19 March 2019

Gerd Schaller has recorded 3 versions of the completed finale of the Ninth

Not many conductors have recorded the completed Finale of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9, yet Gerd Schaller has recordings of it in three different versions, in August 2010, July 2016 and July 2018 respectively. In the first one he used the completion by William Carragan, and in the remaining two the completion by himself, with the last one a revised version of his earlier attempt at the completion. One will be interested to know what Schaller has revised in such a short interval of some two years. The main difference, among other minor ones, is in the apotheosis of the coda. In the first version, Schaller combined music from the 4th to 8th Symphonies and from the Helgoland and Te Deum with music from the first three movements of the Ninth. In the revised version, he changed his mind and “refrained from making direct allusions to other symphonies by Bruckner, mainly because there is no firm evidence to suggest that Bruckner himself planned such citations in the apotheosis of the finale”. Instead he combined the Te Deum motif with the Schlussgrupe chorale and a modified form of the main theme of the opening movement, and towards the end he wrote a triumphant motif in the trumpets and woodwind. Which is more convincing? I’ll leave it to you to judge. 

The coda is everyone’s guess, no matter how educated a guess it is. No one can claim how authentic a particular attempted completion of the coda is. Put it bluntly, it just depends on the listener’s taste and predilection. 

18 February 2018

Happy Birthday Maestro Janowski

Today is the birthday of Marek Janowski, a venerable Brucknerian.

His Bruckner symphonies cycle has given me hours and hours of pleasure and gratitude for that matter.

Having attended his Bruckner concert and then got his autograph is one of the highlights in my Brucknerian journey in life.

His 9 Bruckner symphonies on SACD

31 December 2017

La discothèque idéale de Diapason Vol. XI

La discothèque idéale de Diapason Volume XI is dedicated to symphonies and massess composed by Anton Bruckner.

Its contents were listed in my last post. As you can see, they are mainly historical recordings and have all been released commercially before.

In this post, I've included pictures of their previous corresponding releases, most being original releases, on LPs and/or CDs. From these pictures, you can see that this box is a real bargain in the sense that many of these recordings are not easy to obtain in the past. The selections are all worthy of their place. I can boldly say that this is the best Bruckner box set released in 2017.

This box has the generic design from this series.

Bruckner 1: Georg Ludwig Jochum (1956)

Bruckner 2: Franz Konwitschny (1951)

Bruckner 3: Kurt Sanderling (1963)

Bruckner 4: Hermann Abendroth (1949)

Bruckner 5: Hermann Abendroth (1949)

Bruckner 6: F Charles Adler (1952)

Bruckner 7: Karl Böhm (1943)

Bruckner 7: Eugen Jochum (1952)

Bruckner 8: Wilhelm Furtwängler (1944) (CDs)

Bruckner 8: Wilhelm Furtwängler (1944) (LPs)

Bruckner 9: Eduard van Beinum (1956)

Bruckner 9: Wilhelm Furtwängler (1944) (CDs)

Bruckner 9: Wilhelm Furtwängler (1944) (LPs)

Bruckner Mass No. 3: Eugen Jochum (1962)