Tomorrow I recieve a few Bruckner symphonies,Is there anyone who has some views about the van Beinum recordings?
The tempo choice is generally on the fast side comparing with later stereo recordings (slower than some mono recordings), but there is sufficient sense of breathe and grandeur achieved by the fantastic orchestral playing, so it never made me feel hustle or haste. The voice balance and timbre of the orchestra is almost perfect, considering the dated mono recording technique that was not able to grab the full impact from brass group and high-pitch note. But I am sure that the recorded sound of 8th and 9th was unparalleled in mono Bruckner discography.
For the 8th, the rendition shares some similarity with Boulez VPO, but the strings are more intensive and expressive, the brass is less grand due to the restraint of recording technique. The sound fade out more quickly than Boulez because there was less resonance captured in the mono recording.
For the 9th, Haitink RCO 1981 version is almost a milder copy of the Beinum's version in terms of interpretation. Beinum did not apply the big apocalypse approach like that of Giulini, but chose a more intimate way which was as convincing as that recordings.
I strongly recommend all Bruckner lovers to listen to these recordings. It may not be liked by the person who only agrees with Celi's approach, but Beinum's reading did achieved its own perfection.