Among music lovers Croatian conductor Lovro von Matačić is mostly known as a great Bruckner exegete. However he was a champion in the Eastern Europe music too. His repertoire included symphonic and opera compositions by Tchaikovsky, Janáček, Korte, Smetana etc.
In 1983 the eighty-four year old Lovro Von Matatic appeared for the first and only time at a BBC Promenade Concert with the Philharmonia Orchestra with whom he had been associated since the 1950s. He conducted Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Cecille Ousset and this performance of Bruckner’s Third Symphony.
Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936), by virtue of his dates and the fact that he continued to compose into the 1930s, only narrowly qualifies for inclusion in a series devoted to 20th century music. Musically his style looks back to the previous century when Balakirev, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin held sway in Imperial Russia. At that time Glazunov represented an effective bridge between their nationlist tendencies and the more cosmopolitan outlook of Tchaikovsky.
"Without a doubt this 1978 film performance rivals his best audio only recordings in control and insight."
Indisputably one of the most important conductors of Anton Bruckner, Herbert von Karajan leads the Vienna Philharmonic with his Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9 and Te Deum. In addition to conducting Karajan also serves as director and artistic supervisor. Bruckner's Symphony No. 8, in an early version from 1887, was recorded live in the spring of 1979 at the splendid Baroque monastery church of St. Florian near Linz, where Bruckner spent many years as a student and teacher in his youth. Bruckner himself regarded the Adagio of his 8th Symphony as the greatest movement in any of his symphonies. The work was first performed by the Vienna Philharmonic in December 1892 under the direction of Hans Richter. Bruckner's last, unfinished symphonic masterpiece Symphony No. 9, and Te Deum were captured live from the Musikverein, in Vienna in 1978. Te Deum–one of Bruckner's most striking vocal works includes the superb cast of Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Agnes Baltsa, David Rendall, José van Dam and the Wiener Singverein.
Continuing his impressive series of Anton Bruckner's symphonies on CPO, Mario Venzago leads the Bern Symphony Orchestra in period style performances of the Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1889 version) and the Symphony No. 6 in A major (1881 version), using scores edited by Leopold Nowak. Venzago strives for historically informed performances that give varying perspectives on Bruckner's development, employing different orchestras with each release to reveal important differences in the composer's orchestral conceptions and to show that there wasn't one prescription of how the symphonies should sound. Instead, Venzago rejects the massive and heavy-handed interpretations of the early 20th century and tries to re-create the 19th century sound world in all its variety and intimacy. The glistening, vibrato-less string tone, pungent woodwinds, and crisp brass and timpani are easily distinguished from the more homogenized tone colors of a modern symphony orchestra, and Venzago ensures that these distinctive timbres aren't obscured by keeping the orchestral sections lean and discrete.