I attended the Chicago Symphony Orchestra tonight to see a program of Mazzoli's Orpheus Undone, Mahler's Lieder and Bruckner 2. The performance was truly exceptional, and matched this recording for excitement (Muti's Bruckner is light years ahead of his Beethoven -- and this 80-year old man physically jumped atop the podium during a particularly intense moment). I was also in the front row of the first balcony, so things were particularly enjoyable both visually and sonically.1980's Disc 2
View attachment 144128
Bruckner, Symphony No. 2 (1877 version)
Berlin Philharmonic, orchestra
Recorded at Philharmonie, Berlin, December 1980 & January 1981
Executive Producer: Günter Breest
Recording Producer: Michel Glotz
Balance Engineer: Günter Hermanns
Total time: 60:07
Review: If there is a difference between the digital multi-track recordings of Bruckner and the Analog recordings of one or two years prior, I can't say I really notice it. The recording is clear and strong, with a definite feeling of space. I love the Scherzo particularly here. I think it's one of Bruckner's stronger ones, and the percussion part in the last 30 seconds is thrilling (41:47 in the appended video). As far as the material, I quite like the earlier Bruckner symphonies. I think they're very accessible and have memorable melodies. I can't really find a reason to fault this recording, as such I rate it...
Overall Rating: 10/10
But now listening to the recording again it's really quite noteworthy how clear the orchestral textures and instrument groups are, in many ways exceeding the live experience (I will give the live performance a slight edge in tremolo and pizzicato, though, they were more forward in my mental mix). Karajan's digital DG output is really pretty great in spots, with Bruckner, Haydn, and Strauss being particular highlights.