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Discussion: Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 - Bosch

Posts: 8

Post by LivyII November 11, 2008 (1 of 8)
Has anyone purchased or listened to this disc? Is this performance as fast and fleet as Bosch's Bruckner 9? Thanks!

Post by Daland November 13, 2008 (2 of 8)
LivyII said:

Has anyone purchased or listened to this disc? Is this performance as fast and fleet as Bosch's Bruckner 9? Thanks!

This is a recording of the original version, which differs greatly from the more familiar later versions. The great climaxes like the spectacular finale of the first movement are missing. The third and fourth movements are completely different. There is a general lack of forward movement. Curiously enough, three conductors have recently chosen this version for their multi-channel SACD recordings.
Technically, this is a disappointment. Made in the reverberant and dry acoustics of an Aachen church, the recording lacks transparency and warmth. I cannot comment on the performance because this is the first time I have heard the original version.

Post by LivyII November 13, 2008 (3 of 8)
Daland said:

This is a recording of the original version, which differs greatly from the more familiar later versions. The great climaxes like the spectacular finale of the first movement are missing. The third and fourth movements are completely different. There is a general lack of forward movement. Curiously enough, three conductors have recently chosen this version for their multi-channel SACD recordings.
Technically, this is a disappointment. Made in the reverberant and dry acoustics of an Aachen church, the recording lacks transparency and warmth. I cannot comment on the performance because this is the first time I have heard the original version.

Thanks for your comments. When you say there is a lack of forward movement, is this because of the conducting or the score itself?

Post by Daland November 13, 2008 (4 of 8)
LivyII said:

Thanks for your comments. When you say there is a lack of forward movement, is this because of the conducting or the score itself?

It would appear to me that this is mainly because of the score which contains many pauses and abrupt transitions. The booklet draws attention to the fact that Bruckner later revised the score under the influence of Wagner to give it a greater sense of fluency and a "romantic" flavour.

Post by Windsurfer November 13, 2008 (5 of 8)
Daland said:

Bruckner later revised the score under the influence of Wagner to give it a greater sense of fluency and a "romantic" flavour.

I wonder whatever inspired Bosch to use this version? (I know that is something of a rhetorical question.)

It does not seem like something I am going to want so I am removing it from my "wish list" Thank you for calling our attention to the deficiencies.

Bruce

Post by akiralx November 14, 2008 (6 of 8)
Yes, useful info - but I'm not sure how an acoustic can be dry and reverberant at the same time.

Post by Daland November 14, 2008 (7 of 8)
akiralx said:

Yes, useful info - but I'm not sure how an acoustic can be dry and reverberant at the same time.

Point taken. What I wanted to say is that despite the reverberant acoustics the instrumental timbres lack warmth and bloom.

By the way, Simone Young and Kent Nagano have also chosen this early version for their SACD recordings. There seems to be a general obsession with original versions, alternative versions, critical editions and suchlike. This makes little sense if, as in the case of Bruckner's Fourth, few recordings of the more familiar version are available on SACD.

Post by LivyII November 14, 2008 (8 of 8)
Daland said:


By the way, Simone Young and Kent Nagano have also chosen this early version for their SACD recordings. There seems to be a general obsession with original versions, alternative versions, critical editions and suchlike. This makes little sense if, as in the case of Bruckner's Fourth, few recordings of the more familiar version are available on SACD.

Though there may not be many 1878/1880 editions of Bruckner's 4th on SACD, there's too many on RBCD - I think it's one of the most over-recorded pieces, next to Beethoven's 5th and The Four Seasons. Bruckner's original editions, as defined above, should they become commonplace, will likely change how we view him, perhaps to his detriment. As you've noted, the score is problematic and the revisions make the symphony better, in the view of many. Even the misguided but well-meaning Schalk brothers understood that Bruckner's conceptions were not always expressed perfectly in their original form. And, contrary to what one might hear, there's alot more Bruckner in the revised versions than many would like to believe.

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