To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Otto Klemperer s death, EMI Classics pays tribute to the incomparable conductor with the release of an extensive edition of luxurious yet affordably-priced boxsets. The first batch of three is available this November. The collection of Bruckner Symphonies is a 6-CD set presenting 5 of Bruckner s symphonies including the incomplete 9th symphony that was never finished due to his death. The set presents a comprehensive survey of Klemperer s renowned conducting. His interpretations and direction remain touchstones for the EMI catalogue, despite having a stroke during brain surgery.
…The LSO play with their customary precision and refinement, which goes a long way in music that can often be so ethereal and uplifting as Bruckner's. And when the orchestra get a chance to come into full bloom in the biggest crescendos and fortissimos, they sound wonderful, especially with Haitink guiding them so evenhandedly…
Few conductors have made a greater contribution to our present-day understanding of Bruckner than Günter Wand (1912-2002).
This first box includes Bruckner symphonies nos. 5, 6 and 8 in their original or restored versions as well as an elegant, but rarely performed Haydn Symphony and the "Unfinished" symphonies by Bruckner and Schubert. Later, TDK released the second box of 4 DVDs including the popular Bruckner Symphonies Nos. 4 and 7 and symphonic works by Brahms and Schubert.
Not so under Jochum, whose new performance is grand, powerful, spontaneous. Aided by powerful sound, the performance is like no other in its power and impact though it partially resembles the Furtwangler in general intention. It is a more daemonic reading than the early Karajan or the Haitink. dramatic rather than epic but with a huge scope all of its own.
Recorded live in concert in January, 1998, the Günter Wand/Berlin Philharmonic Bruckner Fourth was released in Europe that fall. It got a rave review in Gramophone and garnered that magazine's disc of the year award. - Jed Distler