Re: Last place among over 200 Bruckner 4ths?
Ralph - many thanks, that is an interesting box. I'm amused that a radio recording from 1951 should have been included with other tapings of the Bruckner canon from the 1970's onwards. As a consequence maybe, Nick Barnard's review on MW gives it fairly short shrift, describing the sonics as "moderate at best" (which of course still manages to capture the audience coughs in spectacular SACD-worthy sound)and concluding that is is ruled out as anything other than an "archival consideration". However, in my experience of listening to this symphony, every other conductor (apart from one) approaches this early Bruckner symphony with a lightness of touch, referencing it's more Weber-esque roots, rather than Wagnerian heft. These recordings would include: Giulini, Jochum, Wand, Stein, Solti, Skrowaczewski, amongst many others - even Karajan is (comparatively) light touched in this work. Only Barenboim in his later Berlin PO recording approaches the music as if it was written around the same time of the Eighth and Ninth symphonies - and it doesn't work. Although that was what I thought until hearing this Konwitschny recording, where the weight of the orchestral response is quite from the soundworld of Bruckner's last three symphonies - and somehow sounds magnificent and convincing as a result. A real dark horse !
Dieter - I hope you enjoy reacquainting yourself with Karajan's cycle. Perhaps I may be so bold as to suggest trying the Third Symphony next ? Yes, it uses the "wrong" edition (1888/89 - I think !) and yes, the early digital glare provided by the DG engineers does not do anyone any favours. But my work, the performance blazes away !
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