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post #16 of 542
So no one here has tried out one of those completions of the Ninth?
post #17 of 542
So no one here has heard a performance of the completion of the Ninth?
post #18 of 542
Here's a quick run-down of my history with the Bruckner Symphonies..

The first Bruckner I heard was Solti's 4th, on LP from some record club. Always thought it was a great performance. I've also always been fond of Bruno Walters Columbia recording. Surprisingly good sound for the time. I haven't heard many other 4ths over the years that can rival those two, though I do believe my collection now includes a Salonen version I got from BMG.. to be honest, the 4th just doesn't move me like it used to.

The 5th.. I remember fondly a recording by Jochum that a friend had.. I think there were two.. one on DG and one on EMI.. not sure. Anyway, my current, and only version of this one that I currently own is by Dohnanyi and the Cleveland Orchestra. A fine recording, I enjoy it.. but I don't have much to compare it to right now.

The 6th.. I've mentioned Skrowaczewski's version that I have.. again, it's the only 6th I'm familiar with. I hadn't heard the 6th in many many years, and when I first got the Skrowacewski recording, it was like hearing it for the first time. The 6th might just be my 3rd favorite Bruckner Symphony.

The 7th.. I had ignored this work for years.. it never really connected with me.. In my younger years I liked the 4th and 8th more.. but I think today, and at least for the past, almost 10 years, my favorite Bruckner Symphony is the 7th.. and I've been stocking up on versions.. my first was a Chailly London vinyl version that I got from record club.. I haven't listened to it in a long time, but I remember that the last time I visisted it, it was quite impressive. I also have: Karajan.. yes, probably my favorite.. also.. Masur, Rattle, and Matacic (on Denon). I can't get over the slow movement of this sucker.. I think the Adagio of the 8th is more cinematic (if you could all something cinematic before there were movies) and more, I don't know, just gushing and almost overly sentimental. The slow movement of the 7th is just solumn, stately, and just reserved enough that it doesn't over saturate the listener like the Adagio of the 8th does. Don't get me wrong, I love the 8th, my 2nd favorite Bruckner symphony.. it's just taken a back seat to the 7th for me.

As for the 8th... even though I don't currently own it, the DG recording by Carlo Maria Guilini is just amazing. Big, long, and probably the least sentimental of the versions I've heard. My other stand-by is a live recording by Lovro von Matacic on Denon. Fantastic peformance that one, though it has cuts, I think that the Guilini peformance doesn't. I also have the Szell 3rd/8th combo.. but I don't care much for Szell's tempos in the 8th.. I guess I like the scherzo done with some, shall we say, liberties. If one takes the exact same tempo throughout the movement, the middle section is just too fast and goes by in a flash. Man you need time to let those harp strings breathe! So, I'm all for slowing the middle section of the scherzo way down. Works just fine for me. I have to admit, that, if I'm in the right mood, the slow movement of the 8th does come across as some of the most beautiful music ever composed.. but other times, it does come across as a little over indulgent.

As for the 9th, I've only ever owned a recording by Bernard Haitink. and I've had that one for probably 15 years.. probably time I invest in a new one. I've never heard the completed version, I'd like to, but it's not something I'm going to actively seek out right now.

that's the basics.. I'm sure I forgot a few.. but the main thing is.. as of late.. late being the past 8 years or so.. the 7th has been my favorite.

-jar
post #19 of 542
Thread Starter 
MJ
Many critics really like the new Harnoncourt Bruckner 7, although I currently own no Bruckner by Harnoncourt:
7th

I have four 7ths now and tend to favor Karajan in later symphonies, I actually like his earlier EMI recording that has been successfully remastered:
7th
post #20 of 542
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daycart1
So no one here has heard a performance of the completion of the Ninth?
I have not seen one of these yet........is this like Mahler 10? What is the best version that tries to complete Bruckner 9th?
post #21 of 542
It is so hard to make comparative judgments in Bruckner...one rarely hears a recorded performance that just seems off.

For me, the biggest differences are usually in the relative texturing of string, woodwind, and brass. I think most conductors make their tempi work pretty well, though there is a tendency, especially in older recordings, to go too fast--especially in the adagios.

I think all the Furtwangler (does head-fi support umlauts?) performances I've heard are great--especially of the 5-9, but the sound is bad of course.

One conductor I usually don't care for very much is Mehta. But his Bruckner 7-9 are superb (VPO and Decca)! I also have a DVD of him doing the 8 with the Israel Phil. (I need to get the DVD of the Karajan 8--it is expensive!)
One conductor I usually do care for is Giulini. But his Bruckner doesn't do much for me...too subdued without a payoff in "spirituality" or whatever.

I've heard the Walter 4 and 9. I agree that these have surprisingly good sound and the performances are very fine.

I believe the new Harnoncourt 9 has the Mahler-10-like completion of the last movement--I'll just have to get it.
post #22 of 542
Thread Starter 
DC1
I do not own any mono recordings so obviously no Furtwangler for me. Wish there was a way to hear some of these older recordings in stereo.

I did just order Barbirolli/BBC Legends Bruckner 8th, read in newest Grammaphone Good CD guide that this was the most intense version available today, guess I will find out. Should make a nice contrast to Karajan smoothly polished cathedral of sound.

I also do not have the any Walter recordings of Bruckner, even though his 9th is widely considered one of the best available. His broad spacious style doesn't usually work for me with any composer.
post #23 of 542
Woohoo! I made my first double post after more than 2,300 tries! But it is still a mystery (see my custom title)--a FOUR minute gap in posting??

Anyway, that Barbirolli is a good bet; I'll try to get that too. Barbirolli's Mahler is very fine.

Solti appreciaters get flamed on some boards, but I think his Bruckner is wonderful--even if it is only to explore the limit of one kind of interpretation. If one had to pick one, I'd say the 6th--it really shows off the CSO brass tutti.
post #24 of 542
Thread Starter 
DC1
Quote:
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.
I said this in earlier post......if I find good price on used Solti Bruckner set I would buy it.
post #25 of 542
For some reason I never took to Bruckner like I did to Mahler. Maybe it was that old adage lurking in the background. The one that goes something like this, “Many composers wrote nine symphonies, Bruckner wrote one symphony nine times”. While this is a gross over statement, Bruckner does seem to re-work the same theme quite often. Over time I have experimented with many of his Symphonies, although not all of them. Here are the ones that I own and some misc. thoughts on them.

Symphony number 4 – Jochum / Berlin Symphony Orchestra

Symphony number 6 – Blomstedt / San Francisco Symphony: This is my favorite of the Bruckner Symphonies, probably because it is the most unlike the other symphonies. I’m not sure it is the best version, but I’ve been happy with it.

Symphony number 7 – Chailly / Berlin Radio Symphony

Symphony number 8 – Boulez / Vienna Philharmonic: I know that the Karajan is the darling of the critics and many Bruckner collectors. Addionally, many also swear by the Giulini version as well. But for my money this is the one to have. The VPO has never sounded better, and Boulez brings out the details well, without so much of the bombast. The added bonus is that this issue comes on a single disc.

Symphony number 9 – Bruno Walter / Columbia Symphony Orchestra: This recording is one of a handful of recording from the Bruno Walter “Indian Summer” years. I think it would be hard to surpass. Recorded here in Hollywood with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, which is a “pick up” band made up of the best that the Hollywood studios had to offer during their golden age. This recording is a “must have”, and is also a budget recording.

(non symphonic)
String Quintet in F Major – The Raphael Ensemble: Take a break from, “big band Bruckner”, and enjoy this more intimate youthful composition.



Here are some of the recordings that I have read about, have not yet heard, but would like to:

- Symphony 4 by Karl Bohm, this is considered a “classic” recording, and well worth investigating.

- Symphony number 5 by Sinopoli, this has received a lot of positive press. It may be because this was one of Sinopoli’s last recordings before his untimely death, but I’d like to explore and find out.

- Symphony number 6 by Sawallisch, I used to own a copy of this. It is a wonderful performance/recording in every way. It is hard to find, probably because it is on the “Orfeo” label. I’d like to get another copy some day.

Well I guess it is time to put on the Bruckner 7, sit back and watch the Lakers/Pistons, with the sound down.

Happy Listening!

- augustwest
post #26 of 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by augustwest
String Quartet in F Major – The Raphael Ensemble: Take a break from, “big band Bruckner”, and enjoy this more intimate youthful composition.
Happy Listening!

- augustwest
That is a string QUINtet! I have the Melos Ensemble version which seems pretty nice (though I should think you'd hear the "one symphony" in this piece too ). I think I like this enough to look for the Raphael version.
post #27 of 542
Good catch! I'll make that correction.

- augustwest
post #28 of 542
I found the Barbirolli 8th at Berkshire for $5.99! Come to Butthead!
post #29 of 542
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daycart1
I found the Barbirolli 8th at Berkshire for $5.99! Come to Butthead!
That is great deal! Too bad they have such a limited selection at Berkshire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AW
Symphony number 8 – Boulez / Vienna Philharmonic: I know that the Karajan is the darling of the critics and many Bruckner collectors. Addionally, many also swear by the Giulini version as well. But for my money this is the one to have. The VPO has never sounded better, and Boulez brings out the details well, without so much of the bombast. The added bonus is that this issue comes on a single disc.
I also own the new Boulez/DG 8th, very interesting contrast to Karajan's style. I suppose you could call Boulez's terraced building of musical layers a more clarified style more like climbing a mountain face vs Karajan swelling polished tidal wave of sound that washes over you to create the shimmering cathedral spires.

Wand/RCA 8th newest live recording is very much in the Karajan style and comes close but cannot eclipse the soaring majesty of Karajan's final statement. I am biased since I previously stated the the Karajan/DG/VPO 8th is the greatest Bruckner recording ever.
post #30 of 542
Dark Angel -

Interesting comparision you have made between the Boulez & Karajan, especially since both conductors are leading the VPO. Have you heard the Riccardo Chailly recording of the 8th, it seems to have received good press. I have not listened to it. If you have, how would you compare it to the Boulez / Karajan?

- augustwest
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