8 years ago

Volume 7 Issue 9 - June 2002

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • Festival
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • Choral
  • Choir
  • Orchestra
  • Arts
  • Symphony
  • August

collector in the past,

collector in the past, where one had to be satisfied with some haphazard choices in order to get the complete set. Until receiving this Naxos boxed set I hadn't experienced the first 3 symphonies, and neither the alternate Adagio to the 3rd nor the 1878 finale to the 4th. These "lost" movements are included in the boxed set. Tintner's reading of Bruckner is all you could wish for. He holds his own alongside the Jascha Horenstein and Gunther Wand interpretations in the massive symphonies 8 and 9. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra can proudly allow themselves to be held up to comparison against any of more than a dozen recordings of the 1880 Haas edition of the 4th, popularly named the "Romantic". As a musical experience, you couldn't ask for better. The 48-page booklet has annotations written by Georg Tinter, ably edited by his partner Tanya. The conductor's life-long study of the Bruckner catalogue allows him. to give quite a scholarly dissertation of the themes and recapitulations, which is enlightening considering the vast scale of the works. Tintner's descriptions are at the same time easy to read, and you needn't feel that you require a music degree to understand what is being said. Unfortunately the fact ofTintner's authorship of the notes isn't acknow !edged anywhere in this booklet. The original Naxos individual Bruckner releases had these same notes verbatim, and they DISCOVERIES were properly accredited there. The other oversight is in a complete lack of photographs within the pages of the booklet. The other aspects of the booklet are commendable: the typeface is legible and not too tiny, and sensibly molded into a two-columns-perpage layout. There is an interesting three-page chronology of Bruckner's life and associations in the back pages, following the orchestra and conductor biographies. I heartily recommend this set of CDs for anyone with an interest in Bruckner's work. And as usual, Naxos gives us first-rate sound on a budget-priced CD. John S. Gray Schoenberg: Gurrelieder Karita Mattila, Anne Sofie von Otter, Philip Langridge, Thomas Moser, Thomas Quasthoff Various choirs, Berlin Philharmonic; Sir Simon Rattle EMI 72435 5730329 for five soloists, a speaker, three male choirs, a mixed choir, and a greatly augmented orchestra including 10 horns, 8 flutes, 4 Wagner tubas, 6 timpani, and the usual iron chains. Gurrelieder, the Songs of Gurre, is a Tristanesque drama, a narrative song cycle of massive proportions. It is the ultimate Romantic expression, opulent, entirely tonal and loaded with good tunes. In Part One, Rattle's view of the score may have some heads shaking because he seems to be restraining the decibels. In parts Two and Three, as the drama unfolds, the intensity builds, climaxing with Sunrise when all is resolved. Rattle realizes the arch of the work and its poetry, with exquisite gradations of sound from thoughtful pauses that seize the listener, from hushed passages to stunning tuttis. EMI has conquered the impossible acoustic of the Berlin's Philharmonie, the orchestra's home, to produce a stunning recording of enormous depth and power. Not just volume but power that you must hear to believe it. The balances are natural with no spotlighting. I have heard this orchestra many times in concert and fewer than a handful of recordings have come close to their live sound. This is the closest I have Gurrelieder was the final work Jukka-Pekka Saraste conducted as music director of The Toronto Symphony, his Swan Song. The piece heard. Rattle is not simply conducting Gurrehad been scheduled for an earlier season but was lieder, he is giving us the inside story. unwisely canceled because management believed Bruce Surtees it was too risky for Toronto audiences. It calls MUSICAL INSTRUMENT EXPERTS, MAKERS AND DEALERS SINCE 1890 Visit our newly expanded Bloor Street location for even greater selection of the world's great Pianos,· Fine String Instruments, Print Music and Children's Music Specialties ~u~e 1!1f ~u~i! ~ 210 BLOOR ST. WEST 416.961.3111 (just W . of Avenue Rd., City Parking in Rear) 54 June 1 - July 7 2002

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