Home Music Lane

It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.

My CD recommendations:

I don't find #1 or 2 particularly interesting but Barenboim's drama (BPO/Teldec), which is overdone in the later Symphonies, helps these early pieces. He's not bad in #3 either although Bohm/VPO/Decca and Szell/Dresden/Orfeo are both better.

For the Fourth:

Bohm/VPO/Decca - slow but concentrated, with golden toned playing in demonstration sound.

Ormandy/Philadelphia/Sony - quick but taut and powerful, good sound.

Karajan/BPO/EMI - slow, very romantic, in excellent sound.

These three above have playing of striking virtuosity from Orchestras at their peak.

Jochum/Dresden/EMI - beautifully austere, in dry sound which accentuates the reading - the more acclaimed Jochum/BPO/DG has better sound and playing but Jochum pushes and pulls tempos and accents around in a way many, including me, find highly distorted.

Sawallisch/Philadelphia/EMI - between the Dresden Jochum and the Bohm in style, good sound.

Wand/NDR/BMG - quick, highly dramatic, just this side of overblown, very good sound with tremendous dynamics.

Klemperer/BRSO/EMI - granitic, powerful, well played, with very good sound.

In the Fifth, Klemperer/New Philharmonia/EMI is the most acclaimed recording but I prefer the more restrained readings of Jochum/Concertgeboew/Philips and Chailly/Concertgeboew/Decca, both with better playing and in better sound.

In the Sixth, Klemperer/New Philharmonia/EMI is the only reading I've heard I've liked; fair sound.

For the Seventh:

Walter/CSO/Sony - highly idiomatic, beautifully phrased, decent sound.

Karajan/BPO/EMI - again, slow, very romantic, in very good sound.

Chailly/Concertgeboew/Decca - a straightforward reading with excellent playing and sound.

Giulini/VPO/DG - a very slow, very spiritual reading, fair to decent sound (strings are thin and harsh in climaxes though the horns are full and rich).

Bohm/VPO/Andante - a very natural reading, in poor to fair sound: it's a live recording and somewhat bright but the conducting and playing make it worth hearing.

The Eighth:

Karajan/BPO/DG - decent sound.
Karajan/VPO/DG - very good sound.
Both recording have moderate tempos. The BPO is a little more dramatic, a touch "self-conscious". The Adagio, however, is perfect; the best I've heard: so beautifully phrased, timed and played. The VPO reading, however, is better overall as it is a completely un-selfconscious and seamless one.

Bohm/VPO/DG - good to very good sound, this has a bit more ease to it than the Karajan/VPO, but no less concentration. As good as the latter.

Wand/NDR/BMG - a live recording in Lubeck Cathedral, with excellent, incredibly spacious sound. Moderate to slow tempos, good playing. The only Bruckner Symphony I've heard that captures the Cathedral acoustic, with it's reverberation and long decay times, that Bruckner envisioned for his music.

Haitink/VPO/Philips - powerful and dramatic in good sound.

Schuricht/VPO/EMI - straightforward, very good playing (of course), moderate tempos, decent sound. Coupled with the Ninth.

Giulini/VPO/DG - same as the Giulini Seventh.

The Ninth:

Mehta/VPO/Decca - a concentrated, intense reading of great beauty with superb playing and excellent, spacious sound.

Klemperer/New Philharmonia/EMI - a precise and granitic reading with moderate tempos, good playing and very good sound.

Schuricht/VPO/EMI - good sound; excellent playing with quick tempos.

Giulini/VPO/DG - same as the other Giulinis.

I have heard one or more Bruckner Symphonies from the following and been unimpressed: Sinopoli, Einhorn, Tintner, Tennestedt, Skrowaczewski, and Cobos-Lopez. I like Furtwangler and Beinum a lot but the early '50s sound can be hard to take.

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