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Bruckner: Symphony No 8 / Boulez, Vienna PO

Release Date: 06/13/2000 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 459678   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is an exceptional Bruckner Eighth, make no mistake. Here's why. Pierre Boulez does all of the things that a great Bruckner performance requires. First, he never rushes. Second, he knows that if the tempo's going to change at a climax, it should only get broader (try the slow movement or the finale's coda). Third, he reserves major gear shifts for important structural points, as for example the move from the tempo of the opening theme to a more flowing speed for the second subject. Fourth, he lets the brass and timpani really play out when necessary, and fifth, he doesn't make willful dynamic adjustments even when Bruckner lets the music go on at a single volume level for unusually long periods (as at
Read more that strange, quiet musical "plateau" just before the climax of the first movement's development section, or long passages in both the adagio and finale). He also uses the Haas Edition, which isn't a big deal with me, but which I prefer simply because it includes a little more music than Nowak. Finally, Deutsche Grammophon has captured the whole affair in clear, close, natural sonics. Yes, the acoustic of the Austrian monastery church of St. Florian (Bruckner's own "home away from home"; he's buried in a crypt under the organ that bears his name) absorbs some of the high frequencies and makes the timpani a bit boomy, but this is a real "Bruckner" sound: big, reverberant, the horns less forward though not less powerful than in many other VPO productions, the whole capped by brilliant trumpets that add an almost Baroque splendor to the aural palette. Recorded live four years ago at the 1996 International Bruckner Festival, this performance is an event well worth waiting for, one of the best things Boulez has ever done for any composer. And that's saying a lot. [6/14/2000]

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 8 in C minor, WAB 108 by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1996 
Venue:  Live  St. Florian Abbey Church, Austria 
Length: 75 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Notes: Ver: Originak, Haas Edition 

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