WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Bruckner: Symphonies No 4-9 / Otto Klemperer


Release Date: 11/06/2012 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 404296  
Composer:  Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraNew Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 6 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

There’s good slow, and there’s bad slow. Klemperer’s Bruckner contains both. Compare the scherzo of the Fourth Symphony (first sound clip), with that of the Eighth (second clip). The first moves like a juggernaut, the second like some sort of proto-minimalist nightmare. Truth be told, Klemperer’s Bruckner isn’t all that slow. His Adagios tend to be swift. The scherzo of the Ninth is one of the quickest on disc. So it doesn’t pay to generalize.

Three of these performance are indisputably great: the Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh. Indeed, the Sixth remains the best version of that work yet committed to disc. The Ninth has its movements, and is well paced by modern standards. However, both there and in the other late recordings
Read more (Nos. 5 and 8) Klemperer was simply too old and infirm to make his orchestra play with the kind of ensemble discipline we have come to expect. This may not bother you as much as it did me, but it is a problem, objectively speaking.

As for the interpretations, the Fifth dies in the finale, which lasts longer than 26 minutes. Kudos to the brass for getting through it at all. As for the Eighth, not only is the scherzo the second-longest movement in the symphony, but the finale has two big chunks carved out of it, a perverse move on Klemperer’s part that either makes the performance even more “distinctive,” or places it entirely beyond the pale. Still, as part of the EMI’s new Klemperer edition, this is worth having for the fabulous performances, and the good bits of the less successful ones. The rating is a blend, then, weighted more towards the good than the bad.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 4 in E flat major, WAB 104 "Romantic" by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 9/1963 
2. Symphony no 7 in E major, WAB 107 by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881-1883; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1960 
3. Symphony no 5 in B flat major, WAB 105 by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875-1876; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 3/1967 
4. Symphony no 9 in D minor, WAB 109 by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891-1896; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 2/1970 
5. Symphony no 8 in C minor, WAB 108 by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10-11/1970 
6. Symphony no 6 in A major, WAB 106 by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879-1881; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1964 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook