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Bruckner: Symphony No 4 / Böhm, Vienna PO

Release Date: 06/12/2007 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 000894902   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Karl Böhm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Karl Böhm's Bruckner Fourth Symphony has been one of the reference editions of the work ever since its first release in 1973, on two full-length LPs. Not much has changed since then. The performance is, at 68 minutes, somewhat on the slow side, but as with all the best Bruckner interpretations, tempo is less important than momentum, and this performance has that in abundance. Everything sounds natural and inevitable, the high point being a reading of the slow movement unmatched in grandeur and plain-spoken eloquence. Böhm's vision is uncompromisingly sincere, and what keeps this performance from sounding perhaps too severe is the idiomatic warmth of the Vienna Philharmonic, whose
Read more characteristic timbres--the rich strings, acidulous oboes, and monstrous horns--seldom have been caught on disc as effectively as they have here. A magnificent performance, magnificently restored.

-- David Hurwitz


BRUCKNER Symphony No. 4, “Romantic” Karl Böhm, cond; Vienna PO DECCA 000894902, analog (68:12)

Karl Böhm’s spacious conducting of the first movement is absolutely convincing and is played with weight and great attention to detail; the symphony opens here with magical horn calls from afar. Originally this 1973 recording took up two LPs and was noteworthy then for Böhm’s majestic approach (although there are many similar, and longer, versions available). From Böhm there is plenty of light and shade, dynamic variance, mysterious searching, expressive solos, and grand outpouring. Böhm’s scrupulous musicianship and the Vienna Philharmonic’s seasoned response is a recipe for a great Bruckner performance. Decca’s presentation knocks a minute off the slow movement’s timing (it should be 15:34), and that minute makes a difference; Böhm takes his time but still walks with purpose while not overlooking the scenery. With a powerfully wrought Scherzo and a finale that is both purposeful and vista conjuring, this is an account that compels and which can stake its claim to be amongst the finest recordings of this work. Good to report that the analog sound has been treated with respect in this transfer and reproduces with true fidelity to the original. I have long been taken with Klemperer (Philharmonia Orchestra) and Celibidache (Munich Philharmonic) in this symphony (both recordings are on EMI) and I would be happy to add Böhm to this august company.

FANFARE: Colin Anderson
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 4 in E flat major, WAB 104 "Romantic" by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Karl Böhm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/19/1973 
Venue:  Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 68 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Notes: Version: 1878/80, Nowak ed.
Composition written: Vienna, Austria (1874 - 1886). 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Outstanding November 30, 2012 By Clifton B. (Baltimore, MD) See All My Reviews "For Bruckner fans, this is a great performance with excellent sound." Report Abuse
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