Alex Ross has an interesting list of his favorite Bruckner recordings, an addendum to his article in The New Yorker this week.
I haven’t heard all (or maybe any) of his favorites … just the same conductors leading different Bruckner symphonies.
He mentions Giulini’s recording of the Ninth with the Vienna Philharmonic, which I’ve always been meaning to get around to listening to but never quite have. Perhaps because Giulini’s recording of the same work with the Chicago Symphony is so awesome and satisfying, the kind you can slap on the stereo to impress your friends with.
I’ve been thinking for a couple days now, and I don’t really have too many Bruckner recordings to add to Alex’s list.
I’d add a relatively little-known account of the Symphony No. 2, led (again) by Giulini, this time with the Vienna Symphony. It’s really a must-have for Brucknerites.
As for the Symphony No. 6 (Alex recommends Klemperer), I’d say Daniel Barenboim’s early recording with the Chicago Symphony on DG is pretty hard to beat. But good luck finding it.
Alex, who cut his Brucknerian teeth on Karajan’s DG recordings (I did too), didn’t find them as impressive when he listened to them again recently. I wonder why, and whether or not it might be the CD transfers. The vinyl of same had a magical hue, an extra bonus added by the engineers, and nothing to sniff at.
At any rate, I still count Karajan’s first DG account of the Fourth Symphony (no, not the one on EMI) as the best recording of that work. But then, you shouldn’t trust me, because it was my first record, and first records always hold something extra special for those who bought them.
But the post has piqued my curiosity, and I listened to quite a bit of Eugen Jochum’s account of the Eighth today … in the car. Bruckner must be the absolute worst composer to listen to in the car, because to hear the soft stuff (at least in my car) you have to turn the volume way up, and you know what that means — the loud stuff blows you out of your seat.
I’ve also managed to put my hands on Karl Bohm’s famous and much-admired recording of the Fourth with the Vienna Philharmonic (it took a little digging). I’ve never heard it, but thanks to Alex, I will in the next few days.
What are some of your favorite Bruckner recordings? Please, dear blognescenti, name them in the comments section.