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Reviews: Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9 - Schuricht

Reviews: 1

Review by Chopi September 1, 2012 (9 of 14 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
First of all, let me tell you that I am not a musician in the proper sense. By this I mean that I am not a player (though sometimes I struggle with my double-bass…) but a listener.
(And for the record, I think that we, the listeners, are as important for the music as the players themselves, because if we are not there to attend, playing should be no less that infertile and meaningless)
For so many times I’ve read reviews wrote by musicians, also intended for musicians that have to know every term in it to understand why the interpretation was good enough, or not. From scholars to scholars.
In my case, listening to music has to do with pleasure and not with any other approach. I’ve always thought that when a well known conductor at the podium gives us his interpretation of a piece of music, he knows how to read a score quite well, and his decisions are taken seriously after a thoughtful study.
Then we come in, and we like it or we don’t. And for me that is all what matters.
Now, I will speak briefly about this SACD, because I cannot say anything more than this: it is a miracle. The way EMI remastered these old takes from 1961 and 1963 is astonishing. I am not saying that this SACD will sound as perfect as a new production, but… what levels of mastery had those technicians in the past that used to edit the tape sometimes cutting it with razor blades.
Not to tell the clarity that Schuricht gives to the music. He is probably an old fashioned conductor for nowadays standards, as we can say about Furtwängler, Klemperer or Jochum, for example. But those good old days gave us lots of great musicians that are now a source of inspiration for the new stars.
Schuricht’s Eight is the Nowak Ed. (with some liberties taken by the conductor, as the booklet says and I quote: “…he never forgot that the conductor was ultimately in charge of a performance.”)
The scherzos of both Symphonies are taken at a beautifil fast speed but allowing you to hear all the fine details. And how beautiful are both Adagios, two of the more wonderful pieces of music ever written.
This music finds the Vienna Philharmonic at its best. And if you like Bruckner’s music this is a must.
I do remember when I’ve read an article that said that Bruckner was a sort of province musician with boring ideas, as Brahms thought about him: a kind of “symphonic boa-constrictor”. Well, for me, it is absolutely impossible to understand what happened next, at the end of the XIX century, with Mahler, Sibelius, etc, without the music of Anton Bruckner, one of the greatest composers ever.
Go and get it.

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