Can't warm to Bruckner

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slofstra
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Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:04 pm

It's not that I dislike his music, but I don't like it very much. Sometimes I'll hear new music and know it needs to be given repeated listenings to give it a proper chance. It doesn't seem to be this way with Bruckner. His symphonies are ponderously long, and there's not much to see along the way.
I have enjoyed a symphony or two of Bruckner's, but I know I could name 50 composers I like more. So over the years, I just haven't bothered with him a great deal.
I'd love for someone to counterpoint my thoughts, which are largely attitudinal. After all, I haven't listened to him all that much because of my preconceptions. Is there anyone who listens to Bruckner at least once a week, or once a month?

I guess what prompted this is that I viewed a recent BPO concert conducted by Herbert Blomstedt with Lief Ove Andsnes playing Mozart's PC #22. A stellar performance, but when it came to the closing piece, Bruckner's Symphony 4 at 77 minutes in length, I bailed out.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by parsifal » Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:40 am

De gustibus non est disputandum!

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by david johnson » Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:29 am

I have never had a problem enjoying Bruckner's music :)

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:45 am

david johnson wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:29 am
I have never had a problem enjoying Bruckner's music :)
But doesn't it give you the feeling that you'd rather be listening to something else?

It's like Beethoven symphony number 1, which our local symphony performed last time out. Why? When we have 2 through 9.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:52 am

parsifal wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:40 am
De gustibus non est disputandum!
Yes, of course, but a little friendly counterpoint can be fun.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by barney » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:02 am

I have some sympathy for your position. I have to be in the mood for Bruckner. But I love the fourth - I think it's magnificent. The opening always reminds me of Mahler 5.
And in the last months of his life, my friend Barry Tuckwell (separate thread) listened to Bruckner 8 more than anything.
Do you know the lovely story about Bruckner being invited to conduct the VPO? At the first rehearsal Bruckner, a delightfully modest man, took the podium and looked around. Eventually the concertmaster said to him, "whenever you are ready, Herr Bruckner." The composer replied, "Oh no gentlemen, after you!" :lol:

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by parsifal » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:35 am

I guess there is no use in saying that one doesn´t warm to the music of Bruckner. Anyone of the members of CMG can come up with stuff like that. I know there is no use for me saying that I don´t warm to Stravinskij adding that "Les Noces" is the ugliest music I have on disc.
I follow the advice to listen to something else, unless I decide to "conquer" Les Noces by giving it repeated listenings until I like it or at least until I stand it.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:52 am

barney wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:02 am
I have some sympathy for your position. I have to be in the mood for Bruckner. But I love the fourth - I think it's magnificent. The opening always reminds me of Mahler 5.
And in the last months of his life, my friend Barry Tuckwell (separate thread) listened to Bruckner 8 more than anything.
Do you know the lovely story about Bruckner being invited to conduct the VPO? At the first rehearsal Bruckner, a delightfully modest man, took the podium and looked around. Eventually the concertmaster said to him, "whenever you are ready, Herr Bruckner." The composer replied, "Oh no gentlemen, after you!" :lol:
Good story, but what happened next? It sounds like an impasse.
I regard any of my opinions as tentative, so perhaps the Fourth would be a good test. It's just too bad that the test is over an hour.
I do love Mahler's 5th, although I think the opening is surpassed by the 6th, which is one of THE great openings in music, along with Deep Purple's 'Smoke on the Water'. It must be added that, unlike Mahler, once you're a couple of minutes into the rock classic, there really isn't a lot more to it. The best ones in that genre usually end around that point.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:05 am

parsifal wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:35 am
I guess there is no use in saying that one doesn´t warm to the music of Bruckner. Anyone of the members of CMG can come up with stuff like that. I know there is no use for me saying that I don´t warm to Stravinskij adding that "Les Noces" is the ugliest music I have on disc.
I follow the advice to listen to something else, unless I decide to "conquer" Les Noces by giving it repeated listenings until I like it or at least until I stand it.

Kjell Nilsson
Trelleborg, Sweden
If there's something that anyone can come up with, leave it to me. You are scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to musical erudition in reading my posts, Kjell.
But not warning to Stravinsky? Say it isn't so. Stravinsky is like Tuscany to Bruckner's Sweden. Something invigorating and surprising around every corner compared to existential bleakness. (A bit tongue in cheek here if that isn't obvious).
Last edited by slofstra on Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by Rach3 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:10 am

The only Bruckner recording I have is of his 7th Symphony (Solti/CSO/London).You might try that one,which I enjoy. At his debut concert as new principal conductor/music director of the NYPO, Kurt Masur presented the 7th ( a live TV broadcast ) , with a piece by John Adams and Copland's "Four American Songs" ( title ?) sung by Thomas Hampson.There apparently was some criticism of Masur for his choice of the Bruckner, but that was my first hearing and I acquired the cd shortly thereafter. One wag commented there are great moments in Wagner operas and Bruckner symphonies; the moments are just so far apart.

The Mahler symphonies I listen to are Nos.1,5,6, as well as "Das Lied von der Erde" and "Kindertotenlieder."

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:25 am

Rach3 wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:10 am
The only Bruckner recording I have is of his 7th Symphony (Solti/CSO/London).You might try that one,which I enjoy. At his debut concert as new principal conductor/music director of the NYPO, Kurt Masur presented the 7th ( a live TV broadcast ) , with a piece by John Adams and Copland's "Four American Songs" ( title ?) sung by Thomas Hampson.There apparently was some criticism of Masur for his choice of the Bruckner, but that was my first hearing and I acquired the cd shortly thereafter. One wag commented there are great moments in Wagner operas and Bruckner symphonies; the moments are just so far apart.

The Mahler symphonies I listen to are Nos.1,5,6, as well as "Das Lied von der Erde" and "Kindertotenlieder."
I had the privilege of seeing the Ring in Toronto some years ago, and can vouch for the Wagner comment.. But such moments, though.
That's a pretty good Mahler hit list and matches mine, although I listen to a lot more of it, on occasion.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by maestrob » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:06 am

As a teenager, I was blown away by Bruno Walter's Bruckner IV, VII, & IX, and later George Szell's VIII with the Cleveland Orchestra. I was also strongly impressed by Solti's Mahler II (London), VII (Chicago), Leinsdorf's I (Boston) and Bernstein's Mahler overall. Personally, Henry, I think it matters a great deal if the music resonated with you at a young age. If not, so be it. I will say it took me a while to appreciate Bruckner's middle symphonies (V, VI), but I now love those as well, especially V.

That said, there are quite a few mediocre recordings of Bruckner available, and listening to those would definitely put me off if they were all I had available. Here's a list of some recommended recordings of the more popular symphonies:

IV: Bruno Walter/Columbia Symphony, Barenboim/Berlin Staatskappelle (DVD), Honeck/Pittsburgh

VII: Walter/Columbia Symphony, Barenboim/Berlin (DVD), HVK/Berlin (EMI), Nelsons/Leipzig

VIII: Szell/Cleveland, Giulini/Vienna, HVK/Vienna

IX: Walter/Columbia, HVK/Berlin, Honeck/Pittsburgh, Barenboim/Berlin (DVD)

De gustibus and all that. The above are simply my personal favorites.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by diegobueno » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:25 pm

Any performance of Bruckner 4th that lasts 77 minutes is waaaaayyyyyy toooooo slloooooowww!
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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by maestrob » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:54 pm

barney wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:02 am
I have some sympathy for your position. I have to be in the mood for Bruckner. But I love the fourth - I think it's magnificent. The opening always reminds me of Mahler 5.
And in the last months of his life, my friend Barry Tuckwell (separate thread) listened to Bruckner 8 more than anything.
Do you know the lovely story about Bruckner being invited to conduct the VPO? At the first rehearsal Bruckner, a delightfully modest man, took the podium and looked around. Eventually the concertmaster said to him, "whenever you are ready, Herr Bruckner." The composer replied, "Oh no gentlemen, after you!" :lol:
Good anecdote, Barney! :lol:

FWIW: My favorite Bruckner Symphony is also VIII, but only when it's done well, which is rarely (Please see list above.).

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by david johnson » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:47 pm

slofstra wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:45 am
david johnson wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:29 am
I have never had a problem enjoying Bruckner's music :)
But doesn't it give you the feeling that you'd rather be listening to something else?

It's like Beethoven symphony number 1, which our local symphony performed last time out. Why? When we have 2 through 9.
No, and I enjoy Beethoven's 1st quite a bit :)

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:15 pm

Thanks for the various recommendations and comments. I looked at my catalogue and while I have a smattering of Bruckner recordings, the only rendition of the 4th symphony is Karl Boehm and the VSO within my 'Decca Sound' box set.

I checked my TIDAL music service, and there are 143 distinct recordings. So the next time I have 77 minutes (or ideally, somewhat less as suggested) I'll pull up the Bruno Walter rendition and have a listen.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:22 pm

david johnson wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:47 pm
slofstra wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:45 am
david johnson wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:29 am
I have never had a problem enjoying Bruckner's music :)
But doesn't it give you the feeling that you'd rather be listening to something else?

It's like Beethoven symphony number 1, which our local symphony performed last time out. Why? When we have 2 through 9.
No, and I enjoy Beethoven's 1st quite a bit :)
So, just out of idle curiousity, and if you don't object to the question, do you happen to like it better than any of numbers 2 through 9, and if so, which?

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by david johnson » Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:42 am

Better? No. I do listen to it much more than #8.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by diegobueno » Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:23 am

slofstra wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:15 pm
So the next time I have 77 minutes (or ideally, somewhat less as suggested) I'll pull up the Bruno Walter rendition and have a listen.
Here's Otto Klemperer, my choice for the 4th. I don't know if it will change your opinion, but you can save yourself 17 minutes, for his runs exactly one hour.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56VBDwujEJc
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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by maestrob » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:40 am

Klemperer is good in Bruckner IV on EMI with the Philharmonia. I also have a live recording where he rushes the tempo a bit in the first movement, so I was careful not to include that one. His recording of VI was a favorite for quite a while, along with Solti's, but they have both been supplanted by Barenboim's DVD with the Berlin Staatskappelle Orchestra.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:49 pm

diegobueno wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:23 am
slofstra wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:15 pm
So the next time I have 77 minutes (or ideally, somewhat less as suggested) I'll pull up the Bruno Walter rendition and have a listen.
Here's Otto Klemperer, my choice for the 4th. I don't know if it will change your opinion, but you can save yourself 17 minutes, for his runs exactly one hour.
I could see that. I love both the Klemperer Beethoven and Brahms sets (other than his surprisingly poor Beethoven 9th.) I'll listen to it CD quality on TIDAL.
Last edited by slofstra on Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:50 pm

maestrob wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:40 am
Klemperer is good in Bruckner IV on EMI with the Philharmonia. I also have a live recording where he rushes the tempo a bit in the first movement, so I was careful not to include that one. His recording of VI was a favorite for quite a while, along with Solti's, but they have both been supplanted by Barenboim's DVD with the Berlin Staatskappelle Orchestra.
Okay, a second on Klemperer then!

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by Lance » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:15 pm

While I have all the symphonies and much other music by Bruckner, it is only the 7th in E major that contains something special and memorable. And, of course, outside of Bruckner's 9th symphony, the seventh has an enormous number of recordings available. Knappertsbusch was allegedly one of his finest interpreters.
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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by barney » Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:25 pm

Lance wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:15 pm
While I have all the symphonies and much other music by Bruckner, it is only the 7th in E major that contains something special and memorable. And, of course, outside of Bruckner's 9th symphony, the seventh has an enormous number of recordings available. Knappertsbusch was allegedly one of his finest interpreters.
Is that so, Lance? Coincidentally I have just received and not yet opened a four-CD Eloquence collection of Kna doing Bruckner 3, 4, 5 and 8 with the VPO and Munich Phil.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by diegobueno » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:06 pm

The 7th was my "gateway drug" into Bruckner. It does have something special that the others don't have. Maybe it's that wonderful cello melody at the beginning. Maybe it's the fact that it's the only Bruckner symphony in a key not used by Beethoven in a symphony. Here it is conducted by Eugen Jochum, an all-around great Bruckner conductor


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuMef33J6aA
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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by Lance » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:06 am

Now, THAT Eloquence set sounds like a winner. Kna's Bruckner 7th, however, is available on a number of labels. Eloquence is doing a marathon job in their reissue series. I have been in touch with them about certain things I would like to see reissued (from the DGG catalogue) and got a nice reply, but not seeing anything yet. See another post on Eloquence coming forth. Hope you enjoy's Kna's 3,4, 5 and 8!
barney wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:25 pm
Lance wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:15 pm
While I have all the symphonies and much other music by Bruckner, it is only the 7th in E major that contains something special and memorable. And, of course, outside of Bruckner's 9th symphony, the seventh has an enormous number of recordings available. Knappertsbusch was allegedly one of his finest interpreters.
Is that so, Lance? Coincidentally I have just received and not yet opened a four-CD Eloquence collection of Kna doing Bruckner 3, 4, 5 and 8 with the VPO and Munich Phil.
Lance G. Hill
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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by maestrob » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:58 am

Lance wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:15 pm
While I have all the symphonies and much other music by Bruckner, it is only the 7th in E major that contains something special and memorable. And, of course, outside of Bruckner's 9th symphony, the seventh has an enormous number of recordings available. Knappertsbusch was allegedly one of his finest interpreters.
Knappertsbusch was a pioneer in Bruckner, and his Decca recordings are very fine for their day. V, however, has a massive cut in the final movement which today is deemed unnecessary. I don't care for the Westminster recording of VIII included in this set, however, as it lacks discipline. Don't be pulled in by his many recordings on other labels, however. I find that many of them lack discipline in entrances (Kna famously didn't care much for rehearsals). For those who are interested, here's the cover of his Decca Bruckner recordings which are being reissued in a single box set for $26.00 ($17.50 at Presto Classical) as of March 13th:

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by Wallingford » Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:21 pm

My take on Bruckner?

About a quarter-century ago, when I lived in Seattle, I always hung around the lobby beforehand for 'will-call' tickets. The Seattle Symphony had two items on the agenda--a Mozart piano concerto, featuring soloist Alicia DeLarrocha and maestro Gerard Schwarz, and Bruckner's Fifth. How was a Bruckner symphony going to follow up two of the main stars of the Mostly Mozart Festival? I left after the concerto. I was satisfied.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by maestrob » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:08 pm

Lance wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:06 am
Now, THAT Eloquence set sounds like a winner. Kna's Bruckner 7th, however, is available on a number of labels. Eloquence is doing a marathon job in their reissue series. I have been in touch with them about certain things I would like to see reissued (from the DGG catalogue) and got a nice reply, but not seeing anything yet. See another post on Eloquence coming forth. Hope you enjoy's Kna's 3,4, 5 and 8!
barney wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:25 pm
Lance wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:15 pm
While I have all the symphonies and much other music by Bruckner, it is only the 7th in E major that contains something special and memorable. And, of course, outside of Bruckner's 9th symphony, the seventh has an enormous number of recordings available. Knappertsbusch was allegedly one of his finest interpreters.
Is that so, Lance? Coincidentally I have just received and not yet opened a four-CD Eloquence collection of Kna doing Bruckner 3, 4, 5 and 8 with the VPO and Munich Phil.
Lance, I just opened and listened to this new remastering of Kna's late recordings of Bruckner. I must say the remastering is quite an improvement to my ears over previous releases, and it's good to have them all in one box. Of course III and IV are in mono (IV's first international release on Decca), while V and VIII are in stereo, VIII being previously released on the Westminster label, which I also have. I hadn't listened to them in some years, and I noticed that the playing in VIII was better than I remembered, but Knappertsbusch drags the Finale of the last movement, slowing it down to a point where all the buildup of tension is lost, a decision that neither Szell or Giulini/Vienna make. While I applaud this important reissue then for historical reasons and am happy that this is an improvement, I still maintain that Szell and Giulini make a better case for VIII in particular with more polished playing. It's great to have this box in my collection, nevertheless.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by THEHORN » Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:43 pm

I've been confirmed Bruckner fan ever since I discovered his music 50 years ago as a teenager , when I got the classic recording of his 9th with Carl Schuricht and the Vienna Philharmonic . His music instantly "clicked " with me and I became familiar with all of his other 8 completed symphonies , and his magnificent choral works such as the e Deum and others .
Yes, Bruckner's music is not for everyone . But I consider him to be a truly great and unique composer whose music can offer listers a transcendent experience unlike anything else in music .
I never get tired of his music ; you can always discover things in it you have never known before . Bruckner is one of the most misunderstood composers ; first of all he did not "wrote the same symphony over nine times ". Each of his symphonies is actually vastly different from the others despite superficial similarities . His symphonic still evolved greatly over the years .
Also, once you get accustomed to them, they never seem "boring " or "too long " , and they are far form being "repetitious ". You will find different features in each symphony which are not found in the others . For example, his sadly neglected first contains the germs of his individual style but is the shorts of the nine, being only about the length of the first by Brahms .
In the 4th, the famous "hunting " scherzo is in 2/4 rather than the usual 3/4 of symphonic scherzos , and the massive , granitic 5th is the only one of the nine with a slow introduction in the first movement , as well as in the monumental finale . ( there is a slow introduction to the finale of his rarely performed early symphony no "0" .
In his unfinished 9th, Bruckner was experimenting with radical dissonant harmonies which foreshadow 20 theca century harmony to an astonishing degree , and there are also passages which seem to abandon tonality altogether . Parts of this unfinished masterpiece sound startlingly similar to the music of Schoenberg and Berg .
People who experience Bruckner's music for the first time and find it puzzling or off-putting should give them repeated hearings , and very possibly, they will become Bruckner fans . It may take some effort to do this, but if you give his music a chance,e it can be incredibly rewarding .

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by Holden Fourth » Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:49 pm

My introduction to Bruckner was a fortunate one - the Bruno Walter recording of the 9th. It was the Scherzo that initially grabbed me and I worked outwards from there. I also have an excellent Giulini recording.

Next was the 4th and again I lucked in. Eugen Jochum's recording made it very easy listening for me.

Finally the 8th. I'm a bit ambivalent about this one though there are parts really like. HvK is the conductor here. Some of the rest I've sampled but have never had the inclination to get them.

So what I guess I'm saying is that often it's a particular recording of a work that eventually helps you connect with it. A good example for me is the New World Symphony. I got a couple of different recordings from the library and thought "ho hum". Then I heard Fricsay and I was sold!

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by Lance » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:52 pm

Wow, almost 9,000 hits on this thread as I write this. I have never been in awe of Bruckner as I have been of Mahler's symphonic writing though my favourites of Bruckner are Nos. 5 and 7, especially 7. Just thought I'd throw in my two cents worth.
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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by barney » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:14 am

Holden Fourth wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:49 pm
My introduction to Bruckner was a fortunate one - the Bruno Walter recording of the 9th. It was the Scherzo that initially grabbed me and I worked outwards from there. I also have an excellent Giulini recording.

Next was the 4th and again I lucked in. Eugen Jochum's recording made it very easy listening for me.

Finally the 8th. I'm a bit ambivalent about this one though there are parts really like. HvK is the conductor here. Some of the rest I've sampled but have never had the inclination to get them.

So what I guess I'm saying is that often it's a particular recording of a work that eventually helps you connect with it. A good example for me is the New World Symphony. I got a couple of different recordings from the library and thought "ho hum". Then I heard Fricsay and I was sold!
This is so true. I still remember the first opera set I bought - Callas and Gobbi in the Barber of Seville. Still one of my top 10 opera sets. After such a happy beginning, I devoured all I could get.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by maestrob » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:46 am

Holden Fourth wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:49 pm
My introduction to Bruckner was a fortunate one - the Bruno Walter recording of the 9th. It was the Scherzo that initially grabbed me and I worked outwards from there. I also have an excellent Giulini recording.

Next was the 4th and again I lucked in. Eugen Jochum's recording made it very easy listening for me.

Finally the 8th. I'm a bit ambivalent about this one though there are parts really like. HvK is the conductor here. Some of the rest I've sampled but have never had the inclination to get them.

So what I guess I'm saying is that often it's a particular recording of a work that eventually helps you connect with it. A good example for me is the New World Symphony. I got a couple of different recordings from the library and thought "ho hum". Then I heard Fricsay and I was sold!
Just for the record, if you're having trouble with Bruckner VIII, do try Szell/Cleveland or Giulini/Vienna. Both are outstanding and superior to HvK's two recordings (You don't specify which one you have.). The Eighth is Bruckner's masterpiece and, IMHO, his greatest symphony.

Bruno Walter also recorded IV and VII at the same time he recorded IX with the Columbia Symphony. His IV, again IMHO, is more tight-knit than Jochum, and I prefer that.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by absinthe » Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:38 am

I've never been unhappy with Bruckner. My favourite recordings were the many made by Klemperer, Takashi Asahina, Akira Naito and Knappertsbusch who gives a window on the style of performance typical of the early 20th century, particularly his higher tempi and, interestingly, that he seems to have stuck with the Schalk Bros editions so are not pure Bruckner. He only recorded 4 of the Symphonies in the studio.
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Klemperer's 8th is the one to avoid as he butchered the last movement for his EMI recordings. I have an off-air recording of him doing the 8th with the last movement in entirety and it's the only one. Why he made the cuts only he knows because it makes a nonsense of the movement.
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I have picked up other recordings - too many to list here (though perhaps Blomstedt's 7th should be in the A list) but it's easy to understand how someone could be put off Bruckner for life if the first recording they played was by someone like Celibadache, useful only for insomnia treatment.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by maestrob » Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:55 am

t's easy to understand how someone could be put off Bruckner for life if the first recording they played was by someone like Celibadache, useful only for insomnia treatment.


:D 8)

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:35 am

I asked for counterpoint in my original post and sure got some. It does make me think that I'm missing something that I haven't seen yet. My opinions are always subject to revision, of course, and I appreciate reading everyone's viewpoint. If we all thought the same way there wouldn't be much use for discussion.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by maestrob » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:14 am

slofstra wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:35 am
I asked for counterpoint in my original post and sure got some. It does make me think that I'm missing something that I haven't seen yet. My opinions are always subject to revision, of course, and I appreciate reading everyone's viewpoint. If we all thought the same way there wouldn't be much use for discussion.
Hello, Henry. :)

So far, this thread has been about CD recordings. If you prefer DVDs, there is also an excellent recently issued set of Bruckner's late symphonies to explore by Barenboim and his Berlin Staatskapelle. Simply great playing! Barenboim has lived with these symphonies all his life, and his most recent readings are full of great details and nuance. Individual symphonies are available too, of course.

Image

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:56 am

maestrob wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:14 am
slofstra wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:35 am
I asked for counterpoint in my original post and sure got some. It does make me think that I'm missing something that I haven't seen yet. My opinions are always subject to revision, of course, and I appreciate reading everyone's viewpoint. If we all thought the same way there wouldn't be much use for discussion.
Hello, Henry. :)

So far, this thread has been about CD recordings. If you prefer DVDs, there is also an excellent recently issued set of Bruckner's late symphonies to explore by Barenboim and his Berlin Staatskapelle. Simply great playing! Barenboim has lived with these symphonies all his life, and his most recent readings are full of great details and nuance. Individual symphonies are available too, of course.

Image
What do you think of Barenboim as conductor, generally? I listen to the Beethoven piano sonatas quite often and have considered his pianism down a notch from some others. But his recordings of the Beethoven piano concertoes with Klemperer are among my very favourites. I like them because of the integration that is achieved with the orchestra, and perhaps that is due to the pianist having a conductor's ear.
So I have always wondered about Barenboim's conducting as I don't have many recordings along that line.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by maestrob » Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:28 pm

Barenboim has been a difficult musician to follow, at least for me. His tenure in Chicago produced some good recordings, but I felt there were some careless moments in them. His early attempts as a conductor were also rather facile, although I remember a quite lively Mozart LP. Same with his piano playing. Like Levine, he had the technical assurance to get the notes right, but there was not always the depth that more mature performers can bring out. His early set of Beethoven Sonatas on EMI is a case in point: quite shallow, but technically assured. His later readings on DGG are better, but Holden Forth has raised objections to some wayward tempi and he's studied and played the scores, which I haven't. In sum, I didn't really acquire many of Barenboims' recordings until roughly the past 15 years, when he has matured into a great musician at last, IMHO.

I particularly admire his work in Berlin, including his Elgar (teaching Ellgar to a German orchestra must be quite a feat!) and Bruckner. That said, his recording of the Tchaikovsy and Sibelius Violin Concertos with Batiashvili did not please me at all, with some very strange ideas in the Tchaikovsky. There is also a very effective Manon with Netrebko on DVD, where he was called in at the last minute and proved himself an excellent conductor of French opera!

That said, I haven't had time yet to dig into his vast Wagner output, but those recordings have been well-received. There is also a new set of Beethoven Sonatas recorded recently live in Berlin that I intend to explore in the near future.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by slofstra » Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:54 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:28 pm
Barenboim has been a difficult musician to follow, at least for me. His tenure in Chicago produced some good recordings, but I felt there were some careless moments in them. His early attempts as a conductor were also rather facile, although I remember a quite lively Mozart LP. Same with his piano playing. Like Levine, he had the technical assurance to get the notes right, but there was not always the depth that more mature performers can bring out. His early set of Beethoven Sonatas on EMI is a case in point: quite shallow, but technically assured. His later readings on DGG are better, but Holden Forth has raised objections to some wayward tempi and he's studied and played the scores, which I haven't. In sum, I didn't really acquire many of Barenboims' recordings until roughly the past 15 years, when he has matured into a great musician at last, IMHO.

I particularly admire his work in Berlin, including his Elgar (teaching Ellgar to a German orchestra must be quite a feat!) and Bruckner. That said, his recording of the Tchaikovsy and Sibelius Violin Concertos with Batiashvili did not please me at all, with some very strange ideas in the Tchaikovsky. There is also a very effective Manon with Netrebko on DVD, where he was called in at the last minute and proved himself an excellent conductor of French opera!

That said, I haven't had time yet to dig into his vast Wagner output, but those recordings have been well-received. There is also a new set of Beethoven Sonatas recorded recently live in Berlin that I intend to explore in the near future.
Thanks for the useful synopsis. Also, I won't be digging into the vast Wagner output of anyone. Just one Ring is vast enough. Every once in a while I'm in the mood for Wagner, but it has to be at the front end of a large time slot.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by jserraglio » Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:10 am

Australian conductor Simone Young's recent cycle on Oehms with the Hamburg Philharmonic is worth hearing. She performs the original unrevised versions of 2, 3, 4, and 8. Interesting and very different from the versions I am used to.

For my money the three B's are Bach, Beethoven and Bruckner. Brahms, Bartok and Berg are in my second tier.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV-OvpOStRI




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd2iJ0e8-yc

Last edited by jserraglio on Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

maestrob
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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by maestrob » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:13 am

Thanks for those, Joe! I just heard Simone Young's 1874 version of Bruckner IV on amazon a few days ago and thought it a Great Recording, and plan to publish a review shortly. Also ordered one of the few remaining copies of the disc: it's a bit costly, but her statement is really stunningly good, and it looks like the cycle has gone OOP.

With music-making like this, she certainly deserves much more than local recognition.

There is also a Mahler II available, but I haven't heard that yet. Will report when I do.

Will listen to what you posted when time permits. Bruckner VIII is his Great Work, and she's up against some stiff competition there (Giulini/Vienna & Szell/Cleveland), so we'll see. Judging by how well she handled Bruckner IV, I'll wager she's up to the task, so I'll give her a listen for sure soon.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by jserraglio » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:53 am


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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by barney » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:41 am

For some unknown reason I wasn't at that concert - I must have been out of town. But I heard her do Bruckner 9 two years earlier, and Act II of Tristan with Stuart Skelton and Michelle de Young - a truly fine concert.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by maestrob » Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:48 am

barney wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:41 am
For some unknown reason I wasn't at that concert - I must have been out of town. But I heard her do Bruckner 9 two years earlier, and Act II of Tristan with Stuart Skelton and Michelle de Young - a truly fine concert.
Hi, Barney!

I must say that I am deeply impressed by her Bruckner in Hamburg. I just put out a review of her Bruckner IV 1874 edition, and have just about finished listening to Joe's posted Bruckner VIII. I'm not sure which edition she's using in VIII, as I have recordings of both the HAAS and Novak editions (Giulini/Vienna and Szell/Clevelad, my two best recordings, use Novak), and Young's recording has some interesting bars that I have not heard before. Without the CD notes, of course, I have no idea what her source is, but as in IV, she and her Hamburg forces make a compelling case for Bruckner's original thoughts, even with the occasional awkward patches which were later revised for the Novak edition, which is now the standard.

Thanks again for bringing her up. IMHO, she's a Great Conductor, at least in Bruckner. I'm really looking forward to hearing her Mahler II soon. I'm truly amazed that her recordings have already gone OOP: I just bought the last used copy of her Bruckner cycle that popped up on amazon today and am looking forward to exploring her impressive and very musical interpretations on that great composer!

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by jserraglio » Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:43 pm

Her 8th uses the 1887 original version. Sometimes I imagine Bruckner to be peerless as a composer of symphonies. I agree with Horn, Bruckner didn't write the same symphony 9 times over. People often confuse them with Mahler's.

Not to be redundant, but there is a young Young Ring out there—2010, Oehms.

Full description here for the Bruckner 8th:http://www.musicweb-international.com/c ... _OC638.htm

And here for the cycle:http://www.musicweb-international.com/c ... _OC026.htm

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by barney » Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:17 pm

In the late 90s and early 2000s Simone Young was a really fine chief conductor (that might not have been her title) at Opera Australia, including a magnificent Lulu. She left, and eventually went to Hamburg, because her ambitions outstripped what OA beancounters saw as their budget. I'm sure there was virtue and fault on both sides, but she was a great loss. I've interviewed her once, later. The CEO, Adrian Collette, at the time I knew a little professionally, and I respected him as well.
I've been to about 20 performances she conducted: no duds, always interesting, some superb. I gather she was popular at Hamburg. She oversaw a massive rebuilding project. She is something of a perfectionist, but are not all really good conductors?

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by maestrob » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:18 am

jserraglio wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:43 pm
Her 8th uses the 1887 original version. Sometimes I imagine Bruckner to be peerless as a composer of symphonies. I agree with Horn, Bruckner didn't write the same symphony 9 times over. People often confuse them with Mahler's.

Not to be redundant, but there is a young Young Ring out there—2010, Oehms.

Full description here for the Bruckner 8th:http://www.musicweb-international.com/c ... _OC638.htm

And here for the cycle:http://www.musicweb-international.com/c ... _OC026.htm
Thanks, Joe for all that information.I surmised that she had gone back to the manuscript of the first performance, or something to that effect. As for her Ring, I had seen that on Presto Classical and will acquire same in future. I'm no expert on Wagner, but I have studied the Wotan roles and sung some excerpts of the Walkure Wotan in Carnegie Hall. I own only four Ring cycles on CD, however. I have loved the Ring since my teenage years along with, Dutchman (parts of which I've also sung and presented in Carnegie Hall), and Meistersinger, but am not drawn to Tannhauser or Parsifal. Lohengrin I can take it or leave it, but it's great music. In short, I have yet to become a Wagner fanatic. Perhaps in future, as time permits......

Barney---

Sadly, Australia's loss has been Hamburg's gain. When one of my presentations in Carnegie Hall followed a dress rehearsal with Barenboim, the stagehands gossiped to me that Barenboim had been an absolute tyrant at his rehearsal, making them rearrange seating for the chorus and orchestra more than once, and staying overtime until he got the balance he wanted. What you say is true about great maestros and, if Simone Young is like that and produces the results I've heard so far, then the effort is well worth the result. At any rate, I'm immensely impressed with what I've heard so far, and look forward to exploring more of her work. Frankly, she should be ambitious, given her immense talent, and I hope she gains more international recognition as her career expands.

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Re: Can't warm to Bruckner

Post by jserraglio » Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:10 am

maestrob wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:18 am
I have loved the Ring since my teenage years
For me, the Ring is the greatest musical work ever written by anybody, anytime, anywhere. This week and last, I have been listening to excerpts from the Knappertsbusch Bayreuth Rings '56, '57, and '58. That said, I am totally a non-musical beast. I remember my choir-director nun yelling at me for the pitiful sound I was emitting as a boy soprano. Still I couldnt get enough of that glorious Gregorian chant.

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