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Discussion: Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 - Bosch

Posts: 17
Page: 1 2 next

Post by Livy November 19, 2007 (1 of 17)
Could you list the timings for all of the movements?

Was this performance also recorded in the St. Nikolaus Church?

From your review, I gather the first two movements are quick. Are they too quick?

Post by fafnir November 19, 2007 (2 of 17)
Livy said:

Could you list the timings for all of the movements?

Was this performance also recorded in the St. Nikolaus Church?

From your review, I gather the first two movements are quick. Are they too quick?

The timings of the movements are as follows:

First movement: 19:56
Second movement: 10.46
Third movement: 18:49
Fourth movement: 20:19

The first movement is significantly quicker than most - about ten percent, but doesn't strike me as being too fast. The music surges forward in a manner not normally associated with Bruckner. I think this works to the music's benefit, but others may feel differently. Georg-Ludwig Jochum has an almost identical timing in his 1954 recording.

The second movement is typical in its timing, and the third movement is discussed in my review.

Since there is no other recording of this edition of the Finale, there is nothing to compare it to.

Whether the tempos are too quick or not is, of course, a matter of opinion. For example, Janowski's fast tempos in Brahms First work very well for me but are a decided turn-off for most folks. One thing for sure: in this performance the emphasis is on drama and the Finale is the culmination of all that has gone before. This performance, though I like it very much, is so substantially different from the "normal" that I certainly would not recommend it as the only version of the work to own.

The recording was made in the St. Nikolaus church and is quite similar in sound to the Bosch Bruckner 5 on SACD recorded in the same venue.

Post by Peter November 20, 2007 (3 of 17)
Fafnir, many thanks for your review.

FWIW, here are the timings for Daniel Harding's performance with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in concert on 9 November 2007.

1. 24:13
2. 10:41
3. 23:18
4. 24:29

Peter

Post by fafnir November 20, 2007 (4 of 17)
Peter said:

Fafnir, many thanks for your review.

FWIW, here are the timings for Daniel Harding's performance with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in concert on 9 November 2007.

1. 24:13
2. 10:41
3. 23:18
4. 24:29

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for the information. I hope that the four movement version continues to gain traction. More recordings, especially in SACD, would be most welcome. Do you know if the Samale etc. version was used?

I also have the Wildner recording on Naxos RBCD that uses the earlier Samale// finale. It is a fine performance with conventional tempos, but the recording is not good, even for a RBCD.

Post by Peter November 20, 2007 (5 of 17)
fafnir said:

Peter,

Thanks for the information. I hope that the four movement version continues to gain traction. More recordings, especially in SACD, would be most welcome. Do you know if the Samale etc. version was used?

Yes, it's the latest version - during the interval there was a discussion with Benjamin Gunnar-Cohrs about the Cohrs-Samale edition and its genesis.

Post by tream February 17, 2010 (6 of 17)
There is a really interesting article in the March 2010 issue of Stereophile (by Richard Lehnert, who knows his music) detailing the genesis of the 4th movement and also reviewing the recordings. He makes a fairly convincing case for the reconstruction and I would certainly like to hear this. He is dismissive of Bosch's recording as being too brisk for the music to register, and states that the acoustic is too distant resulting in a muddy, swimmy sound. He also does not believe Bosch has much of a feel for Bruckner.

Thoughts?

Post by fafnir February 17, 2010 (7 of 17)
tream said:

There is a really interesting article in the March 2010 issue of Stereophile (by Richard Lehnert, who knows his music) detailing the genesis of the 4th movement and also reviewing the recordings. He makes a fairly convincing case for the reconstruction and I would certainly like to hear this. He is dismissive of Bosch's recording as being too brisk for the music to register, and states that the acoustic is too distant resulting in a muddy, swimmy sound. He also does not believe Bosch has much of a feel for Bruckner.

Thoughts?

After living with this recording for over two years and having played it many times, my opinions really haven't changed.

First movement: fast, but not too fast - it works for me.

Second movement: Normal tempos.

Third movement: too fast - much of the beauty of the music is lost.

Last movement: nothing to compare it to, but tempos seem to work well.

The sound is ok but not exceptional - a bit too reverberant for my taste. I only listen in mch and suspect that it would not sound good in stereo.

The three movement version sounds incomplete to me, and I no longer enjoy it knowing that there is a proper resolution available.

I purchased the Janowski on PentaTone with the idea that I would play the first three movements then switch to Bosch. Unfortunately, the PentaTone doesn't sound much better and has its own interpretive problems, so this solution didn't work.

In short, even given this recording's deficiencies, it is essential for Bruckner enthusiasts. I will probably have to wait till hell freezes over for a better SACD to be released. This is too bad, because this is great music and deserves better.

Post by tream February 17, 2010 (8 of 17)
Thanks, fafnir. Lehnert's recommendation was the RBCD conducted by Layer on the label Deutschlandradio Kultur. At the end of the day his views and yours are very similiar.

Post by DSD February 17, 2010 (9 of 17)
Thanks Brian, I've always loved the powerfully exciting scherzo but never really cared for the adagio, perhaps because it didn't resolve into a final climactic 4th movement? Hopefully a complete version with a good performance will show up eventually.

Post by JohnProffitt February 26, 2010 (10 of 17)
Although you may have to do some searching to find it (jpc out of Germany has it for ordering), IMO the best overall recording of a 4-movement Bruckner Symphony No. 9 is the Camerata RBCD with the Bruckner Orchester of Linz, Kurt Eichhorn conducting.

It is a stunningly realistic capture of a great orchestra, and they play Bruckner to the manner born, as you might guess. Eichhorn uses the earlier version (1992) of the Samale, Mazucca, Phillips and Cohrs reconstruction of the Finale. The performance overall is on the monumental and slow side, although movements 1 - 3 do not depart far from the norm we've come to expect in the Ninth. The Finale lasts a few seconds over 30 minutes in Eichhorn's interpretation, which I, personally, find quite magnificent. The grand Chorale of the Finale blazes like molten gold -- one of the truly transcendent moments in all of Bruckner.

I, too, no longer can listen to this work as a 3-movement "unfinished" symphony!

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