Opinions on the best or your favourite BRUCKNER recordings

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Seán
Posts: 5333
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Opinions on the best or your favourite BRUCKNER recordings

Post by Seán » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:49 pm

As my Mahler quest is going well, I now want to turn my attention to Anton Bruckner and in particular his Symphonic music. With that in mind are you prepared to recommend recordings of his Symphonies that are still available that I should try and get?

I have copies of his Fourth and his Seventh with von Karajan and a splendid version of his Sixth with Klemperer.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:01 pm

I have so many but I am a big fan of the last Gunter Wand cycle and the Georg Tintner NAXOS cycle. Rattle is very good with a fairly recent 4th symphony.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Barry
Posts: 10228
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:08 pm

Bruckner's symphonies 4-9 are all big favorites of mine. Recommendations:

4: If you already have Karajan/EMI, you have one of the better ones. If you want to try something more aggressive, and also with the BPO, try Jochum's recording on DG.

5: I prefer expansive tempos, with most of my favorite recordings being around 80 or slightly over 80 minutes. Some people prefer a more aggressive approach, and you can find plenty of recordings with tempos that are much faster. A few recommendations:
Jochum/Concertgebouw, live from 1986 on Tahra. I see they have it used on Amazon, although it's a bit on the expensive side. I also love both Karajan/BPO on DG and Sawallisch/Philadelphia. These later two are not currently available individually on CD I believe (although you may be able to find the Karajan coupled with the first symphony on two discs), but both are available as downloads if you do that. The Karajan is on DG's download site and the Sawallisch is at www.thephiladelphiaorchestra.com.
One that some people like a lot, and I like it, although not quite as much as the above, that has similar tempos to those, but which will be much easier for you to find on CD is the Thielemann/Munich Philharmonic recording on DG. Sinopoli/Dresden on DG is another good one. For a faster, more aggressive approach, there is Welser-Most/London Philharmonic on EMI.

6: The Klemperer that you have was the first Bruckner recording that really clicked for me. It's a great introduction to this symphony, but since then, I have come to love the Celibidache on EMI to the point where I'd probably call it my single favorite Bruckner recording and one of the jewels of my entire CD collection. The phrasing and sound are just wonderful, and only the second movement is substantially slower than average. I see they have one used one at Amazon for not such a bad price.

7: You said you have Karajan, and both his EMI/BPO and DG/VPO recordings are among the best. You may also want to try Matacic/Czech Philharmonic for a more aggressive approach.

8: This might be my favorite Bruckner symphony, but I have a tough time picking a favorite commercial recordings for it (I've heard a number of tapes of live performances that have blown me away). Among commercial recordings, a couple favorites are Karajan and Giulini, both the VPO on DG. Again, for a more aggressive approach, I recommend Matacic, this time with the NHK Symphony.

9: Giulini/VPO is my favorite. His CSO recording is also a nice one, as are Jochum/BPO on DG, Karajan's 60's BPO recording on DG (he made one in the 70s for them too I think), Kubeli/BRSO on Orfeo and Furtwangler/BPO.

As I've alluded to, there are two distinctive Bruckner styles. While certainly some people like both, it's not unusual for someone to prefer either the slower approach, with more blended, almost organ-like textures (some people call this the cathedral style of Bruckner performance), or an aggressive approach, with faster tempos and often more blaring brass and less blended orchestral textures. You may want to get one of each for a few of the symphonies and decide which approach you prefer or if you like them both.
Last edited by Barry on Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:55 pm, edited 5 times in total.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 17708
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Post by Lance » Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:15 pm

I am not a fan of ALL the Bruckner symphonies, but I have a special place for No. 5 in B-flat Major, especially with Hans Knappertsbusch who led the Vienna Philharmonic on a British Decca recording. I also have privately-issued recordings with Furtwängler that are quite thrilling, but on No. 5, Knappertsbusch takes first position. I have that on an LP and am uncertain about its availability on CD. [Conductor Hans Rosbaud had a special way with this symphony as well, in my humble opinion.]

Bruckner's Symphony No. 7, however, is my all-time favourite work of his. Having heard many recordings on LP and CD, I always turn to the Furtwängler EMI/Electrola/Dacapo recordings that have been available. This was/is available on a privately issued recording as well a live 1949 performance with Knappertsbusch and the VPO. Oswald Kabasta conducted a fine performance from 1942 with the Munich Philharmonic, once available on Electrola. Another live recording (1963) with Knappertsbusch and the Cologne Radio Orchestra (availble on CD) is also worth a hearing.

Recordings by Schuricht, Bruno Walter, Böhm, Abendroth, Horenstein, Jochum and several others would prove to be more than mere satisfactory performances of just about all the Bruckner symphonies.What a "dark" composer he was!
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17647
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:19 pm

Ralph's right about Gunter Wand and George Tintner's cycles...Wand is exceptional and the Tintner's are attractively priced...and Eugen Jochum has a good cycle on DG also..

here are a couple of other interesting discs...

Karl Bohm - VPO for the Fourth

Riccardo Chailly - RCO for the Fifth

Otto Klemperer - Philharmonia Orchestra for the Sixth

Karl Böhm - Bayerischen Symphonieorchester for the Seventh

Herbert Von Karajan - VPO for the Eighth

Nikolaus Harnoncourt - VPO for the Ninth

PGS
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:15 pm
Location: Hellas Greece

Post by PGS » Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:17 pm

My favorite Bruckner symphony is the fourth. My favorite recording is with von Karajan, but I only have three recordings (one was out of a collection I bought at a supermarket...) In this collection there was a good 8th symphony recording with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the direction of Wilhelm Furtwangler.
"When doing something good, expect nothing in return. Your reward will find its way eventually"

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:14 pm

The Jochum DG cycle is probably my favourite box set, although I prefer the 8th he did on EMI. Here are a few others:

2. Tintner

5. Furtwangler BPO.

7. Furtwangler or Bohm. Don't like Karajan in this: turns the adagio into sludge, IMHO. The Celibidache is one of the few recordings I've thrown away.

8. Wand. The unavailable recording, unfortunately, although the available rec is also superb. I also like Boulez.

9. Celibidache or Wand

Harold Tucker
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 4:36 pm
Location: Ludlow, Kentucky

Post by Harold Tucker » Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:57 pm

[quote="Brendan"]

8. Wand. The unavailable recording, unfortunately, although the available rec is also superb. I also like Boulez.


If you are referring to the legendary Lubeck Cathedral RCA recording, it is available once again as an on demand cd from Archiv for 23.98

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... _id=142335

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:38 am

I would add Celibidache's 4th and 6th on EMI and if you can find it, Camerata's (almost) complete set with the Bruckner Orchester Linz is superb:

BRUCKNER GESAMTEDITION
Gesamtedition Nullte bis 9. Sinfonie
Nullte Sinfonie (Theodor Guschlbauer) 25 CM-257
Sinfonie Nr. 1 (Martin Sieghart)30 CM-367
Sinfonie Nr. 2 (Kurt Eichhorn)30 CM 195-6
Sinfonie Nr.3 (Martin Sieghart)30 CM-285
Sinfonie Nr. 4 (Martin Sieghart) 30 CM-337
Sinfonie Nr. 5 (Kurt Eichhorn) 25 CM-334-6
Sinfonie Nr. 6 (Kurt Eichhorn) CM-345
Sinfonie Nr. 7 (Kurt Eichhorn) 32 CM-165
Sinfonie Nr. 8 (Kurt Eichhorn) 25 CM-225
Sinfonie Nr. 9 mit Finale (Kurt Eichhorn) 30 CM-275-6

Dirigent:
Theodor Guschlbauer, Martin Sieghart, Kurt Eichhorn
Edition:
Camerata Tokyo

Donaldopato
Posts: 1900
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:27 am
Location: Kansas City
Contact:

Post by Donaldopato » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:05 am

Skrowaczewski's Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra traversal is overall excellent as is Tintner's as already mentioned.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

Seán
Posts: 5333
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Post by Seán » Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:46 pm

Thanks for going to the effort to respond to my request and in particular to Barry for such a comprehensive and informative response.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17647
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:31 pm

Donaldopato wrote:Skrowaczewski's Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra traversal is overall excellent as is Tintner's as already mentioned.
He is a highly underrated Conductor, I love every recording of his that I have, I did not have his Bruckner so I just ordered it from amazon...thank's Donald for the recommendation...

Heck148
Posts: 3514
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Post by Heck148 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:29 pm

any Bruckner synphony thread will sooner or later see every Bruckner recording ever made be recommended as the ultimate version... :D :roll:

yup - the Konwitschny/Gezundheit Staatskappelle version of Bruckner's Sym #000 is the greatest ever, a must have!! :P :lol:

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17647
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:59 pm

Heck148 wrote:yup - the Konwitschny/Gezundheit Staatskappelle version of Bruckner's Sym #000 is the greatest ever, a must have!! :P :lol:
I was listening to his Tchaikovsky's 4th the other night actually, with the very same band...seems he only recorded with the Gezundheit Orchestra when he knew it was being recorded for live broadcast... :wink:

val
Posts: 1039
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:46 am
Location: Lisbon

Post by val » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:12 am

To me, thse recordings are best I ever heard in BRuckner:

Symphony 1 / Jochum, BPO

Symphony 2 / Jochum, BRO / Giulini, VSO

(original edition) / Chailly, Concertgebow

Symphony 3 / Knappertsbusch, VPO
(1878 edition) Barenboim (BPO)

Symphony 4 / Jochum, BPO

Symphony 5 / Jochum, Concertgebow / Furtwängler, BPO 1942

Symphony 6 / Jochum, BRO / Sawallisch, BSO

Symphony 7 / Karl Böhm, VPO / Jochum, BPO

Symphony 8 / Jochum, BPO / van Beinum, Concertgebow

Symphony 9 / Giulini, VPO / Furtwängler, BPO 1944 / van Beinum, Concertgebow

Regarding the "Null", Symphony 0, Barenboim gave a good version with the CSO

Jack Kelso
Posts: 3004
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:52 pm
Location: Mannheim, Germany

Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:32 am

Chalkperson wrote:
Heck148 wrote:yup - the Konwitschny/Gezundheit Staatskappelle version of Bruckner's Sym #000 is the greatest ever, a must have!! :P :lol:
I was listening to his Tchaikovsky's 4th the other night actually, with the very same band...seems he only recorded with the Gezundheit Orchestra when he knew it was being recorded for live broadcast... :wink:
Now, that's nothing to sneeze at :lol: ! (Is this a take-off on the Cologne (Köln) "Gürzenich" Orchestra?)

I think Jochum is fine for at least the first three; I enjoy the old Walter/Columbia Sym. for the Fourth most, the Fifth is excellent (as Lance stated) with Knappertsbusch VPO (and the cymbals at the end!), Klemperer hands down for the Sixth, and the Seventh with Tintner or Böhm is wonderful. The Eighth again with Jochum, but I haven't heard Tintner's. I also still love Bruno Walter for the Ninth.

I believe I mentioned once that I experienced LIVE (front-row center) in the Cathedral in Speyer the Ninth conducted (in 1972) by Celebidache with the Stadtsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. He had to take it pretty slowly because of the echo! The Scherzo was mind-blowing---a wonderful experience!

Tschüß!
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

Kevin R
Posts: 1672
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:15 am
Location: MO

Post by Kevin R » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:38 am

Many great recordings have already been listed. Just a few I'd mentioned:

I enjoy Tintner in the early symphonies.

Klemperer has always been one of my favorite Bruckner conductors, and I have most of his recordings in symphonies 4-9.

I love Furtwangler for 5, 7, 8 and 9

Knappertsbusch in 4 and 5

Walter in 9

Schuricht in 4, 5 and 9

Jochum in 8

Karajan (1957) in 8
"Free trade, one of the greatest blessings which a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular."

-Thomas Macaulay

david johnson
Posts: 1455
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:04 am
Location: ark/mo

Post by david johnson » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:55 am

There is only ONE #6...Bongartz/Gewandhaus!
Pity the ears that have not heard it.

dj

Heck148
Posts: 3514
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Post by Heck148 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:12 am

david johnson wrote:There is only ONE #6...Bongartz/Gewandhaus!
Pity the ears that have not heard it.
don't forget Klutzdorfer/Gezundheit from 1935. an epic struggle!! :lol: :P

Heck148
Posts: 3514
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Post by Heck148 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:21 am

#3 - Solti/CSO,
Szell/CO, Matacic/Philharmonia - quite good also

#4 - Walter /ColSO my intro to the work, still wonderful -
Barenboim/CSO on DG

5- no favorite - can't get into the piece very well - I have Matacic and Rozh'sky....they're OK. I'd like to hear Solti....

#6 - Solti/CSO - hands down, a great recording - electric excitement right from the edge..

#7 - a biggy with lots of great ones -

vonMatacic/CzPO
Sotli/CSO
Walter/ColSO
Tennstedt/CSO/ live

the best scherzo I've heard - Barenboim/CSO/DG

#8 - Solti, both versions are great VPO, CSO

#9 -another great one with several candidates:

Walter/ColSO
Giulini/CSO
Solti/CSO

rogch
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:10 am
Location: Tønsberg, Norway

Post by rogch » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:06 pm

My favourite set is Chailly on Decca with the Concertgebouw orchestra and the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin (Not to be confused with the Berlin Philharmonic, but still a very fine orchestra). Very good playing throughout and superb sound. Number four is somewhat disappointing, but you already have a very good recording of that symphony. Among the symphonies you don't own, nos 2,3,5 and 8 are excellent.

For the individual symphonies (of course there are many recordings i have never heard):

No. 1: Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra

No. 2: Bruckner's most underrated symphony. I have a number of very different recordings and would not be without any of them. Chailly (Concertgebouw, Decca), Giulini (Wiener Symphoniker, Testament), Karajan (Berlin PO, Deutsche Grammophon), Tinter (National Orchestra of Ireland, Naxos) and Wand (Cologne RSO, RCA). The latter is Wand's only recording of this symphony (i think). It is part of a box set, but i have seen it on a separate disc as well.

No. 3: For a short version: Haitink and the Vienna PO (coupled with number eight, also very good. Two discs at the price of one). For a long version Tinter on Naxos will do. I haven't checked out Vänskä on Hyperion or Nagano on Harmonia Mundi, they both have their admirers.

No. 4: Boehm and the Vienna PO (Sometimes coupled with no. 3 on a double CD. I haven't heard the latter, but some people have that recording on top of their lists as well).

No. 5: Apart from the ones already mentioned: Harnoncourt and the Vienna PO (RCA) and interestingly: Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. A very good bargain. Ormandy has recorded no. 4 also and it was mentioned in a Gramophone article about neglected recordings.

No. 6: Staatskapelle Dresden and Eugene Jochum (one of the highlights in this set which is a little uneven in my opinion).

No. 7: Wand and the Berlin PO is my favourite so far. But i am still looking for the perfect 7.

No. 8: Plenty of good recordings have been mentioned. You need one of Wand's recordings on RCA (he has 3). And unlike the critics i just LOVE Nicholaus Harnoncourt and the Berlin PO in this work. I am not the only one, the reviews and feedbacks on Amazon are very positive (A surprise really, Harnoncourt has a tendency to divide opinions)

No. 9. Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin PO is very good. But i have heard excerpts from the DVD with Bernstein and the Vienna PO and that sounded sensational. Has anyone seen the entire performance?
Roger Christensen

"Mozart is the most inaccessible of the great masters"
Artur Schnabel

Jack Kelso
Posts: 3004
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:52 pm
Location: Mannheim, Germany

Post by Jack Kelso » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:38 am

Does anyone else here have a problem with Solti as Bruckner interpreter?

To me, his conducting often lacks warmth and spirituality. It's a lot of big guns, great sonics, sometimes even pushing the music too hard. Sure, it's intense....but exactly Bruckner---more even than other late 19th-century symphonists---needs a more reflective, soulful approach.

Tschüß!
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:52 am

Jack Kelso wrote:Does anyone else here have a problem with Solti as Bruckner interpreter?

To me, his conducting often lacks warmth and spirituality. It's a lot of big guns, great sonics, sometimes even pushing the music too hard. Sure, it's intense....but exactly Bruckner---more even than other late 19th-century symphonists---needs a more reflective, soulful approach.

Tschüß!
Jack
Some of it has to do with the differences between European and American brass instruments. European instruments are constructed in such a way as to "burnish", or take the sharp edges off the sound whereas American instruments usually sound harsher. I read somewhere that to a certain extent the differences in sound is caused by the differences between rotary valved and piston valved instruments.

Seán
Posts: 5333
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Post by Seán » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:30 am

pizza wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Does anyone else here have a problem with Solti as Bruckner interpreter?

To me, his conducting often lacks warmth and spirituality. It's a lot of big guns, great sonics, sometimes even pushing the music too hard. Sure, it's intense....but exactly Bruckner---more even than other late 19th-century symphonists---needs a more reflective, soulful approach.

Tschüß!
Jack
Some of it has to do with the differences between European and American brass instruments. European instruments are constructed in such a way as to "burnish", or take the sharp edges off the sound whereas American instruments usually sound harsher. I read somewhere that to a certain extent the differences in sound is caused by the differences between rotary valved and piston valved instruments.
http://www.aswltd.com/rotary.htm
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

John F
Posts: 19934
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Post by John F » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:39 am

The first recordings I heard of Bruckner symphonies were Eduard van Beinum's with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, starting with #7 and also including #8 and #9. I also heard them play the Seventh in concert in the '50s. These are fairly brisk (by Bruckner standards), objective performances, but with a strong sense of drama--the 8th in particular has an impact that I've heard since only from Solti, whose Bruckner is much too "punchy" and, well, Soltiesque for me.

Though van Beinum made many records with Philips when it was chiefly a Dutch company, his reputation seems to have faded pretty quickly after his death, but I still count him as among the most musical and alive conductors I know, and I've kept those van Beinum LPs from Bach to Bartok that I bought in the '50s and '60s.
John Francis

dirkronk
Posts: 832
Joined: Fri May 23, 2003 11:16 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Post by dirkronk » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:09 am

John F wrote:The first recordings I heard of Bruckner symphonies were Eduard van Beinum's with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, starting with #7 and also including #8 and #9. I also heard them play the Seventh in concert in the '50s.
I share your enthusiasm for van Beinum, although I haven't acquired or heard all of his Bruckner. I'm not really that knowledgeable a Bruckner fan, but...well, I know what I like. And one thing I like a LOT is the live Bruckner symphony #5 in the old Philips "Art of Eduard van Beinum" LP box set...a three-LP-sides mono recording that's open, airy and lifelike. While the sound is seductive, so too are the flow, pacing and obvious affection and skill with which the music is being played. Since I do not read musical scores I cannot comment on technical accuracy, just on the joy I encounter when listening to this performance.

Fact is, that entire box set is one of the finest representations of van Beinum's career that I can imagine. In addition to the live Bruckner and among many other fine performances (and, well, one or two oddities), it offers what is still the finest Mendelssohn "Italian" symphony that I've ever heard.

Cheers,

Dirk

Barry
Posts: 10228
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:58 am

pizza wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Does anyone else here have a problem with Solti as Bruckner interpreter?

To me, his conducting often lacks warmth and spirituality. It's a lot of big guns, great sonics, sometimes even pushing the music too hard. Sure, it's intense....but exactly Bruckner---more even than other late 19th-century symphonists---needs a more reflective, soulful approach.

Tschüß!
Jack
Some of it has to do with the differences between European and American brass instruments. European instruments are constructed in such a way as to "burnish", or take the sharp edges off the sound whereas American instruments usually sound harsher. I read somewhere that to a certain extent the differences in sound is caused by the differences between rotary valved and piston valved instruments.
I generally prefer the top European orchestras for Bruckner, as my picks indicate. One exception though is that Bruckner 5 download by Sawallisch/Philadelphia. It's amazing how European he had them sounding. It was a completely different type of sound and approach from what you normally hear from orchestras like Cleveland, Chicago and New York. I certainly don't doubt that the makeup of the instruments has a lot to do with it, but conducting approach also matters. And yes, as I mentioned before, I have that same problem with Solti's Bruckner.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

hautbois
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 6:59 am
Location: East Malaysia

Post by hautbois » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:02 pm

Lance wrote:I am not a fan of ALL the Bruckner symphonies, but I have a special place for No. 5 in B-flat Major, especially with Hans Knappertsbusch who led the Vienna Philharmonic on a British Decca recording. I also have privately-issued recordings with Furtwängler that are quite thrilling, but on No. 5, Knappertsbusch takes first position. I have that on an LP and am uncertain about its availability on CD. [Conductor Hans Rosbaud had a special way with this symphony as well, in my humble opinion.]

Bruckner's Symphony No. 7, however, is my all-time favourite work of his. Having heard many recordings on LP and CD, I always turn to the Furtwängler EMI/Electrola/Dacapo recordings that have been available. This was/is available on a privately issued recording as well a live 1949 performance with Knappertsbusch and the VPO. Oswald Kabasta conducted a fine performance from 1942 with the Munich Philharmonic, once available on Electrola. Another live recording (1963) with Knappertsbusch and the Cologne Radio Orchestra (availble on CD) is also worth a hearing.

Recordings by Schuricht, Bruno Walter, Böhm, Abendroth, Horenstein, Jochum and several others would prove to be more than mere satisfactory performances of just about all the Bruckner symphonies.What a "dark" composer he was!
A live performance of the 5th was the event that turned me into a Bruckner fan. I prefer digital simply because of all that pizzicato and pianissimo passgaes! I found Harnoncourt's Wiener recording and Sinopoli's Dresden recording to be absolutely spot on in their very own way. According to most sources though, van Beinum and Jochum's 5th, both made with the Concertgebouw, is a must hear for all fans of the 5th symphony. How true is that i have no idea, because i can never get hold of them!

I recently acquired an older recording of Harnoncourt conducting the 7th with again, the Wiener Philharmoniker, onm Teldec and enjoyed it a great deal. I was very happy with how he shaped the overall line of the piece, yet not abandoning tiny details, and that rhythmic drive, oh man!

There are so many good recordings of Bruckner symphonies out there like you pointed out. To me he is the most under rated and neglected composer of the romantic period, shadowed by Mahler's success which is apparent today.

Regards,
Howard

sfbugala
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 9:49 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Opinions on the best or your favourite BRUCKNER recordin

Post by sfbugala » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:13 pm

Seán wrote:As my Mahler quest is going well, I now want to turn my attention to Anton Bruckner and in particular his Symphonic music. With that in mind are you prepared to recommend recordings of his Symphonies that are still available that I should try and get?

I have copies of his Fourth and his Seventh with von Karajan and a splendid version of his Sixth with Klemperer.
You already have some fine readings, but I'll recommend some of my favorites.

I really enjoy Haitink's cycle with the RCOA. It's fairly reasonable, the sound is good, and there are no poor performances. You'd probably want to hold onto the Bruckner you have, because the Klemperer is arguably the finest Sixth ever, and the Karajan ones are superb, too. (My only problem with Haitink's 60's Bruckner 7th in his set is that it is soundly beaten by his late 70's remake.) Still, the 8th is VERY fast in the first two movements, and very exciting. His Ninth has a timpani pulse at the end of the 1st movement unlike any other rendition I've heard...except for Haitink's 80's remake. Very electric.

If you assemble a set via different conductors, here's some thoughts: (I'll skip the ones you already have, and try to stay cheap.)

#1-3 Tintner or Skrowaczewski
#5 Maazel VPO Decca Eloquence
#8 Bohm VPO DG Galleria
#9 So many choices: Karajan 60's or 70's, Haitink, Barenboim (either CSO or BPO), Giulini (VPO), Skrowaczewski either Saarbrucken or Minnesota. Perhaps the Minnesota one is the coolest because it is the only one I've ever seen with tracks within movements. Walter's Columbia account is justly praised, but I do wish the playing was a bit better.
Wand has done several fine versions of this, too.

CharmNewton
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:10 pm

Post by CharmNewton » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:40 pm

John F wrote:The first recordings I heard of Bruckner symphonies were Eduard van Beinum's with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, starting with #7 and also including #8 and #9. I also heard them play the Seventh in concert in the '50s. These are fairly brisk (by Bruckner standards), objective performances, but with a strong sense of drama--the 8th in particular has an impact that I've heard since only from Solti, whose Bruckner is much too "punchy" and, well, Soltiesque for me.

Though van Beinum made many records with Philips when it was chiefly a Dutch company, his reputation seems to have faded pretty quickly after his death, but I still count him as among the most musical and alive conductors I know, and I've kept those van Beinum LPs from Bach to Bartok that I bought in the '50s and '60s.
I have Van Beinum's 5th, 8th and 9th and his Bruckner is great. Intense but still singing. And I sahre your opinion of van Beinum as a conductor in general. His stock is pretty high at the moment, Philips having re-issued 11 CDs in two boxes here in the U.S. and many of his recordings are available in Japan.

I love the 8th in particular and I hold the Van Beinum second only to the Szell/Cleveland Orchestra performance which remains my benchmark after 37 years. The beauty achieved by Szell in the slow movement remains unmatched for me on records (and I have many of this work) and the orchestra plays with the rich sonority one might associate with Chicago. It was one of his last recordings and the work was close to him over the years. It's a jewel in a discography filled with treasures.

John

val
Posts: 1039
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:46 am
Location: Lisbon

Post by val » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:23 am

I am also a great admirer of van Beinum. It is a pity that he didn't record all the Symphonies, because I am sure that he would give the best versions of the First, the Third and the Null.

His 8th his very powerful, with an extraordinary energy and also a perfect articulation. Perhaps the Adagio has not the beauty and mystical emotion of Jochum (BPO, 1964) but the Finale has a greatness that no one ever reached.

Bösendorfer
Posts: 328
Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 6:22 am
Location: NJ

Post by Bösendorfer » Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:52 pm

I recently acquired the Skrowaczewski cycle, which I like a lot! I have very little comparison though, having only once borrowed the Jochum/DGG cycle before.

The Skrowaczewski cycle was recommended to me by a friend, who has been into Bruckner for a few years, as the best place to start.

Florian

RebLem
Posts: 9090
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA 87112, 2 blocks west of the Breaking Bad carwash.
Contact:

Post by RebLem » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:02 am

My faves:

3 & 8--Szell/Cleveland
4--Furtwangler, Kertesz, Klemperer.
5--Furtwangler, but really for an extramusical reason. I have a performance from October 25 & 28, 1942, and October 25, 1942 is the day I was born.

6--Keilberth and Klemperer.
7--Szell, VPO
9--Giulini is good, but my favorite is Mravinsky.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

John F
Posts: 19934
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Post by John F » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:48 am

One feature of van Beinum's Bruckner 8 which has affected how I hear the piece is that he used the first Bruckner Society edition, by Robert Haas. This is the one that restores parts of the finale that Bruckner cut when preparing the otherwise definitive last edition.

Haas has been superseded by Nowak, for scholarly and perhaps also political reasons (Haas was on the wrong side in the '30s and '40s), but musically I think the cuts are structurally damaging and need to be undone. Certainly with van Beinum there's little danger that the finale, restorations and all, will feel too long!
John Francis

CharmNewton
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:10 pm

Post by CharmNewton » Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:11 am

John F wrote:One feature of van Beinum's Bruckner 8 which has affected how I hear the piece is that he used the first Bruckner Society edition, by Robert Haas. This is the one that restores parts of the finale that Bruckner cut when preparing the otherwise definitive last edition.

Haas has been superseded by Nowak, for scholarly and perhaps also political reasons (Haas was on the wrong side in the '30s and '40s), but musically I think the cuts are structurally damaging and need to be undone. Certainly with van Beinum there's little danger that the finale, restorations and all, will feel too long!
Besides restorations, Haas also composed passages and inserted them. I don't like some passages in his edition as they seem to come out of the blue and sound wrong, but they are about 98% the same. The Nowak Edition sounds leaner(granted, I imprinted on Nowak with Szell). But Van Beinum's recording is a great one.

John

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:55 am

I'll mention another Bruckner 8th played by the Leipzig Radio SO conducted by Herbert Kegel on the now-defunct Pilz label which I found a few years ago in a cut-out bin. I picked it up for a couple of bucks only because it was the 8th on a cheapie label, but when I heard it I was astonished by the quality of the performance. I rank it right up there with the very best of 8ths. The recorded sound is also excellent.

As a result, I bought a set of Kegel's recordings of symphonies 3 through 9 with the same orchestra from BRO on the ODCL label; they're all live performances except for the 7th. The 8th is not the same performance as the one on Pilz. These are all decent performances and it seems Kegel was considered to be a fine Brucknerian in East Germany but was not very well known in the west. Kegel committed suicide at the peak of his career shortly after German reunification for reasons I haven't been able to discover.

Heck148
Posts: 3514
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Post by Heck148 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:53 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:Does anyone else here have a problem with Solti as Bruckner interpreter?

Bruckner---more even than other late 19th-century symphonists---needs a more reflective, soulful approach.
but all too often -

"a more reflective, soulful approach" = logy, flabby, soporific and flaccid....

so - I go with Solti's approach - drive it hard...make big contrasts between softs and louds, keep it moving and alive....

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:58 am

Heck148 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Does anyone else here have a problem with Solti as Bruckner interpreter?

Bruckner---more even than other late 19th-century symphonists---needs a more reflective, soulful approach.
but all too often -

"a more reflective, soulful approach" = logy, flabby, soporific and flaccid....

so - I go with Solti's approach - drive it hard...make big contrasts between softs and louds, keep it moving and alive....
Those are both extreme examples, and both are antithetical to good Bruckner playing.

sfbugala
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 9:49 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Post by sfbugala » Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:34 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:Does anyone else here have a problem with Solti as Bruckner interpreter?

To me, his conducting often lacks warmth and spirituality. It's a lot of big guns, great sonics, sometimes even pushing the music too hard. Sure, it's intense....but exactly Bruckner---more even than other late 19th-century symphonists---needs a more reflective, soulful approach.

Tschüß!
Jack
I didn't care much for the Bruckner I've heard from him, either. I used to think it was the orchestra until I heard recordings by Giulini and Barenboim. I'd like to give his VPO 7 and 8 a try someday if I could find them cheap. The Solti recordings I like best are his analog ones. Somehow, most of his digital efforts, especially with Chicago, are pretty bad to my ears.

Having said that, I wouldn't mind tracking down his Bruckner 2nd again. I had it ages ago, I'd be curious how it sounds today. Tastes change, and while I thought others beat it well enough to trade it in, sometimes I like to reevaluate things, too.

SONNET CLV
Posts: 626
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:28 am
Location: Paradise, Montana

Bruckner

Post by SONNET CLV » Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:52 pm

One will probably not go very far astray to pick up either of the available Eugen Jochum sets. The DG set features the Berlin Philharmonic and Bavarian Radio Symphony ...

Image

The EMI set (also now on BRILLIANT CLASSICS) features the Staatskapelle Dresden ...

Image Image

They remain competitive and comparable. Perhaps a slight edge goes to the EMI box. Don't be put off by reviews that point to "older sound". The set is gorgeous in its sound. Both sets are.

I have a special fondness for symphonies 4 and 7, which receive most airplay in my listening room. But I enjoy the 5th and 8th greatly, too. The 9th proves in a class by itself.

But my single favorite Bruckner recording remains the Max Rudolf/Cincinnati Orchestra reading originally released on DECCA black vinyl.

Thankfully Haydn House has released a CD transfer from reel-to-reel tape of this classic, and for the twelve bucks price tag it's a steal. You won't believe the brass on this one!

Image

I have several Bruckner complete sets and several dozen individual readings of various of the Bruckner symphonies ... the Max Rudolf disc remains the single most played Bruckner recording on my home stereo equipment for the past ... many years.



--SONNET CLV--

Darryl
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 11:36 am
Location: Dallas, Texas

Post by Darryl » Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:01 pm

I have the EMI set (displayed graphically above), and the Skrowaczewski/Saarbruecken set previously mentioned, and I love them both. I'd wanted a new copy of the Giulini/VPO 8 for some time, and finally found one at hmv.co.jp. It was worth the extra cost.

Heck148
Posts: 3514
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Post by Heck148 » Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:23 pm

pizza wrote: Those are both extreme examples, and both are antithetical to good Bruckner playing.
I don't find the styles extreme, just very different.
I don't find Solti's "keep it moving approach" to be extreme at all. it makes sense, and to me, works quite convincingly. I think the Teutonic belaboring of every phrase, every note to be pretentious, ponderous and logy. it works as a great soporific for me.

I feel the same about Wagner, also - the best Wagner conductors, to me, are non-Germans, who are not so obsessed with the Teutonic "mystique", spirit and all that metaphysical baggage that so preocupies the Germans.

Seán
Posts: 5333
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Bruckner

Post by Seán » Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:36 pm

I bought a copy of the Jochum box set today and I really like it. Val mentioned Jochum's recordings with the BPO so I willl try and get them too. Before Christmas the Haitink recordings were readily available but I couldn't find them today. Celibidache and Guilini are on my list too, actually the flipping Bruckner list is endless.

Image

Thanks again for your recommendations.
Last edited by Seán on Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Barry
Posts: 10228
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Re: Bruckner

Post by Barry » Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:41 pm

Seán wrote: ... I deliberately avoided buying a box set when on my Mahler quest but buying the Jochum set of Bruckner symphonies looks like a very good idea to me. I'll check out the Rudolf cd too. Thanks for that.
I'm not a big fan of boxed sets, but if you're going to do it with Bruckner, Jochum is a good choice. A good comparison to see if you prefer the slower, cathedral style of Bruckner or the more direct, aggressive approach would be the Karajan 4th that you have (I'm assuming it's the EMI recording) and the one by Jochum (I prefer his DG recording, but the one in that EMI set is also good).
Last edited by Barry on Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17647
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Bruckner

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:51 pm

Barry wrote:
Seán wrote: ... I deliberately avoided buying a box set when on my Mahler quest but buying the Jochum set of Bruckner symphonies looks like a very good idea to me. I'll check out the Rudolf cd too. Thanks for that.
I'm not a big fan of boxed sets, but if you're going to do it with Bruckner, Jochum is a good choice.
The interesting thing about Complette Sets is that having listened to a number of other people's interpretations you can listen to just a single man's vision and it gives a different kind of overview, the Brilliant box goes for about $35 but the set by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski is about $110, I love the latter but at $35 for Jochum you can afford to listen to just one viewpoint even if you still have other favourite Conductors/Orchestras for individual Symphonies...and with someone like Shostakovich or Mahler although there are many different takes and nobody has all the secrets I enjoy comparing the Sets even though I think Maxim Shostakovich pales in comparison with Kondrashin or Barshai...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

John F
Posts: 19934
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Post by John F » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:27 pm

CharmNewton wrote:"Besides restorations, Haas also composed passages and inserted them." (about Bruckner 8)
Really? I've never heard that said, and Deryck Cooke mentions no such thing in "The Bruckner Problem Simplified," which goes fairly closely into the differences between Haas's and other editions. He does mention that "Haas restored more than material--what he considered felicities, which had been spoiled in the revision. A dangerous undertaking, no doubt, and yet his score always seems the more Brucknerian." And Cooke gives examples from the first and third movements.

Could you give an example or two of music actually composed by Haas, not just retrieved by him from the unrevised first version? I'd be very interested to know.
John Francis

CharmNewton
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:10 pm

Post by CharmNewton » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:55 pm

John F wrote:
CharmNewton wrote:"Besides restorations, Haas also composed passages and inserted them." (about Bruckner 8)
Really? I've never heard that said, and Deryck Cooke mentions no such thing in "The Bruckner Problem Simplified," which goes fairly closely into the differences between Haas's and other editions. He does mention that "Haas restored more than material--what he considered felicities, which had been spoiled in the revision. A dangerous undertaking, no doubt, and yet his score always seems the more Brucknerian." And Cooke gives examples from the first and third movements.

Could you give an example or two of music actually composed by Haas, not just retrieved by him from the unrevised first version? I'd be very interested to know.
I don't have a score for the 8th and I'll have to check my references where I read of Haas' composing. The source seemed credible to me when I read it.

John

CharmNewton
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:10 pm

Post by CharmNewton » Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:03 pm

CharmNewton wrote:
John F wrote:
CharmNewton wrote:"Besides restorations, Haas also composed passages and inserted them." (about Bruckner 8)
Really? I've never heard that said, and Deryck Cooke mentions no such thing in "The Bruckner Problem Simplified," which goes fairly closely into the differences between Haas's and other editions. He does mention that "Haas restored more than material--what he considered felicities, which had been spoiled in the revision. A dangerous undertaking, no doubt, and yet his score always seems the more Brucknerian." And Cooke gives examples from the first and third movements.

Could you give an example or two of music actually composed by Haas, not just retrieved by him from the unrevised first version? I'd be very interested to know.
I don't have a score for the 8th and I'll have to check my references where I read of Haas' composing. The source seemed credible to me when I read it.

John
A quick check of Wikipedia might shed some light.

The most significant omissions that Bruckner made (and therefore of Haas's restorations) are in the Adagio and Finale of the work. In addition, Haas inserted eight measures into the finale that he appears to have composed himself by combining the harmonies of the 1887 manuscript with material Bruckner penciled into the margin of the 1890 score, discarding five measures of Bruckner's own music in the process. There were no footnotes or other indication in Haas's edition that these changes had been made. This has been described as "exceed[ing] reasonable limits of scholarly responsibility".[28] Despite its dubious scholarship Haas's edition has proved enduringly popular: conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Bernard Haitink and Günter Wand continued to use it even after the Nowak/1890 edition was published, while noted Bruckner conductor Georg Tintner has written that the Haas edition is "the best" version of the symphony and referred to Haas himself as "brilliant".[29] On the other hand, Eugen Jochum used Haas's edition for his first recording, made in 1949, before Nowak published his edition, and Nowak's for his subsequent recordings, while Wilhelm Furtwängler, despite having given the premiere of the Haas score, reverted to the 1892 edition in his final years.

This isn't where I read it, but it does provide some detail for further digging.

John

Seán
Posts: 5333
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Post by Seán » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:55 pm

I bought a copy of the Jochum box set today and I really like it. Val mentioned Jochum's recordings with the BPO so I willl try and get them too. Before Christmas the Haitink recordings were readily available but I couldn't find them today. Celibidache and Guilini are on my list too, actually the flipping Bruckner list is endless.

Image

Thanks again for your recommendations.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

sfbugala
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 9:49 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Post by sfbugala » Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:37 pm

Seán wrote:I bought a copy of the Jochum box set today and I really like it. Val mentioned Jochum's recordings with the BPO so I willl try and get them too. Before Christmas the Haitink recordings were readily available but I couldn't find them today. Celibidache and Guilini are on my list too, actually the flipping Bruckner list is endless.

Image

Thanks again for your recommendations.
That's what amazes me about Bruckner, and music in general: that you can take a certain set of notes and interpret them so differently. Celibadache's Bruckner is a very acquired taste, but for me it works. If you haven't sampled any from the library or elsewhere, I might suggest you purchase one or two before getting all of Celi's. The slow tempi may turn you off. Since they aren't cheap due to their length, (a few are on two discs), you may opt for just trying one out.

On the other hand, Schuricht, did a Bruckner 8th with the VPO which was only about 72 mins vs. Celi's approx 100 min performance! But even though I ended up selling both, (after keeping my backup), they're both fine performances.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 30 guests