17 April 2013

New recording of the Vienna version of Bruckner Symphony No. 1 -- Claudio Abbado

Claudio Abbado has been enjoying a beautiful Indian Summer with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, notably in Mahler and Bruckner. This may give one the impression that he started rather late in Bruckner, or for that matter Mahler as well. How wrong one is! In fact he first started to record Bruckner, in Symphony No. 1 in C minor, as early as 1969, and this recording was to become one of the members of the Vienna Philharmonic cycle produced by Decca in the early 1970s. And then there was a 1972 live recording issued by Melodiya in the former USSR, but only in the LP format and has not been reissued in CD up till now.  More than 20 years later in 1996 he recorded this symphony again with the Vienna Philharmonic on DG (453415-2). All these 3 recordings used the "Linz" version. 

The Melodiya LP and the 2 CDs of the VPO recordings. The Japanese London CD is the first CD release of the 1969 recording issued by Decca.

The LP box-set issued by Telefunken-Decca in 1974 of the 9 Bruckner symphonies by the VPO under different conductors. (B1: Abbado; B2&6: Stein; B3&4: Böhm; B5: Maazel; B7&8: Solti and B9: Mehta).

Time flies and in recent years he was performing this symphony again with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra but this time he changed his preference to the 1890/91 Vienna version. Bruckner fans are well aware of the scarcity of recordings of this Vienna version. We have recordings of this later version (Complete Critical Edition edited by Brosche) by Wand, Rozhdestvensky and Chailly, in chronological order, besides a more recent digital download of Botstein's, and that's all we got. Even if recordings using the first published edition (Hynais) are included, there are only 2 more complete ones, by Adler and Andreae, and one of the Scherzo only, by Fritz Zaun (included in the EMI box-set of historical recordings).

In the coming Claudio Abbado: The Symphony Edition, a big 41-CD box-set issued by DG to celebrate Abbado's 80th birthday, Abbado handpicked all the recordings, and he chose for Bruckner's C minor symphony (CD26) a live recording in the Kultur- und Kongresszentrum, Lucerne in August 2012 with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, of course of the Vienna version he championed of late. Track timings: 12'04"; 12'44"; 8'40"; 16'40". This is an important new addition not only to his discography in particular but also to Bruckner's discography in general. I'm really looking forward to it. 

For detailed track listing of this big box-set, click here to go to the official site.

For some reason, this box-set was advertised as a 40-CD box-set but in fact it contains 41 CDs.

04 April 2013

"Anton Bruckner -- The Collection" box-set from Profil

As far as I know, there has never been a fuller box-set dedicated to Anton Bruckner's music than the coming 20-CD box-set from Profil which contains most of his works. In the past most of the box-sets contain his symphonies and at most adding in some of his sacred works.

It contains Bruckner's:
Orchestral works: all 11 symphonies, March in D minor and Three Orchestral Pieces.
Sacred works: Te Deum, Mass in C major "Windhaager Messe", Masses in E minor & F minor, Psalm 150, Missa solemnis, Requiem, Tantum ergo, Ave Maria, Helgoland, Latin Motets (Pange Lingua, Afferentur Regi Virgines, Vexilla Regis, Christus factus est, Locus iste, Os Justi meditabitur, Libera me, Domine, Ave Maria, Tota pulchra es, Virga Jesse and Ecce sacerdos).
Chamber music: String Quartet in C minor, String Quintet in F major, Intermezzo in D minor and Rondo in C minor.
Piano works:  Lancer-Quadrille, Steiermärker, Quadrille for 4 hands;3 Kleine Stücke for 4 hands, Klavierstück E-flat major, Sonatensatz in G minor, Stille Betrachtung an einem Herbstabend, Fantasie, Erinnerung.

Although it does not include all of Bruckner's music, it is still a set that is very ambitious in its scope. From the information so far gathered, it is a set featuring different orchestras and conductors: Georg Tintner, Gerd Schaller, Kurt Sanderling, Günter Wand, Christian Thielemann, Herbert von Karajan and Karl Anton Rickenbacher. A very tempting list it is.

It is scheduled to be released in mid-April.

Update (18 Apr):
Track listing:

Vol 1: CD1 Symphony "00" in F minor. Georg Tintner/Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
         CD2  Symphony "Die Nullte". Georg Tintner/National SO of Ireland.

Vol 2: Symphony No. 1 (1866 version; ed. Carragan). Gerd Schaller/Philharmonie Festiva.

Vol 3: Symphony No. 2 (1872 version; ed. Carragan). Gerd Schaller/Philharmonie Festiva.

Vol 4: Symphony No. 3. Klaus Tennstedt/BRSO.

Vol 5: Symphony No. 4. Kurt Sanderling/BRSO.

Vol 6: Symphony No. 5. Günter Wand/DSO Berlin.

Vol 7: Symphony No. 6. Bernard Haitink/Staatskapelle Dresden.

Vol 8: Symphony No. 7. Yuri Ahronovitch/Gürzenich-Orchester Köln.

Vol 9: (2CD) Symphony No. 8 (ed. Haas). Christian Thielemann/Staatskapelle Dresden.

Vol 10: Symphony No. 9. Günter Wand/RSO Stuttgart des SWR.

Vol 11: Latin Motets. (from Calig)

Vol 12: String Quintet, Intermezzo, String Quartet, Rondo. (from Naxos)

Vol 13: Te Deum. Karajan/VPO (Profil). Mass in E minor. Hermuth Rilling/Bach-Collegium Stuttgart (from Hänssler Classics)

Vol 14: Mass in F minor. Psalm 150. Hermuth Rilling (from Hänssler Classics)

Vol 15: Organ Works, Choruses and Mass in C Major "Windhaager Messe". (from Capriccio, Naxos, Ars Produktion)

Vol 16: Works for piano. Brunner and Schopper. (from CPO)

Vol 17: CD1.  Missa Solemnis. Psalm 112. Rickenbacher/Bamberger Symphoniker. March, Three Pieces.
           CD2. Requiem. Janssens.
            (from Virgin Classics/EMI, MDG, Cypres)