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Customer Discussions > Classical Music forum

Gramophone does Bruckner


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Showing 1-25 of 30 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jan 26, 2013 4:20:24 AM PST
Bruckner's Ninth: Sir Simon Rattle Talks About the Four Movement Version:

http://www.seenandheard-international.com/bruckners-ninth-sir-simon-rattle-talks-about-the-four-movement-version/

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 5:14:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 5:29:37 AM PST
While I agree with several of their recommendations, looking at this list makes it easu to see why Gramophone's image and reputation have declined in recent decades. They continue to recommend the bland recordings from the Naxos series and make peculiar recommendations all over the place. The only single disk version of Symphony 1 worth owning is from Skrowaczewski and there is a wonderful new version of Symphony 2 from Marcus Bosch available in fine super audio sound the reveals inner voices not often heard. Recommending the bizarre Harnoncourt Fifth and the poorly-played and recorded Barbirolli Eighth indicates to me Gramophone either has curious tastes, is in bed with the companies that publish these recordings (that is not new in the industry), or simply has poor taste. I've listed my own favorite Bruckner recordings here: http://www.amazon.com/My-favored-Bruckner-recordings/lm/R2X61OFPFT3S16/ref=cm_lm_byauthor_title_full

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 10:18:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012 10:19:02 PM PST
K. Beazley says:
Skaynan,

I did read it, & I say you have grossly misrepresented the tenor & quality of what was written. The whole last paragraph is as follows:

"Throughout his life Bruckner searched for a woman with whom to share his life. He was 43 when he fell in love with a 17-year-old, whose parents put a stop to the relationship. He fell for another 17-year-old in his mid-fifties. Though the parents in this instance gave the relationship their blessing, the young girl tired of Bruckner and his passionate letters went unanswered. Later still he became infatuated with the 14-year-old daughter of his first love - that came to nothing and at 70 he proposed to a young chambermaid. Her refusal to convert to Catholicism ended that. Piety and pubescent girls are not an attractive combination. Bruckner died a virgin and was buried under the organ at St Florian."

So what's your problem with that? Do you dispute the facts as reported? Is that part of his life off-limits, perhaps?

"There are tons more gems such as these."

Oh, I DO wish you'd reprint them! Where were they?? Perhaps there were more in the Wand/BPO 8th review you quoted from:

"Few readings have been more assiduously toured or generally acclaimed than Wand's Bruckner Eighth yet Wand himself struggled to better on record the exact and far-seeing account of the symphony he made with the Cologne RSO in 1979. In January 2001 he harnessed the Berlin Bruckner sound to his own particular ends, a potentially Sisyphean task for a man then nearing his 90th birthday.

"And the rewards are here. This Eighth is exceptionally fine. When in the Scherzo you sense that the mountains themselves are beginning to dance, you know you're onto a good thing; on this occasion, Olympus itself seems to have caught the terpsichorean bug. Not that anything is exaggerated or overblown. Wand knows where each peak is and how best to approach it. His reading is broader than it was 20 years before, yet nowhere is there any sense of unwanted stasis. Wand draws from the orchestra, the brass and strings in particular, sound of great power and transparency which the engineers have translated in a recording of uncommon reach and splendour. This is a grand and worthy memento for the tens of thousands who heard Wand conduct the symphony in the concert hall."

Nope, not there. Just an excellent review which associates the peak of symphonic achievement that the 8th truly is with a matching effort from both conductor & orchestra, hence the references to Sisyphus & Olympus.

"Gems"? Yes, I'd call them that. Just like I'd call your efforts, not theirs, "stupidity", (well, if you can say what you like, then surely so can I, can't I?).

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 9:01:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012 9:04:11 PM PST
Skaynan says:
k: hardly out of context. Read it yourself and weep. There are tons more gems such as these. I don't think this kind of writing is respectful to anyone, Gramophone, Myself, or Bruckner. And since I'm not writing for Gramophone but only here in the forum among friends, I can say what I like. Not so a "professional" reporter for a well established publication.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 6:02:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012 6:02:49 PM PST
K. Beazley says:
Skaynan,

"For further proof of the stupidity of the whole thing...."

Why take a couple of lines out of context from a large number of essays & then make a derogatory comment about it in general by calling it "stupidity"? What if I said the only "stupidity" on display is yours trying to look cleverer than the contributors to "Gramophone"? Would you not be put out?

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 6:00:13 PM PST
Cavaradossi says:
William Kasimir

"Norrington's Haydn London Symphonies are first rate."

With all due respect, maybe they are but I have no intention of finding out. That guy does unpleasant things to my nerves! Life's too short, etc.....

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 5:26:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012 8:52:58 PM PST
sound_notes says:
William Kasimer says:
"I'm really quite mystified how one can write up a survey of Brucker recordings without mentioning Jochum or Karajan...."

If I could only take a single complete cycle to a forsaken place, it would be Jochum's DG transversal. But I personally wouldn't choose any performances of that set as first choice. I just find it pretty satisfying, perhaps like a kid's report card full of "B"s (whereas other complete cycles have some "A"s, many "C"s, and maybe a "D"). Jochum's EMI cycle I don't really find a good "sound" for Bruckner, although intelligent readings, and I think it's overrated especially on internet boards.

Although Karajan has some great performances in his cycle (the 1967 9th, the 1975 8th), the early digital performances are just too glossy for my taste. Although the 5th is a blazing performance on its surface, the overall sound (DG or Karajan?) of blended brass takes away of very deep penetration into the music -same goes for the 6th.

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 5:15:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012 5:15:55 PM PST
sound_notes says:
I have a very large Bruckner library and to my surprise, I mostly agree with what they offer here. Of course, I would make a few adjustments here or there, but this list would match my own pretty closely, for what it's worth.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 5:07:08 PM PST
Edgar Self says:
To be fair, Norrington doesn't do Bruckner all by himself. He does have some help from an orchestra.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 4:11:43 PM PST
Norrington's Haydn "London" Symphonies are first-rate: 12 London Symphonies.

Bill

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 3:57:34 PM PST
Cavaradossi says:
Norrington doing Bruckner - major ugh!

Actually, Norrington doing anything.......

As far as I'm concerned, the galaxy isn't big enough for his conducting and me.

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 2:32:30 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012 3:01:37 PM PST
Skaynan says:
For further proof of the stupidity of the whole thing, try and read the biography, which ends with this delightful sentance:

"Piety and pubescent girls are not an attractive combination. Bruckner died a virgin and was buried under the organ at St Florian."

Gentille, graceful, in good taste!...Brilliant! what can I say... (and the rest is no less delightful).

And another gem, from the Wand 8th review:

"on this occasion, Olympus itself seems to have caught the terpsichorean bug. Not that anything is exaggerated or overblown."

Right... Olympus itself, but not overblown.... I'm confused. help.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 12:52:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012 2:12:49 PM PST
K. Beazley says:
Bill,

"I'm really quite mystified how one can write up a survey of Brucker recordings without mentioning Jochum or Karajan...."

They selected Karajan/VPO for #7 & Jochum/BRSO for the Masses.

My take on the whole exercise is that they are clearly not identifying a list of "best of" recordings (as there is no lack of those), far less the unthinking & unfounded cynicism of VO's notion of cheap advertising to clear stock, but that all they're doing is providing a broad overview of the many different ways of interpreting Bruckner's music. The only mention of any kind of supremacy is found in the description of the Giulini/VSO 2nd, which is described as "perhaps the greatest of all recordings of the work". This is also borne out by the fact that most are represented by two or more recommendations.

That being the case, I find that approach contradictory to the often dogmatic views of those who stick to their favourites in Bruckner, & it also gives the lie to those who find little variety in Bruckner's expressive language, among whom I would probably include myself.

If that was the intention that "Gramophone" had, as I suspect it is, then I congratulate them for their clear-eyed, non-partisan approach.

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 12:47:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012 5:18:19 PM PST
Larkenfield says:
Glad to see Tintner mentioned for Bruckner's 1st.
Tintner's performance of the 9th was my introduction
to Bruckner and I've been grateful ever since.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 11:44:05 AM PST
Vaughan,

I feel the same about the COE, in general. Harnoncourt has some very spirited interpretations of Haydn's symphonies with the Concertgebouw, and they are relatively inexpensive as a set. I especially like his symphony 31. Actually, there are two sets - one with early to middle symphonies and one with late symphonies.

I'll see if I can hear Celibidache's 4th, as I haven't really warmed to that symphony as much as others. Thanks for the info.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 11:22:45 AM PST
I love his Dvorak with the Concertgebouw. I don't like his Beethoven (I've tried!) or the Slavonic Dances with the COE. As I mentioned regarding Perahia's Mozart, I just don't care for the COE.

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 11:14:07 AM PST
I was unimpressed by Harnoncourt's Seventh and his Ninth, sorry! But I do like his Beethoven.....

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 11:12:06 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012 11:30:15 AM PST
I fondly recall a Mozart concert Norrington conducted in SF, and I might enjoy hearing him conduct Bruckner in concert. But I can't imagine preferring his Bruckner CDs to others. I have rid myself of too many Norrington CDs already, most recently his CPE Bach on Profil, which over-exaggerated the composer's dissonances as if out of tune.

Harnoncourt would seem like safer ground than Norrington, but I was only half-impressed when I heard his 8th.

sfha, Celi's clock is not so dilated in the earlier symphonies. You might like his #3 and 4. The recordings for DG with Stuttgart are also less relativistic. His EMI #8 is too slow even for me, though EMI has far better sound.

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 11:10:37 AM PST
I haven't heard Norrington's Bruckner, but as with shfa, I don't expect I'd like it. Heard his Mahler 9; nein Danke!

Jochum does get a mention, for his recordings of the masses. Not in the symphonies, though - sacrilege!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 11:00:30 AM PST
Well, has anyone here heard the Norrington? I haven't. I wouldn't expect to like Norrington's Bruckner, but I wouldn't expect to like Celibidache's Bruckner either. Both could probably use a new watch. Perhaps they should switch watches, and that would solve both their problems.

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 10:59:29 AM PST
These are just advertisements for overstocked inventory.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 10:57:21 AM PST
Well, I would have chosen different recordings for most symphonies, but one should expect that. I think the idea that there is one 'best' recording is absurd. It depends upon what you find important in a symphony. In the 7th, I pay special attention to the 2nd movement and then consider the 3rd movement. The outer movements are of only tertiary importance to me. To others, other things might be (and probably are) important.

I am surprised to see so little mention of Furtwaengler and Jochum. By and large I think that both are overshadowed by Karajan, Wand, and Boehm in Bruckner, but I'm guessing that this is a very individual opinion.

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 10:51:49 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012 10:52:52 AM PST
Well I guess I'm gonna trade in my Celibidache for Norrington.

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 10:49:06 AM PST
MacDoom says:
Norrington. In THREE of the recommended ones. They really are taking the proverbial now.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 10:44:03 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012 10:50:28 AM PST
HvK / VPO is their top choice for #7.

These surveys are a joke.
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  30
Initial post:  Nov 7, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 26, 2013

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