As part of their celebration of his centenary, DG have reissued Karajan’s cycle of Bruckner’s nine numbered symphonies that he set down in Berlin between 1975 and 1981.
This repackaging of Karajan’s Bruckner cycle affords an appropriate and very worthy centennial tribute.
John Quinn (www.musicweb-international.com)
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.
In these priceless documents from the late 1970s, filmed in the Bruckner shrines of Vienna and St Florian, Herbert von Karajan conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in Bruckner's Eighth - the symphony he revered above all others - and Ninth, as well as the towering Te Deum. "Massive, glowing, and infused with cosmic power" (conductor/scholar Denis Stevens on Karajan's Bruckner Eighth filmed with the Vienna Philharmonic).
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.
"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.