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Thread: Bruckner 7 recommendations

  1. #181
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    My CD of 1976 Karajan BPO on DG arrived. My favorite stereo version. Just overwhelming.

    Also purchased the 1978 Haitink. Both this one and his 1966 are excellent. Warm, unforced, and lyrical. The 1978 has better balanced sound, ideal really, and a more nuanced interpretation. Doesn’t hurt that it’s got an excellent cover. I love the painting of BH.

    Chailly is another beautifully balanced sounding recording. Very ethereal.

    Wand 1999 with the BPO absolutely bored me. I do not own any Wand and have yet to be convinced to do so. I briefly had his Beethoven 5th and 6th in the mid-90s and promptly returned it. If anyone can clue me in as to what I am missing, feel free.

    Tintner was only marginally better.

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  3. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    My CD of 1976 Karajan BPO on DG arrived. My favorite stereo version. Just overwhelming.

    Also purchased the 1978 Haitink. Both this one and his 1966 are excellent. Warm, unforced, and lyrical. The 1978 has better balanced sound, ideal really, and a more nuanced interpretation. Doesn’t hurt that it’s got an excellent cover. I love the painting of BH.

    Chailly is another beautifully balanced sounding recording. Very ethereal.

    Wand 1999 with the BPO absolutely bored me. I do not own any Wand and have yet to be convinced to do so. I briefly had his Beethoven 5th and 6th in the mid-90s and promptly returned it. If anyone can clue me in as to what I am missing, feel free.

    Tintner was only marginally better.
    One man's "boring" is another man's "authoritative".

    Have you tried Venzago's cycle? It's more of a "Mendelsohnian" approach to Bruckner with much lighter vertical sonority, transparent texture, and brisk tempi. If such an idea does not abhor you, you might want to hear it (also uses the original score as in Tintner's cycle). It shows a different side of Bruckner.

  4. #183
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    I will be eternally grateful for Günter Wand’s recordings for helping Bruckner to fully “click” for me. His unforced, sensible approach helped me understand the sprawling structure of the symphonies and everything just fit in perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. However, I agree that he is quite interpretively bland and I almost never listen to him anymore. I don’t get the love for his Beethoven at all, it just seems too plain.

    Before I totally understood Bruckner, one of my fond memories of first getting into classical music was watching a YouTube video of Abbado (I think in Lucerne?) conducting B7. The Adagio just absolutely destroyed me; I had no idea that music could be so ravishing. By the time the long build-up and climax came around, I was literally pouring tears. To this day I don’t think I’ve had as much of a visceral reaction to music as that.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." - G.K. Chesterton

    "Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human. Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe." - Douglas Adams

  5. #184
    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    I listened to Klemperer yesterday. Not going to win any awards for visceral excitement, but I still liked it. There is also a live BPO version from 1958 (How often did Klemp conduct them?) that is much more engaged despite a slight train wreck in the beginning. He even makes the uneven final movement sound inevitable and exciting.

    Leaving the Bruckner 7th for a while, but this is my current list of essential recordings:


    Wilhelm Furtwängler/Berlin PO (5/1/1951) (Tahra, Music & Arts, Archipel, Andromeda)
    Herbert von Karajan/Berlin PO (1974) (DG)
    Herbert von Karajan/Berlin PO (1971) (EMI)
    Bernard Haitink/Concertgebouw Orch. (1978) (Decca, Philips)
    Eduard van Beinum/Concertgebouw Orch. (1947) (Dutton, Tahra, Audiophile)
    Riccardo Chailly/RSO Berlin (1984) (Decca)

    Furtwängler combines power and beauty with unmatched interpretive insight. The 1951 Rome performance is uniquely inspired. All three of his accounts are live, and none provide ideal sound. Karajan made three excellent studio accounts, all of which are eminently recommendable. The first two lack the full, transparent sound of his valedictory Vienna effort but compensate with greater concentration. The 1974 DG account is the most powerfully urgent, overwhelmingly so in the scherzo. The 1971 EMI account is more mellow and ethereal, yet with plenty of power as well. Haitink is unmannered, natural, and lyrical, with lush playing from the Concertgebouw in beautifully warm sound. Van Beinum presents a noble view that refuses to linger, sounding excellent for its age in the Dutton transfer. Chailly is appropriately mysterious and beautiful, helped by a perfectly balanced acoustic.

    Further listening: Wilhelm Furtwängler/Berlin PO (1949) (EMI), Wilhelm Furtwängler/Berlin PO (4/23/51) (DG, Music & Arts), Hans Knappertsbusch/Vienna PO (1949) (Orfeo, Music & Arts), Herbert von Karajan/Vienna PO (1989) (DG), Carlo Maria Giulini/Berlin PO (1985) (Testament), Otto Klemperer/Berlin PO (1958) (Music & Arts, Andromeda), Eugen Jochum/Berlin PO (1953) (DG), Bernard Haitink/Concertgebouw Orch. (1966) (Philips), Carlo Maria Giulini/Vienna PO (1986) (DG), Otto Klemperer/Philharmonia Orch. (1960) (EMI), Eduard van Beinum/Concertgebouw Orch. (1953) (Decca, Beulah), Oswald Kabasta/Munich Phil. (1942) (EMI, Preiser), Karl Böhm/Vienna PO (1976) (DG), Eugen Jochum/Berlin PO (1964) (DG), Eugen Jochum/Staatskapelle Dresden (1976) (EMI), Nikolaus Harnoncourt/Vienna PO (1999) (Teldec), Georg Tintner/Royal Scottish Natl. Orch. (1997) (Naxos), Gunter Wand/Berlin PO (1999) (RCA)
    Last edited by Brahmsianhorn; Jul-17-2020 at 16:40.

  6. #185
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Excellent overview, Brahmsianhorn!

    There's a few more recent or semi-recent Bruckner 7s I think are worthy of comparison with the top, especially Skrowaczewski, but I don't think anyone can fairly accuse you of listening to too few recordings.

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  8. #186
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    My favorite recording of Bruckner's 7th, is Simon Rattle & City of Birmingham SO. By a landslide. Having used some considerable time listening through all the recordings of the seventh I could get my hands on or find streaming, I've come to the conclusion that no other recording even comes close (I do of course like other recordings - I adore the recordings of Karajan, Celibidache, Wand, Blomstedt etc.). The coda of the first movement has an intensity I just don't find in other recordings, and I especially love that the trumpets when going "ta-daah" at the end of the movement is sustained a bit longer than most other recordings. However, it is the adagio that really does it for me - boy do Rattle & Birmingham have an intense build-up to the climax! And when it comes it is eye-watering glorious, with a wonderful balance between the instruments, and an altered timpani part that for me brings the movement to a new level. The other two movements are also great of course. I cannot express well enough how good I think this recording is.

    I am biased, of course. This recording was not only the first recording I heard of Bruckner's 7th, but the first recording I ever heard of Bruckner. Needless to say I was hooked, and Bruckner instantly became my favorite composer, which he still is.

    The recording is somewhat hard to find, as I can't find it on Youtube or Idagio. It is on Spotify though, but also hard to find there due to creative use of artist and album title. You can find a link below. Please give it a listen! Love it, hate it or call it mediocre - I would love to hear what my fellow Brucknerians think of this recording since I've never seen it mentioned in any Bruckner threads.

    https://open.spotify.com/album/1Tj8S...QAq271QSOxpZ7Q


    brucknerrattle.jpg

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  10. #187
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    Excellent list, Brahmsianhorn! I've got many of those at home already.

    I'd add Herbert Kegel / Rundfunksinfonieorchester Leipzig 1971 (Weitblick) (recorded at Bethanienkirche) or the '61 live mono broadcast from Rundfunk der DDR with same orchestra (in ODE classics). The last ones are obscure editions made in the USA, licensed by Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv and authorised by Frau Annerose Kegel & the MDR. They look a bit 'homebrew', but do sound great.

    no 7 studio.jpg

    no. 7 live.jpg

    Kegel's Bruckner deserves further audition in general, even though spotting his albums demands some digging. They don't come cheap either. Many are easier to find in Japan through Yahoo auctions and other funny sites. I've got no.3 to no.9 in different editions. A personal fav' of mine.

    Regards,

    Vincula

  11. #188
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    A recording I got ages ago was Solti. Still like it, although listen to Karajan more now. Also have Jochum in a boxed set. Rarely listen to that because I don't think the recording is so good.
    For Bruckner in particular, I want an excellent recording.

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