31 August 2011

Another chance to acquire the inimitable Celibidache EMI Bruckner set

The Celibidache EMI Bruckner box-set is going to reappear in a new reissue next month. Those who missed out this box-set in the past can now have another chance to grab it. Inimitable in every way is Celibidache's late style in Bruckner from his Munich years. It will be released in Japan in mid-October with a listed price of 3770 Yen (c. US$49) -- quite a bargain. (Update: UK release on 24 Oct, at 27.50 quids, and there are discounts everywhere.)

The repeatedly delayed B7 and B8 discs from Kent Nagano on Sony are now on their way to the store shelves with the CD covers revealed. Judging from his previous recordings of Bruckner symphonies (Nos. 3 & 6 with DSO on Harmonia Mundi, No. 4 with Bavarian State Orchestra on Sony, and a DVD of No. 8 with DSO on Arthaus Musik), I have some expectations from the new ones. With his rumoured departure from Munich in 2013, any further Bruckner recordings with this orchestra will remain a doubt, although it may be too early to say that.

(5 Sep 2011 Update: The Nagano B8 release is once again postponed, this time to Feb 2012!!)

20 August 2011

It is reissued by DG at long last! -- The Barenboim/CSO Bruckner cycle

This Barenboim/CSO Bruckner cycle brings back memory of a bitter experience to me. It has also left a regretful gap in my collection of Bruckner box-sets for a long while. I got this set in the early 1990's but lost it when I moved house a couple of years later. Right now only 2 sets are missing from my collection. One is the set by the Korean conductor Lee Dong-Ho recorded with the Jeju Philharmonic Orchestra, which still hasn't managed to attract my desire to acquire it for the time being. I might do so if I go to Korea to spend my holiday there in future. The other is this DG set by Barenboim. All the other complete or partial sets listed in John Berky's discography are all safe and sound in my cabinets.

I was very excited when this set was reissued in Japan in Dec 2009 by Tower Records Japan in their Universal Vintage Collection but it was expensive (7500 yen) and Tower Records does not entertain overseas shipment. This DG reissued set comes at the perfect time because I was about to ask a friend of mine who would go to Tokyo to buy the Japanese set for me. Now I can save the trouble and money because the DG set is significantly cheaper.

Another highly attractive reissue is the "Rafael Kubelik conducts Great Symphonies" box on Sony/BMG. It includes the Bruckner Third and Fourth, lovely renditions one should not miss, late Mozart symphonies, again lovely and charismatic, and the 4 Schumann symphonies. All in all a true bargain.

The future seems bright but my experience with new Bruckner releases was not at all happy in the last few months. An eagerly awaited disc is Blomstedt's new B3 on Querstand, but much to my disappointment it was delayed till October. The Nagano B7 and B8 was originally advertised in HMV Japan as to be released in June or so, but B7 was delayed till next week -- I hope it won't be postponed once again -- and B8 till Oct. The Dudamel B9 should be available next week.

Meanwhile, I'm "working at" the Bruckner Fifth recordings by Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (TMSO, 東京都交響楽団) which prove to be very interesting, including a wonderful performance by Peter Maag from a recently released disc on the Japanese label Tobu Recordings. My friends were also very satisfied with the performance when I recommended them to have a listen.