Notes and Editorial Reviews
Sir Reginald Goodall (1901–1990) achieved international fame late in life, for conducting remarkable performances of Wagner at the English National Opera. Like most Wagnerians, he had a special affinity for Bruckner, demonstrated to great effect in these sound documents from the British Broadcasting Corporation. Though Goodall took somewhat slower tempos than your average Wagner conductor, this Bruckner Seventh, recorded in live performance at the Royal Festival Hall in November 1971, is about average at 67:44.
It is also remarkably well paced, with splendid playing from the BBC Orchestra, and spacious, well-detailed stereo sound. All four movements of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony are beautifully scored and as accessible as
anything he ever wrote, but this performance is still exceptional in making the score transparent. The second movement, a memorial to Richard Wagner, is the heart of this symphony, and has one of the most memorable climaxes in music. Goodall and his musicians play it with reverential care and cap its grand crescendo with as satisfactory a climax as you will hear. This includes the kettledrums, triangle, and cymbals a certain school of musicologists and performers believes, incorrectly, to be spurious.
Goodall leads his English National Opera Orchestra in this recording of the Meistersinger Prelude. The performance took place at the Maltings, Aldeburgh, in November 1974. The hall is smaller and considerably more resonant than the Royal Festival Hall. The result is a bigger and fuller orchestral sound than in the Bruckner Seventh, but not on that account better—just different. Admirers of Sir Reginald will find it necessary to have this recording. Admirers of Bruckner’s Seventh should also consider acquiring it, for its uncommon elevation and integrity.
Robert McColley, FANFARE
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 7 in E major, WAB 107 by Anton Bruckner
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1881-1883; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 11/03/1971
Venue: Live Royal Festival Hall, London, England
Length: 67 Minutes 44 Secs.
Notes: Version: 1883, Nowak edition
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Act 1 Prelude by Richard Wagner
English National Opera Orchestra
Written: 1867; Germany
Date of Recording: 10/27/1974
Venue: Live The Maltings, Snape, Aldeburgh, England
Length: 11 Minutes 13 Secs.
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