particular have a stained glass mellowness to them.

The Te Deum is probably Bruckner's most famous choral work. This performance is fervent and powerful, but also very attentive to the more reflective portions of the score. There is a real sense of the church here, as opposed to the concert platform. Soloists blend very well (a very difficult balance to achieve in the In Te domine speravi section). Rögner doesn't let the timpani rage as they did across Berlin in the thrilling 1975 Karajan recording ( I didn't hear the Vienna ones).

This is an excellent coupling, offering two of Bruckner's most important works in excellent sound and performances, at budget price.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 01, 2008, 05:18:38 PM
John Berky's website offers monthly Bruckner downloads. For January (http://www.abruckner.com/downloads/downloadofthemonth/january/) he has a rare offering: the 1982 Tintner performance of the 8th symphony (original version). The downloads includes a half hour lecture by Tintner to the orchestra.

This predates his commercial Naxos disc by some 15 years, and as can be expected, tempi are swifter: 5 minutes shorter, all in movements I, II and IV. Which is not a bad thing as already in 1982 they were on the broad side. By 1997 he had adopted a positively ruminative approach. It paid some dividends, but there's no denying that much was asked of the listener.



Happy free listening!  :D

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Maciek on January 03, 2008, 11:24:59 AM
André, I was wondering if you've listened to the Wislocki 4th yet? I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts.

(And happy new year! 8))
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 03, 2008, 09:14:49 PM
And Happy New Year to you too!  :D

I did listen to the Wislocki 4th a few months ago - but truth to telll, I didn't find it better than average. Please don't ask me for more: that was a one shot deal, so I'd have to give it more airing time. I do recall finding the strings to be somewhat meager-sounding, but it could be just a matter of control setting (Bruckner willl not settle for anything less than full blast ;D).  I'll eventually get back to it in due time.

Speaking of Polish conductors, I've found Skowaczewski's readings more reliable and interesting than those of the other super budget versions by Tintner. Strange as it may seem, I still hold Skrowaczewski as the best interpreter of the Chopin PC 1. This has been dismissed as unoriginal and unchallenging stuff, but after hearing dozens of versions, it still holds the prize for best ever - and that's not even counting Rubinstein's peerless solo work 0:).

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on January 03, 2008, 09:23:14 PM
And Happy New Year to you too!  :D

I did listen to the Wislocki 4th a few months ago - but truth to telll, I didn't find it better than average. Please don't ask me for more: that was a one shot deal, so I'd have to give it more airing time. I do recall finding the strings to be somewhat meager-sounding, but it could be just a matter of control setting (Bruckner willl not settle for anything less than full blast ;D).  I'll eventually get back to it in due time.

Speaking of Polish conductors, I've found Skowaczewski's readings more reliable and interesting than those of the other super budget versions by Tintner. Strange as it may seem, I still hold Skrowaczewski as the best interpreter of the Chopin PC 1. This has been dismissed as unoriginal and unchallenging stuff, but after hearing dozens of versions, it still holds the prize for best ever - and that's not even counting Rubinstein's peerless solo work 0:).



what do you think about Kempe's 4th with MP (the 1972 one) and Barenboim's 4th with CSO?
(not that i am recommending these two recordings, i just wand your honest opinion, if you have heard of them)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 03, 2008, 09:29:34 PM
what do you think about Kempe's 4th with MP (the 1972 one) and Barenboim's 4th with CSO?
(not that i am recommending these two recordings, i just wand your honest opinion, if you have heard of them)


I didn't hear the Kempe. But the CSO Barenboim has been a sentimental favourite for decades. The reason I still hold it dear to my heart is the unending bliss I experience from the CSO's brass in this particular recording (I've heard them all, and only the 9th is of interest to me). This is one instance where Barenboim just let things unfold and let the orchestra speak its own idiom.

Regarding Kempe's Bruckner (4, 5 and 8), my good friend and Bruckner guru Choochoo highly recommends them. Someday I'll get them for sure, they've been on my wish list for quite a while now.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sydney Grew on January 03, 2008, 10:44:57 PM
If your library has it available, I would recommend the "Essence of Bruckner" book by Robert Simpson. It is considered definitive enough to probably be available from any library in any English-speaking country (although I am unsure whether in a country as large as the US or Canada, they can get books from other libraries for you like in the UK). Some CD booklet notes are very useful. The Solti/Decca cycle, for example, while not being particularly recommendable on musical terms (I bought it cheaply, fully aware of this) has a good overview of his style and use of architecture in his works - I presume the Harnoncourt booklet is less useful?
. . . .
The 9th in its three movement state is emotionally very deceptive, as Bruckner intended the 9th to end with a 4th movement which would re-balance the symphony, which in its first 3 movements could seem extremely dark. In its current state, the adagio ends with a swelling dissonant climax which falters into a whisper, followed by a devastating silence, making the work appear enormously tragic. But his intention must've been to counter this with a far more upbeat introduction to the final movement (as-per his usual format) before moving into his planned grand summary of his work, including a large fugue.

We thank the Member for all the valuable information in his message. We are particularly struck by his reference to the projected finale to the Ninth Symphony. According to Cooke and Nowak in Grove, there exist "some two hundred pages of sketches" for this movement, upon which the composer was working up to and including the day of his death on the eleventh of October 1896.

What we would now like to ask is, has any one seen these sketches - in either the published or unpublished forms? The sketch material bears the WAB [Werkverzeichnis Anton Bruckners] number 143, and volume nine of the Sämtliche Werke (edited by Orel in 1934) is said to reproduce at least some part thereof. But in what form, and where is the original material kept? We (who admire Bruckner's music greatly) are in fact suddenly tempted to have a go at writing a suitably grand fugal finale ourselves - merely for our own amusement of course, at least initially.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on January 03, 2008, 11:26:53 PM
We thank the Member for all the valuable information in his message. We are particularly struck by his reference to the projected finale to the Ninth Symphony. According to Cooke and Nowak in Grove, there exist "some two hundred pages of sketches" for this movement, upon which the composer was working up to and including the day of his death on the eleventh of October 1896.

What we would now like to ask is, has any one seen these sketches - in either the published or unpublished forms? The sketch material bears the WAB [Werkverzeichnis Anton Bruckners] number 143, and volume nine of the Sämtliche Werke (edited by Orel in 1934) is said to reproduce at least some part thereof. But in what form, and where is the original material kept? We (who admire Bruckner's music greatly) are in fact suddenly tempted to have a go at writing a suitably grand fugal finale ourselves - merely for our own amusement of course, at least initially.


yes, in fact many scholars have seen it (in its unfinished form) and tried to complete it. Here is the wiki entry on the topic:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._9_%28Bruckner%29

and I also believe someone has also wrote "a suitably grand fugal finale" for his "own amusement of course" already. His name is Peter Jan Marthe.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Maciek on January 04, 2008, 02:25:02 AM
I did listen to the Wislocki 4th a few months ago - but truth to telll, I didn't find it better than average. Please don't ask me for more: that was a one shot deal, so I'd have to give it more airing time. I do recall finding the strings to be somewhat meager-sounding, but it could be just a matter of control setting (Bruckner willl not settle for anything less than full blast ;D).  I'll eventually get back to it in due time.

Hey, no problem. I have no special affinity towards Wislocki, never counted him among the best Polish conductors. Just wanted to hear an informed opinion. This recording was released in the Polish Radio series "Famous Polish Conductors" (along with Haydn's Sanctae Caeciliae Mass and Beethoven's Egmont) and the inclusion of the Bruckner surprised me a bit - I guess the reason they did include it is that it is one of the very few Polish Bruckner recordings in existence. Apart from Skrowaczewski (and Wislocki), I don't think any Polish conductor ever recorded any Bruckner (perhaps also Wit nowadays? I'm not sure). I remember that at the end of his life Czyz regretted never having tackled Bruckner (that and not having done enough jazz music ;D)...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: jwinter on January 04, 2008, 06:53:42 AM
What we would now like to ask is, has any one seen these sketches - in either the published or unpublished forms?


If you're curious, here's a fairly cheap way to check out the projected finale:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XKPXYTPNL._AA240_.jpg)

It's fleshed out from Bruckner's sketches, obviously, but from what I can tell from the liner notes there was a considerable amount of material to work from, and they seem to have taken great care with it.  The finale is the only reason I'd draw this CD to your attention, though -- overall this is a decent but not great 9th; it's a bit slow (which isn't necessarily a problem) but it also lacks drive and excitement IMO.  It all just feels a bit slack.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on January 04, 2008, 08:29:14 AM

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XKPXYTPNL._AA240_.jpg)

It's fleshed out from Bruckner's sketches, obviously, but from what I can tell from the liner notes there was a considerable amount of material to work from, and they seem to have taken great care with it.

Despite the advocacy of people like Harnoncourt, and after reading a whole book devoted to the unfinished Finale (Heinz-Klaus Metzger, Rainer Riehn: Bruckners Neunte im Fegefeuer der Rezeption, 2003, text + kritk, München), I still miss Bruckner's spirit in the performing versions that are now available. The music doesn't take flight. You hear all the well-known Brucknerian noises, but they don't have that 'lift'.

(And I am convinced by Mahler's Tenth, by the way.)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 04, 2008, 09:09:33 AM
Despite the advocacy of people like Harnoncourt, and after reading a whole book devoted to the unfinished Finale (Heinz-Klaus Metzger, Rainer Riehn: Bruckners Neunte im Fegefeuer der Rezeption, 2003, text + kritk, München), I still miss Bruckner's spirit in the performing versions that are now available. The music doesn't take flight. You hear all the well-known Brucknerian noises, but they don't have that 'lift'.

Query, though, how much of that is due to conductors' and orchestras' unfamiliarity with the final movement. E.g. in the Harnoncourt recording, the VPO's playing of the first three movements is leagues better than their tentative baby steps in the excerpts of the finale. The Wildner has the most recent completion and is to my ears the most compelling realization of the finale. As more original excerpts are discovered and as the completion is further fine tuned and as more orchestras and conductors become familiar with the work, hopefully we will get to hear more convincing performances as well.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on January 04, 2008, 09:28:01 AM
Query, though, how much of that is due to conductors' and orchestras' unfamiliarity with the final movement. E.g. in the Harnoncourt recording, the VPO's playing of the first three movements is leagues better than their tentative baby steps in the excerpts of the finale. The Wildner has the most recent completion and is to my ears the most compelling realization of the finale. As more original excerpts are discovered and as the completion is further fine tuned and as more orchestras and conductors become familiar with the work, hopefully we will get to hear more convincing performances as well.

I know exactly what you mean. You sometimes have to listen through a performance to get a sense of the real power of the music. But for me that's not the case here, I'm afraid - I think the musical ideas in the Finale aren't, for whatever reason, among Bruckner's most inspired. I wanted to like the Finale so badly, I love Bruckner. But I feel I'm only getting a glimpse of what could have been. Even with a weak Bruckner performance, you feel that there is more than orchestra and conductor can give you. Not so here. I don't think even the best Bruckner conductor could make the Finale an overwhelming experience. (Whereas Mahler's Tenth never fails to move me.)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 04, 2008, 10:04:40 AM
I know exactly what you mean. You sometimes have to listen through a performance to get a sense of the real power of the music. But for me that's not the case here, I'm afraid - I think the musical ideas in the Finale aren't, for whatever reason, among Bruckner's most inspired. I wanted to like the Finale so badly, I love Bruckner. But I feel I'm only getting a glimpse of what could have been. Even with a weak Bruckner performance, you feel that there is more than orchestra and conductor can give you. Not so here. I don't think even the best Bruckner conductor could make the Finale an overwhelming experience. (Whereas Mahler's Tenth never fails to move me.)

I don't know about that. Have you actually heard the Wildner? The Harnoncourt certainly feels like an aimless sightreading exercise. The Wildner is considerably better. (Talmi can be binned since the completion miscorrects some of Bruckner's original writing.) I do like at least the original parts of the piece. The beginning of the finale, in particular, I think is marvellous. I had often wondered what Bruckner could possibly say next after that sublime Adagio has melted away into the ether. But the way he starts the finale out of that same nothingness into which the Adagio disappeared is brilliant, IMHO.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on January 04, 2008, 10:16:38 AM
I don't know about that. Have you actually heard the Wildner? The Harnoncourt certainly feels like an aimless sightreading exercise. The Wildner is considerably better. (Talmi can be binned since the completion miscorrects some of Bruckner's original writing.) I do like at least the original parts of the piece. The beginning of the finale, in particular, I think is marvellous. I had often wondered what Bruckner could possibly say next after that sublime Adagio has melted away into the ether. But the way he starts the finale out of that same nothingness into which the Adagio disappeared is brilliant, IMHO.

I have the Wildner and the Harnoncourt...

I promise you to give the Wildner another spin tomorrow. And then I'll report back.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on January 04, 2008, 10:46:15 AM
Query, though, how much of that is due to conductors' and orchestras' unfamiliarity with the final movement. E.g. in the Harnoncourt recording, the VPO's playing of the first three movements is leagues better than their tentative baby steps in the excerpts of the finale. The Wildner has the most recent completion and is to my ears the most compelling realization of the finale. As more original excerpts are discovered and as the completion is further fine tuned and as more orchestras and conductors become familiar with the work, hopefully we will get to hear more convincing performances as well.

Actually, the recordings that used the most recent completion are Marcus Bosch's 9th with Aachen and Daniel Harding with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 04, 2008, 10:50:56 AM
Actually, the recordings that used the most recent completion are Marcus Bosch's 9th with Aachen and Daniel Harding with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Didn't know those existed! Where might one find these? My mom played as a sub in the first violins in the Bosch/Aachen performance.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on January 04, 2008, 10:57:32 AM
Didn't know those existed! Where might one find these? My mom played as a sub in the first violins in the Bosch/Aachen performance.

It's quite easy to find Bosch's performance, you can buy it from jpc. If you are in america, it hasn't been released yet, but it will be soon. Just a few weeks ago, Berky offered one on his website, but now it's gone.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 04, 2008, 11:00:07 AM
It's quite easy to find Bosch's performance, you can buy it from jpc. If you are in america, it hasn't been released yet, but it will be soon. Just a few weeks ago, Berky offered one on his website, but now it's gone.

Thanks. Found it. Have you heard either one of the two? How does Bosch compare to Harding?

EDIT: just listened to the clips on jpc. Bosch's Scherzo and Finale sound good, but why such a rushed Adagio?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on January 04, 2008, 11:18:37 AM
Thanks. Found it. Have you heard either one of the two? How does Bosch compare to Harding?

I don't know, I have heard both of them. But the one i heard from Harding came from an Radio Broadcast, so I am not sure it's the same as the one released on CD, but just in case you want to hear that performance too, it's on Youtube.
http://youtube.com/results?search_query=bruckner+harding&search=Search

The sound in Bosch is sometimes a little too reverberant for me, I don't know where they record it (in a church maybe?). The sound quality is not bad, but it's not ideal either. Sometimes, the violins are not as transparent as they should be, but the first 3 movements are still very good overall. As for the finale, (the sole reason to acquire this disc), since it has absolute monopoly, being the ONLY WIDELY released recording of this version (good luck on finding the harding one!). It is very nice, first of all, it is done swiftly at only 20 minutes, which is even 3 minutes faster than Wildner's and a whole 10 minutes shorter than the Eichhorn one! Secondly, having never heard anything from this orchestra, i was quite surprised at their level of playing, it's quite good, and very nice brass.

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on January 04, 2008, 11:19:19 AM
Didn't know those existed! Where might one find these?

Harding was available for streaming from Swedish radio, it's bound to pop up on operashare and Berky has to have it, try e-mailing him.

From few people heard that it was really excellent performance, here is concert review by editor of Bruckner Journal

http://www.brucknerfreunde.at/forum/konzertkritiken/2831-daniel-harding-macht-eine-4-satz-bruckner-ix-stockholm.html#post8066 (http://www.brucknerfreunde.at/forum/konzertkritiken/2831-daniel-harding-macht-eine-4-satz-bruckner-ix-stockholm.html#post8066)

 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 04, 2008, 01:06:27 PM
Query, though, how much of that is due to conductors' and orchestras' unfamiliarity with the final movement. E.g. in the Harnoncourt recording, the VPO's playing of the first three movements is leagues better than their tentative baby steps in the excerpts of the finale.

Nonsense. The playing is very assured, technical on a high level and stylistically spot on and balances and phrasing are obviously meticulously rehearsed. Once again, you mistake your emotional reaction to the music - which indeed leaves the listener "hanging" quite a bit since it is, well, fragments, not a complete and coherent musical structure - with the actual playing of it.

I think the musical ideas in the Finale aren't, for whatever reason, among Bruckner's most inspired.

Allow me to completely disagree. I think many ideas in the finale fragments are simply breathtakingly original, innovative and singular - I couldn't believe my ears when I first heard the fragments. This may not be Bruckner at his most "inspiring", "solemn" and "hymnic", but it is Bruckner at his most innovative and daring, way beyond even what he dared in the preceding movements - but a logical step, or maybe even several, further ahead from what he did there. "Like a stone from the moon", as Harnoncourt so aptly puts it in the workshop concert. A lot of it sounds very "modern". However, my feeling is that even though Bruckner apparently completed this first version of the finale in its outlines before some of the pages were lost, it was still quite far from actual final completion at that point. If you look at the original, intermediate and final versions of the slow movement of the 8th symphony, for instance, you can see how drastically Bruckner changed that movement with each revision. My impression is that while the first three movements of the 9th are really more or less finished the way they are, Bruckner, in his "race against death", rushed to somehow complete the finale, he put all his ideas in there and outlined the general structure, but never got around to actually work them out quite as much as this daring material would have needed it to really unfold its great potential. How he would have done that had he lived maybe a year longer, we will never know. He was so "out there", in a realm and on a level of musical invention there so far ahead of and removed from what normal musical minds can grasp, I don't see any way how this material can be reconstructed and "finished" by anyone else in a way which can approach what he might have worked out. So, I think presenting the surviving finale fragments in a workshop concert is as far as one should go - it is very tempting though to analyze his ideas and, based on how he elaborated on his ideas in the earlier symphonies, "wildly guess" what could have been there in the end. But we will never know.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 04, 2008, 01:24:46 PM
The sound in Bosch is sometimes a little too reverberant for me, I don't know where they record it (in a church maybe?).

If it is indeed the performance I am thinking of, then it was indeed performed in a church, the Aachen cathedral, IIRC.

Nonsense. The playing is very assured, technical on a high level and stylistically spot on and balances and phrasing are obviously meticulously rehearsed. Once again, you mistake your emotional reaction to the music - which indeed leaves the listener "hanging" quite a bit since it is, well, fragments, not a complete and coherent musical structure - with the actual playing of it.

M, once again it is you who is being emotional - as always when you perceive, however unreasonably, that someone criticized the VPO unfairly - and who preemptively throws an accusation of emotionalism about, and who choses to misread plain English just for the purpose of playing the righteously "offended liver sausage". Yes, they play "assurred, technically on a high level and stylistically spot on" and it is indeed a performance of "fragments", but that doesn't change the fact that the playing in the first three movements is of a different caliber. The first three sound like a comfortable, worn in piece of clothing. The performers know where they are going and know what risks they can afford to take. They are thoroughly at home at every turn. That is simply not the case in the playing in the finale excerpts. The dynamic range is more limited and the playing is much more on the "safe" side. The phrasing is comparatively stiff. The first three movements are standard repertoire and the fourth is uncharted territory and it shows. You might argue that this is due to the fact that they are just playing excerpts for illustration purposes. But there are some quite sizeable stretches of music that could have been played with more conviction, more interpretive cohesion and generally more assured ensemble work. It's still the VPO, no question, and it's excellent. Just not as good as it could have been. Wildner's Neue Westfälische Philharmonie is no VPO and doesn't have the VPO brass section's glow, but they play on that recording with more assurance in the last movement. Certainly it makes a difference that this was a complete performance and the Harnoncourt/VPO isn't - thereby allowing Wildner to mould a longer line. But for purposes of illustrating what the finale could sound like, I think Wildner makes the better case. And that is what we are discussing here. Not whether or not the VPO is infallible. I wasn't criticizing the playing of the VPO as such. But that obviously escaped you.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sydney Grew on January 04, 2008, 03:35:09 PM
If you're curious, here's a fairly cheap way to check out the projected finale:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XKPXYTPNL._AA240_.jpg)

It's fleshed out from Bruckner's sketches, obviously, but from what I can tell from the liner notes there was a considerable amount of material to work from, and they seem to have taken great care with it.  The finale is the only reason I'd draw this CD to your attention, though -- overall this is a decent but not great 9th; it's a bit slow (which isn't necessarily a problem) but it also lacks drive and excitement IMO.  It all just feels a bit slack.

Thank you so much for directing our attention to this recording; we shall eagerly seek it out. Thanks too to all those Members who have contributed nuggets of further information; how inspiring it all is! Because Bruckner was a sort of musical saint almost was he not - a man whose whole life was devoted to the musical expression of profound spiritual insights.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 04, 2008, 06:01:17 PM
I have heard a few of those completions (or attempts at), and only one gave me the impression of a cohesive, organically conceived movement: it's the Eichhorn version. This is basically the same as the Bosch or Harding (they use the most recent revision of the Samale//Philips/Mazzuca/Cohrs realization). It could be that this is the latest I have heard, so increased familiarity may be a factor. But I distinctly remember how much more of a piece, more 'fleshed out' it sounded compared to Talmi, Wildner and Naïto. I find the Harding quite formidable too (thanks for alerting us to these youtube vids, Gustav!). There's no doubt in my mind that SPMC is a better solution than Carragan's recomposition.

There are familiar quotes, semi-quotes and near-quotes in this movement, the most striking instance being the main theme of the 3rd symphony that pops up in the coda. I agree that the whole thing has an air of haste and expediency. The eternal self doubter in Bruckner would have wanted to rework this movement for years. It is indeed strikingly modern sounding, but I wonder how much of that impression is borne of the almost disjointed assemblage of rather angular thematic material. Could this be a voluntary move by Bruckner ? The first movement's effusive, beseeching gesangsperioden are a thing of the past when the adagio starts. That movement's own slow and lyrical portions are anguished aftermaths of the explosive outbursts that dot this lunar musical landscape. From that quasi disintegration to the bold, gaunt and seemingly inconclusive finale, there seems to be some kind of progression toward a more abstract musical language. But that could also be an effect of the intervening years: musical advances could have mingled with declining mental powers and advancing illness. By the time he died in October 1896 Bruckner had suffered debilitating bouts of pneumonia and pleurisy.

As has been said by M we will never know. There is a very interesting (and lengthy) essay on the finale here (http://www.abruckner.com/Data/documents/bruckner_symphony_9_finale_vdw.pdf). After having read it I am still not convinced. A lot of the ardent advocacy reads like it's from someone who'd do anything to sell his argument. That automatically makes me raise my guards, so in the end the argument comes down to this: if one believes Bruckner would have indeed completed his finale had he lived longer (and unlike Schubert he never abandoned work on one of his works before), then one should be prepared to reassess the 9th altogether, keeping in mind that the finale will always be conjectural.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 05, 2008, 03:22:43 AM
The first three sound like a comfortable, worn in piece of clothing. The performers know where they are going and know what risks they can afford to take. They are thoroughly at home at every turn. That is simply not the case in the playing in the finale excerpts. The dynamic range is more limited and the playing is much more on the "safe" side. The phrasing is comparatively stiff. The first three movements are standard repertoire and the fourth is uncharted territory and it shows. You might argue that this is due to the fact that they are just playing excerpts for illustration purposes. But there are some quite sizeable stretches of music that could have been played with more conviction, more interpretive cohesion and generally more assured ensemble work.

Can you give examples for that? In the first section (track 2), the only insecure moment I hear is the very first entry of the strings. In fact, the force and determination with which the first tutti entries, especially the motif at 1'45 come crashing in totally startled me when I first heard it. It is also ideally prepared in the context when the the build-up towards it starts to fade away a little, suggesting that there will be no tutti entry after all, and then it suddenly comes anyway (I think Bruckner wrote that rather cleverly). I hear no indecisive or uneasy playing in general later either, no "are we playing here?" or "oops, how does this go?" moments, although there may be some which I don't recall right now. The general impression I had after listening to it several times was the exact opposite. Some of the playing, like the strings totally digging in in the fugato sections with sometimes pretty noisy attacks, I actually almost found a little too "emphatical" The internal musical development and context in those sections and passages that are largely intact makes sense to me to, like the way transitions or build-ups are handled. So what you are saying does not make sense to me at all. There is no "baby-stepping" going on here. The very ending of the excerpts is extremly confident and points to more coming after that - but there isn't. That, and the fragmentary nature of the material, with missing passages and all that, unsatisfying in itself and leaves you sitting there feeling short-changed. But that is the nature of what we have here - musical fragments, not of he composition as far as we can tell. It could be, since we don't know if the missing passages would have "made sense" or not (chances are they would have though, seeing that Bruckner was pretty good at composing large scale symphonies, he had actually done a few before). And not of the presentation either.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 05, 2008, 04:17:49 AM
It is indeed strikingly modern sounding, but I wonder how much of that impression is borne of the almost disjointed assemblage of rather angular thematic material.

In my case, that impression doesn't have anything to do with that. It is the material itself, not the way it is put together which strikes me as rather innovative. But not "randomly" so because it has a lot of relationships with typical Bruckner ideas and material. It just takes the use of those ideas in musical contexts a few steps further. A typical Bruckner element is the use of ostinati, and there isn't much new about that at all in historical terms, but the way he does that here points forward even to some later "minimalist" developments.

From that quasi disintegration to the bold, gaunt and seemingly inconclusive finale, there seems to be some kind of progression toward a more abstract musical language. But that could also be an effect of the intervening years: musical advances could have mingled with declining mental powers and advancing illness.


Maybe. Or maybe not. It's not only that the finale is simply not completely finished as it is, it is also that the point of such a large-scale piece is not only to amass a lot of great musical ideas, but to present them in a coherent context and work out a symphonic argument between the elements to achieve that coherence. The bolder the material, the more potential there may be to elaborate on it in interesting and innovative ways, but the more difficult it also is to actually make that convincing. Some of the earlier versions of his finished symphonies also leave a somewhat incoherent, "rambling" impression. I think in most cases when Bruckner revised some of the symphonies, for whatever reason, be it that he felt the need for a revision himself or that he yelded to external pressures, the revised versions make more sense. And that in itself makes sense since Bruckner's symphonies are all very ambitious. It makes sense that he could find more convincing solutions for symphonic problems he had worked out earlier when he returned to them later, more experienced.

Whether or not his declining physical and mental health played a role in how he formulated his musical ideas we simply can not say. Because we don't understand what went on in Bruckner's head anyway, at any point in his life...

But he was not the kind of composer who would come up with daring musical ideas while sitting at the piano improvising wildly next to the open window during a stormy night, his hair blowing in the wind. That wouldn't have worked anyway in his case. He was an extremely organized and meticulous worker who was obsessed (literally) with counting and organizing things. That can also be seen from his scores in which he numbered every single bar and the music itself which has a lot of mathematical proportions in its form. So I think it is rather unlikely that what we have here are some random "crazy" ideas. He may not have been mentally healthy enough not actually manage to work out these ideas optimally, but then again, we don't know because we can't do better ourselves, and besides that, I think Bruckner was, in a way, mentally very seriously ill all his life. He definitely was pretty far "out there", but he brought us a lot of great music back from wherever he was.

Remember even many of his friends and supporters didn't "get" him and felt the need to "correct" and "improve" a lot of his music. That is why Bruckner gave his scores to the Austrian national library because he hoped they would survive there for posterity in the way he had written his music. It was apparently the younger Schalk brother who was supposed to bring together everything that Bruckner had written for the finale and who failed to do so. I think that's a great loss.

There is a very interesting (and lengthy) essay on the finale here (http://www.abruckner.com/Data/documents/bruckner_symphony_9_finale_vdw.pdf). After having read it I am still not convinced.

Convinced of what? That Bruckner wanted to complete the finale and that the 9th symphony was not supposed to end with the 3rd movement, or of this particular attempt at completing it?

A lot of the ardent advocacy reads like it's from someone who'd do anything to sell his argument. That automatically makes me raise my guards, so in the end the argument comes down to this: if one believes Bruckner would have indeed completed his finale had he lived longer (and unlike Schubert he never abandoned work on one of his works before), then one should be prepared to reassess the 9th altogether, keeping in mind that the finale will always be conjectural.

Well, what do you expect? Would you rather want to read somebody's arguments who does not appear to be convinced himself of what he is saying? I may not understand what you meant here.

Whether or not Bruckner would have completed his finale is not a matter of belief had he lived longer. Working on that is pretty much everything he did during the last phase of his life, and he was very far advanced with it when he died. Harnoncourt estimated it would only have taken him another 2 months or so to complete this first version.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 05, 2008, 09:22:14 AM
What I meant is not even clear to me, in a sense. There is ambiguity in the subject itself, and my response is to think "maybe. Or maybe not". Bruckner left masses of score sheets that he never used in a finished work. All composers jot down tons of material that simply helps them organize and try things in different ways. Upon moving into his last apartment, a few months before he died, he ordered his secretary to burn a lot of stuff. What I'm wondering is, how can we assume that all the sketches for the finale would actually have been used by Bruckner? He might  have reworked or even rejected some of his ideas.

That's why I'm ambivalent about the result that is presented to us in these reconstructions. Following the article (did you actually read it?) there's an interview in which Gunnar-Cohrs exemplifies the problem by saying: what if we'd take the seventh symphony's first movement, follow it by the scherzo and conclude with the Wagner adagio? Wouldn't our whole view and appreciation of the work be totally different?  That's why I think if one is to believe that the three movement 9th should be completed, then our whole reference grid for that work (made up of decades of hearing it in that truncated format) would become more or less useless. And the problem is further compounded when one had doubts about the validity of the completed finale.

Clearly there's a new dynamic at work that is starting to take root and gather momentum. It's a process that will take a while to become an accepted option in the Bruckner canon, and from there, it will take even more time and effort to find its place in the concert hall.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on January 05, 2008, 03:17:40 PM
I promise to give the Wildner another spin tomorrow. And then I'll report back.

I listened two times to Wildner's performance of the Finale today... Yes, there are some undeniably beautiful and powerful moments, and yes, it is moving to be able to listen to some of the music that Bruckner must have heard inside his head, but: they are not enough to build a coherent whole, with all the slow-moving and grand inevitability I associate with Bruckner.

I haven't heard the latest version, so I don't know whether that would change my mind.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on January 07, 2008, 09:32:59 PM
Been giving the Harding version of the latest completion a couple of listens.

I find this really frustrating: no, it's not particularly convincing as a completion but damn, some of the musical ideas are wonderful, pushing the boundaries even further than the first three movements did. I hadn't previously heard the sketches in any form and had had no idea how the a finale could possibly have worked after that Adagio: now I at least think I know.

I think what I'd like to hear more than further attempts to complete the finale would be if some composer with a strong personality but a good empathy for the idiom (Wolfgang Rihm, say?) were to write a lengthy piece using the extant fragments: something like Berio's Rendering where no attempt is made to make a completion, merely setting them in an appropriate context. It would make an intriguing concert pairing with the three-movement version of the symphony, at least.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 08, 2008, 07:22:03 AM
Been giving the Harding version of the latest completion a couple of listens.

I find this really frustrating: no, it's not particularly convincing as a completion but damn, some of the musical ideas are wonderful, pushing the boundaries even further than the first three movements did. I hadn't previously heard the sketches in any form and had had no idea how the a finale could possibly have worked after that Adagio: now I at least think I know.

You can also find that out by listening to the 8th symphony. The slow movement is just as expansive, and it also has a very "final", peaceful ending. If that symphony had been the last, and without a completed finale, it could and would be played just like the 9th.

Don't be frustrated if what you heard doesn't seem to make sense to you. It really doesn't make complete sense to anyone I think. It is, after all, just fragments, in whatever context they are presented. That may also be a problem with the version you listened to. I know there is an actual released CD of the Harding version which I haven't heard. But I listened to a live recording which is a total mess. It is obvious that he can't make sense of whatever is there himself and he really doesn't know how to steer the orchestra through the movement. That makes it all sound even more fragmented and coherent than it actually is. That, plus the suprisingly bad and insecure playing of the Swedish RSO (O Mensch really needs to listen to that when he wants to hear "babystepping") make this a very frustrating listening experience in itself.

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 08, 2008, 08:29:41 AM
Can you give examples for that? In the first section (track 2), the only insecure moment...

No, I can't. I wasn't speaking of "insecurity", I was speaking of comfort and familiarity. The excerpts just don't flow as naturally as the prior three movements. There is nothing wrong or sketchy about the playing as such.

But that is the nature of what we have here - musical fragments, not of he composition as far as we can tell.

I made that point already.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 08, 2008, 10:39:44 AM
No, I can't. I wasn't speaking of "insecurity", I was speaking of comfort and familiarity. The excerpts just don't flow as naturally as the prior three movements.

Of course they don't. They are fragments. Even the more or less completed sections aren't ompletely "fleshed out" and "filed" yet. You can tell from other symphonies an the first three movements that Bruckner played the completed material on the piano and filled in little musical gestures here and there, details which make the music flow and proceed more organically, and more playable. Even the larger completed stretches, like track 2, still lack some of these elements. The nature of the material is rather "blocky". But the internal context, the way they move from one group of ideas to the next, makes a whole lot of musical sense. Again best heard in track 2. I am pretty sure you understand that the careful way the movement begins is defined by the nature of the material which appears from nowhere. But the buildups to the first tutti entries and the ebb and flow between them are very organical. Same about the transition to the second theme group. I particularly like how those dotted motifs in the violins appear to float in from a differen space. The buildup to and the way they play the grand choral like theme around 6'00 is just magnificent. I can't imagine a better advocacy for these musical fragments at this point. Actually, it is mostly that track which makes me regret that there isn't a coherent finale, even just a first version, because all that is very, very promising. Most of the rest of the fragments are just glimpses into what could have been. Very tantalizing, very mysterious.
BTW, NH had already conducted the finale fragments in concerts years before the recording was made. You probably thought he didn't and though it would just be cool to say that. Oops.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 08, 2008, 11:36:40 AM
Man, M, we're going in circles here. You just don't want to read plain English. I KNOW THEY ARE FRAGMENTS! All I am saying is that even as fragments they could have been played with more conviction and flow and that among the choices Wildner makes a better case for the last movement, or what's left of it. That should have been apparent from my first post and we could have spared ourselves the waste of time and bandwidth that it took to read and type the last few posts. You can spare yourself the nonsensical speculation about what you think I thought about NH. Geez...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 08, 2008, 01:12:17 PM
I KNOW THEY ARE FRAGMENTS!

Oh, good.  ;)

All I am saying is that even as fragments they could have been played with more conviction and flow

I am beginning to think we are actually talking about different recordings here. I have a hard time imagining this to be played with more "conviction", seein how the strings dig in in the first tutti entries, the fugato sections, how the whole orchestra comes crashing in with full force in the first tutti, and how well everything is phrased. I don't see any want of flow there either, especially in critical transitions. For instance, the transition from the first to the second group and the way these dotted string figures float in is masterfully handled. To clear this up, which recording were you talking about all the time?

I meant this one here:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NKcGvBunL._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 08, 2008, 01:45:29 PM
Oh, good.  ;)

I am beginning to think we are actually talking about different recordings here. I have a hard time imagining this to be played with more "conviction", seein how the strings dig in in the first tutti entries, the fugato sections, how the whole orchestra comes crashing in with full force in the first tutti, and how well everything is phrased. I don't see any want of flow there either, especially in critical transitions. For instance, the transition from the first to the second group and the way these dotted string figures float in is masterfully handled. To clear this up, which recording were you talking about all the time?

I meant this one here:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NKcGvBunL._AA240_.jpg)

You know very well that I meant that same recording. No go compare to the Wildner. I found his flow more convincing.

Again, I might remind you that we started off with this nonsensical tangent because you took my comments way too extremely, while I merely was suggesting that the Wildner recording provides a better overall picture of the last movement.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Don on January 08, 2008, 01:53:23 PM
You know very well that I meant that same recording. No go compare to the Wildner. I found his flow more convincing.

Again, I might remind you that we started off with this nonsensical tangent because you took my comments way too extremely, while I merely was suggesting that the Wildner recording provides a better overall picture of the last movement.

If you mess around with Harnoncourt, M forever will hunt you down.  Don't you know that?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 08, 2008, 02:14:53 PM
No, I just want to actuallly *discuss* music and interpretations. Instead of making blanket statements without backing them up or illustrating how one has arrived at that conclusion, I want to discuss the interpretation with some kind of musical argumentation referring to specific points or examples, like I provided here:

I have a hard time imagining this to be played with more "conviction", seein how the strings dig in in the first tutti entries, the fugato sections, how the whole orchestra comes crashing in with full force in the first tutti, and how well everything is phrased. I don't see any want of flow there either, especially in critical transitions. For instance, the transition from the first to the second group and the way these dotted string figures float in is masterfully handled.

Or here:

But the internal context, the way they move from one group of ideas to the next, makes a whole lot of musical sense. Again best heard in track 2. I am pretty sure you understand that the careful way the movement begins is defined by the nature of the material which appears from nowhere. But the buildups to the first tutti entries and the ebb and flow between them are very organical. Same about the transition to the second theme group. I particularly like how those dotted motifs in the violins appear to float in from a differen space. The buildup to and the way they play the grand choral like theme around 6'00 is just magnificent. I can't imagine a better advocacy for these musical fragments at this point.

Or here:

Can you give examples for that? In the first section (track 2), the only insecure moment I hear is the very first entry of the strings. In fact, the force and determination with which the first tutti entries, especially the motif at 1'45 come crashing in totally startled me when I first heard it. It is also ideally prepared in the context when the the build-up towards it starts to fade away a little, suggesting that there will be no tutti entry after all, and then it suddenly comes anyway (I think Bruckner wrote that rather cleverly). I hear no indecisive or uneasy playing in general later either, no "are we playing here?" or "oops, how does this go?" moments, although there may be some which I don't recall right now. The general impression I had after listening to it several times was the exact opposite. Some of the playing, like the strings totally digging in in the fugato sections with sometimes pretty noisy attacks, I actually almost found a little too "emphatical" The internal musical development and context in those sections and passages that are largely intact makes sense to me to, like the way transitions or build-ups are handled. So what you are saying does not make sense to me at all. There is no "baby-stepping" going on here. The very ending of the excerpts is extremly confident and points to more coming after that - but there isn't.




You know very well that I meant that same recording. No go compare to the Wildner. I found his flow more convincing.

I don't have that. Can you upload the finale somewhere for the sake of comparison?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 08, 2008, 04:02:54 PM
No, I just want to actuallly *discuss* music and interpretations. Instead of making blanket statements without backing them up or illustrating how one has arrived at that conclusion, I want to discuss the interpretation with some kind of musical argumentation referring to specific points or examples, like I provided here:

Great! Give yourself a big pat on your back for meeting your own criteria.

I don't have that. Can you upload the finale somewhere for the sake of comparison?

Then why were you arguing with me when you can't even make the comparison? That's all my post was about. Since it's a currently available recording, uploading would violate copyright law. It's a Naxos CD. That should be within your budget.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on January 08, 2008, 05:36:16 PM
If you mess around with Harnoncourt, M forever will hunt you down.  Don't you know that?

Harnoncourt is bad.

Come on, baby.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 08, 2008, 06:53:21 PM
Great! Give yourself a big pat on your back for meeting your own criteria.

You sometimes meet these criteria, too! Yes, sometimes you make interesting musical observations and back up your arguments with examples. That's not a bad thing, really. Except here, you totally lost the argument. Not my fault though. I usually only make dramatic statements when I can defend them afterwards.

Then why were you arguing with me when you can't even make the comparison? That's all my post was about.

Not true. I replied specifically to this statement from it which stands in itself, without the comparison with another recording:

E.g. in the Harnoncourt recording, the VPO's playing of the first three movements is leagues better than their tentative baby steps in the excerpts of the finale.

You still haven't illustrated that statement with specific examples. I did assume though that that statement was because your reaction was more an emotional reaction to the fragmentary nature of the presentation than the actual playing, and that you couldn't separate that (which I know you often can't, remember when you - wrongly - heard "out of tune" and "not together" playing in the IPO recording of the 8th when you had to illustrate why you thought the orchestral playing was "bad"? But it was in fact your negative emotional reaction to Mehta's - admittedly not very interesting - interpretation than a fair assessment of the orchestral playing quality.).

BTW, I understand the Wildner recording is of one of the completions, I wouldn't compare that in those respects with a workshop presentation of the fragments anyway.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 09, 2008, 08:42:52 AM
You sometimes meet these criteria, too! Yes, sometimes you make interesting musical observations and back up your arguments with examples. That's not a bad thing, really. Except here, you totally lost the argument. Not my fault though. I usually only make dramatic statements when I can defend them afterwards.

Great. Now ask me if I care whether I meet "your criteria".

You still haven't illustrated that statement with specific examples. I did assume though that that statement was because your reaction was more an emotional reaction to the fragmentary nature of the presentation than the actual playing, and that you couldn't separate that (which I know you often can't, remember when you - wrongly - heard "out of tune" and "not together" playing in the IPO recording of the 8th when you had to illustrate why you thought the orchestral playing was "bad"? But it was in fact your negative emotional reaction to Mehta's - admittedly not very interesting - interpretation than a fair assessment of the orchestral playing quality.).

My dearest, you don't even know what emotions are. Please stop using the word. Some of us have lives and work and things like that and are not sufficiently geeky to actually waste the time to pick out excerpts from recordings they have listened to a year ago just to prove a meaningless point to someone they don't even know personally on a web forum. Take my comments for what they are worth. Deal with it!

PS: A dissonant passage can still be played in tune or out of tune (Boulez can tell you, if you don't believe me). The B8 listening example you are referring to (or should I say harping upon) being a comparison, you should have plenty of examples to compare that pathetic IPO performance against and hear what I mean. Sorry, you didn't hear that. Or maybe it's better for you. It allows you to enjoy second rate performances much better.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 09, 2008, 09:14:48 AM
My dearest, you don't even know what emotions are. Please stop using the word. Some of us have lives and work and things like that and are not sufficiently geeky to actually waste the time to pick out excerpts from recordings they have listened to a year ago just to prove a meaningless point to someone they don't even know personally on a web forum.

I don't do that to prove anything about you. I do it because a lot of people (myself included) think it's a lot of fun and it creates some of the most interesting (and revealing) discussions. That you revealed too much about your lack of knowledge about technical aspects of orchestral music making is not my fault! That just sometimes happens when people like to make dramatic statements which they can't back up with arguments then. Sorry, but again, not my fault  ;)

PS: A dissonant passage can still be played in tune or out of tune (Boulez can tell you, if you don't believe me).

Really? Wow. What a deep insight.  ::) *Anything* can be in tune or out of tune. But in a given musical situation and intonation system, what is in or out of tune is pretty much objective. You could simply have said "this is too sharp" or "this is too flat" (or both, after all, several people playing together can be off in various directions). But you couldn't do that. Besides, even if it had been out of tune, to base the judgment that a whole orchestra plays just badly on isolated little blemishes is pretty silly. Even the very best orchestras have that happen here and there. Take the one in your home town, for instance, that is supposed to be really good, but when I heard it live last year, there were a lot of places which didn't really work, a lot of intonation problems, especially in the horns. Unfortunately, I do hear all that. But it's not the single most decisive point. The quality of the music making is what counts. OK, that wasn't so great either, but that's a different subject.


So, why all this fuss instead of just pointing to a few places in the recording we talked about to illustrate your views?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 09, 2008, 09:31:25 AM
That just sometimes happens when people like to make dramatic statements which they can't back up with arguments then. Sorry, but again, not my fault  ;)

Not having backed something up with examples does not mean not being able to. But that nuance eludes you. Again, revisit my prior post.

Really? Wow. What a deep insight.  ::) *Anything* can be in tune or out of tune. But in a given musical situation and intonation system, what is in or out of tune is pretty much objective. You could simply have said "this is too sharp" or "this is too flat" (or both, after all, several people playing together can be off in various directions). But you couldn't do that.

Actually, yes I did. But you took one example out of context and decided to turn it into a crusade against me. But this discussion is out of place here anyway. This isn't RMCR.
 
So, why all this fuss instead of just pointing to a few places in the recording we talked about to illustrate your views?

See above.

You must be incredibly bored in SD...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 09, 2008, 09:37:55 AM
Actually, I really am right now. There isn't really that much that interests me to do around here, as "nice" as it is. I am actually in the middle of finalizing negotiations for a job which would take me to Boston, MA. Hopefully, there is more action there. If I do move, I will probably uhaul myself and my stuff across the entire US. Mapquest says the shortest route takes me up to Chicago and then East. But isn't the weather in the Midwest totally horrible right now, with lots of ice and bad street conditions?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 09, 2008, 09:39:34 AM
Actually, I really am right now. There isn't really that much that interests me to do around here, as "nice" as it is. I am actually in the middle of finalizing negotiations for a job which would take me to Boston, MA. Hopefully, there is more action there. If I do move, I will probably uhaul myself and my stuff across the entire US. Mapquest says the shortest route takes me up to Chicago and then East. But isn't the weather in the Midwest totally horrible right now, with lots of ice and bad street conditions?

This is so OT, I'm moving this to a PM.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 09, 2008, 09:56:17 AM
Very true. To bring this back on topic, can anyone think of any really good BSO Bruckner recordings? I can't, right now. I wonder why that is.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on January 09, 2008, 10:53:46 AM
Very true. To bring this back on topic, can anyone think of any really good BSO Bruckner recordings? I can't, right now. I wonder why that is.

Under whom? Koussevitzky, Monteux, Munch, Leinsdorf, Steinberg, Ozawa & Levine, none of them I readily associate with Bruckner (with admittedly little knowledge on Leinsdorf and Steinberg). Such a long line of non-Bruckner inclined MDs has to be at least part of the answer.
 
Berky's discography shows what looks like only 2 commercial recordings and maybe dozen broadcasts in total.

Very nice 8th under Tennstedt was floating around (Tanglewood broadcast), other than that I can't remember hearing any at all.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on January 09, 2008, 10:58:16 AM
Under whom? Koussevitzky, Monteux, Munch, Leinsdorf, Steinberg, Ozawa & Levine, none of them I readily associate with Bruckner (with admittedly little knowledge on Leinsdorf and Steinberg). Such a long line of non-Bruckner inclined MDs has to be at least part of the answer.
 
Berky's discography shows what looks like only 2 commercial recordings and maybe dozen broadcasts in total.

Very nice 8th under Tennstedt was floating around (Tanglewood broadcast), other than that I can't remember hearing any at all.

whaaaa....! Giulini did a Bruckner with Bostson symphony orchestra!!?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on January 09, 2008, 11:53:09 AM
Very nice 8th under Tennstedt was floating around (Tanglewood broadcast), other than that I can't remember hearing any at all.

I second this one - that broadcast is very good (quite a firey interpretation). The rips of it circulating around seem to be of slightly variable sound quality, though... If somebody can't find a live link I could host it somewhere.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Don on January 09, 2008, 12:05:22 PM
Actually, I really am right now. There isn't really that much that interests me to do around here, as "nice" as it is. I am actually in the middle of finalizing negotiations for a job which would take me to Boston, MA. Hopefully, there is more action there. If I do move, I will probably uhaul myself and my stuff across the entire US. Mapquest says the shortest route takes me up to Chicago and then East. But isn't the weather in the Midwest totally horrible right now, with lots of ice and bad street conditions?

Not on a daily business.  Just do your driving, listen to weather reports and know where the motels are.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 09, 2008, 06:24:32 PM
The Tennstedt BSO 8 is magnificent. I recall a broadcast of the same symphony under Kubelik that blew me out of my seat - well, not quite: I was driving ;D

The only commercial recordings out there are a Leinsdorf 4 and a Steinberg 6 (both on RCA, I heard neither). During his tenure Steinberg also conducted the 7 and 8. All extant BSO recordings are listed here (http://www.abruckner.com/recordings/default.htm,search=Boston%20Symphony%20Orchestra).

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 09, 2008, 07:00:42 PM
For those of you on Operashare, there is now a Bruckner 7 with BSO/Tennstedt live from Tanglewood available among the recent uploads. Haven't heard it yet. Downloading as we speak.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on January 09, 2008, 07:13:07 PM
The Tennstedt BSO 8 is magnificent. I recall a broadcast of the same symphony under Kubelik that blew me out of my seat - well, not quite: I was driving ;D
Was this Kubelik with the BSO or another orchestra? I see there's a live Kubelik 8th on Orfeo: given how fine the 9th is I suspect it's only a matter of time before I acquire it.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 09, 2008, 07:58:48 PM
Was this Kubelik with the BSO or another orchestra? I see there's a live Kubelik 8th on Orfeo: given how fine the 9th is I suspect it's only a matter of time before I acquire it.

Methinks you're confusing BSO (Boston) with BRSO (Munich).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on January 09, 2008, 08:08:22 PM
Methinks you're confusing BSO (Boston) with BRSO (Munich).
No, I know what orchestra is on the Orfeo ones: I was wondering which orchestra was playing in the Kubelik 8th Lilas was mentioning hearing on the radio.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on January 09, 2008, 08:28:20 PM
No, I know what orchestra is on the Orfeo ones: I was wondering which orchestra was playing in the Kubelik 8th Lilas was mentioning hearing on the radio.

you should definitely check out Kubelik's 8th (orfeo).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 10, 2008, 09:06:25 AM
The Bruckner 7 with Tennstedt on Operashare is already deleted. I contacted the uploader and he said that he made a mistake there and encoded the files in mono. He will post the stereo version later today or tomorrow.

There was also a posting with the 8th with Tennstedt, but the links have expired. I requested it to be re-uploaded, let's see if the original poster or someone else does.

There is also a live Bruckner 9 with BSO/Janowski from October 2007 which I have just grabbed, but not yet listened to.

 
And here is the Scherzo from a concert given at the Suntory Hall, Toyko, 22 Oct 86, on the Altus label.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/gm2/Bruck5Celi.jpg)

Ripped and posted so that a sound quality comparison can be made:

http://rapidshare.de/files/38164406/bruckner5-scherzo.mp3.html

Sarge


This sounds pretty good, it appears fairly "realistic" to me. Actually a little "brassier" still than what I heard, but that performance was also a few years earlier, and in a different hall. It would be very interesting to hear the rest of the performance. I think the outer movements with their more layered textures would be more instructive as a comparison, especially the first movement.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 10, 2008, 07:15:29 PM
Was this Kubelik with the BSO or another orchestra? I see there's a live Kubelik 8th on Orfeo: given how fine the 9th is I suspect it's only a matter of time before I acquire it.

It was the BSO (Boston). The BRSO is a very fine performance, but some orchestral bloopers (brass mostly) are part and parcel of a very involved and dynamic performance. And although it dates from the sixties, it's in mono. I heard the Boston performance in the early eighties,  one of the orchestra's public broadcasts. IIRC the curtain raiser was a Handel op 6 concerto grosso.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on January 16, 2008, 09:33:37 PM
I just listened to Harding's performance of the most recent completion of the finale of the 9th. I seem to detect some interesting new twists and transitions in this version, including some fascinating new dissonances, but I would have to do a closer listening comparison to the Wildner to describe the differences more precisely. I am not happy with Harding though. There is less of a coherent conception of the movement than with Wildner. Harding's phrasing also tends towards the lumpy, interfering with the maintenance of a long line. The orchestra also doesn't sound quite convinced at times. Phrases just end without much care as to how.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav 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?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK 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
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia 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:

(http://www.thais.it/scultura/image/sch00068.jpg)

One can sense the dynamism (movement), the general aesthetic, the brute force that radiates from the uncarved marble.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 18, 2008, 08:27:05 PM
Looks like someone knocked the naughty bits off!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia 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
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg 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 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 21, 2008, 03:59:57 PM
A concert (http://www.brucknerfreunde.at/forum/konzertkritiken/4669-bruckner-9-n%E9zet-s%E9guin-cbso-%96-birmingham-19-1-08-english.html) 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.

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Varg 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?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm 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!  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav 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,
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510S1eHTx7L._AA240_.jpg)
and Klemperer's 8th with SWR (I have yet to listen to this recording).
(http://www.abruckner.com/newreleases/featurednewrelease/symphony8klemperer/mm021-2.jpg,3)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever 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.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Varg 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!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on January 24, 2008, 01:50:20 AM
[OT. Just a question: M forever = M für immer?]
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Varg on January 24, 2008, 02:14:28 AM
[OT. Just a question: M forever = M für immer?]

M für immer is the forum name of another member!! ;D

Sounds pretty alike, eh?!

Now that i think about it, it could be a (german?) translation of M forever. Maybe they're old pals or something!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on January 24, 2008, 02:43:05 AM
M für immer is the forum name of another member!! ;D

Sounds pretty alike, eh?!

Now that i think about it, it could be a (german?) translation of M forever. Maybe they're old pals or something!

Yes, it means exactly the same. And M forever is a German. That's why I'm asking...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: The new erato on January 24, 2008, 03:12:37 AM
maybe I should become Tojours M to add to the confusion.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on January 24, 2008, 03:23:35 AM
maybe I should become Tojours M to add to the confusion.

M forever - M für immer - Toujours M - M para siempre - M voor altijd... Yes, I see how this could go on forever!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 24, 2008, 11:17:05 AM
[OT. Just a question: M forever = M für immer?]

I am a little shocked that you confuse me with that little . . . who thiks it's funny to mock some other member's forum name. The completely different quality of the content of the posts should have made it obvious to you that these are two different posters. BTW, "M für immer" is not the correct translation of my member name into German.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on January 24, 2008, 11:44:37 AM
I am a little shocked that you confuse me with that little idiot who thiks it's funny to mock some other member's forum name. The completely different quality of the content of the posts should have made it obvious to you that these are two different posters. BTW, "M für immer" is not the correct translation of my member name into German.

Sorry to have offended you. Yes, the (knowledgeable) character of your contributions is unmistakable. Btw, how would you translate your name into German then?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on January 24, 2008, 03:50:18 PM
I wasn't offended. I am not easily offended anyway. I will tell you in a PM how that is properly translated. "M für immer" as a name does not make sense in German.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on January 24, 2008, 06:04:52 PM
I wasn't offended. I am not easily offended anyway. I will tell you in a PM how that is properly translated. "M für immer" as a name does not make sense in German.

I changed it, just because I know you still love me.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Steve on January 24, 2008, 09:15:49 PM
What do think of Karajan in is one?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: George on January 25, 2008, 07:56:55 AM
What do think of Karajan in is one?

Me don't know, Tarzan.  ;D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Varg on February 27, 2008, 06:12:58 AM
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/002-6163712-6096059?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=Bruckner+Celibidache&x=22&y=19

I'm looking for this set, but i cant find it anywhere except on amazon, and since i dont have a credit card, that's not an option. Anyone knows where i can find it?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Keemun on February 27, 2008, 07:21:05 AM
I'm looking for this set, but i cant find it anywhere except on amazon, and since i dont have a credit card, that's not an option. Anyone knows where i can find it?

Barns & Noble has this on its website (http://music.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?z=y&EAN=724355668820&itm=2) (albeit more expensively), which means you should be able to go into a local Barnes & Noble store and special order it, paying by your preferred method. 

Another option might be for you to go to a store and purchase a Visa gift card (http://usa.visa.com/personal/cards/prepaid/visa_gift_card.html) and then use the card to purchase the set on Amazon.com.

Of course, these options require that you live in a place where Barnes & Noble stores are located or Visa gift cards are available.  Good luck, I hope this helps.  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on February 27, 2008, 07:33:44 AM

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.

I think you mean Luebeck. As in this (http://www.amazon.com/Anton-Bruckner-Symphony-Cathedral-Recording/dp/B00000E6LD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1204126149&sr=8-1) recording. Yes the recording is fiendishly difficult to find in the States. I found it once on Ebay for about $10 and yes the performance is staggeringly good. It is almost as if Wand reached back for a little bit extra in this one. The dynamic shadings are so nuanced, so palpably layered, that no two phrases sound the same. The great Adagio has that feeling as if time just stops and you are just experiencing, not hearing the sound of heaven.

There is also a 9th at the same church. It is good but not as good as the 8th.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on February 27, 2008, 10:19:06 AM
Barns & Noble has this on its website (http://music.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?z=y&EAN=724355668820&itm=2) (albeit more expensively), which means you should be able to go into a local Barnes & Noble store and special order it, paying by your preferred method. 

Another option might be for you to go to a store and purchase a Visa gift card (http://usa.visa.com/personal/cards/prepaid/visa_gift_card.html) and then use the card to purchase the set on Amazon.com.

Of course, these options require that you live in a place where Barnes & Noble stores are located or Visa gift cards are available.  Good luck, I hope this helps.  :)

what a rip-off though, it's not worth that much money! I think another option is just to download from itunes, or get the individual performances (which ironically sells for a much lower price!). Plus, it's a mix-bag, Celi's intepretations are fascinating, and it worked great for the 4th and 8th, the 9th is kind of disappointing, and i don't even remember the rest, so you might want to just get 4th, and if you like what you hear, try to get the rest, either from amazon or ebay.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on February 27, 2008, 10:21:35 AM
I think you mean Luebeck. As in this (http://www.amazon.com/Anton-Bruckner-Symphony-Cathedral-Recording/dp/B00000E6LD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1204126149&sr=8-1) recording. Yes the recording is fiendishly difficult to find in the States. I found it once on Ebay for about $10 and yes the performance is staggeringly good. It is almost as if Wand reached back for a little bit extra in this one. The dynamic shadings are so nuanced, so palpably layered, that no two phrases sound the same. The great Adagio has that feeling as if time just stops and you are just experiencing, not hearing the sound of heaven.

There is also a 9th at the same church. It is good but not as good as the 8th.


The church acoustics definitely helped those two recordings. Btw, I think your memory is failing you or something, but, I don't think an rare recording like that (Wand NDR 8th in Luebeck) would only fetch 10 dollars. My estimation is at 30 dollars or more(depending upon the condition of course).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on February 27, 2008, 10:25:05 PM
Anyone know if the Karajan 8th DVD on Sony classics has good sound? I know the performance is definitely a killer but Sony classics don't usually do justice to their DVD recordings...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on February 28, 2008, 04:47:36 AM
I don't think an rare recording like that (Wand NDR 8th in Luebeck) would only fetch 10 dollars. My estimation is at 30 dollars or more(depending upon the condition of course).
Well it was BUYNOW at $10 plus some shipping charge. The seller had listed a boaload of stuff for sale, single disc for $5 and duals for $10 . It was in flawless condition. I caught it just about right at the start of the auction otherwise I am sure given a few more minutes someone would have grabbed it.

You'll be surprised to see how much or how little some "rare" recordings would fetch. Giulini's WP 8th is pretty rare (yes you can get it from Japan) but once I saw it listed for $20 and didn't sell. I also saw it in the record stored used for $6 and no one touched it for weeks.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Varg on March 01, 2008, 03:54:18 PM
Barns & Noble has this on its website (http://music.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?z=y&EAN=724355668820&itm=2) (albeit more expensively), which means you should be able to go into a local Barnes & Noble store and special order it, paying by your preferred method. 

Another option might be for you to go to a store and purchase a Visa gift card (http://usa.visa.com/personal/cards/prepaid/visa_gift_card.html) and then use the card to purchase the set on Amazon.com.

Of course, these options require that you live in a place where Barnes & Noble stores are located or Visa gift cards are available.  Good luck, I hope this helps.  :)

It finally appeared on Ebay. I got it new for 150$ shipped!

Thanks for your help.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on March 01, 2008, 04:19:24 PM
It finally appeared on Ebay. I got it new for 150$ shipped!

Thanks for your help.

wow, i thought no one would buy those over-priced cds, but apparently you did. Well, enjoy the music then, i hope you won't be too disappointed by them.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on March 01, 2008, 05:03:01 PM
Goddang, the grandeur and beauty of Bruckner's chorale is incomparable to any other composer's. Just heard the 5th and the 7th by Wand and BPO, and boy was that soul-touching.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Varg on March 01, 2008, 05:08:10 PM
wow, i thought no one would buy those over-priced cds, but apparently you did. Well, enjoy the music then, i hope you won't be too disappointed by them.

I'm sure i won't, that's why i paid big money for it. And it's not that bad, since the individual recordings cost around 30$ each, most of them being unavailable anywhere.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on March 01, 2008, 06:21:53 PM
It finally appeared on Ebay. I got it new for 150$ shipped!

Thanks for your help.
Why wouldn't you just buy from Amazon. It sells for $127 and shipping is free as in here (http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphonies-Nos-Mass-minor/dp/B0000246CT/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1204424427&sr=8-1).

Or maybe you don't live in the U.S.?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Varg on March 01, 2008, 06:24:49 PM
Why wouldn't you just buy from Amazon. It sells for $127 and shipping is free as in here (http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphonies-Nos-Mass-minor/dp/B0000246CT/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1204424427&sr=8-1).

Or maybe you don't live in the U.S.?

Because i dont have a credit card.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on March 01, 2008, 06:32:13 PM
Because i dont have a credit card.
Oh, missed that part. So you paid with money order on ebay? That's pretty risky.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on March 02, 2008, 01:59:42 AM
I wonder if I should acquire some of Sanderling's Bruckner. Does anybody here consider him among the top choices for these individual symphonies? And how are his performances interpretation-wise? I generally like this conductor in other repertoire.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/4010276011477.jpg)  (http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0881488502022.jpg)  (http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0782124215125.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Wanderer on March 02, 2008, 03:27:10 AM
Anyone know if the Karajan 8th DVD on Sony classics has good sound? I know the performance is definitely a killer but Sony classics don't usually do justice to their DVD recordings...

I second the question, any comments on this release?

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0886972023991.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: toledobass on March 02, 2008, 08:42:35 AM
I wonder if I should acquire some of Sanderling's Bruckner. Does anybody here consider him among the top choices for these individual symphonies? And how are his performances interpretation-wise? I generally like this conductor in other repertoire.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/4010276011477.jpg)  (http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0881488502022.jpg)  (http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0782124215125.jpg)

I haven't heard the others,  but that 7th is one of my favorite performances of that symphony.  It's been a while,  but the things that I like in the performance are all based around pacing of the line and transitions from section to section being effortless and unjarring.  The tempo are excellently thought out and are such that allow the line to breath and bloom while still mainaining some sense of forward motion. 

Sorry I can't offer more, get it though. Excellent music making on that disk.

Allan   
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Keemun on March 02, 2008, 09:24:17 AM
It finally appeared on Ebay. I got it new for 150$ shipped!

Thanks for your help.

You're welcome. :)  Let us know how you like them.  I only have the 8th symphony from that set.


I wonder if I should acquire some of Sanderling's Bruckner. Does anybody here consider him among the top choices for these individual symphonies? And how are his performances interpretation-wise? I generally like this conductor in other repertoire.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/4010276011477.jpg)  (http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0881488502022.jpg)  (http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0782124215125.jpg)

The 7th is quite good.  Karajan is still my top choice, but this one is not far behind.  Unfortunately, I have not heard the rest. 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Varg on March 02, 2008, 09:24:57 AM
Oh, missed that part. So you paid with money order on ebay? That's pretty risky.

Not really; i'm sending 2-3 money orders a month since 5 years or so and never had any problem.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Varg on March 02, 2008, 09:39:01 AM
have you listened through it? I don't know, I listened the whole thing, and i thought the 4th and the 8th were very interesting and "must have" performances, the rest are not so memorable.

Again, unless you are a collector, i don't thinik people should pay that much money for it. 150 dollars can get you 2-3 bruckner cycles (with much more interesting interpretations too). By that, meant Wand's cycle (the earlier one), Eichhorn's cycle on Camerata, and either of Jochum's cylces.

I'm not the the kind who needs several different interpretations of a work; usually i'm comparing all the different versions of a work, by listening to hours of samples, and go for my overall favorite (tempo being the most important criteria). It's the music that's important to me, i just have to find the "right recording, based on my personal taste and how a particular work should sound (to me). And, in that case, no one came even close to Celibidache, except maybe for the 9th.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on March 02, 2008, 09:49:12 AM
I'm not the the kind who needs several different interpretations of a work; usually i'm comparing all the different versions of a work, by listening to hours of samples, and go for my overall favorite (tempo being the most important criteria). It's the music that's important to me, i just have to find the "right recording, based on my personal taste and how a particular work should sound (to me). And, in that case, no one came even close to Celibidache, except maybe for the 9th.

what about the early symphonies? 0,00, 1st, 2nd symphonies?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on March 02, 2008, 12:00:14 PM
I second the question, any comments on this release?

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0886972023991.jpg)

The soundtracks on the Sony DVDs are the same ones as the DG releases on CD of the same performances. It even says "soundtrack for a Telemondial film production" or something similar on the back of the DG discs. So whether one considers these recordings as having "good sound" or not, it is basically the same quality on the CD and the DVD.

What is that release pictured above? Are those films, and if so, which ones? Is the 9th with the BP? Was it filmed/recorded in 1985? If so, I will definitely get it since, like I said somewhere above, I was in the concert in which that was filmed, and so far, it had only been available in VHS and on DVD only as Japanese import.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on March 06, 2008, 10:21:19 PM
Has anybody here heard these recordings? Blomstedt and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig  seems like a good pairing in this music, and it has received some very positive comments over at rmcr.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/4025796007084.jpg)  (http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/4025796006049.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Wanderer on March 08, 2008, 12:10:10 AM
The soundtracks on the Sony DVDs are the same ones as the DG releases on CD of the same performances. It even says "soundtrack for a Telemondial film production" or something similar on the back of the DG discs. So whether one considers these recordings as having "good sound" or not, it is basically the same quality on the CD and the DVD.

What is that release pictured above? Are those films, and if so, which ones? Is the 9th with the BP? Was it filmed/recorded in 1985? If so, I will definitely get it since, like I said somewhere above, I was in the concert in which that was filmed, and so far, it had only been available in VHS and on DVD only as Japanese import.

As for the Eighth, do you mean this one--)(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0028942761124.jpg)?

As for your other questions, I don't know; I wasn't able to locate any additional info about this DVD online.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on March 08, 2008, 12:25:18 AM
The DG album of Bruckner 8 with the WP pictured above is the same performance as the Sony DVD. The DVD with the 8th and 9th and the b&w pic of HvK is, according to amazon.de, from Sony, too, so that is most likely the same performance of the 8th, and probably (hopefully!) the 9th I mentioned that was filmed live in Berlin in 1985 and previously published by Sony, but only on DVD in Japan.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Wanderer on March 13, 2008, 07:14:53 AM
Is the 9th with the BP? Was it filmed/recorded in 1985?

Yes and yes!  8) It was delivered today, so I can confirm, as is specified in the booklet, that:

Symphony No.9 (BPO) was recorded in November 1985 at the Philharmonie, Berlin.
Symphony No.8 (VPO) was recorded in November 1988 at Grosser Musikvereinsaal, Vienna.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on March 13, 2008, 07:22:19 PM
Newly acquired, and in the listening queue: Knappertsbusch recordings of symphonies 3-5 and 7-9. Various orchestras are involved (WP, BPO, Bavarian Opera), and apart from the familiar studio WP 5th, all are live recordings. Recordings date from 1949 - 1956. Fascinating listening in perspective!

Less stellar, but not to be neglected: the Ormandy-Philadelphia 4th anf the Haenchen Netherlands PO 3rd. The Ormandy impresssed me when I heard it at my brother's place a few years ago (much to my surprise, to be honest). I look forward to reacquaint myself with what I found to be a honest, beautifully crafted yet powerful reading. The Haenchen 3rd is an inknown quantity, but if it was recorded in the Concertgebouw, it cannot but flatter what is the netherlands' "second" orchestra.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: toledobass on March 23, 2008, 02:52:32 PM
I'm posting about Bruckner's 9th being played by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra this week, here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3580.msg160160.html#msg160160).

Allan
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: quintett op.57 on March 24, 2008, 04:15:08 AM
Although I'm not a believer, I've heard his 2nd mass 4 times this Easter w-end.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on March 24, 2008, 06:05:15 AM
Yes and yes!  8) It was delivered today, so I can confirm, as is specified in the booklet, that:

Symphony No.9 (BPO) was recorded in November 1985 at the Philharmonie, Berlin.
Symphony No.8 (VPO) was recorded in November 1988 at Grosser Musikvereinsaal, Vienna.


Oh, good! I will definitely get that even though I already have the video of the 8th. I look forward to watching the video of the 9th very much - it has been 22 years, but I remember the concert as if it had been yesterday. Or let's say, the day before yesterday. Maybe I am even in the video - me and my then girlfriend (that was my first "serious" girlfriend  ;D back then, we were both 16) sat right next to the orchestra on the right side. That was a Sunday morning concert actually (I think it was 11am) and it had snowed massively the night before, I remember how we fought our way through the snow to the underground station in the morning. The video was filmed and broadcast live by the 2nd German TV station. At one point in the concert, IIRC it was in the slow movement, one fo the cameramen on the left side almost fell off the stage and made a big noise. That should actually be audible in the video!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on March 24, 2008, 04:24:32 PM
Latest listening: the 8th under Haitink, the commercial 1981 Concertgebouw recording. For some reson this had been off my radar ever since it first came out, even though the first (1969) Haitink COA has been of my favourite versions for over 30 years. Thank God for used record shops!

This is certifiably Haitink Concertgebouw, although it's hugely different from that 1969 version or the mid 90s WP one. The latter is the least interesting. The WP sound tired, or at best only mildly interested. The 1981 has pretty much the same tempi, but the inimitable playing and acoustics bring a welcome tang to the sound (brass especially). Everything sounds more 'in', from the timpani punctuations to the horn solos, to the wind chirpings or grave musings. Although they are slightly less powerful than in Vienna, the horns and trombones have a spatial presence that compensates. This time around, Haitink is not against some agogic and rythmic underlining. The first movement is the one that best responds to the added 12 minutes' playing time. It has an organic cogency that simply dispenses with any notion of 'time'. Quite unique, I say. All that being said, the magnificent playing and recording do not trump the extra zest and excitement found in the first recording (1969, not 1960 as various sources have it - the Philips back cover among others  ::)). THAT belongs to the top half-dozen. The 1981 will satisfy those who enjoy Karajan or Wand, among those of the more spacious persuasion.

I have a 2002 SD Haitink to listen to and I note that, 20 years on, he takes the scherzo a full minute faster.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: ChamberNut on March 25, 2008, 08:06:59 AM
Currently reading Robert Simpson's analysis of Bruckner's symphonies in The Essence of Bruckner.

So far, after reading the analysis of the Symphonies 1 to 3, he praises Bruckner's genius in general.  At the same time, he is quite critical (perhaps even harshly so) of the 3rd Symphony.  He also describes it as the weakest of all Bruckner numbered symphonies.

On to reading about # 4.  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on March 25, 2008, 10:08:53 AM
Currently reading Robert Simpson's analysis of Bruckner's symphonies in The Essence of Bruckner.

So far, after reading the analysis of the Symphonies 1 to 3, he praises Bruckner's genius in general.  At the same time, he is quite critical (perhaps even harshly so) of the 3rd Symphony.  He also describes it as the weakest of all Bruckner numbered symphonies.

On to reading about # 4.  :)

Sarge would concur - Simpson's 'Essence of Bruckner' is essential reading, just as his book on Nielsen. Simpson has very pertinent ideas about symphonic form, with which you can agree or not. His criticism of the Third is formally correct, but to me doesn't make this work one iota less powerful... What comes across is a fine intelligence, and passion. Simpson is always a joy to read (and I admire his symphonies, too).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on March 25, 2008, 02:01:12 PM
Currently reading Robert Simpson's analysis of Bruckner's symphonies in The Essence of Bruckner.

So far, after reading the analysis of the Symphonies 1 to 3, he praises Bruckner's genius in general.  At the same time, he is quite critical (perhaps even harshly so) of the 3rd Symphony.  He also describes it as the weakest of all Bruckner numbered symphonies.

On to reading about # 4.  :)

I read that book long ago, i still have it in fact, you remind me btw, that i need to return it!
and, yes, Simpson does go into detail, which seems almost too "technical" for most people. Remember he merely tries to see Bruckner's symphonies from a "composer's perspective", so he pretty much tries to be as neutral as possible and basically makes a ton of analysis of Bruckner's music. He picks passages here and there, which if you don't know music, (or have an intimate knowledge of Bruckner's symphonies), you will have no idea what he is talking about. So, this is definitely not a beginner read, if you are a beginner, you should stay away.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: ChamberNut on March 26, 2008, 09:14:32 AM
Can anyone recommended great recordings of Bruckner's String Quintet?

Thank you.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on March 26, 2008, 12:52:14 PM
Can anyone recommended great recordings of Bruckner's String Quintet?

Thank you.

It's not exactly overflowing with them, and AFAIK they're all good. Only really committed musicians seem to have taken it up. Go with your pocket or preference of coupling.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: eyeresist on March 27, 2008, 03:59:35 PM
I'm waiting for a really good orchestration of the quintet. I know it's been arranged for string orchestra, but, with Bruckner's characteristic style, I can hear which lines would go to the brass and which to the strings....
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on March 29, 2008, 09:37:26 AM
Could this Bruckner book by Derek Watsen be a good alternative for one who still cannot take too much technical details?

http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Master-Musicians-Derek-Watson/dp/0198166176/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206811182&sr=1-7

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/418DC8MH3YL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on March 29, 2008, 10:33:03 AM
Could this Bruckner book by Derek Watsen be a good alternative for one who still cannot take too much technical details?

The Master Musicians series usually provides an excellent, and accessible, introduction, although I don't know this one. I have read a great many throughout the years.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on March 29, 2008, 12:49:11 PM
Story of my life. On Amazon US that book is $8, on UK it's £13 :P
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on March 29, 2008, 01:52:10 PM
Thank you both for the comments. The book will be ordered. :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on March 29, 2008, 02:16:49 PM
Thank you both for the comments. The book will be ordered. :)

Please tell us, after you have read it, what you think of it (and what you have learned)!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on March 29, 2008, 02:17:33 PM
Please tell us, after you have read it, what you think about it (and what you have learned)!

Will do!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Varg on April 02, 2008, 04:33:41 PM
I saw the Karajan 9th and the Jochum 7th on youtube. They both sounds sublime, but both of them recorded those twice, and i dont know which recordings to get (i want the versions you'll hear on the links).

http://youtube.com/watch?v=NZL6bNqBNwM (Jochum 7th)

The DG or the EMI/Brilliant?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Fh514blhFjE (Karajan 9th)

The two DG recordings:

http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphony-Herbert-von-Karajan/dp/B00000E4II/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1207181815&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphony-Herbert-von-Karajan/dp/B00000E4II/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1207181815&sr=1-1

I know the later is from the Karajan box. Does it come with jewel cases or with "slim paper" cases?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on April 02, 2008, 05:21:11 PM
I saw the Karajan 9th and the Jochum 7th on youtube. They both sounds sublime, but both of them recorded those twice, and i dont know which recordings to get (i want the versions you'll hear on the links).

far more than just twice my friend, they recorded those pieces multiple times.


http://youtube.com/watch?v=NZL6bNqBNwM (Jochum 7th)

The DG or the EMI/Brilliant?

Neither, instead (taken from Abruckner.com):
Altus ALT DVD 008    (the one on Youtube)
Altus CD 015/6   
Antec AM 2051   
Bells of St.Florian


as for the Karajan 9th, according to Abruckner.com it has never been released on CDs, yet.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 02, 2008, 07:08:18 PM
Like we discussed above, the Karajan performance of the 9th on Youtube is now available on DVD, and I will definitely get it soon.

I would be careful with recommending any of those Altus or Bells of St.Florian discs unless you actually know it - some of these discs come from, well, "unofficial" sources and sometimes sound really bad... But I wouldn't mind having that myself because I heard Jochum and the Concertgebouworkest play the 7th in Berlin during the same tour, also very powerful memories and unfortunately the only time I saw Jochum live - he passed away not long afterwards.

In the meantime, you can get either the DG recording or the one on EMI, I personally prefer the latter because it has the Staatskapelle Dresden which I prefer to the Berliner Philharmoniker, not in general, but definitely here, and as good as the BP recording is, the degree of spontaneity and freedom of the playing, and how they react to Jochum's conducting is just marvelous in this recording, actually in the whole cycle, which is why you should have the complete box, either from EMI or Brilliant. The chemistry between Jochum and the SD was great, and their unique style of playing which is both very robust and refined, very lyrical but also extremely powerful, all in the right places in the right degrees, that matches Jochum's unpretentious and direct approach to the music superbly. Plus the sound, while a little on the bright side, is better on the EMI recording.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on April 02, 2008, 07:26:47 PM
Two things to note:

The soundtracks on the newly-released Sony Karajan DVDs are not the same as the CD, and previous DVD, releases.

If you look it up, they've remastered them via a rather peculiar - but, I can attest, very effective - process: playing back the source tape in the original recording venues, and re-recording the result in 5.1 surround sound.


As I commented, the results are (as far as the Beethoven cycle I've listened through goes) rather excellent indeed, and not only for the "surround" factor. The sound has more presence, and feels night-infinitely more rich.

So these Bruckner performances as well should have a new "aural perspective"; at least in a way. :)


The second thing I'd like to note is that I bought all the releases in that series in advance, including the Bruckner. And I do have a competent enough 5.1 system to watch/listen to them on. Therefore, I will be getting back to you. ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Wanderer on April 03, 2008, 06:06:31 AM
... they've remastered them via a rather peculiar - but, I can attest, very effective - process: playing back the source tape in the original recording venues, and re-recording the result in 5.1 surround sound.

Does this mean that the 2-channel LPCM track has also been manipulated in this way?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on April 03, 2008, 09:51:11 AM
Does this mean that the 2-channel LPCM track has also been manipulated in this way?

Alas, I am almost certain that it has not. :(
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 03, 2008, 04:43:12 PM
Alas? I think that would be good. That concept sounds very strange to me, playing back a recording and rerecording it, even if it is in the same venue - it could be that it really works very well, and I will find out sooner or later because I want to have these films, but I am very suspicious of that technique. It really looks like a very silly gimmick to me. The reverb information is already there on the originals, if only in "two-dimensional" form, playing that back and recording it doesn't seem to me to make any sense. That's like putting a still photo up and filming it - but it's still a still (pun!). Or rather like generating 3D material from 2D sources. I remember 2-3 years ago at a cinematech industry convention, I went to a seminar held by George Lucas and James Cameron in which they blablaed about how all the movies wil be 3D in the future and all classics will be reformatted through a new process (the name of which escapes me at the moment), and they showed extensive clips from the original Star Wars and Terminator 2 which had been "threedimensionalized" through that process. For a moment, it didn't look too bad at all, and there was some "aah" and some "ooh" but after just a short while, after the surprise effect had worn off, it started to look really bad because then you saw that the characters were all still 2D (in other words, flat like paper cut-outs), they were just on different depth planes in the image (IIRC, the process basically works by analyzing the image for outlines with different degrees of sharpness and then staggering those elements depending on how much in or out of focus they are.

OK, that doesn't have *that* much to do with sound recording, but in general, information which was there but is not stored in the recording can not be retrieved or simulated somehow. That simply doesn't work. Playing a recording back in a concert hall is already a very different kind of source from having an orchestra sit there and play. But we will see (or hear). Maybe I am totally wrong, but this kind of stuff makes me very, very sceptical. I hope they didn't mess up the recordings for some silly gimmicky effect.

Besides, whatever spatial information is there in the 2-channel recording can be underlined a little by ProLogic decoding which every home receiver has.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on April 03, 2008, 06:30:26 PM
It is a gimmick. But it's one I enjoyed, as a different (and to my ears at the very least satisfactory alternative) take on recordings I've already heard otherwise, and love. Hence the "alas", M.


Otherwise, yes, the "still image" is very much still a still. ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 03, 2008, 10:56:34 PM
I remember 2-3 years ago at a cinematech industry convention, I went to a seminar held by George Lucas and James Cameron in which they blablaed about how all the movies wil be 3D in the future and all classics will be reformatted through a new process (the name of which escapes me at the moment), and they showed extensive clips from the original Star Wars and Terminator 2 which had been "threedimensionalized" through that process. For a moment, it didn't look too bad at all, and there was some "aah" and some "ooh" but after just a short while, after the surprise effect had worn off, it started to look really bad because then you saw that the characters were all still 2D (in other words, flat like paper cut-outs), they were just on different depth planes in the image (IIRC, the process basically works by analyzing the image for outlines with different degrees of sharpness and then staggering those elements depending on how much in or out of focus they are).

Very interesting!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 09, 2008, 04:22:10 PM
This week I listened to the first commercially available recording of the 6th symphony under an unknown conductor and a second rate orchestra. They are Heinrich Swoboda and the Vienna Symphony (no great shakes at the time - 1950). I was not exactly floored, but close to. This interpretation has sweep, tremendous grip and absolute trust in its chosen point of view. The sheer confidence of the reading is almost intimidating.

Despite obvious sonic limitations, I noticed many instrumental details that brought a particular light on many wind and esp. horn lines. Low strings are extremely forceful. Rarely have the first moments of the scherzo sounded so much like the beginning of the Mahler 6th. Obviously it's vice versa, but the kinship at Swoboda's extremely slow tempo and forceful accenting of the beat is unmistakable. I immediately checked the tempo indication and, lo and behold, it says "Scherzo - Nicht schnell" - not fast. At over 10 minutes there's no comparison with Jochum or Haitink who sail petulantly through this movement (under 8 minutes).

Every movement has the stamp of authority on it. The Adagio at over 21 minutes sounded not a second too long, although it's fully 6 minutes faster than Klemperer or Keilberth. Magnificent from first note to last. As I said, there are sonic limitations. The sonic image is compressed, which plays havoc with the  timpani and trumpet parts, which might as well have been omitted. Nevertheless the dynamic range is ok and the mid range has very good presence.

This is available on Berky's site (free download) and for the historically inclined I recommend it. Released on an austrian Westminster lp, where the conductor's first name is spelled Heinrich. But as the last name implies, he was czech and bios have him under  Henry Swoboda.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 09, 2008, 09:01:22 PM
I am intrigued. Where is 'Berky's site'?

Johan
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on April 09, 2008, 10:23:17 PM
I am intrigued. Where is 'Berky's site'?

http://www.abruckner.com/ A super page :D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 09, 2008, 10:29:52 PM
http://www.abruckner.com/ A super page :D

Dl'ing as I write... Thanks!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: ChamberNut on April 10, 2008, 03:15:06 AM
http://www.abruckner.com/ A super page :D

Thank you!  I bookmarked this page.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 10, 2008, 05:39:46 AM
This week I listened to the first commercially available recording of the 6th symphony under an unknown conductor and a second rate orchestra. They are Heinrich Swoboda and the Vienna Symphony (no great shakes at the time - 1950). I was not exactly floored, but close to. This interpretation has sweep, tremendous grip and absolute trust in its chosen point of view. The sheer confidence of the reading is almost intimidating.

The Wiener Symphoniker are not a "second rate" orchestra. They are Vienna's full-time concert orchestra (while the Philharmoniker play quite a few concerts, they are still primarily an opera orchestra) and on a good night, you can't tell them apart from the Philharmoniker. They may not always play on quite that level, but then very few orchestras in the world can and do anyway. There are many, many good musicians in Vienna and not all of them can get a position with the WP. That doesn't mean they aren't good professional musicians. Please be careful with nonsense like that. Your little reviews are thought-through and interesting to read, but hurwitzisms like that make them look silly. Especially when you go on saying how great the recording is. Recently, you wrote something similar about Nagano and how he is not a Brucknerian whom nobody has told that he could conduct Bruckner. That was a little silly and hurwitzy, too. You don't need that.
BTW, during that time period, Karajan worked very extensively with the WS, and Furtwängler conducted them often in the 20s and 30s. Later they worked with Sawallisch, Giulini, and Rozhdestvensky, among others. Hardly a second rate "line-up".
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: head-case on April 10, 2008, 07:06:09 AM

I assume that the process is to use the recording of hall reverberation to supply signals for the rear surround channels and to keep the original recording more or less intact for the front channels.  That hall reverberation is sufficiently present in the originals is not clear, since in that era live recordings were typically made with a large number of unidirectional microphones placed close to the musicians, which would not pick much hall reverberation.  I would think they would have some additional microphones high above the orchestra to pick up reverberation, but maybe they were not kept separate in their master tape.   

Alas? I think that would be good. That concept sounds very strange to me, playing back a recording and rerecording it, even if it is in the same venue - it could be that it really works very well, and I will find out sooner or later because I want to have these films, but I am very suspicious of that technique. It really looks like a very silly gimmick to me. The reverb information is already there on the originals, if only in "two-dimensional" form, playing that back and recording it doesn't seem to me to make any sense. That's like putting a still photo up and filming it - but it's still a still (pun!). Or rather like generating 3D material from 2D sources. I remember 2-3 years ago at a cinematech industry convention, I went to a seminar held by George Lucas and James Cameron in which they blablaed about how all the movies wil be 3D in the future and all classics will be reformatted through a new process (the name of which escapes me at the moment), and they showed extensive clips from the original Star Wars and Terminator 2 which had been "threedimensionalized" through that process. For a moment, it didn't look too bad at all, and there was some "aah" and some "ooh" but after just a short while, after the surprise effect had worn off, it started to look really bad because then you saw that the characters were all still 2D (in other words, flat like paper cut-outs), they were just on different depth planes in the image (IIRC, the process basically works by analyzing the image for outlines with different degrees of sharpness and then staggering those elements depending on how much in or out of focus they are.

OK, that doesn't have *that* much to do with sound recording, but in general, information which was there but is not stored in the recording can not be retrieved or simulated somehow. That simply doesn't work. Playing a recording back in a concert hall is already a very different kind of source from having an orchestra sit there and play. But we will see (or hear). Maybe I am totally wrong, but this kind of stuff makes me very, very sceptical. I hope they didn't mess up the recordings for some silly gimmicky effect.

Besides, whatever spatial information is there in the 2-channel recording can be underlined a little by ProLogic decoding which every home receiver has.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 10, 2008, 05:15:15 PM
M forever, I stand by what I wrote, esp. considering the context I mentioned (immediate post-war Vienna), as well as mentioning the real virtues of the playing in this particular instance (did you read that far? After all, it was only a little review, it can't have been that hard?). But then, I listened to the recording, and you obviously didn't.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Daverz on April 10, 2008, 05:40:06 PM
The Wiener Symphoniker are not a "second rate" orchestra.

They could be pretty scrappy sounding in some of those 1950s recordings, though (E.g. Mahler 1 with Horenstein).  I suppose it could have been from lack of rehearsal.  You can bet that Vox and similar labels wouldn't have paid for any.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 10, 2008, 07:59:15 PM
M forever, I stand by what I wrote, esp. considering the context I mentioned (immediate post-war Vienna), as well as mentioning the real virtues of the playing in this particular instance (did you read that far? After all, it was only a little review, it can't have been that hard?). But then, I listened to the recording, and you obviously didn't.

No, I wasn't, I wasn't talking about that particular recording anyway, but about the Wiener Symphoniker in general, and I was just pointing out that those hurwitzisms unnecessarily detract from the readability of your reviews.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 11, 2008, 02:52:17 AM
That's ok , point taken. Maybe 'second tier' would have been more appropriate than 'second rate'. In any case, it's too bad my writing style distracted from exploring the very real merits of this performance. In its chosen point of view, it is stunning. Free download from John Berky's Anton Bruckner site.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 11, 2008, 02:55:51 AM
That's ok , point taken. Maybe 'second tier' would have been more appropriate than 'second rate'. In any case, it's too bad my writing style distracted from exploring the very real merits of this performance. In its chosen point of view, it is stunning. Free download from John Berky's Anton Bruckner site.

Not everybody is as sensitive to 'hurwitzisms' as M... Your message rang out loud and clear, LP. And I am glad I know this performance.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 11, 2008, 03:40:50 PM
Thanks, I'm glad to see the performance's merits were recognized. But I'm sincere when I say 'point taken'. There's always validity to any criticism. I admit I was taken aback by the 'hurwitzism' thing, though. I've made a point to delete Classicstoday from my favourites a long time ago, precisely because sweeping and wholesale judgments are so totally alien to my own way of conducting interpersonal relations (and a "review" is such a thing, it's never abstract or detached from the 'object' it is purporting to inform others about).

On the subject of Nagano's Bruckner though I remain firm: I've heard him twice in concert (5 and 9) and three times on records or broadcast (3, 6, and 8 ). Only his Berlin  8th has any definite point of view and comes acrosss as both a recreation of the score and an artistic statement. For the others (4 out of 5) he falls short by quite a margin.

Now, I'm just listening to some Suppé overtures performed by the LPO in 1951 and conducted by Solti (Otterhouse website (http://homepages.ipact.nl/~otterhouse/), free downloads again). For anyone interested, I heartily recommend a listen. I suspect some quite strong 'hurwitzisms' will readily come to mind... ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: head-case on April 11, 2008, 06:44:45 PM
Now, I'm just listening to some Suppé overtures performed by the LPO in 1951 and conducted by Solti (Otterhouse website (http://homepages.ipact.nl/~otterhouse/), free downloads again). For anyone interested, I heartily recommend a listen. I suspect some quite strong 'hurwitzisms' will readily come to mind... ;)

I have that Solti/Suppe on LP, it is truly extraordinary, better even than his later stereo version with the VPO.  Shame that Decca has apparently never gone back to the master tapes to do a proper reissue of it.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 12, 2008, 04:47:13 AM
In its way it is truly amazing. The orchestra play like heroes, and sound like they gobbled down speed tablets before the recording sessions to be up to Solti's speed demon conducting :o. I much prefer a more relaxed way with these works, but there's no denying the physical excitement these high octane interpretations provide. Although it was taped in 1951, the sound is quite good.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: head-case on April 12, 2008, 04:54:33 AM
I much prefer a more relaxed way with these works, but there's no denying the physical excitement these high octane interpretations provide. Although it was taped in 1951, the sound is quite good.

They you're looking at Dutoit, who conducts the pieces like lullabies.  In my view there is no point in such an approach, since the music itself doesn't have much much intrinsic content.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 13, 2008, 07:27:21 AM
They you're looking at Dutoit, who conducts the pieces like lullabies.  In my view there is no point in such an approach, since the music itself doesn't have much much intrinsic content.


 ??? ???

I was thinking more of the gorgeous Mehta VPO, Karajan, Paray..., all of whom show lots of verve and vigour. Excitement and energy are not synonymous with speed, a concept that still seems to elude some people...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 13, 2008, 07:36:42 PM
Indeed, and there is another concept that eldues a lot of people which Dutoit understands very well. It is called "style".
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: head-case on April 13, 2008, 09:06:47 PM
Indeed, and there is another concept that eldues a lot of people which Dutoit understands very well. It is called "style".
Which is recordings of Suppe exhibit a total lack of.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: head-case on April 13, 2008, 09:07:41 PM
I was thinking more of the gorgeous Mehta VPO, Karajan, Paray..., all of whom show lots of verve and vigour. Excitement and energy are not synonymous with speed, a concept that still seems to elude some people...

The brilliance of Solti's recording of these pieces had very little to do with speed.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 14, 2008, 03:52:25 AM
Which is recordings of Suppe exhibit a total lack of.


Many of your postings here show clearly that you have no idea what musical style is (or rather, what musical styles are), when it comes to both compositions and performance styles, so but I will stick with Dutoit when it comes to that question. But thanks for your contribution anyway.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: head-case on April 14, 2008, 04:37:01 AM
Many of your postings here show clearly that you have no idea what musical style is (or rather, what musical styles are), when it comes to both compositions and performance styles, so but I will stick with Dutoit when it comes to that question. But thanks for your contribution anyway.

Most of your postings here show clearly that "doesn't agree with you" is equivalent to "doesn't know anything."  But thanks for your sarcastic remark.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on April 15, 2008, 06:04:34 PM
Most of your postings here show clearly that "doesn't agree with you" is equivalent to "doesn't know anything."  But thanks for your sarcastic remark.


He's a hopeless case, head, save yourself some time and listen to some Bruckner instead!  ;) He might think we are worth his time (seeing as he makes sarcastic remarks to the posts of people who dont agree with him all the time), but he is definitely not worth our time!  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 15, 2008, 07:50:04 PM
Looks like you two found each other! Have fun in the kiddie corner! Perfect FIFTH, bring some cookies for your new friend.

Most of your postings here show clearly that "doesn't agree with you" is equivalent to "doesn't know anything."

Very true, that's because most people here - like you - really have nothing of interest to say. If you want to participate in a discussion, you have to have something to say, and you have to have to be able to back up your views and arguments. Some can do that, and they can be very interesting discussion partners - especially when they disagree with me but can make points -, but you are unfortunately not one of them. Sorry!

But you can play with Perfect FIFTH while the grownups have their discussions, so don't be sad, OK?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on April 15, 2008, 08:33:51 PM
Looks like you two found each other! Have fun in the kiddie corner! Perfect FIFTH, bring some cookies for your new friend.

Very true, that's because most people here - like you - really have nothing of interest to say. If you want to participate in a discussion, you have to have something to say, and you have to have to be able to back up your views and arguments. Some can do that, and they can be very interesting discussion partners - especially when they disagree with me but can make points -, but you are unfortunately not one of them. Sorry!

But you can play with Perfect FIFTH while the grownups have their discussions, so don't be sad, OK?

Ooh look who's talking! That's right, he's responding to our posts again! See, head-case? He proved me right, he really wasn't going to give up any chance to waste his time on us.  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on April 15, 2008, 10:07:44 PM
Is this Haitink's 1981 recording of the Bruckner 9th? What do you think about it? I have heard his reindition of the scherzo should be quite something.

http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphony-No-9-Haitink/dp/B00000E2LS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1208329382&sr=1-1

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/02/ciu/5c/cf/c52af96642a0fe7f4ee84110._AA240_.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 15, 2008, 10:29:11 PM
Is this Haitink's 1981 recording of the Bruckner 9th? What do you think about it? I have heard his reindition of the scherzo should be quite something.

http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphony-No-9-Haitink/dp/B00000E2LS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1208329382&sr=1-1

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/02/ciu/5c/cf/c52af96642a0fe7f4ee84110._AA240_.L.jpg)

Hm, I don't know, I don't know the cover. But what I DO know is that that second Haitink Ninth is one of my favourite performances - the Coda of the first movement is colossal, with two sets of timpani underpinning the iambic rhythm in the lower brass. We have had a discussion here already about which version Haitink was using, because he is not one to tamper with scores...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 16, 2008, 04:39:12 AM
Is this Haitink's 1981 recording of the Bruckner 9th? What do you think about it? I have heard his reindition of the scherzo should be quite something.

http://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Symphony-No-9-Haitink/dp/B00000E2LS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1208329382&sr=1-1

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/02/ciu/5c/cf/c52af96642a0fe7f4ee84110._AA240_.L.jpg)

Yes, that's the 1981 performance that Jezetha and I love so much.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: head-case on April 16, 2008, 04:46:39 AM
Very true, that's because most people here - like you - really have nothing of interest to say.

Always a pleasure.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 16, 2008, 05:09:24 AM
I haven't heard that Haitink recording for decades, and it was on cassette. I do recall it being recorded in a much darker acoustic than the usual COA sound, which - to my ears at least - cast a gloomy atmosphere on the proceedings. It is much slower than Haitink's 1963 recording - which in turn could be described as too lightweight...  A similar evolution can be heard in his 1969 and 1981 eight. I love both, but tend to return to the dynamic, volatile first recording more often.

My Bruckner listening has come to a generalpause lately. Too much stuff to listen to, and too little time on my hands. Next in line are the Thielemann 7th and a 2002 Haitink SD 8th.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 16, 2008, 05:18:54 AM
I haven't heard that Haitink recording for decades, and it was on cassette. I do recall it being recorded in a much darker acoustic than the usual COA sound, which - to my ears at least - cast a gloomy atmosphere on the proceedings. It is much slower than Haitink's 1963 recording - which in turn could be described as too lightweight...

Your memory is in perfect shape, LP - the sound of this recording is indeed dark and heavy, but I don't think that contradicts the spirit of Bruckner's Ninth. (I don't know Haitink's first foray, btw, so I can't compare.) I also agree that the sound in this recording is different from the usual COA sound - I know the Concertgebouw acoustics from experience, and this recording surprised me too when I first heard it. I like it this way (but not for all pieces, mind you!).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on April 16, 2008, 05:56:52 AM
Hm, I don't know, I don't know the cover. But what I DO know is that that second Haitink Ninth is one of my favourite performances - the Coda of the first movement is colossal, with two sets of timpani underpinning the iambic rhythm in the lower brass. We have had a discussion here already about which version Haitink was using, because he is not one to tamper with scores...

Are there other conductors whom use two sets of timpani in the first movement?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 16, 2008, 06:29:32 AM
Are there other conductors whom use two sets of timpani in the first movement?

This is the only performance I know where that iambic rhythm I mentioned is reinforced by the timpani (it ought to be just a drum-roll, IIRC). M forever may correct me, but this use of the timpani is sui generis, and I don't know which version Haitink has used. The effect, by the way, is monumental.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on April 16, 2008, 07:26:43 AM
This is the only performance I know where that iambic rhythm I mentioned is reinforced by the timpani (it ought to be just a drum-roll, IIRC). M forever may correct me, but this use of the timpani is sui generis, and I don't know which version Haitink has used. The effect, by the way, is monumental.

Thank you very much for your comments. I really look forward to hear it now (as I pushed the buy button... :)).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 16, 2008, 07:37:51 AM
Thank you very much for your comments. I really look forward to hear it now (as I pushed the buy button... :)).

You won't regret your purchase, Rubio!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 16, 2008, 12:14:29 PM
This is the only performance I know where that iambic rhythm I mentioned is reinforced by the timpani (it ought to be just a drum-roll, IIRC). M forever may correct me, but this use of the timpani is sui generis, and I don't know which version Haitink has used. The effect, by the way, is monumental.

  ??? Do yo mean it goes tu-DUM, tu-DUM instead of just rolling ? If that's the case, he's not alone, I've heard it elsewhere too. I'd have to check...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 16, 2008, 12:24:11 PM
  ??? Do yo mean it goes tu-DUM, tu-DUM instead of just rolling ? If that's the case, he's not alone, I've heard it elsewhere too. I'd have to check...

Please do (tu-DUM is an iamb, indeed)! If you can find another performance with this same effect, that would be great.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 16, 2008, 04:19:46 PM
I will, but I have to go through some three dozen 9:I codas so it might take a while  ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 16, 2008, 04:24:27 PM
In musical terms, we call that a "dotted rhythm", Jezetha  ;) I think it is somehow a Concertgebouw thing, I once read what the story behind it is, but I forgot. It may have something to do with Mengelberg. It is certainly not in the score of which there are several different critical editions, but only one actual "version" as Bruckner died during the composition of the work, so he didn't get a chance to revise it (it is not a given that he would have because he didn't revise all of his symphonies as thoroughly as some). I may have heard it somewhere else, but don't recall where...

I think that Haitink recording is quite nice but not really anything special. I wish the KCA trumpets would some day see the light and play that stuff on the right trumpets, then they might be able to actually play the low Ds with the timpani at the beginning (those are really brittle in a number of KCA recordings of the work I have heard, including an otherwise very nice live recording with Giulini from the 70s).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 16, 2008, 04:31:02 PM
I remember now that the timpani thing also appears on van Beinum's recordings, but I don't know if he started that or if Mengelberg did. IIRC, that detail is not like that in the Loewe edition of the 9th which was played before the original version was published and performed in the 30s. So I have no idea where it comes from.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 16, 2008, 04:32:20 PM
What trumpets are they using, and why would they keep playing on the 'wrong' instruments ?  I  read a review of a KCA recording of a Mahler symphony in which the reviewer refers to the 'infamous metal plates' used by this orchestra instead of the specified tubular bells. I'd have to check the exact quote, but I distinctly recall that as being in a Mahler symphony ( 7 or 8 ? ) and being a recurrent feature of this orchestra's playing in that work.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 16, 2008, 09:36:34 PM
In musical terms, we call that a "dotted rhythm", Jezetha  ;) I think it is somehow a Concertgebouw thing, I once read what the story behind it is, but I forgot. It may have something to do with Mengelberg.

'Dotted rhythm', yes, that's the musical term, you're right. Though with the 'iambic' I wanted to specify the sort of dotted rhythm. It could also have been anapaestic or a fourth paeonic...  ;) So I should have said: iambic dotted rhythm. Hm, that sounds terrible...

I remember now that the timpani thing also appears on van Beinum's recordings, but I don't know if he started that or if Mengelberg did.

Knowing Mengelberg, he could have started this. He would have known Mahler's ideas about 'improving' a score - perhaps he thought that dotted rhythm needed bringing out...

Btw, I never knew the reason for that peculiar Concertgebouw trumpet sound (which I like...)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 16, 2008, 11:02:36 PM
'Dotted rhythm', yes, that's the musical term, you're right. Though with the 'iambic' I wanted to specify the sort of dotted rhythm. It could also have been anapaestic or a fourth paeonic...  ;) So I should have said: iambic dotted rhythm. Hm, that sounds terrible...

Indeed it does. It sounds like some nasty disease. The specific term for this kind of rhythm is, I believe, "double dotted", although I may be wrong as I am not completely familiar with all the English terms for all these things.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Kenneth D on April 19, 2008, 10:52:32 AM
CDjapan has a Bruckner 4 with Kertesz/LSO. Does anyone know anything about this recording? Is it any good?
Well, let me put it this way. Kertész never made a bad recording, and a great loss when he drowned in '73.
I've listened to this recording many times and it's worth getting to know if you love this work. Also, the LSO at that time was just about untouchable on recordings.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Kenneth D on April 19, 2008, 11:14:31 AM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/6e/4c/7ccba2c008a01930c086a010._AA240_.L.jpg)

Symphony No.9, Münchner Philharmoniker, April 1938 HMV (Preiser)

Flowing, swift (very swift in Scherzo) but I don't find it rushed. Unsentimental but not cold, nonhistrionic but neither reticent, structuraly coherent reading with achieved formidable orchestral clarity for the time. Münchner Philharmoniker of '38 doesn't need cutting any slack. Sound decent for 1938, lacking the lowest of lows and having limited dynamic range but nicely detailed and with enough presence.
I quite like it (it has high hummability factor*) but probably not to everybodys taste (most?).

This is I believe the only existing Hausegger recording, of anything, pity.

* I like to sing along with Bruckner, not that I can.
Wow, I don't know this recording. Well, Hausegger was the man responsible for the original 9th coming to the fore. In '32 with the same orchestra, he performed the Löwe version and then the original, which was a success, and has been the version performed almost exclusively since. We've all got to thank this man for that. Also, he was a composer, and his Natursymphonie is coming out on cd very soon!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 19, 2008, 11:51:17 AM
That does look very interesting indeed, especially given that these forces premiered the original version, like you said. I am not sure if I actually have that or not  ::) it was part of an EMI set of historical Bruckner recordings but I can't remember right now if I have the set that this was in. I don't think I do, actually. I am not sure how Preiser's transfers of historical recordings are in general, though. But I found a cheap used copy of this on amazon, so I ordered it.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 20, 2008, 04:13:09 AM
Hausegger...was a composer, and his Natursymphonie is coming out on cd very soon!

It's already released, at least in Germany. I bought it a few weeks ago from JPC:

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/febgmc/HauseggerNat.jpg)


Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 20, 2008, 07:12:54 AM
What's the music like?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 20, 2008, 07:54:41 AM
What's the music like?

Here is one, critical, review (in German):

http://www.omm.de/cds/klassik/CPO-hausegger-natursymphonie.html
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 20, 2008, 08:04:15 AM
That's mostly vain blablabla by one "Dr. Markus Gärtner" there, I am not interested in reading that. Probably one of those idiots who couldn't get into the music academy so they studied musicology instead. I would rather hear yours or Sarge's opinion.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 20, 2008, 08:10:17 AM
That's mostly vain blablabla by one "Dr. Markus Gärtner" there, I am not interested in reading that. Probably one of those idiots who couldn't get into the music academy so they studied musicology instead. I would rather hear yours or Sarge's opinion.

Thanks for the demolition job-cum-compliment! Unfortunately I can't have an opinion. I had been looking forward to Sarge's view to see if this was a work I'd like...

We'll simply have to be patient.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 20, 2008, 11:07:42 AM
Thanks for the demolition job-cum-compliment! Unfortunately I can't have an opinion. I had been looking forward to Sarge's view to see if this was a work I'd like...

We'll simply have to be patient.

Johan, check your mail.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 20, 2008, 01:52:06 PM
Don't you want to share your opinion with all of us?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: eyeresist on April 20, 2008, 05:14:18 PM
Well, let me put it this way. Kertész never made a bad recording, and a great loss when he drowned in '73.
I've listened to this recording many times and it's worth getting to know if you love this work. Also, the LSO at that time was just about untouchable on recordings.

Do you know which version of the 4 it is?
 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on April 21, 2008, 04:37:22 AM
According to Berky's discography, it is 1881, ed. Haas.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 26, 2008, 05:38:36 PM
http://www.abruckner.com/Downloads/downloadofthemonth/May/

Available May 1, a mystery performance of the third by "one of the big orchestras" , possibly the BPO. In any case, it seems to be the very first recording of the then newly printed Oeser version (1952).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on April 26, 2008, 11:31:02 PM
Celibidache's 8th with the MPO is beyond superb--it simply has to be heard to be believed. The rich and warm sound of the orchestra rivals that of Karajan's at his prime with the VPO, and the technique of the players are astounding. Sonically very clear and dynamic, too, and it makes this one of my desert-island recordings.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on May 07, 2008, 03:09:44 PM
A live recording of the 6th symphony, with the excellent NDR, Hamburg Symphony conducted by Günter Wand. From 15.05.1995, issued on RCA and Japan BMG. This is a beautifuly alert version. Completely natural pacing, with no accelerandos or slowdowns, just a single tempo for each movement. It sounds slightly brisk, but there's a tension and excitement that produces jubilation and a sense of inevitability. The orchestra is absolutely magnificent and is excellently recorded.

There are many other ways to conduct this work, and this joins my previous favourites at the top, including the redoubtably massive Kegel, the exhilaratingly punchy Bongartz, the utterly natural and gorgeously crafted Leitner (Stuttgart or Basel), the massively dramatic Keilberth, the hedonistic, de luxe WP Stein, and among the merely excellent, Haitink, Swoboda, Jochums and Lopez-Cobos. It's amazing to find so many great recordings of this symphony, probably the least recorded among numbers 3-9.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on May 08, 2008, 11:43:44 AM
It's amazing to find so many great recordings of this symphony, probably the least recorded among numbers 3-9.

I guess some of your favourites are not so easy to find any more (like Keilberth, Kegel and Bongartz)... :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on May 08, 2008, 11:56:11 AM
I think the reason for why you find so relatively many "favorites" among the recordings of this less recorded work is that, perhaps, only the conductors who really care for the music and make an effort to understand it actually conduct and record it, while among those who do the more "popular" symphonies (e.g. #4), there may be many more who just conduct them exactly for that reason - because they are "popular".

Have you heard Masur's recording, BTW? It just occurred to me that even though I have his cycle, I have never heard the 6th from it and I would like to listen to that now. I don't think I will be able to find it though as it is still packed up in a box from my recent move... another "surprisingly" good 6th is barenboim's. I may have mentioned that here a couple of pages back. I find most of the Bruckner I have heard from Barenboim, on disc and live (I heard several of the symphonies with him in Berlin when he made the recordings for Teldec, plus a live Bruckner 8 with the CSO) uninteresting (that applies to both his CSO and BP cycles, although of the former, I only have heard 4,7,8,9), but the 6th with the BP is actually pretty good and convincing, it "makes sense".
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on May 08, 2008, 05:44:02 PM
This is a very interesting and logical observation. I have no idea why this particular symphony should be comparatively neglected. It's the most 'classical' of the lot in its language and proportions. I would have thought it would be more palatable to first-timers, be they audiences or conductors. And yet, most of those who have recorded it are seasoned batons, and when it's played in concert it doesn't draw the same attention as the 'big' ones. A few years ago it was performed in  Montreal (Yoel Levi IIRC) and it was a big disappointment. In exactly one month I'll hear it under Myung-Whun-Chung in Amsterdam. I can't wait  ;D

I've heard a few other 6ths, but I didn't mention them because they're too far in the memory (from lp days) to make an assessment of any kind. These include the Barenboim CSO (but not the BPO), the Karajan and Klemperer NP. In my memory they're all quite good, but very different from each other. I should try to locate copies. The iconoclastic Klemperer Concertgebouw is too wild a ride to be recommended to any but the most curious, and I have issues with the Bernstein NYP (playing and interpretation).

Of the Barenboim BPO cycle I only heard the 9th. I didnt' like the sound, which I found grey and diffuse, or the interpretation, too dour for my taste. But I'm talking some 10 years back, so I might be wrong. OTOH I have his CSO 4th and 9th and consider them quite superb performances, loud brass and all. The only other I've had from the CSO cycle was the 5th (lp) and I didn't think it had much personality.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: eyeresist on May 08, 2008, 09:50:39 PM
Of the few 6ths I have, my favourite is Stein's (Australian Eloquence) - I'd like to hear it in restored sound. I bought the Rogner version a few months ago out of curiousity - he recorded a set in the 1970s which has largely vanished from living memory, with some justification, as it turns out. Not terrible, just ordinary, uninspired. Blah.

Oh - Eloquence have just issued Solti/VPO in the 7th and 8th, from the late 1950s. I wonder if that's worth checking out?


I think the reason for why you find so relatively many "favorites" among the recordings of this less recorded work is that, perhaps, only the conductors who really care for the music and make an effort to understand it actually conduct and record it, while among those who do the more "popular" symphonies (e.g. #4), there may be many more who just conduct them exactly for that reason - because they are "popular".
For some reason, when I read this, I instantly thought of a certain curly-haired chap called Simon.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on May 09, 2008, 03:18:27 PM
I forgot to mention the Rögner. I think I like it better than you, but it's not of the first rank, more like second. But still eminently listenable, at least for the orchestra's sake (they really have the idiom down pat). Skrowaczewski and Tintner are ok, but not special.

Speaking of conductors who do a first class 6th, two of them also recorded other great 6ths: Leitner with the Hartmann, and Bongartz with the Mahler. The latter in particular rocks, with a mean, grim, flamboyant interpretation played to the hilt by the RSO Leipzig.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Haffner on May 09, 2008, 03:41:08 PM
I'm really grateful for the Bruckner 6th reccomendations, as I have only the Tintner. Thanks!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on May 09, 2008, 06:08:07 PM
Many of the versions I've mentioned are not easily available. It takes either time, money, connections or luck to get them (as has been pointed out  :D). But you can get to the heart of the matter by getting Jochum's Dresden cycle at super budget price. As a matter of principle I do not recommend cycles, but in this case the 6th is excellent, and you will get superb performances of 2, 3 and 7, as well as a very good 5 and 8. Six out of nine is the best score I can recall, with alternatives being not quite as good (Jochum DG with 1, 3, 5, 6) or pricier (Haitink with 1, 2, 3, 6 and 8). I can't recommend the Tintner as a whole, although there's no denying it has many points of interest (original versions, which means very different music in 2, 3 and 8). The Skrowaczewski seems to have been transferred to the higher end Oehms label, which prices it out of range when one considers a price/quality ratio.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lethevich on May 10, 2008, 01:44:24 AM
I'm really grateful for the Bruckner 6th reccomendations, as I have only the Tintner. Thanks!

There is a grest 6th for free download here:

http://www.abruckner.com/downloads/downloadofthemonth/March/

Old sound, but a good quality rip.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on May 10, 2008, 02:00:44 AM
There is a grest 6th for free download here:

http://www.abruckner.com/downloads/downloadofthemonth/March/

Old sound, but a good quality rip.

Seconded. Excellent performance!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Haffner on May 10, 2008, 04:05:29 AM
There is a grest 6th for free download here:

http://www.abruckner.com/downloads/downloadofthemonth/March/

Old sound, but a good quality rip.


Thanks!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on May 10, 2008, 01:07:09 PM
The Swoboda is indeed a great performance. I don't put it on my 'top tier' roster because of technical issues (playing but esp. sound). But I can't imagine anyone listening to this not being struck by the forceful personality they give to the music. Swoboda, like Kegel, Keilberth and Bongartz tend to give it an almost godzilla-size treatment.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MN Dave on May 10, 2008, 03:07:24 PM
Thanks from me as well.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on May 10, 2008, 04:45:14 PM
Just listened to Celibidache/MPO's 4th,  :o what detailed and full sound! The coda of the finale is superbly handled, the tension inevitably built-up. Excellent weighty brass and strings. 9.5/10
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Haffner on May 11, 2008, 04:04:13 AM
Just listened to Celibidache/MPO's 4th,  :o what detailed and full sound! The coda of the finale is superbly handled, the tension inevitably built-up. Excellent weighty brass and strings. 9.5/10



I have a friend here whom is helping me check that one out, am greatly looking forward to it now thanks to you, W.!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on May 11, 2008, 10:07:51 AM


I have a friend here whom is helping me check that one out, am greatly looking forward to it now thanks to you, W.!

Hey Andy, hope you'll like it! And if you turn out to be as obsessed with his recordings with the MPO, buy the entire Bruckner set on EMI! The 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th (which is almost every recording in the set, actually) are particularly good. You've never heard how beautifully rich and powerful an orchestral sound could be until you've heard these recordings, I kid you not.  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Haffner on May 11, 2008, 10:25:57 AM
Hey Andy, hope you'll like it! And if you turn out to be as obsessed with his recordings with the MPO, buy the entire Bruckner set on EMI! The 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th (which is almost every recording in the set, actually) are particularly good. You've never heard how beautifully rich and powerful an orchestral sound could be until you've heard these recordings, I kid you not.  :)


Actually, W. my friend (only hint: his first name is George) is sending me the whole EMI caboodle, along with the Jochum for comparison. I'm even more grateful and happy now. I've heard Celibidache's 7th already, which is really good. I'm PSYCHED about hearing his Bruckner 8th and 9th in particular.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Varg on May 11, 2008, 12:27:50 PM
Hey Andy, hope you'll like it! And if you turn out to be as obsessed with his recordings with the MPO, buy the entire Bruckner set on EMI! The 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th (which is almost every recording in the set, actually) are particularly good. You've never heard how beautifully rich and powerful an orchestral sound could be until you've heard these recordings, I kid you not.  :)

Seconded!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Haffner on May 11, 2008, 12:37:18 PM
Seconded!



Now I'm really PSY-YCHED.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on May 11, 2008, 02:21:21 PM

Actually, W. my friend (only hint: his first name is George) is sending me the whole EMI caboodle, along with the Jochum for comparison. I'm even more grateful and happy now. I've heard Celibidache's 7th already, which is really good. I'm PSYCHED about hearing his Bruckner 8th and 9th in particular.

Oh man, you're in for some serious JAH-min'. Just make sure you wear an extra pair of socks when you do.  ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Haffner on May 11, 2008, 03:23:40 PM
Oh man, you're in for some serious JAH-min'. Just make sure you wear an extra pair of socks when you do.  ;)


Of course.

dying laughing
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Daverz on May 12, 2008, 07:10:12 PM
This morning on my drive to work at about 8:30am they were playing Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 on the radio (I came in on the Adagio).  That was a strange drive.
I thought some of the tempo fluctuations were somewhat odd in this recording, tempo seemed to be pushed around too much, but the playing , particularly strings, was excellent.  Turned out to be Janowski with the Suisse Romande.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on May 12, 2008, 07:39:36 PM
This morning on my drive to work at about 8:30am they were playing Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 on the radio (I came in on the Adagio).  That was a strange drive.
I thought some of the tempo fluctuations were somewhat odd in this recording, tempo seemed to be pushed around too much, but the playing , particularly strings, was excellent.  Turned out to be Janowski with the Suisse Romande.
Could the "strange drive" be a result of your car's momentum of your and the groove of the music not synching together?  :D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: eyeresist on May 12, 2008, 07:41:57 PM
^^
I was recently wondering if we should start a "Music to start your day" thread, after listening to the Shostakovich cello concertos first thing in the morning and getting into a very strange mood.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on May 13, 2008, 02:54:26 PM
This Suisse Romande - Janowski 9th seems to elicit mixed responses. My good friend ChooChoo finds it rather plodding and uninteresting (no tempos pushed around in his opinion). OTOH, the reviewer in ARG's latest issue recommends it without reservation. He actually seems to think very highly of the whole thing (interpretation, playing, sound).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on May 13, 2008, 03:37:36 PM
Hmmm...that sounds interesting. I didn't know of that recording. Janowski is a conductor I generally value, so I would like to hear that. I have a recording of Bruckner 4 with him and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France which is rather good, so maybe I will even download that from amazon. Apart from single tracks, I have never done that (mostly because of the 256kbps), but it might be worth a try.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Brewski on May 22, 2008, 09:54:39 AM
Just found out that the Cleveland Orchestra's performance of Bruckner's Fifth Symphony, with Franz Welser-Möst, will be broadcast on PBS--here in New York it'll be on June 11 at 9:00 p.m.  I believe it is the same performance that made it to DVD, here (http://www.amazon.com/Symphony-Sub-Ac3-Dol-Dts/dp/B000M2EBUQ), recorded in the St. Florian Abbey in Linz, Austria in 2006 (cover below).  Although I haven't seen the DVD yet, I did hear these same forces in the same piece at Carnegie around the same time, and it was a pretty amazing performance.   

Here (http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/stationfinder_relocalize.html) is the link to PBS's website, where you can find your local station and see when they're broadcasting it.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on May 22, 2008, 04:14:28 PM
I purchased that Janowski recording of the 9th via download and listened to it in the meantime. It is quite interesting and has many good elements, but at first and second ear, I also find it fairly odd and random in some places and respects. But there seems to be more behind what Janowski is doing than meets the ear at first (or at least, my ear), so I will revisit this recording soon and then see if I can make more sense of it.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 13, 2008, 12:22:05 PM
Well, it came and went. It now exists in the memory, hoping that a recording will materialize (a forest of microphones hung from the ceiling): last June 6 Myung-Whun Chung and the Concertgebouw Orchestra played the 6th symphony  (a Messiaen work took care of the obligatory first half of the program). Pending a detailed review in The Bruckner Journal (ChooChoo was there too and will report in due course), I can attest that this was an extremely fine performance, distinguished by an original and authoritative conception of the work and put through in the best possible conditions. Suffice to say that the orchestra was simply astounding in its collective acumen and finesse. A huge dynamic level was achieved effortlessly, its impact felt in part by the body (vibrations strongly felt whenever the full orchestra was playing fff), but always falling euphoniously on the ear. Spectacular solo winds and brass contributions, an almost too assertive timpani player, and a collective sound that always blended perfectly.

Chung's conception of the work was very 'big' in I, classically conceived in II (slow in tempo but not lachrymose in expression - magnificent viola and cello playing here), too fast for my taste in III ('nicht schnell' it wasn't), and brilliantly symphonic in IV. I'm not sure which version/edition he chose, but the coda of IV didn't bring out the first movement's main theme in the usual manner. The effect was that of  a turbocharged collage rather than the grand peroration one usually hears. Very exciting, but slightly disconcerting. I sincerely hope a broadcast will appear soon, with an easily available download  :D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Brewski on June 13, 2008, 12:26:36 PM
Wow, does that sound great.  PS, I have a friend from NYC who was at the same concert (I think).  He went mostly for the Messiaen, and didn't really comment on the Bruckner!

--Bruce
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 13, 2008, 04:08:23 PM
Heeehee ! I didn't dwell on it because I went for the Bruckner ;D, but here's what I can tell:

My first surprise was to find that the orchestra calls for a very large string section (10 db, 12 celli, etc, against 8 and 10 in the Bruckner). And yet, apart from one movement, the orchestra never produces a full range of decibels. That's ok, considering that the  dynamic range is mostly pp to f, no more. There is only one movement where the full orchestra is displayed (including a rather prominent bass drum, and an eerie effect with brushed suspended cymbals and violin glissandi). The last section is for strings alone, never rising over  a discreet dynamic level (befitting the title, Prière du Christ montant vers son Père ("Prayer of Christ ascending towards his Father"). Although the orchestral version is the original and the organ a transcription, I prefer the latter. In preparation for that concert I had listened to both versions. Messiaen's simplistic melodies, mostly unsurprising harmonies and absence of rythmic progression fail to arouse more than a respectful interest. There's no doubt that hearing it live gives it an enormous presence vs the much narrower dynamic range of a cd played at home. I don't expect this to be surpassed as a musical experience in my lifetime. And yet, the 'orchestral' Messiaen continues to elude me, either in concert or on disc  :-\.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on June 13, 2008, 05:13:30 PM
Whether you have 16-14-12-10-8 (total 60) or 18-16-14-12-10 (total 70) doesn't make any noticeable difference in sound pressure level and it doesn't really make a difference in texture either (provided the musicians always play well together which is obviously the case if they are the same). Maybe Messiaen called explicitly for these numbers (were there sections in which the strings were divided into many smaller sections, by stands).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on June 15, 2008, 12:42:05 AM
This recently released Bruckner 8 by Klemperer/Cologne RSO seems mighty interesting. It doesn't have the cuts like his later EMI recording.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Tbol8GIIL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on June 15, 2008, 01:10:45 AM
This recently released Bruckner 8 by Klemperer/Cologne RSO seems mighty interesting. It doesn't have the cuts like his later EMI recording.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Tbol8GIIL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I think I posted about it in the listening thread last month or so, when I'd bought it... It's interesting indeed, a very fine Bruckner 8th; though decidedly Klempererian. Highly recommended, as far as I'm concerned! :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: 71 dB on June 15, 2008, 01:28:41 AM
Been listening to symphony 3 again (Ver. 1889/Sanderling).

Last night movement. 1
This morning movement 2

Few days later the rest.

This section deleted by moderator as it is totally there for the sake of causing trouble

GB

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Maciek on June 17, 2008, 07:56:59 AM
Whether you have 16-14-12-10-8 (total 60) or 18-16-14-12-10 (total 70) doesn't make any noticeable difference in sound pressure level and it doesn't really make a difference in texture either (provided the musicians always play well together which is obviously the case if they are the same). Maybe Messiaen called explicitly for these numbers (were there sections in which the strings were divided into many smaller sections, by stands).

A note for those who missed it: the noice cancellation discussion is continued here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,8064.0.html).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on June 17, 2008, 02:50:45 PM
This section deleted by moderator as it is totally there for the sake of causing trouble

GB

As was my reply in which I asked 71dB to please shut up in maybe not very polite language. I can see why Mr B deleted that. So let me ask him again, this time really nicely:

Can't you please shut up and stop spamming this forum with stuff you have said hundreds (literally) of times before and which really nobody wants to hear (read)? PLEASE?

I also said that it would be nice, for Elgar's and his music's sake, if he gave people a chance to listen to Elgar's music without being reminded of him (71dB) and all the nonsense he talks about his music, especially in comparison with other music. Because that caases a nauseating effect which makes it impossible to continue to enjoy Elgar's music. Is that OK if I ask nicely to give Elgar's music a chance with all those listeners who have been put off it by 71dB?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 17, 2008, 03:35:14 PM
As was my reply in which I asked 71dB to please shut up in maybe not very polite language. I can see why Mr B deleted that. So let me ask him again, this time really nicely:

Can't you please shut up and stop spamming this forum with stuff you have said hundreds (literally) of times before and which really nobody wants to hear (read)? PLEASE?

I also said that it would be nice, for Elgar's and his music's sake, if he gave people a chance to listen to Elgar's music without being reminded of him (71dB) and all the nonsense he talks about his music, especially in comparison with other music. Because that caases a nauseating effect which makes it impossible to continue to enjoy Elgar's music. Is that OK if I ask nicely to give Elgar's music a chance with all those listeners who have been put off it by 71dB?

Yes, I would like to introduce myself to more of Elgar beyond the 2 great concertos, but I likely won't do it for a long time to come now. :-\

Anyway, I do rather like Bruckner, so let's get back to him. How about that 7th symphony... :)

8)
----------------
Listening to:
London Mozart Players / Bamert  Miceal O'Rourke - Field Nocturne in F for Piano #16 (of 18)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 18, 2008, 04:37:47 PM
HERE (http://www.brucknerfreunde.at/forum/konzertkritiken/6266-bruckner-6-chung-concertgebouw-%96-amsterdam-6-6-08-english.html#post12845)'s a very detailed review of that Chung-Concertgebouw concert. I hasten to add that I'm not the one who fell asleep during the Adagio  :D. I must say that although I agree with much of ChooChoo's findings, the interpretation as a whole found more favour to my ears than to his. Where I was - and still am - more critical is precisely where he had less to carp about: a slowish adagio and a too fast scherzo. As for the rest, I only have praise for what was an extremely characterful interpretation. Not my favourite, but played so forcefully and magnificently that I could not help thinking how privileged I was to be there. I actually count myself lucky that such technical imperfections as the ensemble problems in I passed by unnoticed to my blissfully untrained ears :D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Est.1965 on June 18, 2008, 11:06:00 PM
^^
I was recently wondering if we should start a "Music to start your day" thread, after listening to the Shostakovich cello concertos first thing in the morning and getting into a very strange mood.

The beginning of the fourth movement of Bruckners 8th would get you feeling ready for anything first thing in the morning, and plenty of other Brucknerian movements.  But for something a little stranger, try waking up to Lutslawski 2 or 3?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Brewski on June 19, 2008, 05:32:04 AM
Tomorrow night I'm hearing the Bruckner Eighth, with Lorin Maazel and the NY Philharmonic.  I have no idea how the "Maazel + Brucker 8" equation will work, but I'm looking forward to it anyway, since I haven't heard it live in a long time.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 19, 2008, 05:49:57 AM
  I have no idea how the "Maazel + Brucker 8" equation will work, but I'm looking forward to it anyway, since I haven't heard it live in a long time.

--Bruce
Apparently it works pretty well here:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21MJGC4MEFL._SL500_AA180_.jpg)
but then again as they say results may vary.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Brewski on June 19, 2008, 05:56:04 AM
Apparently it works pretty well here:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21MJGC4MEFL._SL500_AA180_.jpg)
but then again as they say results may vary.

Oh thanks, I hadn't seen that recording.  I don't exactly need another one  ;D but I may have to get it (probably not before tomorrow night, though).

--Bruce
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 19, 2008, 06:30:09 AM
Oh thanks, I hadn't seen that recording.  I don't exactly need another one  ;D but I may have to get it (probably not before tomorrow night, though).

--Bruce
I think this is the newest budget incarnation:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41J8NKNR73L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
but I am not 100% sure. But it isn't likely that Maazel would have 2 different Bruckner 8ths with the Berliners on the same label.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on June 19, 2008, 06:51:04 AM
Oh thanks, I hadn't seen that recording.  I don't exactly need another one  ;D but I may have to get it (probably not before tomorrow night, though).

--Bruce

That's actually a very good recording. I heard the concerts when they recorded that (although this isn't "live", it was recorded "in studio" in the Philharmonie in the same working phase as the concerts, probably after them) and actually didn't quite "get" Maazel's interpretation then. IIRC, I found it too "polished", "superficial" or something like that, just focused on producing nice monumental blocks of sound rather than shining a light into the inner life of the music. Which is kind of like the first impression you get from listening to this recording, but it can be heard in this recording that there is more inner musical life and a certain well sustained intensity going on under the surface than I had perceived in the concert back then. In my defence, I had heard the same symphony not too long before that concert with Giulini and Wand (though not at the same time!) and those performances were devastating experiences the memory of which still makes me shudder (in a good way) 2 decades later. So while this is not a "first" recommendation, it is a good performance and worth listening to. Plus the sound EMI achieved in the Philharmonie is very good, much better than a lot of contemporary DG recordings from the same venue. It sounds pretty much like the orchestra actually sounded in the hall at that time (in "miniature", of course).
BTW, the pictured editions are all the same recording. There is also a 7th with the same team. IIRC, they also played the 9th in concert but that wasn't recorded. Apparently the other recordings didn't sell so well.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rw1883 on June 19, 2008, 11:27:49 AM
That's actually a very good recording. I heard the concerts when they recorded that (although this isn't "live", it was recorded "in studio" in the Philharmonie in the same working phase as the concerts, probably after them) and actually didn't quite "get" Maazel's interpretation then. IIRC, I found it too "polished", "superficial" or something like that, just focused on producing nice monumental blocks of sound rather than shining a light into the inner life of the music. Which is kind of like the first impression you get from listening to this recording, but it can be heard in this recording that there is more inner musical life and a certain well sustained intensity going on under the surface than I had perceived in the concert back then. In my defence, I had heard the same symphony not too long before that concert with Giulini and Wand (though not at the same time!) and those performances were devastating experiences the memory of which still makes me shudder (in a good way) 2 decades later. So while this is not a "first" recommendation, it is a good performance and worth listening to. Plus the sound EMI achieved in the Philharmonie is very good, much better than a lot of contemporary DG recordings from the same venue. It sounds pretty much like the orchestra actually sounded in the hall at that time (in "miniature", of course).
BTW, the pictured editions are all the same recording. There is also a 7th with the same team. IIRC, they also played the 9th in concert but that wasn't recorded. Apparently the other recordings didn't sell so well.


WOW!!!  The 8th is my all-time favorite symphony and two of my favorite 8th's are Giulini (1983-BBC Label), and Wand (1996-Memories).  The opportunity to hear those great Bruckner interpreters live would have been amazing.  M, would you mind describing some of the memories of those performances?  Thanks in advance...

Paul
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on June 19, 2008, 11:42:41 AM
Re the Maazel [Berlin] Bruckner 8th:

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked that, when I finally got the chance to listen to it a couple of weeks ago. It's quite impressive, indeed having "inner musical life and a certain well sustained intensity going on under the surface", even as far as I can tell.

It won't be replacing my Karajans, my Fürtwangler, my Klemperer or my Wands, my Giulini or my Boulez [etc.], but it is a remarkably solid recording, and about as good a first impression as Maazel could ever likely make on me.

(Alas, I don't suspect I'll find many of his recordings at this level, but you never know...)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on June 27, 2008, 01:47:39 AM
I see that Herbert Kegel's recordings of the 3rd, 4th (two versions), 7th and 9th symphony, all on ODE CLASSICS, are still available at BRO. Would you recommend any of these performances with the Leipzig Radio Orchestra?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: jwinter on June 27, 2008, 05:04:54 AM
I see that Herbert Kegel's recordings of the 3rd, 4th (two versions), 7th and 9th symphony, all on ODE CLASSICS, are still available at BRO. Would you recommend any of these performances with the Leipzig Radio Orchestra?

I have a couple of those.  They're certainly worth investigating at BRO's price.  The sound quality is pretty good, interpretively they are very solid, Kegel has a fine sense of the music's structure and how it should flow.  I can't say that there's anything particularly unique or distinctive about his approach, but if you're a fan of the conductor I wouldn't hesitate.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 27, 2008, 01:53:16 PM
Kegel's 6th is one I value highly. But I've never explored further, in part because many of his interpretations are available in 'early' (60s) and 'late' (70s) recordings and I have no idea which to choose - I mean, I'm not against some duplication ;D, but that would be too much of an indulgence. But he's a brucknerian, no doubt about it, and the Leipzig orchestras (Radio or Gewandhaus) are terrific bands.


edit to complete a sentence that was shortcircuited when writing.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on June 28, 2008, 04:05:06 AM
Just being released, timings look interesting:

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/SBT1424.jpg)

Christoph Willibald Gluck
Iphigénie en Aulide – Overture 10.54

Anton Bruckner
Symphony No. 7 in E
I Allegro moderato 17.35
II Adagio: Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam 16.59
III Scherzo: Sehr schnell 8.58
IV Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht schnell 12.16

TT 67.16
New York Philharmonic Orchestra / Bruno Walter


Quote
Throughout his later decades, Bruno Walter (1876-1962) was considered to be one of the world’s most noteworthy Brucknerians. Among his valedictory recordings his most prized are arguably those of Bruckner’s Fourth, Seventh and Ninth Symphonies with the Los Angeles-based Columbia Symphony Orchestra, recorded between 1959 and 1961. Yet Walter came to conduct Bruckner relatively late in his career. His first known Bruckner performance was a 1914 performance of the Fourth. Walter admitted that he himself did not feel entirely comfortable conducting Bruckner’s music until 1927, when he was over fifty years of age, as a result of enforced rest and contemplation caused by a bout of double pneumonia.

Until almost twenty years after his death, in 1962, none of the numerous surviving live Bruckner recordings had come to light. Suddenly, within a few short years, a number of live Bruckner Ninths started appearing. Six are now known, including three with the New York Philharmonic. A relatively early Bruckner Fourth (from 1940) surfaced, and a unique recording of the Bruckner Eighth (from 1941) was undoubtedly the highlight of the new discoveries. All the while, no broadcast of the Seventh could be found. This was especially unfortunate, given that Walter’s tempi slowed down markedly after his heart attack in 1957.

On 27 December 1953, Columbia Records recorded Walter conducting the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra (as it was then known) in Bruckner’s Symphony No.9, a live concert that was also broadcast. The following year, on 23 December 1954, Columbia recorded the entire, non-broadcast concert, in which the Bruckner Symphony No.7 was included in the programme. The next afternoon, in another concert that was not broadcast, Columbia again recorded the exact same programme. While the 1953 Columbia recording of the Ninth has not, apparently, survived (although, fortunately, broadcast tapes do), both 1954 concerts exist in their entirety. (It is not altogether clear, however, which recording is from which concert: only the 23 December concert is mentioned in Columbia’s paperwork, and the tapes are undated, simply being listed as ‘A’ and ‘B’.)
Extract from the booklet note, Jon M. Samuels, 2008
Testament SBT1424
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on July 01, 2008, 10:39:23 AM
(http://www.piclook.net/albums/userpics/10468/normal_BRSOset1.jpg)

once in a life time opportunity

http://www.demonoid.com/files/details/1534283/?show_files=#comments
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 02, 2008, 04:47:34 AM
Just being released, timings look interesting:

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/SBT1424.jpg)

Christoph Willibald Gluck
Iphigénie en Aulide – Overture 10.54

Anton Bruckner
Symphony No. 7 in E
I Allegro moderato 17.35
II Adagio: Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam 16.59
III Scherzo: Sehr schnell 8.58
IV Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht schnell 12.16

TT 67.16
New York Philharmonic Orchestra / Bruno Walter


Indeed the timing looks interesting, about 10 minutes shorter than most versions. Isn't that pretty typical of Walter though? Just look at his infamous Mahler 9th from the 30's with the Viennese.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 02, 2008, 06:38:41 PM
Indeed the timing looks interesting, about 10 minutes shorter than most versions. Isn't that pretty typical of Walter though? Just look at his infamous Mahler 9th from the 30's with the Viennese.

Quote
Infamous - 1  : having a reputation of the worst kind : notoriously evil <an infamous traitor>   2  : causing or bringing infamy : disgraceful <an infamous crime>   3  : convicted of an offense bringing infamy  - http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infamous

Do you really mean that, PW  ???? I listened to it a long time ago and it seemed to me to be quite impressive, in Walter's urgent, lyrical and passionate pre-1950 way.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: eyeresist on July 02, 2008, 08:07:52 PM
First time I've seen that performance described as "infamous"!

I just received a cheap box of mostly historical Bruckner (Centurion label), including Die Nullte conducted by Rozhdestvensky. Early 80s analogue sound not great (detected a moment of pre-echo), but interesting performance. Compared to the only other recording I know (Skrow), Roz is more emotional, less structural. This is an advantage in the diffuse first movement and lyrical sections of the finale, but the middle movements hang together better under Skrow (who I think is quicker in these movements but slower in the outer ones). I wonder if Rozhdy's cycle will ever be reissued?
 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 02, 2008, 08:56:26 PM
(http://www.piclook.net/albums/userpics/10468/normal_BRSOset1.jpg)

once in a life time opportunity

http://www.demonoid.com/files/details/1534283/?show_files=#comments

I got this in the meantime and am sampling it here and there right now. Very interesting. My first torrrent, BTW. Thanks a lot for pointing us to that!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 03, 2008, 05:26:49 AM
Do you really mean that, PW  ???? I listened to it a long time ago and it seemed to me to be quite impressive, in Walter's urgent, lyrical and passionate pre-1950 way.
Maybe I just can't get used to the final movment played at about 18 minutes where most performances take 10 minutes or so longer. I think the final Adagissimo section should really feel like at times the music just stopped, but tries to get going again, until finally stops. This recording really doesn't do it for me. I think Walter's later Columbia SO remake is much better.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: scarpia on July 03, 2008, 10:34:45 AM
(Alas, I don't suspect I'll find many of his recordings at this level, but you never know...)

If you maintain that attitude evidently you won't.  Your loss.
 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on July 03, 2008, 06:03:28 PM
I got this in the meantime and am sampling it here and there right now. Very interesting. My first torrrent, BTW. Thanks a lot for pointing us to that!

Beware though M, those are encoded at 192kbps (and in mp3 format, which is lossy instead of loseless).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 04, 2008, 07:04:37 PM
A brief assessment of the original version of the 8th under Tintner, with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Recorded a few years before his Naxos Ireland recording, this one displays very different qualities and characteristics. At about 5 minutes less in overall timing (all of it in I, II and mostly IV) it's more urgent and less lyrical than the later interpretation. I particularly liked the extra tension in I and II, a quality that in IV would later be replaced by an added layer of burnished glow and orchestral heft. The NYOC play like champions (it's a live recording), but the strings sound slightly undernourished even with the original version's thinner scoring. Well recorded but at a certain distance that robs the sound of the presence  we're accustomed to from a studio effort.

In the Naxos recording's liner notes (Tintner's own) we're told frankly about the deficiencies of the original version and, after having heard the Inbal and both Tintners, I have to agree it's quite inferior to the revision. Some changes just cried to be made. The six-fold cymbal crashes at the climax of the Adagio - they just beg: "Take me away" like so many Gerontius pleas. The last chords of the coda in Tintner I and II are taken very differently - Tintner II evidently trying to reconcile the original version with the familiar crashing ending. In I (the NYOC recording) he's more honest about the text.

I'm still not sure after all these years which edition (Haas or Nowak) of the last version I own my allegiance. Most of the time the conductor and orchestra will carry my vote. Tintner makes no mystery about his own preference: Haas. Which makes me wonder: why on earth has he advocated the inferior original text ? The only version I've heard that makes sense of it not Tintner, but Weller. So, why bother ?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on July 05, 2008, 06:12:46 AM
A brief assessment of the original version of the 8th under Tintner, with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Recorded a few years before his Naxos Ireland recording, this one displays very different qualities and characteristics. At about 5 minutes less in overall timing (all of it in I, II and mostly IV) it's more urgent and less lyrical than the later interpretation. I particularly liked the extra tension in I and II, a quality that in IV would later be replaced by an added layer of burnished glow and orchestral heft. The NYOC play like champions (it's a live recording), but the strings sound slightly undernourished even with the original version's thinner scoring. Well recorded but at a certain distance that robs the sound of the presence  we're accustomed to from a studio effort.

In the Naxos recording's liner notes (Tintner's own) we're told frankly about the deficiencies of the original version and, after having heard the Inbal and both Tintners, I have to agree it's quite inferior to the revision. Some changes just cried to be made. The six-fold cymbal crashes at the climax of the Adagio - they just beg: "Take me away" like so many Gerontius pleas. The last chords of the coda in Tintner I and II are taken very differently - Tintner II evidently trying to reconcile the original version with the familiar crashing ending. In I (the NYOC recording) he's more honest about the text.

I'm still not sure after all these years which edition (Haas or Nowak) of the last version I own my allegiance. Most of the time the conductor and orchestra will carry my vote. Tintner makes no mystery about his own preference: Haas. Which makes me wonder: why on earth has he advocated the inferior original text ? The only version I've heard that makes sense of it not Tintner, but Weller. So, why bother ?

did you download the lecture from Berky also? A very interesting discussion, perhaps we can discuss the concept of "The need to suffer" here.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 05, 2008, 01:09:59 PM
I'm still not sure after all these years which edition (Haas or Nowak) of the last version I own my allegiance. Most of the time the conductor and orchestra will carry my vote. Tintner makes no mystery about his own preference: Haas. Which makes me wonder: why on earth has he advocated the inferior original text ? The only version I've heard that makes sense of it not Tintner, but Weller. So, why bother ?

Because it's obviously interesting to gain some insights into the development of this and other Bruckner symphonies. There is also an intermediate version of the Adagio which was only recently published and recorded (by a Japanese conductor named Naita) which is again not an alternative to the final version, but still highly interesting to listen to because we can see (hear) how Bruckner developed his material between the various versions.
BTW, there is also a recording of the theme of the Adagio by Gheorghe Zamfir, "the master of the pan flute" which can be sampled here: http://www.amazon.com/Zamfir-The-Lonely-Shepherd/dp/B000001F9H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1215294142&sr=8-1
I am not sure what kind of insights this versions offers us though...

I once had the opportunity to hear Günter Wand's opinion about the Nowak and Haas editions of the 8th symphony when me and a few other music students went backstage after a concert and one of them asked him why he, who always conducted the final versions of the symphonies because he felt that the composer's final word on each were binding, nevertheless still favored Haas' composite edition of the 8th. Wand almost got angry at hearing the question and said that it was so obvious that the passages Haas reinserted were cut by Bruckner under pressure to make the work shorter and that there could be no question that the structure of the symphony is compromised by the cuts, so in his opinion, it was the only right choice to perform Haas' version. He also said that it was a pity that Haas' work was discredited because of his association with the Nazis (of which I hadn't been aware of and I hadn't ever heard that being held against him and his editions, but I guess after the war when Nowak took over and prepared his own, more scholarly precise editions, that may have been an issue). It would have been interesting to hear more about that from him, and he seemed to be interested to tell us more, but his wife cut the conversation short because saying that it was more important for him to get out of his wet clothes than to hold musicological lectures to students, so we had to leave.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Bonehelm on July 05, 2008, 06:27:35 PM
What's with Barenboim's ending of the 8th? The last E-D-C are as freaking fast as a machine gun...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 05, 2008, 07:11:29 PM
did you download the lecture from Berky also? A very interesting discussion, perhaps we can discuss the concept of "The need to suffer" here.

Yes I did, but I skipped that. Since I didn't read From The House Of The Dead I felt I could safely pass...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 05, 2008, 07:21:37 PM
Very interesting story about Wand, M.

I'm not sure of the logic behind his (and evidently many other conductors') contention that Bruckner bowed to pressure in cutting 4 minutes out of 80... Did that make any difference in that context? What concert promoter or conductor of the time would have felt that Bruckner had 'abridged' his work? ::)

I do have the Naita disc. It's interesting strictly for the alternative Adagio - the rest is, well, japanese. Meaning no bass in the sound, no warmth in the playing, no insight into the conducting. It's efficient, brisk and dry. But I do believe the "intermediate" Adagio is a piece of real worth and could be retained as an option here and there.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 05, 2008, 07:57:54 PM
I'm not sure of the logic behind his (and evidently many other conductors') contention that Bruckner bowed to pressure in cutting 4 minutes out of 80... Did that make any difference in that context? What concert promoter or conductor of the time would have felt that Bruckner had 'abridged' his work? ::)

I think you should give the many eminent conductors who prefer(red) the Haas version a little more credit. It may just be that they feel/felt that Haas' argumentation that the cuts are real holes in the symphony's structure is convincing for musical reasons and that they base their preference on that rather on such vague speculations why Bruckner may or may not have made the cuts (we simply don't know for sure one way or the other).

I do have the Naita disc. It's interesting strictly for the alternative Adagio - the rest is, well, japanese. Meaning no bass in the sound, no warmth in the playing, no insight into the conducting. It's efficient, brisk and dry. But I do believe the "intermediate" Adagio is a piece of real worth and could be retained as an option here and there.

Although probably a fair description of Naita's performance, I wouldn't generalize that so much. Japanese musicians have been very avid and enthusiastic students of "Western", especially German, music for a long time and they have always approached the objects of their studies with a lot of respect for and interest in the stylistic aspects and craftsmanship of performing this kind of music, often with rather good results which don't necessarily "lack bass" or "warmth" and I think it is also wrong to say there is a tendency towards "brisk efficiency". Actually, a lot of Japanese conductors have leaned towards following (or simply imitating?) the more "romantic" approach of "great masters" like Furtwängler and, in his different way, Karajan. Whether or not that is just superficial imitation or insightful music making has to be decided in each individual case.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on July 05, 2008, 08:27:25 PM
Yes I did, but I skipped that.

It was a highly interesting lecture, your loss.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 06, 2008, 05:51:55 AM
What loss???  It's still there as track I of the first disc. I didn't feel I had an obligation to listen to it when what I wanted was listening to the symphony. Given the lecturer's premise, I feel I should only  return to it when properly informed (I suppose Janacek's opera is no substitute for the Dostoevsky novel, so that might be a while). I have to admit those introductory remarks turned me off big time, though. I wonder how many in the audience had actually read From The House Of The Dead? I find that kind of thing insufferably snobbish (THAT's my loss).

M, you're right, I generalised (sometimes I use that shortcut, but it's usually a poor decision). Also, my sentences telescoped each other (I was tired) "It's efficient, brisk and dry" is meant to describe Naito's conducting, not all japanese conductors' (Asahina is anything but that).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: vandermolen on July 06, 2008, 08:38:56 AM
I've always preferred the Novak editions but I am no expert (not because of Haas's links with the Nazis). One of the best concerts I ever attended was Wand's last one in London; Bruckner's 9th Symphony and that was the Haas edition I guess.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on July 06, 2008, 09:53:53 AM
Given the lecturer's premise, I feel I should only  return to it when properly informed (I suppose Janacek's opera is no substitute for the Dostoevsky novel, so that might be a while). I have to admit those introductory remarks turned me off big time, though. I wonder how many in the audience had actually read From The House Of The Dead?

This is the wrong attitude, I think not too many people in the audience had read the novel. This is not a literary discussion, but a discussion on Bruckner. Dr. Tintner brought up Dostoevsky, because he had good reasons for doing so. Plus, he tells the audience what happens in the novel, so it doesn't really matter whether you have read it or not, what's important is the connection (his theory) between Bruckner and his central idea.

I find that kind of thing insufferably snobbish (THAT's my loss).

No, it's not. It's not snobbery, Dr.Tintner's lecture has to do with music, not literature. If you had even a little more patience, and listen through the lecture. You would've gain infinitively more than what you thought you would gain from it.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 06, 2008, 11:43:33 AM
I've always preferred the Novak editions but I am no expert (not because of Haas's links with the Nazis). One of the best concerts I ever attended was Wand's last one in London; Bruckner's 9th Symphony and that was the Haas edition I guess.

There is actually no Haas edition of the 9th. The 9th had been published in its original version by Alfred Orel in 1932 or so, the first symphony to receive that treatment and be freed of all the edits and retouches made by Schalk and Löwe and other "well meaning" friends. Haas prepared new editions of all the symphonies except 2 and 9 and his work on the 3rd was destroyed during the war. He was removed from his post after 1945 because of his association with the NSDAP and replaced with Nowak. Apart from the certain degree of "freedom" Hass allowed himself in his edition of the 8th symphony, his editions are generally very reliable and a lot of conductors, like Wand, stuck to his versions even though Nowak revised pretty much all of them (in many cases, the two editions are almost completely identical). In Wand's case, I think it is pretty safe to assume that he reviewed all available editions carefully and decided to stick with Haas because he found his versions better, not just because those were the versions he was used to. Wand was among the first to use and record the new critical editions of the Beethoven symphonies which came out in the decades after the war, discarding the old well known versions with many small errors and touchups without any hesitation. So I see his preference for the Haas editions as something of a vindication for Haas' work.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: vandermolen on July 06, 2008, 12:56:27 PM
There is actually no Haas edition of the 9th. The 9th had been published in its original version by Alfred Orel in 1932 or so, the first symphony to receive that treatment and be freed of all the edits and retouches made by Schalk and Löwe and other "well meaning" friends. Haas prepared new editions of all the symphonies except 2 and 9 and his work on the 3rd was destroyed during the war. He was removed from his post after 1945 because of his association with the NSDAP and replaced with Nowak. Apart from the certain degree of "freedom" Hass allowed himself in his edition of the 8th symphony, his editions are generally very reliable and a lot of conductors, like Wand, stuck to his versions even though Nowak revised pretty much all of them (in many cases, the two editions are almost completely identical). In Wand's case, I think it is pretty safe to assume that he reviewed all available editions carefully and decided to stick with Haas because he found his versions better, not just because those were the versions he was used to. Wand was among the first to use and record the new critical editions of the Beethoven symphonies which came out in the decades after the war, discarding the old well known versions with many small errors and touchups without any hesitation. So I see his preference for the Haas editions as something of a vindication for Haas' work.

Thank you. It is the Novak edition of No 8 that I prefer. My brother asked me to get him wand conducting Bruckner's 8th Symphony for his birthday and wondered if there was a Wand recording of the Novak version but Wand appears to have always recorded the Haas version. one of my favourite recordings of Symphony No 8 is by Horenstein (Vox/Turnabout), which I think is Novak. I saw him do it live too in London; a legendary performance (on BBC Legends).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 06, 2008, 12:59:14 PM
This is the wrong attitude, I think not too many people in the audience had read the novel. This is not a literary discussion, but a discussion on Bruckner. Dr. Tintner brought up Dostoevsky, because he had good reasons for doing so. Plus, he tells the audience what happens in the novel, so it doesn't really matter whether you have read it or not, what's important is the connection (his theory) between Bruckner and his central idea.

No, it's not. It's not snobbery, Dr.Tintner's lecture has to do with music, not literature. If you had even a little more patience, and listen through the lecture. You would've gain infinitively more than what you thought you would gain from it.

Again, when I put the disc in the cd player it was to hear the music, not a lecture. I'm glad Dr. Tintner has some no doubt very interesting thoughts to share, but that was just not the time. I may be stubborn, but I don't see what's 'wrong' with that. I'm glad you had the patience I lacked and enjoyed it, though. I don't doubt you have gained "infinitely more" than you thought you would gain from it. As you say.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on July 06, 2008, 04:18:27 PM
With apologies for interrupting this interesting conversation on editions:


If you maintain that attitude evidently you won't.  Your loss.
 

Evidently? I'm afraid not. I simply suspect based on what I've heard, but I never indicated I appraise (or even sample) on suspicion.

I won't be the fool who will deny my subjectivity. Does your knowing your instinctive impulses necessarily entail your pursuing them?


On topic:

Even though I don't have (and wouldn't really grasp) the score, I'm keen on comparing a Haas and a Nowak Bruckner 8th through playing them back-to-back, one day. Any suggestions for score-faithful, "unadulterated" recorded performances of each?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 06, 2008, 04:33:35 PM
Most conductors who chose one or the other version didn't really "edit" them any further, so most of the versions (at least the more recent ones) should be "faithful" to the text. Particularly good versions are Wand or Karajan for Haas and Giulini, Böhm, or Harnoncourt for Nowak, among many others, of course. The discography on abruckner.com can be consulted to find out who uses which edition.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on July 07, 2008, 01:08:46 PM
Most conductors who chose one or the other version didn't really "edit" them any further, so most of the versions (at least the more recent ones) should be "faithful" to the text. Particularly good versions are Wand or Karajan for Haas and Giulini, Böhm, or Harnoncourt for Nowak, among many others, of course. The discography on abruckner.com can be consulted to find out who uses which edition.

Ah, splendid; I've all of those (indeed, I love all of those) but Harnoncourt, so that makes things simpler. Thank you.

And thanks for the link, as well. It might come in handy. :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on July 07, 2008, 06:50:25 PM
BTW, a new Bruckner 9 will be coming out on Sony soon, with the Staatskapelle Dresden and their new principal conductor Fabio Luisi. That is something I will be interested to hear, after all, Luisi is one of the rare conductors around these days who has done his homework and learned his craft throughly, so while the recent Strauss recordings he made in Dresden all happen on a predictably very high level but may not have the highly individual touches Sinopoli brought to his Bruckner and Strauss recordings with this orchestra, they display very solid craftsmanship and a clear concept, something not too often found these days.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on July 07, 2008, 08:32:32 PM
BTW, a new Bruckner 9 will be coming out on Sony soon, with the Staatskapelle Dresden and their new principal conductor Fabio Luisi. That is something I will be interested to hear, after all, Luisi is one of the rare conductors around these days who has done his homework and learned his craft throughly, so while the recent Strauss recordings he made in Dresden all happen on a predictably very high level but may not have the highly individual touches Sinopoli brought to his Bruckner and Strauss recordings with this orchestra, they display very solid craftsmanship and a clear concept, something not too often found these days.

Seems like we'll wait and see what comes out of it.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 14, 2008, 04:16:46 PM
Listened to the two Volkmar Andreae recordings of symphony no. 1 showcased as free downloads on John Berky's site. One is of the 1866-1877 Linz version (1953, Vienna Symphony Orchestra), the other is the late (1991) Vienna (1951, Austrian State Symphony Orchestra).

This was quite interesting because the same conductor played both versions, so I suppose any differences stemmed for the texts used. Well, almost. A notable difference was the quality of the orchestras used - from uneven to mediocre with the ASSO to confident and tonally assured with the VSO. The latter is also reasonably well recorded, although timpani are rather feeble.

Not for the first time I noted how useless the 1891 revision was. The clear, bold and perfectly legible text of 1866 (revised 1877) becomes slightly confused and almost hysterical at times in 1891. As if graffiti had been added. I really don't understand what some conductors can find in the 1891 Vienna version. Bruckner scholars Haas and Nowak didn't deem worthy of its predecessor either - it was edited by other hands. If only Bruckner han't lost his precious time with that revision, he might have advanced his work on the finale of the 9th... :o
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on July 29, 2008, 11:26:14 AM
Keilberth's classic Bruckner 6 and 9 will be available again in Japan 24/9 - 1000 yen per CD. Much better than those crazy ebay price these can go for.

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2BJa5nBj0L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CKZAa796L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 29, 2008, 04:15:08 PM
DON'T MISS THEM !!!

Both are on the half dozen "best" roster.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Israfel the Black on August 01, 2008, 11:28:39 PM
I have been way out of the loop lately in terms of music. Can anyone recommend me some notable Bruckner recordings released in the past year or so?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Daverz on August 02, 2008, 05:33:15 AM
I have been way out of the loop lately in terms of music. Can anyone recommend me some notable Bruckner recordings released in the past year or so?

Check out http://www.abruckner.com/newreleases/featurednewrelease/
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on August 02, 2008, 02:01:32 PM
Interesting to see that Profil have put all their live Wand recordings from Munich in a box. But I don't see that offered anywhere except for jpc, apparently neither amazon.com nor .de have it or maybe I am not searching right. jpc.de is a good site to search for recent releases when you type "Bruckner" in the box where it says "Suchbegriff" and then click on the red button, then in the little box "Datum" so that the arrow pointing upwards becomes black. Then the hits will be listed with the most recent ones first. There are surprisingly many new releases as well as re-releases. I thought the classical recordings market was supposed to be "dead"...

A fairly interesting recent Bruckner release I got is the 9th with OSR/Janowski, a very individual and a little quirky interpretation. I haven't made up my mind yet if I just find it interesting, or if I find it actually really good (or not).

There is also a new recording of the 9th coming out soon with SD/Luisi which could be very interesting. I haven't heard him conduct Bruckner, but the Strauss discs he has made in Dresden so far are all very good and well recorded.

Another recent 9th which I have seen discussed but not heard myself is the one with the version of the completed finale with Bosch and his orchestra in Aachen. They have actually already made recordings of about half of the symphonies.

Simone Young has been continuing her Bruckner cycle in Hamburg with recordings which all feature the first versions. I have the 2nd but I am not very enthusiastic about this recording, so I will probably not rush to check out the 3rd and 4th which have come out since then.

There is also some new (3/6) Bruckner from SWR/Norrington which could be interesting, at least.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on August 02, 2008, 02:10:48 PM
Interesting to see that Profil have put all their live Wand recordings from Munich in a box. But I don't see that offered anywhere except for jpc, apparently neither amazon.com nor .de have it or maybe I am not searching right.

http://www.amazon.de/The-Munich-Recordings/dp/B0013816L0
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on August 02, 2008, 02:32:48 PM
I am interested in that Wand Munich box set. In the opinion of you more erudite Brucknerians, ought I eventually go for it?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: greg on August 02, 2008, 02:36:26 PM
Seems like we'll wait and see what comes out of it.
It'll probably be the best thing. EVER.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on August 02, 2008, 02:42:23 PM
It'll probably be the best thing. EVER.

What do you know about Luisi that I don't!? :o


Adding to my above question, when is that Luisi/SD 9th coming out?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: greg on August 02, 2008, 02:52:37 PM
What do you know about Luisi that I don't!? :o


Adding to my above question, when is that Luisi/SD 9th coming out?
Dude, I like, totally have a feeling...........

i just know, can't explain it, i just know, man..........
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 04, 2008, 07:42:35 AM
Keilberth's classic Bruckner 6 and 9 will be available again in Japan 24/9 - 1000 yen per CD. Much better than those crazy ebay price these can go for.

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2BJa5nBj0L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CKZAa796L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Amazon is taking orders for them and they are coming out sometime in September according to them.

I wonder how this guy  (http://cgi.ebay.com/Joseph-Keilberth-BPO-BRUCKNER-Symphony-6-Teldec-CD_W0QQitemZ170244709772QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item170244709772&_trkparms=39%3A1%7C66%3A4%7C65%3A1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14.l1318)feels paying $40+ bucks for one of them:

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on August 04, 2008, 08:05:22 AM
Amazon is taking orders for them and they are coming out sometime in September according to them.

I wonder how this guy  (http://cgi.ebay.com/Joseph-Keilberth-BPO-BRUCKNER-Symphony-6-Teldec-CD_W0QQitemZ170244709772QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item170244709772&_trkparms=39%3A1%7C66%3A4%7C65%3A1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14.l1318)feels paying $40+ bucks for one of them:



I saw this. I thought I could pick it up if it went for $10-15. But yesterday one guy payed $120 for Richter in Leipzig :o :o :o, and that one just has been released for about £10 (Parnassus) in better sound than the M&A release. I guess that guy has not picked up this news...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 04, 2008, 08:09:49 AM
I saw this. I thought I could pick it up if it went for $10-15. But yesterday one guy payed $120 for Richter in Leipzig :o :o :o, and that one just has been released for about £10 (Parnassus) in better sound than the M&A release. I guess that guy has not picked up this news...
Or maybe he just doesn't peruse this forum ;)
Or maybe he HAS to have the original release with a different cover. Who knows.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 10, 2008, 05:18:58 PM
Some recent listening:

- Symphony no. 9, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Giulini. This is a live recording in good sound, dated 2/1/1978. It is rather different from both the 1976 Chicago (studio) and the later, famous Vienna version (also studio, 1988). The ninth is obviously a work the conductor cared immensely about late in his carreer. He programmed it in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Vienna, Amsterdam and Stuttgart. Recordings of these concerts have been issued and are generally available.

I listened to it twice in as many days to confirm the opinion I initially had. Giulini's is a spacious and deeply probing vision of the score. He emphasizes its sensuousness and minimizes its dissonances. The latter are generally presented within the context of a deeply cushioned and resonant orchestral sound. Giulini's ninth is never abrasive or tormented. It is imposing yet elegant, with melos and pathos in perfect balance. It reminds me a lot of Walter's lyrical and warm Indian Summer version, but with bolder, more tragic gestures. This Amsterdam ninth is slower than the more compact and dense Chicago disc (EMI). In Amsterdam the coda of I is not the cataclysm one sometimes hears (Keilberth, Kubelik, Klemperer). He clearly saves some decibels and drama for the second half of the Adagio. The scherzo is simply perfect in its balance of grinding dissonance, bold, furious punches and broad overall tempo.  I haven't listened to the DG Vienna in at least four years, but if memory serves, he went even further in the direction of stark deliquescence (winds and strings) and growling snarls (low brass and timpani).

- Symphonies 3 and 4 from a 6-disc set devoted to some of Knappertsbusch's many available performances. He was selective, never playing symphonies 0, 1, 2 and 6, and using corrupt and long discredited versions of 4, 5 and 9. Haas had published his versions some ten, even twenty years before, and yet, as late as the early sixties he was still playing those shockingly truncated texts (4 and 5 are particularly bad in this instance).

Be that as it may, the third is a version of immense power and drama. The Bavarian RSO play superbly, with some of the most awesome, fearsome trombone playing I've heard in this work. I wonder if this "1890 Thorough revision Bruckner with Joseph and Franz Schalk Ed. Theodor Raettig" edition used retouches in the brass. Knappertsbusch' s conducting is prone to sound wilful and sometimes incoherent, especially next to the lucidity and clearcut vistas of Böhm or Kubelik. But it's also engulfing and it regularly mounts and scales the heights with unsurpassed theatricality. The finale in particular is a superb piece of conducting, one of the only times where the truncated 1890 text doesn't sound, well, truncated. It's all of a piece and culminates in a grandiose account of the coda. Recorded in 1954 in very good sound. I listened to it twice in a row. It's really a knockout, and I wish the commercial EMI release was reissued. Timings are almost identical, so presumably it should offer a bettter sounding substitute of this performance.

The fourth is magnificent in the first two movements. The ending of I is awesome in majesty and dramatic urgency. Knappertsbusch had a unique way of punching home the climaxes with liberal use of broadening, timpani swells and big, bold ritards for the money shot. In this interpretation the Berlin Philharmonic play quite well, but there are horn bloopers here and there. What rules this performance out of the running is the bizarre text of the Scherzo and the heavily cut and patched one in the Finale. In the scherzo about a third of the music is totally reworked and sounds incoherent and anticlimactic. In the Finale what music one hears is all there from the familiar Nowak or Haas editions, but senseless cuts are made to presumably give it a tidier structure. It's not as disconcerting as the Scherzo, but one has the feeling of bad edits. Again the coda of IV is brilliantly dramatic. Here the sound is obviously more ancient but still serviceable.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Gustav on August 12, 2008, 10:03:01 AM
Amazon is taking orders for them and they are coming out sometime in September according to them.

I wonder how this guy  (http://cgi.ebay.com/Joseph-Keilberth-BPO-BRUCKNER-Symphony-6-Teldec-CD_W0QQitemZ170244709772QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item170244709772&_trkparms=39%3A1%7C66%3A4%7C65%3A1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14.l1318)feels paying $40+ bucks for one of them:



Don't feel too bad for this guy, i saw some guy paying 58 dollars for the same recording last year!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 12, 2008, 03:01:45 PM
Moving right along, I listened yesterday to a truly fantastic interpretation of the increasingly popular first version (1873) of the 3rd symphony. When it was first aired some 20 years ago, this was viewed as a curio not really worth exploring. Then came along a broadcast here, a recording there, that alerted serious listeners to the reality that there's so much more than meets the brucknerian ear than received opinion would leave one to believe. Whereas the 1890 Nowak was the rule some 25 years ago, it has become a minority statement these days among brucknerians. Most issues one will stumble on in 2008 is likely to be of the 1877 version or the original 1873.

Mainly, the difference is from a big, Beethoven 9-size work chockful of ideas and slightly overpadded on the seams (1873) to a slimmer, still sizeable work with some fat shed in the process (1877). OTOH Bruckner may have resented the editorial process, as he composed a silly, demential codetta for the scherzo that was appropriate as the proverbial Mona Lisa mustache. This perfectly proportioned version (if one excludes the scherzo appendage) has been rather diversely treated by conductors and orchestras over the past 40 years. Some gave it the big treatment, others seemed eager to make it a second Beethoven 7th. Consequently not coming to grips with the still discursive Finale.

Most of the recorded versions are of one of these quite different versions (once again, a Bruckner version means a text Bruckner came to approve and publish, whereas an edition is more or less a proofreading of that published text. Hence the 1873, 1877 or 1888-1890 versions in editions by Nowak, Haas, Oeser or some other Bruckner scholar. The various Loewe versions are spurious in the sense that they were published but not approved - if by inaction - by the composer.

Among the really convincing recordings/broadcasts of the 1888-1890 version figure the Böhm, Szell and Knappertsbusch, and, to  a lesser degree, the Karajan, Gielen, and Jochums. Then, going backwards, we have the Haitinks (COA and WP) and the Kubeliks, the latter's Sony recording being my favourite (the earlier Audite is more exciting but less grand, so take it from there according to your preferences). And finally, going back to the text that earned Bruckner Wagner's approval and a sniff from the snuffbox are the Norrington, Inbal, various Blomstedts and Tintner recordings. Of those I haven't heard two of the Blomstedts, but the recent (2005) concert realy from San Francisco is a thunderclap in a blue sky of a version. It's a SF concert broadcast and I can't even recall its provenance. The sound is spacious but clouds and flattens noticeably at climaxes. But, heck! what a GIGANTIC vision! Fully 15 minutes faster than Tintner's famously dreamy Naxos version, its (perceived) dynamic range and electric charge are simply awesome. As are the orchestra's incredible weigth and density of sound (I was amazed), and the conductor's supercharged dynamism. I never expected that from Blomstedt, whom I heard here in Montreal in powerful and hugely convincing but much more spacious, "traditional" interpretations of the second and fourth.

So there you have it: just when I think I've nailed Bruckner's various texts "in order", I realize that they are all consummately imagined and realized views of a  symphonic vision that never stopped to develop. Something that in reality may have only existed in his dreams, actually. This broadcast may be floating here and there on the net and I urge anyone interested in Bruckner to give it a go. So, no gold medal, but a trio of laurel crowns to Blomstedt (1873), Kubelik (1877) and Knappertsbusch (1888).

NB: listening to Gielen's solid and committed Baden-Baden u. Freiburg disc (Hänssler) does not change the portrait. Anyone who wishes Haitink had taken a dose of Viagra will find this immensely satisfying. I did. But as of now I'll go for something kinkier.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on August 12, 2008, 03:20:26 PM
Mainly, the difference is from a big, Beethoven 9-size work chockful of ideas and slightly overpadded on the seams (1873) to a slimmer, still sizeable work with some fat shed in the process (1877). OTOH Bruckner may have resented the editorial process, as he composed a silly, demential codetta for the scherzo that was appropriate as the proverbial Mona Lisa mustache.

  :'( M likes the coda to the scherzo.

Have you heard Harnoncourt's and Sinopoli's versions (both at, incidentally, the 1877 version)?


Of those I haven't heard two of the Blomstedts, but the recent (2005) concert realy from San Francisco is a thunderclap in a blue sky of a version. It's a SF concert broadcast and I can't even recall its provenance.

M also has a live recording of the 3rd with Blomstedt and the Gewandhausorchester.  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 12, 2008, 03:58:21 PM
  :'( M likes the coda to the scherzo.

Have you heard Harnoncourt's and Sinopoli's versions (both at, incidentally, the 1877 version)?

Yes, both. I like Sinopoli's but found it rather severe and massive. Lacking volatility, which I think should befit a d minor work (for no good reason, I have to admit. I guess it's a 'mood' thing). Both alas appended the coda to the scherzo.  Funny in a Road Runner way, but doesn't it sound like the composer  had a fit of the tarentella? The same effect is achieved more naturally in the scherzo of the first symphony - a sudden shift of key and tempo. I have heard a good dozen more versions but not all make it to the finish, even if they made the qualifying rounds.

M also has a live recording of the 3rd with Blomstedt and the Gewandhausorchester.  :)

Really? How interesting! ;D


Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on August 12, 2008, 06:31:26 PM
No, seriously. I have a whole box with live recordings of Blomstedt and the GOL which came out in Germany a few years ago. It includes this very nice Bruckner 3. Unfortunately, I don't have access to the CDs right now (yes, most of my stuff is still in moving boxes!), otherwise I could upload a sample or actually the whole recording. It's kind of "public domain", I guess, since it's taken from a MDR broadcast.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: sound67 on August 13, 2008, 04:34:32 AM
It cannot be in the public domain.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 13, 2008, 04:36:29 AM
Well, if ever you get it to the light of day it would be a very nice addition. I love Blomstedt's Bruckner (his SD 7th on Denon is my favourite).

Another listen to the Gielen 3rd reinforces the very positive impression this disc gives. As good a rec as any for the 1877 version - or the third symphony's if you happen to think the 1877 is the "best" of all extant versions. The SWF orchestra is superb and they play in a hall that flatters their already excellent corporate sound - probably the Hans Rosbaud Studio. Gielen is a non-interventionist kind of dirigent, but he shapes the work with a sure hand. Each movement has a clear sense of direction. In a sense it's the opposite of Knappertsbusch's way. One can balance the strong safety and logic of one against the sense of discovery and danger of the other. Along the lines of Gielen one could name Böhm and Szell (1888 version), whereas Jochum veers in the other direction, although not so extreme. Midway sits (or stands) Kubelik with the BRSO.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on August 13, 2008, 01:07:40 PM
Have you heard Dohnányi's recording of the 3rd (Cleveland)?

How did you like Norrington's?

It cannot be in the public domain.

One of your typical strange posts in which you just disagree but don't give any information. If you know what the situation is here, why don't you let us know? I am sure I am not the only one who would like to know.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: eyeresist on August 13, 2008, 08:30:44 PM

(At the risk of sounding like a fool...)

The Big Tune of the 3rd sounds quite Wagnerian. Is it from Wagner?

 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 14, 2008, 05:00:22 AM
Quote
The Big Tune of the 3rd sounds quite Wagnerian. Is it from Wagner?
The Big Tune ? If you refer to the main theme first enuciated on the trumpet at the outset of the first movement, it's by Bruckner. But Wagner, who was presented with the original score loved it very much indeed: he nicknamed the composer "Bruckner the trumpet". Here's a Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._3_(Bruckner)) article that describes the work and its circumstances. Not nearly detailed enough, but a quick read. There are actual Wagner quotes in the slow movement, but only in the original version (1873). Bruckner reworked that movement extensively and in the process eliminated them. Apparently there are other Wagner quotes in the 1873 first movement, but I haven't detected them.

Quote
Have you heard Dohnányi's recording of the 3rd (Cleveland)?

How did you like Norrington's?
I did not hear the Norrington version adequately (I heard a portion on the radio but can't form an opinion based on that. Going back to an earlier post I see I may have left the impression I had heard it. I did not). If you recommend it I'll certainly give it a try, since it's easily accessible in mp3 format and I really like this orchestra. I have the Dohnanyi, but honestly can't remember much of it. This is usually a 'neutral' sign for me: didn't push any particular buttons one way or another. Generally speaking I have never 'clicked' with any Dohnanyi recording I've had: Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Wagner. But it's there on the shelf, so I might give it another go. 

The ones I have or had are:

- Haitink (2)
- Jochum (2)
- Karajan
- Böhm
- Kubelik (3)
- Knappertsbusch BRSO
- Sinopoli
- Szell (2)
- Rozhdestvensky
- Kegel
- Celibidache (EMI)
- Haenchen
- Matacic
- Gielen
- Tintner

I also heard once but never owned Harnoncourt, Schuricht, Wildner and Vänskä. I may be forgetting one or two
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: eyeresist on August 14, 2008, 05:16:07 PM
The Big Tune ? If you refer to the main theme first enuciated on the trumpet at the outset of the first movement, it's by Bruckner.

Thanks.
 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on August 14, 2008, 06:47:09 PM
I did not hear the Norrington version adequately (I heard a portion on the radio but can't form an opinion based on that. Going back to an earlier post I see I may have left the impression I had heard it. I did not). If you recommend it I'll certainly give it a try, since it's easily accessible in mp3 format and I really like this orchestra.

There are actually two different recordings, one with the LCP and one with the RSO Stuttgart. I have not heard the latter, but I do own the former, and even though I haven't listened to it in many moons, I distinctly remember that I found it quite interesting.

The ones I have or had are:

- Haitink (2)
- Jochum (2)
- Karajan
- Böhm
- Kubelik (3)
- Knappertsbusch BRSO
- Sinopoli
- Szell (2)
- Rozhdestvensky
- Kegel
- Celibidache (EMI)
- Haenchen
- Matacic
- Gielen
- Tintner

Uh...no Wand? Hello?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on August 14, 2008, 11:21:25 PM
Uh...no Wand? Hello?

I may be forgetting one or two
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 15, 2008, 05:25:35 AM
Record collecting is as much a question of chance as of design. I never buy full price. Whatever ends on my shelves is obtained from all kinds of sources at a deep discount (BRO being a choice source). I've never come across Wand's Cologne or NDR 3rd. Wand didn't like that work very much - don't ask me to quote, but I read that in a review. He only recorded it twice, recordings that have been available now and then, but sporadically. I have never actually seen them in the record store or in the second hand shops. And on internet it's generally quite expensive (14-16 euros, a ridiculous price for a 20 year old recording). I have his NDR 5, 8 and 9 (two of them). I've heard his Berlin 5 and 9 and find them distinctly inferior. I'm not lost in admiration for his Berlin 4th either.

The best for me (as a private collector) would be to get the whole Cologne set at a reasonable price. But I don't set my hopes too high. BMG is not known for cheap reissues. Thanks in advance to the zealous googler who will find it for me at less than 50$ - 40$ (the exchange rate has gone up precipitously in past few weeks :P).

One of those I *knew* I had forgotten is the Teldec Inbal. He seems to have stuck to the 1873 version. Conductor (and the same orchestra) came to have greater confidence and sense of persuasion, witness a broadcast I heard lat year. Absolutely tremendous, if without the utter confidence and power of Blomstedt.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 15, 2008, 07:07:48 PM
Hartmut Haenchen and the Netherlands Philharmonic in the 1889 verison of the third. This is an ultra cheap release on Laser Light. The Netherlands Phil is a very good orchestra (clean and powerful brass, agile and weighty strings and firm timpani - I just realise I can't remember the winds at all: I suppose they're OK. Unless I'm mistaken, their roster hail from the greater Amstrerdam area and they play/record in that city's famed Concertgebouw. It certainly  sounds like a very good band playing in a great hall in that cheapo release. Maestro Haenchen and his Netherlanders have recorded a few Bruckner symphones (3, 7 and 9) and from the evidence at hand, they do a very convincing job. I wouldn't say there's a lot of 'face' to this reading, but certainly more than can be gleaned form glitzier teams such as Nagano/Berlin RSO or Barenboim/Berlin PO.

The utter naturalness of pacing is what distinguished this set. Timings for this disc are almost identical to the famed Böhm WP or Wand recordings (I didn't hear the latter, but both are praised for the natural breathing of their Bruckner interpretations - something Jochum and Karajan discovered only late in their life). It could be taken as just another statistic but IMHO it's not. An abiding characteristic of really great 3rds is the tempo relationship between the first and second movement: leisurely, large, imposing and firm in the first movement (emphasis on the downbeats), ethereal, flowing, tender and sad in the second (many musical phrases emphasizing a sense of longing, translated by upward intervals). The scherzo is pretty much the same across the board - Haenchen is on the faster side - whereas in the finale, tempo relationships can be all over the place. Again, Haenchen is on the fast side: slower than Jochum, but faster than Böhm or Celibidache.

Altogether, a thoroughly professional reading, very musical and unearthing most of the 1889 version's qualities: uprightness, optimism and tidiness.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: eyeresist on August 17, 2008, 04:43:18 PM
 
Lilas, what is this BRO to which you refer?
 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: jwinter on August 17, 2008, 05:53:41 PM
Berkshire Record Outlet (http://www.broinc.com/)   :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 17, 2008, 06:01:12 PM
Berkshire Record Outlet (http://www.broinc.com/)   :)
AKA your source for pirated recordings.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 17, 2008, 06:22:09 PM
AKA your source for pirated recordings.

No, PW.

BRO is where classical/jazz/etc labels send their overstock and/or deleted items to be remaindered.

Record labels SEND CDs there.

BRO has been in business for years and has served the record community well. To our gain.


Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 18, 2008, 02:43:36 PM
Another listen to the 3rd symphony in Gielen's  SWF version. Just a word to restate my huge admiration for that team of conductor, orchestra and label (and its engineering). Although I see the third differently, Gielen is absolutely convincing in his chosen POV and the orchestra deliver magnificently. What a knockout brass section! So far I'd rate Gielen's 3, 5 and 7 in the top echelon. Along with half a dozen others - its crowded up there!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 24, 2008, 03:54:03 PM
Another listen to the Giulini VPO recording of the 9th symphony. Every second year or so I listen to this (had it for almost 20 years now). Once again I put it back on the shelf knowing I've not had a great listening experience. Among the three Bruckner 9ths I have with Giullini, this is the most awesomely played, Dynasty-like version. I know I'll be lambasted and crucified for saying this (ask me if I care), but I believe Giulini at that stage of his carreer was, like Karajan and Celibidache, intent on making every last record his testament on a work. Karajan managed to infuse some real pain and mental ambiguity into his interpretaiitons, but Giulini is convinced he has attained the Grail. His version has little life in it. Maybe a lot of afterlife (admittedly very appropriate), but no anguish, no searing doubt-ridden, remorse-laden, hand-wringing strife. Not that it's any less good for that. It's his chosen point of view and he puts it acrosss magnificently. His is more of a Brünnhilde Immolation Scene than Siegfried Death. Past tragedies reflected at the end of a long life. A beautiful, powerful and imposing panoramic view of ein heldenleben. Of its chosen point of view it is better than Celibidache Munich and Bernstein VPO (more cohesive and better put across). Bu I hear different things in this work. Giulini had a more balanced, 'central' view of the work when conducting it in Amsterdam and Chicago. I detect a penchant for the afterlife aspects of the work already, but I think it covers more of the 9th's huge vistas than this swan song Vienna recording.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on August 24, 2008, 03:58:05 PM
I know I'll be lambasted and crucified for saying this (ask me if I care)

Do you care?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Haffner on September 01, 2008, 03:08:03 PM
Another listen to the Giulini VPO recording of the 9th symphony. Every second year or so I listen to this (had it for almost 20 years now). Once again I put it back on the shelf knowing I've not had a great listening experience. Among the three Bruckner 9ths I have with Giullini, this is the most awesomely played, Dynasty-like version. I know I'll be lambasted and crucified for saying this (ask me if I care), but I believe Giulini at that stage of his carreer was, like Karajan and Celibidache, intent on making every last record his testament on a work. Karajan managed to infuse some real pain and mental ambiguity into his interpretaiitons, but Giulini is convinced he has attained the Grail. His version has little life in it. Maybe a lot of afterlife (admittedly very appropriate), but no anguish, no searing doubt-ridden, remorse-laden, hand-wringing strife. Not that it's any less good for that. It's his chosen point of view and he puts it acrosss magnificently. His is more of a Brünnhilde Immolation Scene than Siegfried Death. Past tragedies reflected at the end of a long life. A beautiful, powerful and imposing panoramic view of ein heldenleben. Of its chosen point of view it is better than Celibidache Munich and Bernstein VPO (more cohesive and better put across). Bu I hear different things in this work. Giulini had a more balanced, 'central' view of the work when conducting it in Amsterdam and Chicago. I detect a penchant for the afterlife aspects of the work already, but I think it covers more of the 9th's huge vistas than this swan song Vienna recording.



I'm more and more interested in the Giulini 9th. I own (and greatly enjoy) the Karajan/BPO recording, as well as the DVD, and the (extremely interesting) Celibidache. Of ocurse, reading how you wrote your thoughts on it increases my interest. The Bruckner 9th is (along with the 7th) my favorite Symphony. I still wonder whether it really might have been best left unfinished...the way that Adagio ends.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: ChamberNut on September 03, 2008, 08:14:12 AM
Perhaps my listening for tomorrow (September 4th) will be dedicated to some Bruckner, since it's his birthday.

At least a few of his symphonies, and the string quintet.  0:)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Haffner on September 03, 2008, 09:02:51 AM
Perhaps my listening for tomorrow (September 4th) will be dedicated to some Bruckner, since it's his birthday.

At least a few of his symphonies, and the string quintet.  0:)

I still haven't heard the String Quintet yet, so I'm looking forward to your reccomendations of course!


I'm pretty fanatical about his Symphonies by now.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: ChamberNut on September 03, 2008, 09:16:35 AM
I still haven't heard the String Quintet yet, so I'm looking forward to your reccomendations of course!

The only one I've heard, which is the one I have, is the Raphael Quartet (Globe) recording.

Fine Arts Quartet is supposed to be recording it on Naxos.  It was originally slated to be released in August 2008, but I don't think it has been released yet.

Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Haffner on September 03, 2008, 09:18:24 AM
The only one I've heard, which is the one I have, is the Raphael Quartet (Globe) recording.

Fine Arts Quartet is supposed to be recording it on Naxos.  It was originally slated to be released in August 2008, but I don't think it has been released yet.





Thank you!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 30, 2008, 02:16:47 PM
Wonders never cease ! Check this announcement from Bruckner hunter emeritus John berky:
Quote
We are happy to announce a unique and extraordinary addition to the Bruckner catalog! Thomas Mandel and his Temporary Art Orchestra have created a full-length Jazz improvisation of the Bruckner Symphony No. 5. The performance was recorded at St. Florian in August of 2007 and was performed again (but not exactly the same!!) at the Brucknerhaus in Linz as part of the 2008 Brucknerfest. The ensemble consists of a saxaphone, piano, guitar, string quintet, percussion and synthesizer. For those who know and love the Bruckner 5th, there is much to marvel at in this inventive performance.

SW 010296-2
81:30 - 27:49 23:23 10:11 20:12

Hmmm... I wonder  ::)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 30, 2008, 02:32:38 PM
Wonders never cease ! Check this announcement from Bruckner hunter emeritus John berky:
Hmmm... I wonder  ::)


Bach survives jazzification. I bet Bruckner does too. I'd like to hear it. Does Berky say how it can be obtained? I just did a search and could find nothing at my usual web stores.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 30, 2008, 02:39:15 PM
Quote
Available by contacting Thomas Mandel at www.thomasmandel.at

God knows how much it costs, considering its length exceeds the one disc capacity ???. But I'm interested too >:D.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 30, 2008, 02:45:31 PM
God knows how much it costs, considering its length exceeds the one disc capacity ???. But I'm interested too >:D.

Thanks. I'll check it out.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on September 30, 2008, 04:01:02 PM
Does anyone have any experience with Jaap van Zweden in Bruckner? I hear people love him in Dallas. He's substituting for Chailly (who cancelled due to a heart checkup) here at the CSO next week. I'm debating whether to go or exchange my subsciption tickets for something else.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 01, 2008, 06:30:25 PM
Here's an extract from a Bruckner Journal review that appeared this week:
Quote
Recently I was comparing Sevenths from Nézet-Séguin and that other “Young Contender”,
Jaap Van Zweden – an exercise which this week I have been able to repeat with Ninths. Van
Zweden’s Ninth falls into the category that I call “fine, but” – meaning, it’s fine – as far as it
goes – but not in any major way exceptional (though better than his Seventh.) Very likely
you already have a number of recordings which reveal more and satisfy more.
.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on October 02, 2008, 03:12:52 PM
Here's an extract from a Bruckner Journal review that appeared this week: .

Thanks, but I'm more interested in hearing from someone who's heard him live. Some people don't come across on recordings the same way as they do in the concert hall.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 04, 2008, 05:09:59 AM
As the quote I posted hinted at, the new Nézet-Séguin 9th has come out on the ATMA label. I've read half a dozen reviews and all but one are extremely favourable. One has reservations about the sound, which is found very fine by the other reviewers. A few of them specifically point to the Scherzo as the high point of this reading.
                                                                  (http://www.sa-cd.net/covers/5459.jpg)

I was at the concert this has been taped at (with presumably some touch up sessions, as the jacket notes indicate more than just that date). It's a grand, imposing, warm reading, with much inner tension and variety of expression. More often than not big-boned readings that clock in at 65-68 minutes are rather lumbering of gait and dour of expression, but that is not the case here. 
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on October 04, 2008, 11:37:11 AM
On the website of this orchestra, it only lists 56 or so members. They have about half of the string section needed for this kind of music, so I am wondering if they call in dozens of extras for this kind of performance? Or do they play with that small string section and "make up" for it by playing and recording in reverberant "churchy" acoustics and by messing around with the levels during the mixing? In any case, I heard the Bruckner 7 which is OK but overall pretty mediocre and very incoherent and an album with La Mer and other pieces which is less than mediocre so I am really not curious about this release. It just takes more time than a 32-year old has had to really get into this music and develop an interpretation based on "understanding" the music and "making sense" of it rather than on imitating the gestus and choreography of more experienced and accomplished conductors.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 04, 2008, 03:27:07 PM
They were 82 for this concert/recording, as can easily be found out on the net. There's a strong contingent of professional or semi-professional 'extras' in the area. Same thing with the MSO when they perform a big Mahler symphony. I don't think that's an unfamilar practice - haven't you ever been hired as an extra?

I attended the concert and can attest the volume was almost overwhelming at times, so I don't think any 'messing around' was needed. Too bad you don't like what they're doing. But you're entitled to your (minority) opinion, as everybody is on this forum. I do wonder about your judgment when in the same breath you say a performance is "OK" but at the same time "pretty mediocre and very incoherent". You're much more tolerant than I about what is "OK".
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on October 04, 2008, 04:24:51 PM
I think it's pretty obvious that by "OK" I meant that it is competently played without any major complaints about the technical execution, but that it is nothing special in any respect. I don't think there is any need to start splitting hairs about word definitions here.
It is not untypical at all for orchestras to call in freelance players to boost their numbers a little or as replacement for sick players etc, but for a rather small orchestra to call in dozens of players is a little unusual. The OSM for instance could play this symphony with just a few extra horn players.
In any case whatever my ("minority") opinion is, you are also entitled to your (much less informed than mine) opinion, but I think it is obvious that a little local pride is what clouds your otherwise quite critical judgment here.
I thought you were already in a different place with your Bruckner listening. It should be obvious to you that what this young man is doing here may be superficially quite "nice" but that there is no depth at all to it. Bruckner is much more than nice melodies with a little accompaniment. The relationships between all the elements are much more complex than what he is able to show here. Somehow, on that superficial level, the music "plays itself" quite well to a certain degree but I think it is very telling that his La Mer which is a piece with more detail complexity and less horizontal continuity, falls apart as much as it does in his recording.
Really, there are so many recordings by much better orchestras and conductors of these pieces, I don't see the need for this stuff at all.
Which is a pity because I like the shiny, bright sound the local players make there. I always wanted to hear some Bruckner from the OSM and this is obviously close in sound esthetics to that orchestra. I guess there must be at least some recent live OSM recordings of Bruckner floating around, but then again, according to you Kent Nagano has no business conducting Bruckner or however you put it. Are there some recordings of Bruckner symphonies with Paul Decker?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 04, 2008, 05:44:28 PM
There's a commercial Barcelona recording of the 4th under Decker (during his tenure as MD) - I have it and like it a lot - as well as CBC broadcasts of him conducting symphonies 4, 7 and 9. They shouldn't be difficult to find.

This post of yours was interesting inasmuch as it it seemed to be about a disc you knew. But you don't. I didn't recognize anything I wrote or that was quoted in the reviews you obvioulsy didn't read when you mentioned "Bruckner is much more than nice melodies with a little accompaniment. The relationships between all the elements are much more complex than what he is able to show here".Somehow, on that superficial level, the music "plays itself" quite well to a certain degree".  How would you know- you didn't listen to the disc. Using 'guilt by association' as a way of forming an opinion is intellectually feeble. Not better than 'local pride' I'm afraid.

You can do much better (provided you know what you're talking about).  But then again you see "no need for this stuff at all", so obviously we won't discuss it again.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: imperfection on October 04, 2008, 06:14:54 PM
I think it's pretty obvious that by "OK" I meant that it is competently played without any major complaints about the technical execution, but that it is nothing special in any respect. I don't think there is any need to start splitting hairs about word definitions here.
It is not untypical at all for orchestras to call in freelance players to boost their numbers a little or as replacement for sick players etc, but for a rather small orchestra to call in dozens of players is a little unusual. The OSM for instance could play this symphony with just a few extra horn players.
In any case whatever my ("minority") opinion is, you are also entitled to your (much less informed than mine) opinion, but I think it is obvious that a little local pride is what clouds your otherwise quite critical judgment here.
I thought you were already in a different place with your Bruckner listening. It should be obvious to you that what this young man is doing here may be superficially quite "nice" but that there is no depth at all to it. Bruckner is much more than nice melodies with a little accompaniment. The relationships between all the elements are much more complex than what he is able to show here. Somehow, on that superficial level, the music "plays itself" quite well to a certain degree but I think it is very telling that his La Mer which is a piece with more detail complexity and less horizontal continuity, falls apart as much as it does in his recording.
Really, there are so many recordings by much better orchestras and conductors of these pieces, I don't see the need for this stuff at all.
Which is a pity because I like the shiny, bright sound the local players make there. I always wanted to hear some Bruckner from the OSM and this is obviously close in sound esthetics to that orchestra. I guess there must be at least some recent live OSM recordings of Bruckner floating around, but then again, according to you Kent Nagano has no business conducting Bruckner or however you put it. Are there some recordings of Bruckner symphonies with Paul Decker?

Can you please cite specific examples as to how the performance lacks depth? Explaining the playing and reading of the score, for example. I want to know how you can tell if a performance is only "superficially nice" or deep, rich in detail.

An example would be like this:

"Yannick's Brucker 9th is really incoherent because the conductor does not balance the shading of dynamics--for example, in the exposition of the first movement, the woodwinds play in octaves but the flute has the main theme so the clarinets and oboes are dampened a bit to give way to the melody. That was well done, however, in the exposition repeat, the dynamic level of the clarinets and oboes are, for some weird reason, raised to that of the flutes', thus the main theme is muddy and unclear. Yannick did it right the first time but not the second time around, so this performance is incoherent."

Of course, that is just an example of what I would like to read from you (the woodwind parts are obviously made up), seeing as you are knowledgeable when it comes to judging an orchestral performance.

Thanks for taking your time to explain things to us!  :)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on October 04, 2008, 07:55:46 PM
This post of yours was interesting inasmuch as it it seemed to be about a disc you knew. But you don't. I didn't recognize anything I wrote or that was quoted in the reviews you obvioulsy didn't read when you mentioned "Bruckner is much more than nice melodies with a little accompaniment. The relationships between all the elements are much more complex than what he is able to show here".Somehow, on that superficial level, the music "plays itself" quite well to a certain degree".  How would you know- you didn't listen to the disc.

This post is so *** and insulting that I should just ignore it, but unlike you, I actually respect the at times very interesting discussions we have had in the past - I should actually quote from the PMs you sent me thanking me for explaining what consists "idiomatic" playing of this kind of repertoire, but PMs are private so I will refrain from that even though it would show how silly you behave here now, very obviously because your local pride is hurt simply because these recordings by this not particularly distinguished orchestra and relatively inexperienced conductor who is clearly out of his depth in this repertoire haven't impressed me at all so far.
Sorry, but you can't blame for having heard so much better performances of this music. I do have the Debussy/Britten disc (as download) and listened to the Bruckner 7 at a friend's place who is a completely insane collector especially of Bruckner recordings who has to have everything, but he wasn't positively impressed by this 7th either.
I have even downloaded the 9th symphony from amazon in the meantime because I always want to stay open and curious but I think it is obvious that there is no point in discussing that with you.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 05, 2008, 07:52:39 AM
I have even downloaded the 9th symphony from amazon in the meantime because I always want to stay open and curious but I think it is obvious that there is no point in discussing that with you.

Excellent. I'll be interested to read your informed review.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: M forever on October 05, 2008, 12:24:42 PM
But how will you know if I actually have the recording or maybe just make up my "review"?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: david johnson on October 05, 2008, 02:04:39 PM
But how will you know if I actually have the recording or maybe just make up my "review"?

would you really lie?

dj
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: greg on October 05, 2008, 04:13:36 PM
would you really lie?

dj

This version of the 9th symphony is full of subtle nuances that many conductors miss, such as the way the strings cut through the woodwind section, the idiosyncrasies of the brass, and the overall, more flexable and sensitive tempo in the opening movement.
The conductors works with passion, but it's controlled in a way that is somewhat refined, and suits this orchestras playing style very well. It sounds well-rehearsed, every entrance is perfectly timed and on cue.
The recording is superb as well, a little bit sensitive on the high end, but other than that, well done.


ok, i just made that all up  >:D  ;D
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: david johnson on October 06, 2008, 02:29:34 AM
GGGGRRREEG is a fibber, GGGGRRREEG is a fibber!!!!
$:) the truth squad is after YOU!

dj
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: greg on October 06, 2008, 02:32:35 PM
nah, i'm just a fiber in a fiberfull world.  8)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Que on October 06, 2008, 10:02:18 PM
Please stop spamming this Bruckner thread. ::)

Q
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: imperfection on October 06, 2008, 10:11:49 PM
Has anyone watched the Karajan/VPO videos of the 8th and 9th from the late 70s? They are released by Unitel Classics. One of them is recorded in the St. Florian Church! I haven't gotten around to seeing them yet. Opinions?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MISHUGINA on October 08, 2008, 07:25:52 AM
Has anyone watched the Karajan/VPO videos of the 8th and 9th from the late 70s? They are released by Unitel Classics. One of them is recorded in the St. Florian Church! I haven't gotten around to seeing them yet. Opinions?

About the Bruckner 8th, the 1st two movements are fine but the latter two movements bored me to tears (watches out for M). His EMI and last DG recording is better. The 9th is far better coupled with Te Deum, great performances. Get the 9th if you must.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Maciek on October 15, 2008, 01:38:11 AM
DUX just released a Bruckner 7th under Semkow (with Sinfonia Varsovia). To celebrate the conductor's 80th birthday, I think.

(http://www.dux.pl/upload/obrazki/okladki/0668_mini.jpg) (http://www.dux.pl/catalogue/results/details/?pid=366)
(couldn't find a bigger image, sorry)

I might be getting it next month, when I finally make my long overdue large DUX order...
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on October 15, 2008, 03:36:03 AM
I might be getting it next month, when I finally make my long overdue large DUX order...

* perks up ears *
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Maciek on October 15, 2008, 05:20:05 AM
Yes, that's right. ;)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Moldyoldie on November 01, 2008, 05:43:11 AM
(Pasted from What Are You Listening To? thread...)
(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/61/25/edce224128a047d990f06010._AA240_.L.jpg)
Bruckner: Symphony No. 5
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Otto Klemperer, cond.
EMI

As a point of reference for this brief review, know that I was introduced to the symphonies of Bruckner mostly through Otto Klemperer's commercial recordings with the New Philharmonia Orchestra on EMI/Angel. As is the case with many, it was Bruckner's majestic and tuneful Fourth (heard on late evening radio) that initially turned me on to the composer, and in my case, the conductor as well. From there it was a progression to the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh.  Let me say that if it wasn't for a bit of persistence and curiosity on my part as a serious listener, my Brucknerian excursion might well have ended after hearing this Fifth.

Here was Bruckner as the musical equivalent of reading War and Peace, or perhaps more apropos to this performance, of Joyce's inscrutable Ulysses.  Klemperer's conception of the Fifth is one of rocklike strength and manifested in a great deal of deliberate, staccato phrasing.  The harmonic details are laid bare, but the experience is akin to climbing Yosemite's El Capitan...step by careful step.  The approach works to fine effect in the opening movement as the measured argument unfolds and culminates compellingly.  However, Klemperer's taut reins and deliberate manner undermine things in the succeeding Adagio movement and the Scherzo that follows; lines begin to crumble somewhat as if parts of the orchestra want to "sing", but are simply not allowed to.  This results in a few noticeable lapses in ensemble, one instance so egregious as to wonder why there wasn't a retake.  In any case, the overall effect through these two contrasting middle movements is one of a measured trot where there should often be a wild gallop; a plodding, drawn-out exegesis where there should be an extended, unbridled proclamation.  Contrast this with almost any other performance, notably those of Jochum/Dresden or Dohnányi/Cleveland, which in my opinion are rightly esteemed among cognoscenti.

The all-important Finale and its fugue elements are equally laid bare, all building and intersecting in Klemperer's unyielding reined-in manner, yet brought home convincingly and making the whole eighty-minute exercise worth the near excruciating wait.  Still....

In good conscience, I can't recommend this recording to a novice listener; seasoned Brucknerites probably already know if it's palatable. I would also guess that this hardened and emphatic performance is venerated among fans of Klemperer as epitomizing the conductor in his later years.  As for me, I purposely avoided Bruckner's Fifth for many years until I was suitably well-heeled to invest in other more flowing and varied recorded performances.  Having returned to this recording the day of this writing, my opinion of it remains mostly unchanged.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on November 01, 2008, 06:01:31 AM
Another excellent offering. Thank you! I don't know "Klemperer's" Fifth yet (altough I am a Brucknerian), but I shall keep your comments in mind when I eventually come round to listening to it.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on November 01, 2008, 12:56:55 PM
This is a very good recension of the Klemperer fifth, which has stubbornly remained my favourite for the last 30+ years. It was the second one I acquired, after living a few years with the Jochum BRSO. It is indeed a monument of toughness, cragginess and deliberation. And yet it is intensely purposeful and thrustful. This is in part due to the engineering, which is spacious yet very immediate, with winds and brass very much to the fore. A more recessed (natural) ambience would certainly have yielded much less detail, especially rythmic ones.

Yesterday I listened to the Herreweghe from 2004. It's much faster in I, III and IV. Herreweghe accentuates the 'symphonic' aspects of the score (structure and rythmic flow). It's a live performance, so there are quite a few misshaps, but it's still quite cogent. But a 'quite cogent' fifth is insufficient. It has to be totally in the grasp of the players and the conductor. I have the impression this is a mere essay, a first run that will need to be practiced a decade or so before it's ready to be presented as a serious competitor. For a fast, forceful 5th, Jochum's BRSO, Gielen SWR and esp. Suitner's  Berlin versions are hard to beat.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Haffner on November 02, 2008, 05:47:36 PM
About the Bruckner 8th, the 1st two movements are fine but the latter two movements bored me to tears (watches out for M). His EMI and last DG recording is better. The 9th is far better coupled with Te Deum, great performances. Get the 9th if you must.



I really love the 8th on that dvd, but I think the Karajan DG and the Celibidache are my favorites, particularly the former. As for 9ths, that dvd is equalled only by the Karajan DG, in my opinion. But I haven't heard the Giulini yet.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on November 11, 2008, 05:58:54 PM
Listened to recently:

Symphony no. 4 by the Berlin Festival Orchestra, Robert Heger (live), The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy (studio), and the Berlin Philharmonic, Hans Knappertsbusch (live, 1944).


The Heger is nicely done, a spacious account of some power. It's a good live recording available from John Berky's site (check 'download of the month' section). No details of the date or venue, but it's certainly a mid-sixties recording. For completists. Ormandy's is one of the safe recommendations for the work. I can't imagine it being put across in a more natural way. Everything is unforced, but there is power, brilliance and depth of feeling. It's all a bit glossy though, and ultimately not entirely compelling. Brilliant playing and excellent recording - I like the depth of soundstage and totally ungimmicked recording. At budget price it's a good enough purchase. Knappertsbusch's uses a truncated text (scherzo and finale). It boasts impressive conducting, some powerful playing and is recorded in resonably tolerable sound. For completists (part of a set that also includes symphonies 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9).

Symphony no. 5 by Hans Knappertsbusch and the WP, Wilhelm Furtwängler and the WP (live, 1951). The 1956 Knappertsbusch is in stereo and boasts fine playing and sound (studio - originally released on Decca, it's part of the above-mentioned box). It's the corrupted  Schalk Bros. travesty with its quite terrible cuts and (in the finale) garish reorchestration. The thing evolves much like Strauss' infamous Festliches Praeludium, erupting with incredible bombast in the coda, complete with added cymbal crashes, piccolo and triangle, and doubled or tripled brass section. Still, if one is to endure the thing, it's much better done than the Telarc Botstein. At least there's a gruffness that is appropriate to the music, and the orchestra play like heroes.

Furtwängler's interpretation rights every wrong from the Knappertsbusch one. It's a fire-eating performance, where impetus and power come from within the music - as opposed to applied on it like half a dozen overcoats. Very rough recording and somewhat variable playing. It's hard to ascribe the too recessed and timid horns and trombones on the players - it could be the engineering. No such reservation with the trumpet section, timpani or strings. The latter are glorious in the great, fervently intoned hymn (main theme) of the Adagio. Overall it's a wildly emotional ride. Not for everyday consumption, and recommended only to the 5th symphony's enthusiast.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Que on November 12, 2008, 01:25:59 AM
Symphony no. 5 by Hans Knappertsbusch and the WP, Wilhelm Furtwängler and the WP (live, 1951).

Lilas, what source (label) on the Furtwängler? Orfeo? :)

Q
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on November 12, 2008, 07:31:36 PM
No, it's EMI (Festspieldokumente). Is Orfeo's better sounding ?
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Moldyoldie on November 13, 2008, 07:59:52 AM
Furtwängler's interpretation rights every wrong from the Knappertsbusch one. It's a fire-eating performance, where impetus and power come from within the music - as opposed to applied on it like half a dozen overcoats. Very rough recording and somewhat variable playing. It's hard to ascribe the too recessed and timid horns and trombones on the players - it could be the engineering. No such reservation with the trumpet section, timpani or strings. The latter are glorious in the great, fervently intoned hymn (main theme) of the Adagio. Overall it's a wildly emotional ride. Not for everyday consumption, and recommended only to the 5th symphony's enthusiast.
I was surprised at how straightforward and "no-nonsense" Furtwängler interpreted the Fifth.

I just listened to this for the second time in the past week.  The review is pasted from "What Are You Listening To?":
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515V38PV0YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Bruckner: Symphony No. 5
Munich Philharmonic
Christian Thielemann, cond.
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON

A reviewer on Amazon.com wrote of this performance:
"Thielemann here frankly disjoints and loses continuity in too many places in the fabric of this work: at times the thread of Bruckner's argument is all but lost: the web and woof are at points virtually dissipated, irrevocably deconstructed."

I was so flabbergasted to read this after hearing this wonderful recording that I had to issue a rejoinder. Conductor Thielemann and the Munich Philharmonic give us an incredible performance of Bruckner's Fifth, so much so that I was held absolutely rapt and spellbound throughout. All elements of Bruckner's often problematic invention are melded thoughtfully and coherently in an interpretation where every last nuance in stress, pause, build, and release works to marvelous effect -- but more importantly, in telling a compelling musical story over an 80+ minute span. These ears noticed absolutely no "deconstruction" or "disjointedness" in Bruckner's argument -- in fact, I've rarely heard it put forth more convincingly!

What probably impresses me even more is that Thielemann's singular conception of the work and its marvelous execution here sound as organic and inevitable as in any performance of the Fifth I've ever heard -- not one single note or inflection sounds inordinately willful nor out of place when considered in toto. That this was recorded in live performance is certainly a testament to the orchestra's virtuosity and commitment, to say nothing of the awe that the audience must have collectively experienced! Perhaps Munich concert-goers are used to the Celibidachean "slower is always better" manner, though as a listener I certainly don't always adhere to that notion. (For what it's worth, I've yet to hear any of Celibidache's performances of the Fifth.) Absolute tempo in itself is hardly the be-all and end-all of an effective and memorable Bruckner performance, interpretation and execution are -- it's what makes this performance uniquely special! Further kudos are in order for the recording and engineering team who convey an incredibly natural and translucent soundstage.

I've read good and bad reviews of this release. After hearing and loving it twice, I'm ready to proclaim it as a modern exemplar of the viability of ultra-expansive Brucknerian performance. I do wonder, however, how a novice listener will take to it.

For those who may be curious as to how the 82'34" single disc was "handled" by my CD players -- one a Bose Wave radio/CD player, another a Kenwood 5-CD carousel deck -- there were no problems with either.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Moldyoldie on November 25, 2008, 08:18:42 AM
(Pasted from "What Are You Listening To?)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4101KRK0FJL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 (Nowak Edition)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, cond.
EMI

All the things I've read about this recording, apparently pieced from two live performances in 1993 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, are mostly true.  Conductor Welser-Möst, while not driving this massive work headlong into every serpentine alpine curve, certainly doesn't see it as a lengthy, organically constructed meditation a la the more recent release from Christian Thielemann on DG whose praises I sang earlier.  Welser-Möst and the LPO give us a Fifth well-entrenched in a secular sensibility with a host of consciously rendered emphases (particularly from dynamically prominent tympani!) and surprising diversions to hold our attention along the way.  Most any of Bruckner's lengthy symphonies can be effectively (and often affectively) presented in this manner, but here we're made very aware of what's often described as the "episodic" qualities of this particular work.  As compensation, Welser-Möst tends to further divvy up these episodes into mini-installments of varying tempo and dynamic drive -- if nothing else, it's entertaining!  The orchestra responds with great commitment and ensemble execution. 

However, we do miss much of the rapture of the Adagio second movement as it was so knowingly conferred by Eugen Jochum, whose approach to the Fifth was also one of purposeful variation, but in a palpably different and ultimately more affecting way.  The Scherzo third movement here, while suitably enlivening, is also missing the interpretive qualities which tie it organically with itself as well as the work as a whole. These two middle movements are where this "melded performance" is probably found the most wanting.  The Finale, however, is excitingly rendered -- its fugal elements are fearlessly fused to fine effect and the coda is brought home with a most satisfying "controlled abandon".  The audience, heretofore mostly innocuous in their presence, erupts into spontaneous applause.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on November 25, 2008, 07:48:56 PM
Thanks for this recension, Moldyoldie.

This recording was brought to my attention by another poster who professed a guarded enthusiasm about it. I dutifully listened to it but could not connect the dots here. I found the interpretation not only episodic (as you mention) but cheply bombastic and aggressive (those timpani proving particularly annoying in the context of a seemingly respighian interpretation). IOW I hated it. It pushed all the wrong buttons and the LPO's rather glassy sound didn't help to redeem anything the way another ensemble more steeped in the brucknerian idiom might have.

But since I respect your opinion I'm concluding I might have overreacted and will give it another go next time I play a string of Fifths. I'll try to get that Thielemann version (never heard it). Thanks for that too!
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Moldyoldie on December 05, 2008, 08:35:04 AM
(Pasted from "What Are You Listening To?")
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/410EQ72ESXL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) Most recently marketed as...(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PamLw3YvL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 "Romantic" (Nowak Edition)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Karl Böhm, cond.
DECCA

Bruckner's Fourth Symphony has been a personal favorite of mine since first hearing it on the radio in the early '70s (Klemperer/Philharmonia/EMI); I've just heard this vaunted Böhm/Vienna recording for the first time. Overall, first impressions of a seasoned listener being what they are, I find this performance to be exceedingly routine in interpretation, but quite fine in orchestral execution and technical vibrancy -- in other words, it would probably make a decent introduction for the novice listener. Other than that....

To my ears, the most striking aspects to be heard here are in the dynamic and temporal nuances Böhm elicits in the slow Andante second movement. If "silence" and "quiet" are attention-getting virtues, Böhm uses them to fine effect while subtly shaping delicate melodic lines. The rhythmic pulse is often held onto by the thinnest of threads until gradual orchestral builds are expertly sculpted with a fine shading of timbral dynamics, effectively putting forth what can be an imposingly longwinded and comparatively prosaic Brucknerian argument. Here, I find the movement to be the highlight of the entire performance.

In my opinion, there are several more involving recorded performances readily available on the market -- Klemperer, Abbado, Tennstedt, Jochum, Celibidache -- but if one is looking for a good-sounding, well-performed, and mostly unaffected introduction into the edificial Brucknerian sound world, this might be as good as any.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Sergeant Rock on December 05, 2008, 08:53:41 AM
I've just heard this vaunted Böhm/Vienna recording for the first time..... Overall, first impressions of a seasoned listener being what they are, I find this performance to be exceedingly routine in interpretation...

My feelings exactly. I've owned this (on LP and CD) for over 30 years, listened to it many times, but have never undestood why it's so highly regarded by so many (a legend? why?). It leaves me cold.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: edward on December 05, 2008, 08:55:35 AM
My feelings exactly. I've owned this (on LP and CD) for over 30 years, listened to it many times, but have never undestood why it's so highly thought of by so many (a legend? why?). It leaves me cold.

Sarge
This recording has also never done anything for me. I should revisit this some time; the 4th has never been amongst my favourite Bruckners and it's been a long time since I've listened to anyone but Furtwangler or Celibidache in it, so I probably need a bit more variety in listening.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Drasko on December 05, 2008, 04:50:58 PM
This recording has also never done anything for me. I should revisit this some time; the 4th has never been amongst my favourite Bruckners and it's been a long time since I've listened to anyone but Furtwangler or Celibidache in it, so I probably need a bit more variety in listening.

Concertgebouw / Klemperer / 1947, live / Tahra (if you can find it)

New and potentially very interesting 9th has just come out:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41sSB2LTKtL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Daverz on December 05, 2008, 07:48:42 PM
My feelings exactly. I've owned this (on LP and CD) for over 30 years, listened to it many times, but have never undestood why

The orchestra and the sonics.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 06, 2008, 06:49:33 PM
Böhm's Vienna Bruckners (3, 4, 7, 8 ) are characterized by totally unforced and natural pacing. It can sound like the recipe for bland Bruckner, but it isn't. If you don't relate to their Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert or Brahms, there's little chance that you'll find their Bruckner engrossing. I personally like it a lot, although only the DG 8th is a 'top' in my book. But the others are very close to it. There are many ways to conduct this music.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on December 21, 2008, 07:49:08 PM
Concertgebouw / Klemperer / 1947, live / Tahra (if you can find it)

New and potentially very interesting 9th has just come out:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41sSB2LTKtL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Holy cr@p! Must have that! Thanks for the heads-up! Heard Luisi live twice over the past month and a half. The guy is just plain brilliant.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on December 21, 2008, 07:50:23 PM
Böhm's Vienna Bruckners (3, 4, 7, 8 ) are characterized by totally unforced and natural pacing. It can sound like the recipe for bland Bruckner, but it isn't. If you don't relate to their Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert or Brahms, there's little chance that you'll find their Bruckner engrossing. I personally like it a lot, although only the DG 8th is a 'top' in my book. But the others are very close to it. There are many ways to conduct this music.

Second that. I love his VPO Bruckner 4 (though my personal favorite is Kubelik with BRSO). Incidentally, are you aware of Böhm's Bruckner 7 with BRSO on audite. That one is terriffic as well.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Daverz on December 21, 2008, 07:53:16 PM
Second that. I love his VPO Bruckner 4 (though my personal favorite is Kubelik with BRSO). Incidentally, are you aware of Böhm's Bruckner 7 with BRSO on audite. That one is terriffic as well.

The live VPO 7th on Andante (http://www.andante.com/article/article.cfm?id=20314) is lovely.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 22, 2008, 07:00:22 PM
Second that. I love his VPO Bruckner 4 (though my personal favorite is Kubelik with BRSO). Incidentally, are you aware of Böhm's Bruckner 7 with BRSO on audite. That one is terriffic as well.

Agreed, re: Kubelik's BRSO (the studio one instead of the live one for me). Add to that the Suitner berlin RSO as another personal favourite...

I have the Audite Böhm 7th (as well as their 8th), but since my next Anton listening session will feature a clutch of 5ths, that could take a while...

Never heard the Andante 7th (WP), but according to some, it's much along the lines of the studio recording. Which may or may not be true.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: eyeresist on December 23, 2008, 09:41:28 PM
I am that rare person who does not like Bohm's VPO 4th. I find it very dull and four-square, and the ensemble is less than perfect. The DG 7th is wonderful, though. I have yet to hear him in the 3rd.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on December 24, 2008, 11:03:45 AM
The Audite live BRSO Böhm 7th made it onto the ionarts Best of 2008 list, along with the new Haitink CSO 7th, which I also wholeheartedly recommend. The most detailed reading I have ever heard.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/12/best-recordings-of-2008.html
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on December 24, 2008, 11:56:55 AM
The Audite live BRSO Böhm 7th made it onto the ionarts Best of 2008 list, along with the new Haitink CSO 7th, which I also wholeheartedly recommend. The most detailed reading I have ever heard.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/12/best-recordings-of-2008.html


I believe the author of that "Best of" list is also here, himself! ;)


Bought the Luisi 9th, at last, and will be giving it a spin later tonight.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: MishaK on December 26, 2008, 09:32:53 AM
Santa brought this from Germany:

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/4260034866294.jpg)

Amazing! Very refined playing. Great dramatic arc. A real exploration for me to hear this original version. The original scherzo is really fascinating. A lot of starts and stops and long rests. Makes the whole thing sound much more like the 5th than the 1878/-1880 4th we are normally familiar with.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on January 20, 2009, 08:34:13 AM
The excellent Bruckner 6 by Bongartz/Gewandhausorchester Leipzig is at last available in this cheap 8CD box set!

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/3664421?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0782124845124.jpg)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Renfield on January 20, 2009, 08:48:06 AM
How is the sound on that Berlin Classics set? I see there's a few of them around, ridiculously cheap. What gives?

(If nothing "gives", I'm interested!)
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on January 20, 2009, 09:02:28 AM
How is the sound on that Berlin Classics set? I see there's a few of them around, ridiculously cheap. What gives?

(If nothing "gives", I'm interested!)

Well, normally Berlin Classics have "normal" to very good sound. The Bongartz Bruckner is a quite modern recording, and has no negative issues sound-wise. I know there are some Edel Classics sets with historical recordings, but I don't know any of these.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 20, 2009, 09:29:58 PM
Please let us know how Bongartz fares in the 6th !!!!

Not available singly I suppose? :'(
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: rubio on January 21, 2009, 11:24:57 AM
Please let us know how Bongartz fares in the 6th !!!!

Not available singly I suppose? :'(

Well, it is just how I like my Bruckner 6, driven, precise and with plenty of momentum. It's my clear favourite for this symphony.

It seems like they mostly reissue box sets these day, so I would be very surprised if you'll find it singly.
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 22, 2009, 08:04:19 PM
My Bruckner guru confirms it's available only as part of a box, but it's quite cheap (he ordered it for some 25 GBP).  I've had that Bongartz Leipzig 6th for a few years already (it's on Berlin Classics). It's my own favourite as well (Leitner SWR and Keilberth BP follow closely, with Swoboda and Stein in the antechamber). I thought you were referring to the 5th, which Bongartz never recorded.

I keep getting confused with my Bruckner discs. Either I'm getting really old, or I have too many Brucner recordings - or both  ::).
Title: Re: Bruckner's Abbey
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 29, 2009, 08:29:08 PM
The lavish Artone set of Bruckner 4-5 and Brahms 1-4 with Kempe and the MPO didn't get an auspicious start. These are most probably direct transripts from LPs. In those days Odyssey lps were noisy and had little bass. The 5th has sometimes been dubbed the 'pizzicato symphony', but you'd never guess from those transcripts. The whole bottom range is so severely compressed that practically nothing under 24Khz registers (don't take my word for that last bit of technicality - I only mean to say the dynamic range is bassless). Piano nuances (timpani, pizzicato strings esp.) simply go for naught.

The interpretations are very straightforward, wth quite a lot of volatility. Either the conductor, or the balance engineers heavily favoured the trumpets so the brass mix in 4 sounds totally wrong. The 4th is NOT a trumpet-dominated work. This blatty bunch soon grates the ears, and by the time the scherzo ends, I only wished they had gone out (at my expense) to the local biergarten :P.. Interesting (and probably unintentional) brass balance at the end of I. If, as I suspect, the trumpets were sweeter and less prominent, it would have highlighted the gorgeous mellifulousness and sheer 'liquid' sound of the great horn calls. As it is, it seems like they unintentionally highlight how puny the horns sound next to the rest of the orchestra. And yet, when reflecting on what I just heard, it was obvious the horns were simply perfect, while the rest of the brass section was horribly misbalanced.

Another feature I noticed in this 4th and 5th is how Kempe treats the timpani. He's not afraid to have them swell and underpin the fortissimo moments, but for some reason he shies away from having them hammer out important conclusive paragraph chords with a big thwack. So, lots of rrrRRRrrr, but no ooomph.

By and large, this 4th sank way below at least a dozen other versions with more 'face'. A rather similar view can be heard in the lyrical Ormandy Philadelphia, which is better played (movement by movement) and better integrated as a whole. I'