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Favorite Bruckner Recordings

post #1 of 549
Thread Starter 
After some good dialog with Mahler thread I think we need similar Bruckner thread to exchange ideas on desireable CDs available.

Bruckner like Mahler has become quite popular now vs 30 years ago, and there are many different individual recordings available now as well as several complete symphony sets. One question for conductor is always which version of each symphony to record, since Bruckner often made several later revisions influenced by other composer friends........some feel these are inferior versions and some feel they are improvements.

It is well known that Bruckner was heavily influenced by works of Wagner and was very religious man. His works (like Wagner) are dense and build layer after layer in intensity to create "massive cathedrals of sound" that wash over you, can be very impressive in the hands of a skilled conductor, creating tremendously powerful climaxes and periods of great introspection.

For myself it took time for me to appreciate Bruckner (similar to Mahler) but once I did you become very hooked and appreciate what a great artist Bruckner was. It takes time to build each cathedral and once you get used to this style it is very rewarding.

So lets have some Bruckner recommendations from members out there.
post #2 of 549
Good idea!

There is so much now, we are very well served with Bruckner. Let's start with complete sets. I'll probably get flamed for this, but I like the Barenboim/Chicago a lot. A different, less brassy presentation that is excellent is the Jochum/Dresden set on EMI.

Nowadays, it seems conductors always go with the most recent editions (i.e. Bruckner's originals).
post #3 of 549
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daycart1
Good idea!
There is so much now, we are very well served with Bruckner. Let's start with complete sets. I'll probably get flamed for this, but I like the Barenboim/Chicago a lot. A different, less brassy presentation that is excellent is the Jochum/Dresden set on EMI.
Nowadays, it seems conductors always go with the most recent editions (i.e. Bruckner's originals).
It's good to go first because you can cherry pick.

Like Mahler you really have to buy best of individual symphonies, but regardless I will recommend one complete set as best "overall": Tintner/Naxos

The reason I choose Tintner is although no single symphony is definitive 1st choice, but everyone is at least very good, which you really cannot say about any other complete collection........consistently good across the board with very good modern sound. The early symphonies are especially strong performances and the set is very complete including alternative movements,
also you cannot beat the price: $42 at Amazon.com

So I would buy complete Tintner/Naxos set and then start adding other standout performances to build Bruckner collection. Really the only weakness of Tintner set is that orchestras are 2nd tier and lack the ultimate virtuosity of VPO or BPO which are main Bruckner orchestras. They play inspired however which helps to offset this fact.......now a couple obvious individual choices:

Karajan/DG/VPO - Symphony 8
Karajan is one of the greatest Bruckner conductors, very strong in later symphonies 7,8,9 and has recorded them at least 3-4 times. His final recording of symphony 8 with Vienna PO for DG is the greatest of them all with glowing full detailed sound to match an inspired almost out of body performance, perhaps Karajan's finest recording ever, awe inspiring and the high point of this style of Bruckner performance.......a true cathedral of sound and an essential Bruckner CD. This would currently get my vote as the best overall Bruckner CD by anyone you can buy today. The one downside is this is two CD set at full price.....ouch!

His earlier Bruckner 8th recordings Karajan/DG/BPO and Karajan/EMI (remastered) both at mid price are also extremely good but don't quite reach this lofty spriitual level overall, worth having though and I do also own the EMI recording.

Klemperer/EMI - Symphony 6
Klemp is an enigma, for me 90% of the time he completely misses the mark with his performances.......but then occassionally he hits a home run that surpasses all other performances, his Bruckner 6 is one such home run. This is a tricky symphony to pull off and most conductors stumble here, Klemperer just nails it like no one else can. Makes everything naturally fall into place and sound is amazingly good with EMI "art" remaster. I have heard no other performance that can match this, fortunately this is mid price single CD.
post #4 of 549


Some reviews :

Stanislaw Skrowaczewski is one of the most versatile and accomplished conductors active today. He's a legend in Minnesota, where he spent a couple of decades making great music with this fine orchestra. Careerwise, he's had two strikes against him: (1) he actively promotes contemporary music (and is an accomplished composer himself), and (2) no one can spell or pronounce his last name (it sounds like "Skrovacheffsky"). So now that that's out of the way, nothing should prevent you from enjoying this outstandingly exciting Bruckner Ninth. This guy really knows his Bruckner, and his performance is quite simply the best played, most spectacularly recorded version available. -- David Hurwitz

This is a stunning recording of a deeply moving work. Left unfinished by the death of Anton Bruckner, various academics and would-be composers have tried their hands at completing it from Bruckner's sketches; the conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski makes a compelling case for performing only the parts that Bruckner wrote and completed himself. Bruckner was a humble man, a professional organist, with a rock-solid Christian faith, and the program notes wimp out by saying that "All his music was written to the greater glory of the beyond," whatever the beyond might be. It was written to the glory of the God whom Bruckner worshipped, and the evidence of his beliefs resounds in this soaring score. This is also a beautifully engineered recording, and a winner in just about every respect. --Sarah Bryan Miller
post #5 of 549
Thread Starter 
KR
Interesting because one of the newest complete sets of Bruckner Symphonies is by Skrowaczewski/Oehms with Saarbrucken Radio Symphony, a small German orchestra (some of these were previously sold under Arte Nova label I believe)

Bruckner

The Reference Recording you show is older than the complete set above, I have read good things about new set but don't own any (yet)
post #6 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
KR
Interesting because one of the newest complete sets of Bruckner Symphonies is by Skrowaczewski/Oehms with Saarbrucken Radio Symphony, a small German orchestra (some of these were previously sold under Arte Nova label I believe)

Bruckner

The Reference Recording you show is older than the complete set above, I have read good things about new set but don't own any (yet)
It was the only one they recorded with RR, of course it is a HDCD and it has amazing sound quality. I never even heard of the new set, thanks for the info.
post #7 of 549
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daycart1
Good idea!
A different, less brassy presentation that is excellent is the Jochum/Dresden set on EMI.
Nowadays, it seems conductors always go with the most recent editions (i.e. Bruckner's originals).
DC1
I don't own either Jochum set and have read it is a coin flip as to which is better older DG or newer EMI (each one has trade offs that balance out) they are tempting because of the low price......but from the couple Jochum Cds I have I don't think I would get enough use from entire set. Many people like Jochum, but I am kinda indifferent don't really like or dislike his performances.

Many people dismiss the Solti/London set (actually a collection of performances over 12 years) as missing the spiritual introspective side of Bruckner. You would think since Solti has the first & best Wagner Ring Cycle that he would be a natural for Bruckner who was so heavily influenced by Wagner. If I find a good price on used Solti set I will pick one up.......I read the same criticisms of Solti/London Mahler set and I really love it, a real surprise for me.
post #8 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by KR...
[Some reviews :

Stanislaw Skrowaczewski is one of the most versatile and accomplished conductors active today. He's a legend in Minnesota, where he spent a couple of decades making great music with this fine orchestra. Careerwise, he's had two strikes against him: (1) he actively promotes contemporary music (and is an accomplished composer himself), and (2) no one can spell or pronounce his last name (it sounds like "Skrovacheffsky"). So now that that's out of the way, nothing should prevent you from enjoying this outstandingly exciting Bruckner Ninth. This guy really knows his Bruckner, and his performance is quite simply the best played, most spectacularly recorded version available. -- David Hurwitz

This is a stunning recording of a deeply moving work. Left unfinished by the death of Anton Bruckner, various academics and would-be composers have tried their hands at completing it from Bruckner's sketches; the conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski makes a compelling case for performing only the parts that Bruckner wrote and completed himself. Bruckner was a humble man, a professional organist, with a rock-solid Christian faith, and the program notes wimp out by saying that "All his music was written to the greater glory of the beyond," whatever the beyond might be. It was written to the glory of the God whom Bruckner worshipped, and the evidence of his beliefs resounds in this soaring score. This is also a beautifully engineered recording, and a winner in just about every respect. --Sarah Bryan Miller
I have Skrowaczewski's 6th on the Ars Nova label. Great recording, excellent performance.

-jar
post #9 of 549
I've been going with a mix of Scrowaczewski, Tintner, and Jochum/EMI. Good results so far.
post #10 of 549
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GanChan
I've been going with a mix of Scrowaczewski, Tintner, and Jochum/EMI. Good results so far.
Which performances do you really like among all those, some comparisons please so other members have some info to help them make purchase decisions.
post #11 of 549
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
I have Skrowaczewski's 6th on the Ars Nova label. Great recording, excellent performance.
-jar
I think the same Skrowaczewski/Arte Nova Cds you have are now available through Oehms label as complete set. Before there was two conductors (other one was Hiroshi Wakasugi ) that made up the complete Arte Nova set, which would be kinda confusing since I'm sure they have different styles.
post #12 of 549
[QUOTE= Left unfinished by the death of Anton Bruckner, various academics and would-be composers have tried their hands at completing it from Bruckner's sketches; the conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski makes a compelling case for performing only the parts that Bruckner wrote and completed himself.[/QUOTE]

No doubt, but I have been meaning for some time to check out one of the completions anyway. I believe it has been recorded twice. Anyone?

edit: I bungled that quote...it is from one of the reviews of the 9th cited by KR
post #13 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Which performances do you really like among all those, some comparisons please so other members have some info to help them make purchase decisions.
Scrw 7, Tintner 1, Jochum 9. The only examples of each work I've heard so far, so comparisons to other recordings aren't possible as of yet. But I hear nothing objectionable in these discs.
post #14 of 549
I've got the complete cycles of Karajan, Jochum (both the EMI and DG), Wand, Haitink, and Tintner. Of the bunch, I really like Tintner the best, he is the most patient and song-like, the others are more abrubt and monumental sounding. To me Tintner really nails the spiritual aspects of these works.
post #15 of 549
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson
I've got the complete cycles of Karajan, Jochum (both the EMI and DG), Wand, Haitink, and Tintner. Of the bunch, I really like Tintner the best, he is the most patient and song-like, the others are more abrubt and monumental sounding. To me Tintner really nails the spiritual aspects of these works.
OMG......six complete symphony sets, you must be Bruckner fan

What have you been collecting as far as other individual performances to go with your complete sets? Also I would assume you like Jochum since you have both sets?
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