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The Complete Bruckner Symphonies CD
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Liste des titres
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Descriptions du produit
Ernest John Moeran's Rhapsodies occupy a significant place among his orchestral compositions. Each is marked by melodic exuberance, inventive scoring and formal mastery. Moeran's gift for imbuing his music with folkloric tunes that are actually his own is especially evident in the First Rhapsody and in his first orchestral work, In the Mountain Country. First performed in 1943, the Rhapsody in F sharp major for piano and orchestra is unashamedly popular in style, with an appealing tunefulness. JoAnn Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony in the United States and Principal Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland.
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George Tintner's sudden, untimely death in the fall of 1999 coincided with the completion of his Naxos cycle devoted to Bruckner's complete symphonies. In nearly every case where more than one Bruckner version exists, Tintner favors the composer's first thoughts. Thus we have the first recording of Symphony No. 1 in its unrevised 1866 version, the original 1872 Second, plus the seldom heard 1873 Third and 1887 Eighth. By contrast, Tintner preferred Bruckner's revised Fourth of 1878/80, with its new and beloved "hunting" Scherzo. He also makes eloquent cases for the early "Study Symphony" No. 00 and "Die Nullte" (Symphony No. 0). The performances are beautifully sculpted, spaciously paced, and never dragging. Soft passages are full-bodied and vocally informed, while the magisterial climaxes congeal without losing textural differentiation between orchestral sections. The orchestras may not boast the tonal refulgence and lungpower you find in Jochum's Dresden Staatskapelle Bruckner recordings, or the best of Günter Wand's live accounts. Yet you can tell that Tintner's musicians constantly give their all. Certainly, you won't find as interesting or as moving a Bruckner cycle at Naxos's super-bargain price. Tintner's scholarly, heartfelt, and pedantry-free annotations, moreover, prove as articulate and caring as his music making. --Jed Distler
There are two "must-haves" in this set: 3 and 8. 3 is truly a great performance, a revelation actually. Tintner performs the original 1873 version, and his insights are astonishing. Unfortunately he's let down by the orchestra, who plays out of tune extensively and sounds fifth-rate (and yet the same orchestra, in #1, sounds world-class; go figure). I always hold the conductor responsible if his orchestra plays out of tune--it's unforgiveable. But even worse than that, there's just a lot of sloppy playing by the orchestra with blown entrances, loose ensemble, and just a lot of technical things that should have never happened. But Tintner's interpretation of the symphony is astonishing and I've learned so much from it. I still feel that #3 is the one failed symphony in Bruckner's entire canon, where the whole does not exceed the sum of the parts, but this is the best performed version of this noble failure.
8 is also a welcome performance that, if not as revelatory as 3, is still an important performance of the original version of the 8th symphony. There is a world of difference between the original version of 8, and the subsequent revision, whether as represented in the Haas or Nowak editions. I would argue that they are two different symphonies entirely, with the second revision being a much darker work than the original. Both are worth hearing and knowing, although at the end of the day, I'll take Karajan's performances (particularly the 1975 DG/BPO and the 1988 DG/VPO performances) over any of the rest of them.
Much of the rest of the cycle is unexceptional. While many marvel at the text of 1, I find the performance to be severely underpowered, and no one can argue that the original version is superior to the "Linz" revision that most of us have previously known as the "original" version of this symphony. The revisions that comprise the "Linz" version are across the board improvements, not least of which come in the finale, which in this original first version does not achieve transcendence as Bruckner does in the "Linz" version. And Tintner's performance is stodgy and lacking in energy.
7 is fine enough, but with so many wonderful 7ths out there, it's not a first-drawer recommendation. 5 and 6 are relative failures; I use the word "failure" not because they are embarrassments, but because these performances seem like run-throughs that fail to illuminate the greatness of the music. No one who hears these performances before any others would ever think they are great symphonies or that there's a great composer who wrote them.
The only symphony in this cycle I haven't heard is 9.
So, the bottom line is this: Purchase the individual recordings of 3 and 8, because they're worth hearing and returning to. Not so much for the rest of them, beyond curiousity value (which is good for one listen). I'm grateful that we have this set. But the substance of it diverges rather significantly from the hype.
Far better choices for complete cycles of the numbered Bruckner symphonies (i.e. excluding "0" and "00") are Karajan's magnificent cycle (Bruckner: 9 Symphonies [Box Set]) and Jochum's first cycle with the Berlin Philharmonic and Bavarian Radio Sympony Orchestra (Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 1 - 9). I've reviewed both of these sets elsewhere so I won't repeat those reviews here but hope you will check them out. Karajan's is an unambiguous first choice--astonishing in every way, and without a doubt one of the greatest recorded legacies, if not the very greatest, in all of classical music. Jochum's is a wonderful set also. Given that the prices of these sets have come down so far (I purchased the Karajan set for $90 back in its day--on sale no less!--and Jochum's cost me $60), the best choice of all is to purchase both, because both are mandatory listening if you are a Bruckner-lover. Karajan's set is the better of the two, with the finest possible interpretations and other-worldly orchestral playing (so exceptional that it's almost hard to believe possible). Jochum's is not in the same overall exalted level as Karajan's, but that's not diminishing it in any way because Jochum's set is outstanding by every standard, especially his exceptional performance of #1, and outstanding performances of 3 and 5-8. The only "miss" in Karajan's set is #1, with exceptional performances of all the rest.