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You guys stole my thunder. I was about to post on the three Karajans I listened to this afternoon. I had only heard the 1988 VPO before today. Yes, just as with the 7th, I came away more impressed with the 70s BPO.

The 1988 VPO has never quite moved me enough. It's best in the loud parts, and now I realize that's because the rest is a little bit slack and stale. Compare just the opening few bars of the Adagio. With the VPO it is played. With the BPO it is felt
Oh god, did my Bruckner search not end after Karajan VPO '88 & '89???
Oh god, will I now also have to acquire his 70's BPO???
Oh god, am I missing out???
Oh god, can I not leave this earth before hearing the BPO version???
Oh god!
Sometimes I hate you guys.
But only because you guys are the best.
:D :tiphat:
 

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Oh god, did my Bruckner search not end after Karajan VPO '88 & '89???
Oh god, will I now also have to acquire his 70's BPO???
Oh god, am I missing out???
Oh god, can I not leave this earth before hearing the BPO version???
Oh god!
Sometimes I hate you guys.
But only because you guys are the best.
:D :tiphat:
I suggest you listen to it before buying it. I think the 70's version is more intense, but is also a less comfortable version for repeated listening. I felt the '88 version had more warmth overall, but still power where it was needed. For me the phrasing was perfect and haven't heard anything that improved on it yet.
 

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I suggest you listen to it before buying it. I think the 70's version is more intense, but is also a less comfortable version for repeated listening. I felt the '88 version had more warmth overall, but still power where it was needed. For me the phrasing was perfect and haven't heard anything that improved on it yet.
I agree. Both are superb but the 88 version does bear repeated listening better. I've just been playing a few I recommended a while back but one really stands out. In a frustratingly uneven set, Janowski's OSR 8th is absolutely first rate and the finale is thrilling. Hugely recommended (even if some of the other symphonies in the set don't quite hit the same heights except the first few).

Gesture Font Happy Wrinkle Brand
 

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I suggest you listen to it before buying it. I think the 70's version is more intense, but is also a less comfortable version for repeated listening. I felt the '88 version had more warmth overall, but still power where it was needed. For me the phrasing was perfect and haven't heard anything that improved on it yet.
I have both of these Karajan recordings and find it hard to choose one over the other. Perhaps the 70s has the edge for me at present, mainly because I find the 80s scherzo too slow (although the 70s scherzo is also somewhat on the slow side).

I prefer Wand in Lubeck (1987, available from Japan as a twofer with No. 9) - perfect tempi throughout and glorious acoustics.
 

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Eight was always my top Bruckner symphony. As I get older, I lean towards the fifth.

However, my favourite eights (until further notice) in no particular order are:

Karajan VPO DG 1980s
Karajan BPO 1970s
Karajan BPO 1950s
Carlo Maria Giulini BPO Live Testament
Carlo Maria Giulini VPO DG
Celibidache MPO EMI/Warner

All rather obvious and orthodox choices

But there are so many others (Barbirolli, Tennstedt, Skrowaczewski, Furtwangler, various Wands and so on)
 
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And isn't the St Florian DVD fabulous!

One can only wonder what a third or a fifth from Boulez and the VPO might've been like ......
 
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Just when I thought I had heard it all, I finally came around to Furtwangler's final Bruckner 8th, from April 1954 with the VPO. No one ever talks about this one, deferring to the excellent wartime VPO and 1949 BPO versions. I think this is an unfortunate oversight, because I now notice John Ardoin praised its virtues in the gold standard book on WF recordings, The Furtwangler Record.

In short, I was stunned at the overwhelming power and beauty of this performance! This might be to the intense wartime account what the Lucerne Beethoven 9th is to the 1942 9th. More reflective (also more conventional if a bit slower) and much better recorded. As in the Beethoven, some may prefer this interpretation as the wartime version is more hectic. What a fine memorial this made as his last ever Bruckner recording.

I am curious what Granate might think as I do not believe this was included in his survey. By far the best transfer is from Orfeo, although unfortunately only available in their superlative VPO boxset (which includes the wartime Beethoven 3rd, Bruckner 8th, and Brahms 2nd among other goodies).

Highly recommended for fans of the Bruckner 8th. Right at the top of essential recordings for me along with WF's 1944 VPO, Wand's BPO and Lubeck NDR versions, and the Karajan 70s BPO.

In fact I listened to this one in a whole Bruckner Historical challenge around June 2019. Surveying lots of mono recordings. In that new marathon, in the No.8, the Berlin 1949 Audite recording from Furtwängler came 1st once more. I listened to this one but it rested in the second half of the rank. I wasn't very interested as I listened through this performance. But why not another listen?

I'm currently more interested in Stereo Bruckner since the "Official" Knappertsbusch Bruckner recordings are all letting me down. And I'm now being blown away listening to Böhm's Studio No.7 in Vienna. I'm also going to survey the No.8 I own on CD despite not having listened to it in years.
 

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Bruckner's 8th and 9th symphonies for me at least , disprove the notion that his music is a reflection of pure religious faith and lack of doubt and despair .
There is a great deal of anguish and doubt reflected in the first movement of the 8th and the finale, even though the symphony ends in affirmation . The ninth seems to me to be filled with terror and despair , such as in the monstrously dissonant chord at the climax of the slow movement .
Bruckner was experiencing both failing physical health and mental problems in his last years , and this is certainly reflected in his last two symphonies .
 

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My favorites in order are:

01.Knappertsbusch Munich 1963 Studio (DXD Hdtt) & Live (Dreamlife)
02.Celibidache Tokyo 1990 Live (iso Altus,Sony)
03.Furtwängler Berlin 1949 Live (iso Praga,Testament)
04.Matacic Tokyo 1984 Live (iso JVC,Altus)
05.Böhm Viena 1976 studio (iso Tower,Universal) & Live Berlin 1969 (Testament)
06.Schuricht Viena 1963 studio (iso EMI,DXD hdtt) & Live (Altus)
07.Giulini Viena 1984 studio (DG) & Live Berlin (Testament)
08.Wand Lübeck 1987 Live (RCA) & Berlin 2001 Live (iso BMG)
09.keilberth Köln 1966 Live (Orfeo)
10.Kubelik Munich 1977 Live (BR Klassik)
11.Kegel Leipzig 1975 Live (Weitblick)
12.Horenstein London 1970 Live (BBC) & Viena 1955 Studio (Pristine)
 

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Probably the best recording of the octave made by Karajan is VPO 1988 (DG), but the best from the point of view of the quality of the recorded sound, but not necessarily from the point of view of purely musical performance.


Karajan performed Bruckner for 50 years,and of the Eighth Symphony he gave 63 concerts in total.



22 recordings of Bruckner's Octave conducted by Karajan are preserved: 4 studio recordings,and 18
live recordings.

Some prefer the 1957 version because it is the greatest, and the slowest of the 4. Others prefer the one from the 1975 cycle because they say it is more direct and energetic. And most say the best is from 1988 because it is the most polished in detail and by the Vienna Philharmonic.

However, some critics prefer Karajan conducting live,as he really was a great conductor.
And they point out as the best of all the live concert in St. Florian in 1979 with the Vienna Philharmonic (DVD).
With excellent sound it is undoubtedly an extraordinary performance. No doubt. Although I would not take Karajan to a desert island. Matters of personal taste.
 

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I actually like the Berliner account better than the Vienna... The greater focus and keen sense of dramatic pacing in the Berlin account put it ahead, if you ask me.
I might agree with you on this. I bought the Berlin Karajan 8 many years ago when I was pecuniary-challenged. I hankered after the VPO but I couldn't afford it. I had to be responsible with money even though my wife was wantonly wasting money on things like food and clothes for the kids.

In in the fullness of time I acquired the VPO recording and despite my great expectations, it didn't pip the BPO.
 
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