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Discussion: Bruckner: Symphonies 4, 6-8 - Celibidache

Posts: 9

Post by zeus February 8, 2013 (1 of 9)
In case anyone is wondering, the 6th here is contemporary with the EMI live recording at the same venue on 29th November, 1991. These are really great performances, going by the 4th & 6th I already own. I ordered the bargain priced EMI 12 CD set of Celibidache Bruckner only just recently.

Post by ramesh February 8, 2013 (2 of 9)
Yes, C's performance of Bruckner 6 on EMI is great, with the bonus of a fine analogue concert recording. However, the Adagio is so slow, hardly living up to the composer's indication of 'Sehr feierlich.' Of the few recordings of Bruckner 6 I've heard, it's second only to Klemperer's version, which to me has a more convincing rendition of the Adagio.
The Sixth seems an elusive work. For me, Karajan is supreme in this repertory, but his B6 was a puzzling underpowered misfire : it almost sounds as if Seiji Ozawa had conducted the performance.

By the way, I bought the SHM SACD of Jochum's Bruckner 7. The performance is glorious, as is the 1964 sound of the BPO, recorded at the Jesus Christus Kirche, unlike the problematic Philharmonie which was the usual BPO recording venue from the 1970s.

Post by SteelyTom February 9, 2013 (3 of 9)
I'd love to know if the new versions of 4 and 6 meet the standard of his truly great records for EMI.

Post by akiralx February 10, 2013 (4 of 9)
ramesh said:

Yes, C's performance of Bruckner 6 on EMI is great, with the bonus of a fine analogue concert recording. However, the Adagio is so slow, hardly living up to the composer's indication of 'Sehr feierlich.' Of the few recordings of Bruckner 6 I've heard, it's second only to Klemperer's version, which to me has a more convincing rendition of the Adagio.
The Sixth seems an elusive work. For me, Karajan is supreme in this repertory, but his B6 was a puzzling underpowered misfire : it almost sounds as if Seiji Ozawa had conducted the performance.

'Sehr feierlich' is 'Very spiritual' so couldn't that be pretty slow?

The Karajan B6 is a slight oddity as he never conducted it in concert (like quite a bit of his recorded oeuvre) - it was probably recorded at a sightreading session...

Post by ramesh February 11, 2013 (5 of 9)
akiralx said:

'Sehr feierlich' is 'Very spiritual'

Whoops, you're right.
Scheiss. Ich bin eine grosse Sarahpalin mit Superdummkopf.

Post by canonical February 11, 2013 (6 of 9)
1989-1991 digital recording? As Monty Python would say, I guess this must be a CD, with the words CD crossed out in crayon, and SACD written over the top ... unless they had a time-machine and could record in hi-rez 5 to 10 years before the rest of the world. As zeus notes, going for the bargain CD set would be the way to go.

Post by zeus February 11, 2013 (7 of 9)
canonical said:

I guess this must be a CD, with the words CD crossed out in crayon, and SACD written over the top ...

Addressed here:

/showthread/98705//y?page=first

Post by Joseph Ponessa November 2, 2013 (8 of 9)
The Celibidache box is pretty expensive and some people have wondered whether it was worth it. So having indulged some time back and had a chance to explore the possibility of buyer's remorse, I just want to say--no regrets!

FOURTH The recording of Number 4 got through to me on the second time through. Perhaps someone was right when they said it was the greatest concert of all time. Tempo does not seem all that slow, although it necessitated spreading out over two discs on both the SACD and the CD (part of the recent Celibidache DVD box). The SACD stands heads and shoulders over the CD release.

FIFTH Number 5 is not included in this package, but has been released separately by Altus. That is a very fine SACD and would supplement this box very well.

SIXTH Numbers 6/7/8 were released on Sony Classical laserdiscs with awesome sound twenty years ago, and they have been always with me. Through them I learned to appreciate Celibidache, and the video component is important. Although he had to sit at the podium, so much energy exuded from him. Although he is known for stately tempos, his directions to the orchestra were so clear and forceful that he could keep an adagio going without drag. One loses something not having the video, but on the other hand there is the convenience of just listening and not being glued to the screen. The SACD sound is not better than the Laserdisc sound, but not worse either. Other viewers thought the sound on the DVD inferior, but if so it is only marginally. The video of Number 6, on the other hand, has had the top and bottom of the picture chopped off to make it fit widescreen TVs. I object to this practice because it makes the picture fuzzier.

SEVENTH Number 7 with Munich in Tokyo is a great performance and it is good to have it on SACD, but Number 7 with Berlin in Berlin is an even greater performance and it is out now on BD-V. An embarrassment of riches for a conductor not very well represented otherwise on disc. Like Carlos Kleiber, he eschewed studio recording. Both of these sevenths are live concerts captured on video, and are treasures. Numbers 7 and 8 were filmed in widescreen, so the videos did not need to be cropped for the DVD release. They were already "letterboxed" laserdiscs.

EIGHTH Number 8 was recorded along with the Number 7, and was voted the best concert of that year in Tokyo. Celibidache's Number 8 is as great as it gets, equalled but never surpassed. It is a desert island recording. Altus have released the soundtrack on a single SACD, but the sound on that release is inferior to this release on two SACDs. Maybe it made a difference giving the dots and dashes more elbow room, or maybe Altus did not have access to the original master tapes. It makes me think that a better release of Number 5 might still be possible.

All these performances are also available separately. If you want individual discs, I would recommend 4, 5, 6 and 8 on SACD and 7 on BD-V.

Post by JohnProffitt November 2, 2013 (9 of 9)
ramesh said:

Whoops, you're right.
Scheiss. Ich bin eine grosse Sarahpalin mit Superdummkopf.

Feierlich = solemn

Closed