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post #541 of 550
Originally Posted by vic225 View Post

Have anyone listened to the Bruckner 7 and 9 by Yannick Nezet-Seguin? They are pretty great and they're recording the 8th next week! They're on SACD on a Canadian Label


Yes, Yannick Nezet-Seguin is anew very promising Bruckner interpreter and he is on the Bruckner map to stay.  I wish he wound a better avenue for his recordings – hole with longer reverberation time where more sophisticated sonorities/harmonics might be in play. Still, I will by any of his Bruckner recordings. There are not many of capable Bruckner conductors out there. I feel that Mr. Nezet-Seguin is one of them.

post #542 of 550

I have heard the 4th and 9th with Yannick Nezet-Seguin, and find the 4th to be very good with the 9th less so.  The orchestra is apparently a semi-pro youth+ orchestra, and not the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.  They really sink their teeth into the 4th.


I did read of a concert Yannick Nezet-Seguin did with the LPO beginning with a (contemporaneous to the 9th) motet followed by the 9th and concluded, without intermission, with the Te Deum.  This was enthusiastically received by the writer.


The Schuricht VPO 8 & 9, much cited on this thread, have been remastered (DSD and sound-surround) by EMI as a separate 2cd set in the 'Signature Collection'.  They still show their age, but they sound so good it hardly matters.  The cliche is 'warm and spacious', and that is what they are - a vast improvement over the earlier cd transfer I've heard.  The price is 2 for 1.  The 9th, I believe, was engineered by Kenneth Wilkinson, and although it was the earlier of the two it is the one that opens up the most.


For those interested in Schuricht's Bruckner, there is a Tahra 9th with the NDR (studio-live) from 1960 in very good mono.  The performance has an extra electricity, and the orchestra follows Shuricht's phrasings with complete ensemble.  Consider the main theme of movt 1, which Schuricht phrases as a kind of rigid rubato.  The VPO is rather untidy, while the NDR is following exactly.


I must mention the famous live 5th with the VPO, released by DGG in the Vienna Philharmonic 150 Years box set.  Considered by many, including me, as one of the hand-full of the very best.  Good mono with a sense of depth.  Hard to get, and worth getting.  


Lastly - Celibidache.  Altus has put out a 4th, 5th, and 8th live (of course ...) from Japan, in very good sound.  Celi was a Zen Buddhist, and going to Japan was a kind of homecoming for him.  The 8th is my favorite, but the 4th has to take the cake, or nirvana, for Celi slows.  There is also a 7th DVD with Berlin.  The orchestra gets a bar apart in the coda of movt 1, but Celi gets them to end together.  I much prefer this one to the EMI.


You know the joke about the 'slows', they are just like the runs but not worth getting up for ...


With Celi, I must disagree.

post #543 of 550

Reading through looking for suggestions to improve my Bruckner collection, and thought I'd throw in my $0.02...


I've got 48 Bruckner recordings, including 3 complete cycles, though I don't have several of the recordings often listed as 'reference' recordings, especially older recordings, as I strongly prefer more modern, higher fidelity recordings.  Anyway, my favorites...


0/00 - Haven't found a compelling recording of them yet (doubt I will).


1/2 - Jochum, though I like Karajan/BPO/1981 for its sound quality and it's almost as good artistically.


3 - Same favorites as above, but the original version of the score is also damn interesting (I have Tintner, but the samples I've heard of Nagano sound amazing - definitely tempting...)


4 - Wand/BPO/1998 - The sound isn't perfect, when it gets loud it gets a bit harsh sounding, but it has REALLY satisfying bass in the brass section =D  Harnoncourt/RCO is also nice.  A bit lighter, brisker, and with a touch of that Harnoncourtiness...


5 - Harnoncourt/VPO has a slight edge over Sinopoli/Staatskapelle Dresden, cause while great in its own right, and I got it before Harnoncourt, so I tend to be a bit partial to it, Sinopoli sounds a touch too clinical to me.  Other than that subtle style difference, they are VERY similar recordings, though.


6 - Still looking for the perfect 6.  Samples I've heard of Skrowaczewski sound promising.  I have Klemperer, Jochum, Karajan/BPO/1979, & Tintner.  Klemperer is good, but too slow and stately sounding for what I think I'd like to hear done with this piece.


7 - Karajan/VPO hands down.  Harnoncourt is good for a different, more brisk & lighter hearted take on it, though a bit idiosyncratic as Harnoncourt often (though not ALWAYS is).  Based on how many people suggest it, I'm contemplating getting Wand/BPO/circa 2000.


8 - Karajan/VPO hands down.  Chailly is also pretty good.  I have Giulini on order, but from what I've heard I think it might be just a touch slower than I'd like.  I love this piece too much not to give it a try though.  I saw a live performance with Mehta and the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra though that absolutely blew me away - WAAAAAAY better than any recording I've heard (I love the seats here in Chicago where you can sit directly behind the orchestra =)  Sadly the recording available for sale doesn't come close to capturing the feeling of that live performance (which was months after said recording BTW).  Based on what I've read, I'm contemplating getting Wand/NDR/1987, but can't find any online samples of it, so I'm not sure I will...


9 - Harnoncourt/VPO hands down.  Samples I've heard of Giulini and Skrowaczewski sound similar, with Skrowaczewski/Minnesota sounding quite thrilling but uneven to me.  But maybe I'm partial to Harnoncourt.  Plus the finale fragments in the Harnoncourt recording are something I think any Bruckner fan absolutely must listen to, especially given how well it's played :)

post #544 of 550
I wonder what people's thoughts are on Barenboim's Berlin cycle? Critics seem to agree it's a mixed bag, but disagree on which are the goodies. I found the most convincing were 2, 3, 7 and 8. I was glad to have another recording of an early version of 3 (I have Tintner but find him dull). I don't know why people say this is a great 9th - I thought it was a decent concert performance, nothing special.
I think these are the most recent Bruckner recordings in my collection - it's undeniably hi-fi, but lacks the warmth of some earlier recordings.
Edited by eyeresist - 6/30/14 at 6:36pm
post #545 of 550

eyeresist - Thanks for your thoughts.  What are some of the warmest Bruckner recordings you've listened to?


Personally I find most of the recordings I listed of 5, 7, 8, & 9 quite warm.  Or maybe warm isn't quite the right word for what I like about them, maybe more like lovely? luscious? passionate? sweet? comforting? consoling?  I suppose it is possible to be these things without being warm per se...


I find there is a certain effect older recordings have, but to my perception/experience, it tends to be a wash of distortion/noise over the music into which you are more free to mentally project what you think it sounded like, which might be a bit better than it actually did if you been there in person.  I'd love to find a recording that proves me wrong though :)  Maybe my rig has something to do with it?  Maybe I should give some of these older recordings a listen with my HD650...


I sort of agree with you regarding Tintner.  His tempos are so slow it is hard to stay interested and to follow the musical thread.  It does give you a different perspective though.  It's like spending a lot of time with the individual trees in your immediate vicinity within a forest rather than flying overhead and experiencing the forest as an entire entity.  But it kind of helps in a way to get just sort of lost and transfixed by the music in a VERY leisurely way, one line, or even one note, at a time.


There is something about the Jochum recordings I really like.  There's a certain big, bold, somewhat callous 'I'm just going to thump you over the head with this powerful music and not even change the tempo, just going to let it come out of the orchestra raw' thing that I actually really like for the earlier symphonies.  The later symphonies (5, 7, 8, 9, and possibly 4) to me require a bit more thought, passion, and nuance.


I've read before, and this to me is so what Bruckner is about, especially later Bruckner symphonies, that true appreciation of Bruckner hinges upon a certain virtue, without which you cannot completely enjoy his music - patience.

post #546 of 550
Hi, eboomer, and thanks for your detailed response.
First of all, I must admit that from your list of faves I think we have quite different tastes! But we can still be friends....

Warmth: I really meant the sound, not the performance as such. Perhaps the exemplar for me is Bohm's VPO recording of the 7th. Maybe it's an analogue thing.
You may well be right about older recordings' lack of clarity being filled in by the listener's mind (like an early MP3!), but from what I've read the much-admired Musikverein actually sounds like that in real life. Though, after some youthful dabbling, I do now tend to avoid the older and/or most sonically notorious recordings - they are too much work to enjoy.

Patience: I think, with a great Bruckner performance, there is no need for patience. For me it comes down to the culmination of small, individual points of interpretation - tempo, orchestral balance, rubato - which done right (done right for ME, I should say) make the whole thing seem alive and natural, or, done wrong, jar like nails down a blackboard. My problem with the most uber-slow performances is not that they're slow, but that often too little is done within that slowness - nothing new revealed, just the same thing but stretched out.
post #547 of 550

I ordered this one, for $22 (incl.shipping) I couldn't resist.

(The complete cycle ...)


post #548 of 550

Nice icebear!  Let us know what you think!  I have the older DG Jochum cycle.  Performance-wise, it is my favorite for the early symphonies - it's VERY energetic, but I don't like the recording quality, which sounds much better on the cycle you ordered.


I guess I should update with my recent purchases - thanks for helping me lighten my wallet guys :)

  • Janowski 8 - A very beautiful and powerful performance recorded with amazing audio fidelity.  Possibly the best 3rd movement I've heard.  It reminded me a lot of a live performance I've seen of the piece.  Highly recommended.  I think I'm still partial to Karajan/VPO so far though.  We'll see if that changes with time...
  • Skrowaczewski cycle - Great recording quality.  Pretty solid performances so far, with some really impressive sounding moments (listened to 1, 2, & 3 at work).
  • Just received Giulini/VPO 8 today.  Haven't ripped yet...


Also due to arrive soon...

  • Giulini/VPO 9
  • Nagano 3
  • Bohm - Great Conductors of the 20th Century - the Bruckner 8 is supposed to be amazing...
post #549 of 550

Just listened to Giulini/VPO 8.  It's a very solid, well crafted, beautiful, flawless performance.  Yet its styled in such a way as to be very much in the here and now; it lacks the indulgent sentimentality that very many if not most recordings of the 8th have.  It's really really nice for something different, and depending on my mood, it very well might be just the thing, and I imagine many people would absolutely love it.  Myself, I really do enjoy it, but I think I will tend to prefer something a bit more like Karajan/VPO.  But this definitely is a great recording to have, and is quite different from any other 8th in my collection.  (the audio quality is excellent too by the way)

post #550 of 550
I have liked the Barenboim cycle quite a bit, particularly 3,5,6,8 & 9. Symphonies 5 & 6 are the real standouts for me.

Other recordings I like of the 6th are Celibidache (nearly "normal" tempi!), Horst Stein & VPO, Chailly, Haitink RCO & Dresden and Kegel & Leipzig RCO.

In particular, if a brisk "Toscanini" type approach is desired as opposed to Klemperer, you might give a listen to Gielen & SWR. The orchestra is 2nd tier, but so superbly drilled & directed you won't hardly notice. Energetic & no-nonsense.
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