Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

CDN$ 203.45 + CDN$ 3.49 shipping
In Stock. Sold by thebookcommunity_ca

or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here

Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 [Import]

Halle Orchestra; Sir John Barb Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 203.45
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by thebookcommunity_ca.

Product Details


1. Symphony No. 8 in C minor

Product Description

Amazon.ca

This recording of Bruckner's Eighth Symphony is from Barbirolli's last London concert, some 10 weeks before his death, when he knew heart problems might overtake him at any time. What better way to say goodbye than with one of the very greatest symphonies ever written? And this craggy, towering masterpiece is given as urgent a performance as you'll hear (complemented by vivid recorded sound). Pushing the tempo risks a grating superficiality, but Barbirolli more than gets away with it through sheer conviction (complete with podium-stamping and trademark sing-alongs). The terrifying Scherzo in particular goes along at a lick, but what shivers are sent up the spine. The vast Adagio contains messinesses in terms of ensemble, but give me this passion rather than "perfection" any time. However, as Barbirolli's friend Michael Kennedy says in his sleeve-note, the ageing, ailing maestro didn't lose his sense of architecture and feeling for a phrase as the emotion flowed--the outer movements are characterised by awesome control as Barbirolli plots his course up the massive musical rock faces. Sickly swansong? No way! Favourite performances such as those conducted by Haitink and Wand will feel a tad tame after this. --Andrew Green

Customer Reviews

4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The spiritual, humane Brucknerian! Nov. 27 2001
Format:Audio CD
A foretaste to the highly acclaimed Boulez 1996 recording with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (VPO) under Deutsche Grammophon (DG)? Perhaps. Like Boulez, Horenstein, and even Jochum (though using the Novak edition), Barbirolli approaches the score with zest and a sense of urgency: a kind of dramatic exhuberence that would compel you to rise up in a hurry and say Halleluja. But are their performances emotionally and spiritually detached from this glorious score? Absolutely not. As with Horenstein, Jochum and Boulez, Barbirolli brings out the humanity of the score and of Bruckner. Since when should we look at his symphonies exclusively as musical cathedrals with its majestic structures? Indeed, the magic of Bohm, Barenboim, Wand, Karajan, Haitink, and Guilini rested in their ability in sustaining the monumental grandeur behind the symphonies. But, Barbirolli along with Jochum and Boulez give us other dimensions of Bruckner that shall equally be cherished. Horenstein approach is a wonderful synthesis of the majestic and the drama. To some extent, so is Barbirolli's.
Michael Kennedy states in his sleeve notes that "For some conductors, the architectural splendor of Bruckner is their first consideration. For Barbirolli, it was humanity and spirituality." I agree to an extent, for the architectural splendor of Bruckner is inevitably a spiritual exercise deep in one's soul and subconscious: Wand, Barenboim (with the Chicago Symphony) and Karajan (with the VPO) are proven cases in point. But, Kennedy is absolutely right on Barbirolli. In the first and second movements, Barbirolli approaches them with fiery temperament and drive. His tempi are relentless and energetic, his impulsiveness obvious but never quite austere. His warmth is without question, though.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Audio CD
It was with some reservations that I came to Barbirolli's 1970 live performance of Bruckner's Eighth Symphony, despite the excellent press it received in England (the British tend to be myopically chauvinistic when it comes to their own composers, conductors and performers, and all but canonize Barbirolli). At first the reservations seemed to hold. The sound, though remastered, remains on the harsh side, with a brash glare on the fortissimi (of which there are plenty). Any quiet passage (of which there are no lack, either) offered opportunity for much throat-clearing and hawking from the audience. The performance is on the rough-hewn side, with none of the gleaming polish one has come to expect from state-of-the-art studio recordings, with every note in place and in balance.
None of this matters once Barbirolli's vision of the symphony begins to unfurl. It's a fiercely committed, impassioned performance -- Bruckner's vast Gothic spaces lit by Italianate fire. Not only is this the most emotionally gripping performance of the 8th I've heard, it's one of the most overwhelming performances of anything I've ever come across. There is a vocal minority which considers (pace Beethoven) Bruckner's last completed symphony to be the pinnacle of symphonic literature; Barbirolli's is the performance to help convince skeptics.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overwhelming recension of the "greatest" symphony Nov. 5 2001
By "billmacv" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It was with some reservations that I came to Barbirolli's 1970 live performance of Bruckner's Eighth Symphony, despite the excellent press it received in England (the British tend to be myopically chauvinistic when it comes to their own composers, conductors and performers, and all but canonize Barbirolli). At first the reservations seemed to hold. The sound, though remastered, remains on the harsh side, with a brash glare on the fortissimi (of which there are plenty). Any quiet passage (of which there are no lack, either) offered opportunity for much throat-clearing and hawking from the audience. The performance is on the rough-hewn side, with none of the gleaming polish one has come to expect from state-of-the-art studio recordings, with every note in place and in balance.
None of this matters once Barbirolli's vision of the symphony begins to unfurl. It's a fiercely committed, impassioned performance -- Bruckner's vast Gothic spaces lit by Italianate fire. Not only is this the most emotionally gripping performance of the 8th I've heard, it's one of the most overwhelming performances of anything I've ever come across. There is a vocal minority which considers (pace Beethoven) Bruckner's last completed symphony to be the pinnacle of symphonic literature; Barbirolli's is the performance to help convince skeptics.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eloquent tribute to Barbirolli's artistry -- one of his best live recordings April 12 2008
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This recording has attracted eloquent and perceptive reviews (I wish Amazon would give us more from Andrew Green, who seems more sensible and astute than their usual run). The basic facts have been well laid out already: Barbirolli is urgent, adopts speeds fast enough to seem risky, emphasizes the shaping of phrases rather than grand "architecture" (I'm not sure anymore what this overused term actually means, even when I use it!), and defies his mortality with increased energy in this, his final concert in London before he died.

As to the recorded sound, I don't hear the glare and harshness that another reviewer complains about, just a degree of thinnness. In the general run of broadcasts unearthed by BBC Legends, I'd say that this one belongs in the top quarter. The Halle Orchestra is placed close to the mike, which exposes their lack of technical finesse, but we get few jarring bobbles. Just be aware that the edgy lower strings would nevre be mistaken for the Vienna Phil., or the sometimes catch-as-catch-can brass climaxes. (How many great musicians were willing to live and play in Manchester on a miserably low salary in 1970? We have to be realistic.) For all that, the orchestra must have sensed something, because they play with heartfelt commitment and on the whole surpass themselves.

In all, I can add my voice to the other reviewers who were totally caught up in Barbirolli's eloquence. This is a fitting tribute to him, and perhaps one he consciously carved out, given his precarious medical condition.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spiritual, humane Brucknerian of a performance that will likely stick to memory. Nov. 27 2001
By David Anthony Hollingsworth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
A foretaste to the highly acclaimed Boulez 1996 recording with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (VPO) under Deutsche Grammophon (DG)? Perhaps. Like Boulez, Horenstein, and even Jochum (Novak edition), Barbirolli approaches the score with zest and a sense of urgency: a kind of dramatic exuberance that would compel you to rise up in a hurry and say Halleluja. But are their performances emotionally and spiritually detached from this glorious score? Absolutely not. As with Horenstein, Jochum and Boulez, Barbirolli brings out the humanity of the score and of Bruckner. Since when should we look at his symphonies exclusively as musical cathedrals with its majestic structures? Indeed, the magic of Bohm, Barenboim, Wand, Karajan, Haitink, and Guilini rested in their ability in sustaining the monumental grandeur behind the symphonies. But, Barbirolli along with Jochum and Boulez give us other dimensions of Bruckner that shall equally be cherished. Horenstein approach is a wonderful synthesis of the majestic and the drama. To some extent, so is Barbirolli's.

Michael Kennedy states in his sleeve notes that "For some conductors, the architectural splendor of Bruckner is their first consideration. For Barbirolli, it was humanity and spirituality." I agree to an extent, for the architectural splendor of Bruckner is inevitably a spiritual exercise deep in one's soul and subconscious (Wand, Barenboim (with the Chicago Symphony) and Karajan (with the VPO) are proven cases in point). But, Kennedy is absolutely right on Barbirolli. In the first and second movements, Barbirolli approaches them with fiery temperament and drive. His tempi are relentless and energetic, his impulsiveness obvious but never quite austere. His warmth is without question, though: the trio in the scherzo movement is nicely sustained and going to the Adagio, third movement, that sense of warmth is even more apparent. But, believe it or not, there is something of the architectural splendor in Barbirolli's approach. The dramatic edge of the first two movements and the finale are largely absent here. However, the passion accompanies the warmth admirably going into and beyond the glorious climax remarkably well-rendered here. The finale is exuberantly and idiomatically performed; it is well paced and dramatic and the ending lacks that Wagnerian grandeur that you'll see in Karajan's recording with the Vienna Philharmonic.

The performance of Barbirolli's Halle Orchestra is not entirely without flaws. The strings were not gifted with the sonority and the richness of the Vienna Philharmonic or the Concertgebouw. The brass is not particularly well-polished (a few crack notes prop up from time to time). But, the performance has fluency and commitment, especially given the fact that it was to be Barbirolli's last. The performance is not perfect. However, the insight behind it is special and Barbirolli give us as complete of Bruckner as possible. A hymn of praise no question about it.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That Rarest of all Things a Great, Human performance July 14 2008
By Andre Gauthier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
After 3 complete and uninterrupted hearings I like this CD better each time; Sir John Barbirolli's view of Bruckner's eighth symphony is not that of a man who is growing old and will soon be dead. To the contrary, this conductor, who came late in his career to Mahler with unparalleled success, turns his high romantic gaze with equal brilliance in reverse to Mahler's antecedent and idol.

For fun, I'll go backwards. In movement four the opening is paced as though the orchestra's life depended on it. There are moments when the Halle seems as though they might be getting a bit tired, but those are immediately dispelled by the sudden introduction of hidden resources that surprise and demand attention from the listener. The more I listen the more I feel it is a part of Barbirolli's overall vision of the Eighth. All this takes place after what many consider to be Bruckner's greatest Adagio movement. The interpretation is full of many splendid details without ever being ponderous. The inclination of so many conductors to drag this third movement until it no longer works is avoided here, for a good reason. Under Sir John the long, steadily built climaxes are never given the microscopic treatment that is often served up. Instead it moves as a whole, not as a group of disconnected sections. The preceding second movement is turned into a blistering scherzo; it is played at a tempo that puts the Halle on the edge of its chairs. It surely doesn't sound facile or cool to the touch. Instead it sizzles to the point that it sometimes puts the listener right there with the orchestra! The adrenalin is definitely flowing by that point. Barbirolli paints a sonic canvas of the greatest clarity in the first movement; his reading is replete with give and take in tempo and dynamic range. There is never the sense of metronomic obedience to what's on the page. Even in his readings of Mahler, Barbirolli has the same kind of vital shifting of pace and that's what makes his conducting so very special.

One reviewer argues that "wrong" notes make for a second class buy. Without any sense of vitriol I'd like to say that these criteria used to determine the overall success of a performance could only happen because so many of us now rely strictly on recordings, even of live performances, instead of going to them whenever possible. I'm guilty of this at times. I rely instead on one or even twenty recordings to ascertain what the "best" version of a piece might be. There's no harm in making judgments about music in this fashion - the sad fact, at least in New York City, is that concerts usually cost more than they are worth today. Still, if one attends enough one will hear the same sort of minor blemishes that are certainly found in the beginning of the scherzo here. On CD they can be replaced with a `patch' no matter how long or short. Still, I've heard this music baffle even the greatest orchestras and conductors in the concert hall. And not one "wrong" note was played. In the "live, one time only" milieu of that spring day in 1970 slight mishaps represent a tremendous effort put forth by the most committed conductor and players.

The recorded sound is not nearly as good as the average BBC broadcast from later years, but that's because it comes from Royal Festival Hall, one of the worst acoustics in Europe. The orchestra may not be on a par with the best London orchestras, but the sound is not the Halle's fault. I've heard some "live" CDs made there in the last year or two with the very best equipment and the LSO. THOSE sound bad and they cost a lot. It's just a lousy venue. Curiously, the best performance I've ever heard in person of the Bruckner eighth was given in the very same hall in the autumn of 1983 by a magnetic Carlo Maria Giulini and an equally inspired Philharmonia Orchestra. That CD has also been released by BBC recently. Both are surely worth having - not to compare, that would be silly, but to enjoy two honestly unique performances; they're obviously different in oh so many ways, and yet they both arrive at the same place. That is, a place of pure bliss.

Don't miss it!
Andre Gauthier
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, with a caveat Nov. 18 2012
By J. K. Davis MD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
First, if your priority is state-of-the-art sound and orchestral execution, you should purchase the DG Vienna Philharmonic/Karajan recording. The Halle Orchestra
of the 1960's and 70's was not an elite ensemble, and the BBC recordings are good for the time but not on the level of DG or Decca/Philips. That said, listening to this recording, the ear adjusts quickly, the above issues fade into the background, and you experience a totally committed performance of a truly great symphony. The music and the execution are separate issues, and the former overcomes the latter here.
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews
ARRAY(0x108e8984)

Look for similar items by category


Feedback