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Jascha Horenstein Conducts Bruckner/Liszt/Wagner

J-South West German Horenstein Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product Details


Disc: 1
1. A Faust Symphony: I. Faust
2. A Faust Symphony: II. Gretchen
3. A Faust Symphony: III. Mephisto; Choral Finale
4. A Faust Overture - Richard Wagner
Disc: 2
1. Symphony No. 8 In C Minor (1890 Version): I. Allegro moderato
2. Symphony No. 8 In C Minor (1890 Version): II. Scherzo: Allegro moderato
3. Symphony No. 8 In C Minor (1890 Version): III. Adagio (Feierlich langsam; doch nicht schleppend)
4. Symphony No. 8 In C Minor (1890 Version): IV. Finale (Feierlich, nicht schnell)

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars In Distinguished Company!!! Dec 10 2003
Format:Audio CD
There are only two Bruckner 8th's worth owning! This one, and Furtwanglers 1944 recording with the Vienna Philharmonic on Music & Arts CD-764! On this VOX recording, Horenstein peforms the 1890 version of Bruckner's score!There is something haunting about the less than perfect sound of the Vienna Symphony. In addition, the reverberant mono sound obtained by the VOX engineers adds to the cataclysmic mystique of the music!In my opionion, Horenstein along with his mentor Wilhelm Furtwangler, are among a select few who interpret Bruckner the way Bruckner would himself!If you like Bruckner and decide to purchase a complete set, my only recommendation would be Jochum's EMI set. Remember, Bruckner was an organist, and he had pipe organ music in his blood when he composed his massive orchestral canon! Good Listening To You!!!
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Format:Audio CD
Anton Bruckner was called as a "rustic genius." Indeed his symphony is "rustic" but yet has the most liberating effect of transcendence. The Coda of the fourth movement of the 8th evokes the feeling of flying and ascending up and up into the sky. It is the beauty in his music!!
The flow, subtlety, detail and structural consistency are crucial for the performance of his symphonies. The depth of his music can only be revealed via insight and intuition. Mere technical brilliance will not communicate the underlying message. Overtly aiming for the dramatic effect in the fashion of Beethoven by the dramatic change in the tempo will destroy the structure of Bruckner. Although it is monoral recording and fast in tempo as compared to the 1970 live BBC version, Horenstein shows superb dynamism, incredible structural stability and consistency throughout the performance. The powerful brass, sensual strings and delicate winds (i.e. flute) are the highlights of this performance. The performace reminds us of the conductors Wilhelm Furtwangler and Carl Schuricht.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jascha Horenstein Anton Bruckner Symphony No.8 in D Minor May 18 2001
By Yutaka Yamada - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Anton Bruckner was called as a "rustic genius." Indeed his symphony is "rustic" but yet has the most liberating effect of transcendence. The Coda of the fourth movement of the 8th evokes the feeling of flying and ascending up and up into the sky. It is the beauty in his music!!
The flow, subtlety, detail and structural consistency are crucial for the performance of his symphonies. The depth of his music can only be revealed via insight and intuition. Mere technical brilliance will not communicate the underlying message. Overtly aiming for the dramatic effect in the fashion of Beethoven by the dramatic change in the tempo will destroy the structure of Bruckner. Although it is monoral recording and fast in tempo as compared to the 1970 live BBC version, Horenstein shows superb dynamism, incredible structural stability and consistency throughout the performance. The powerful brass, sensual strings and delicate winds (i.e. flute) are the highlights of this performance. The performace reminds us of the conductors Wilhelm Furtwangler and Carl Schuricht.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Distinguished Company!!! Dec 10 2003
By john F. coughlin III - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
There are only two Bruckner 8th's worth owning! This one, and Furtwanglers 1944 recording with the Vienna Philharmonic on Music & Arts CD-764! On this VOX recording, Horenstein peforms the 1890 version of Bruckner's score!There is something haunting about the less than perfect sound of the Vienna Symphony. In addition, the reverberant mono sound obtained by the VOX engineers adds to the cataclysmic mystique of the music!In my opionion, Horenstein along with his mentor Wilhelm Furtwangler, are among a select few who interpret Bruckner the way Bruckner would himself!If you like Bruckner and decide to purchase a complete set, my only recommendation would be Jochum's EMI set. Remember, Bruckner was an organist, and he had pipe organ music in his blood when he composed his massive orchestral canon! Good Listening To You!!!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sense of fresh discovery April 25 2006
By Colin Fortune - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Vienna Pro Musica is actually the Vienna Symphony Orchestra using an assumed name for contractural reasons. Though their playing is not the plush upholstered artefact that the Philharmonics of Vienna and Berlin can produce they hold up very well in a performance that has the freshness of new discovery stamped on it. Nowak produced his critical edition of the 1890 score in 1955 and this is probably its first commercial recording. The rival Haas Bruckner Gesellschaft edition of 1939 has 60 bars more music (distributed between the last two movements) and handles several moments of linkage rather more smoothly, but it is not the music that Bruckner actually authorised - and indeed Haas has added 10 bars of a sort of pastiche of his own to sort out a connection problem in the last movement. The Haas restoration of some link passage from the abandoned 1887 version (rejected by Hermann Levi for performance)is supposed to produce an "ideal" version of the work. Personally I think this works very well, provided that you understand what it is you are listening to. Nowak's version, as recorded here by Horenstein, however more authentically reflects the score that Bruckner had published. There are many technical arguments and theories about this that need not worry the listener. If you are concerned get a recording of both versions! This Nowak edition disc is remarkably inexpensive and is a performance of utter integrity from start to finish. Horenstein's way with the first movement is swift and superbly connected-up. I know of no other with such a sense of inevitable "line" - though it might strike somebody used to an approach like Karajan's as extremely fast you soon get used to the speed and then start to marvel at the way it all hangs together. The scherzo is at just the right speed and the "earthy" sound of the orchestra suits the approach completely. The wonderful slow movement is grave and noble, building to the superbly cymbal-capped major climax with inexorable majesty. This is followed by another marvellously connected interpretation of the finale - a movement that can sound disjointed in other conductors' hands. The final coda of this symphony is one of the greatest moments in music, bringing all the major themes of all the movements together into a section of complete apotheosis. Horenstein is wonderful here.

Though the sound is a little boxy and in mono the ear soon adjusts and the disc is surprisingly well recorded for its age. The other works by Liszt and Wagner receive good performances and are worth having in themselves, but anybody wanting to hear a very enlightening interpretation by a conductor who was one of the first to programme Bruckner outside of German-speaking countries will not be disappointed by what they hear and will want to have this version on their shelves.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historic performances at bargain price Oct. 4 2007
By Johannes Climacus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This 2-cd set contains two of Horenstein's finest recordings from the monaural era. How many conductors are equally distinguished interpreters of Bruckner and Mahler? Horenstein was one of the few, and this version of the massive Eighth Symphony (using the 1890 text) must count as one of the most compelling renditions of this score ever recorded. The great slow movement builds inexorably toward a shattering climax, and the difficult finale is held together remarkably well. Of course the "Vienna Pro Musica" isn't the BPO or the Concertgebouw, and you will hear somewhat emaciated-sounding strings and a number of horn fluffs from time to time. No matter. This is Horenstein at his best, and that means a performance of elemental power. I would rank this not far below Fürtwängler's 1944 recording and Karajan's swan-song with the VPO from 1987. Perhaps the best news is that the old Vox recording never sounded better than here. The orchestra is observed as if from an ideal seat in the hall--far enough back so that the instrumental choirs blend effectively, within a spacious ambience, but not so removed that the impact of the tutti passages is compromised. In fact, the sound is amazingly well focused and clear for this label at this time.

The Liszt and Wagner items are also given satisfying performances. The *Faust Symphony* is a difficult work to bring off--Liszt was never at his best when thinking big, as he is here--but Horenstein's rugged account conveys the appropriate mixture of rapture and irony. The provincial orchestra plays well enough, though it's hardly a world-class ensemble. The sound is good, if not quite as remarkable as the remastering of the Bruckner. Not a formidable rival to Beeham and Bernstein then--they secure better playing from their respective orchestras and are given more up-to-date sonics--but a welcome and generous coupling for a grand Bruckner Eighth.
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