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Symphonie No. 8 Hybrid SACD


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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Simone Young's Bruckner Genius Comes Into Its Own Sept. 3 2009
By Jeffrey A. Van Detta - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Who knows? Simone Young may be exactly the kind of woman Bruckner always wanted to find, but never did. But his music certainly has found her, heart and soul. I have listened to the Mighty 8th since the LP days of the 1970s, through a spate of live performances in places as disparate as New York, San Francisco, Cleveland, and San Francisco, but of all of these experiences -- and much contrary to my expectations -- Maestra Young's daring, commandingly structured, and exceptionally well played account here set me back on my heels. I was a Haas Edition Man, all the way, with some tolerance for what I considered the weaker tea of the Nowak edition. I'd always thought of the 1887 8th as a musical oddity, the clumsy first effort at penning a great piece of music that needed both performances and outside criticism to set Bruckner into a refinement mode. Really not worth listening to, was my attitude, and I don't think I ever had again, since I put away my Inbal recording -- until now. Simone Young has so well studied, prepared the orchestra to play, and facilitated their top-drawer performance that I am now persuaded that the original 8th is a worthy alternative to the Haas and Nowak editions -- and in some of its tender melodies both in each of the 1st three movements that were later revised out, even more beautiful than they are. Even more amazing than making coherence of this material so that it seems not second-rate Bruckner but nostalgic Bruckner, the Bruckner of the first 4 numbered symphonies, is Young's hard-earned orchestral clarity -- contrary to the other reviewer, I can hear everything and every instrument quite clearly and distinctly. This makes the Hamburg Orchestra sound to my ears warmer and more glorious than any recording made in Berlin, where textures often were as think as the varnish on a Rembrandt oil portrait. What Simone Young brings us is a Bruckner sound palette that offers up the clean, bold lines as those we began to see on the latest restoration of Michelangelo's works at the Sistine Chapel. The only other conductor I've seen able to do this is Dohnanyi in Cleveland's Severance Hall in the 1990s -- a virtual spectrograph of sound. But Young's achievement here is even greater, for it is filled with the same natural life force that illuminates her eyes in record cover shots. This raises both performance execution along with the melos of its line to the loftiest of heights. Simply put, this is the greatest achievement -- especially in an unexpected area, preparing and performing Bruckner original editions -- in Bruckner recording in a generation. Perhaps her record company will put her together with the latest edition of the 9th, including the latest Carrigan-completed fourth movement, so we can get a truly top-drawer performance of another combinational rarity in the Bruckner discography. But as to Maestra Simone, this Brucknerite simply says, "THANK YOU" and hopes that you'll bringing your Hamburg orchestra on a North American Tour with your Bruckner.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Simone Young, HamburgPO: Bruckner Sym 8: A strong Bruckner Reading, using the original version Sept. 15 2009
By drdanfee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
So where do I start, listening to this new release of the Bruckner eighth symphony, with Music Director Simone Young leading the Hamburg band? Let's start with Young's previous outings. She has already given us three compelling super audio surround sound readings of the second, third, and fourth symphonies. She preferred the original edition of the fourth, too. If I'm going to hear that original version, then it will have to be Young in Hamburg, or Nagano in Munich.

I confess I like the revised fourth and eighth symphonies, with my own personal choice of the eighth being something like the hybrid edition that Georg Tintner did for his Naxos disc. One of my most compelling eighths is still the EMI single disc reading with Maazel leading the BerlinPO. I also like Solti's eighth from Vienna, which I think has just been newly released on Eloquence, single disc? I'm keeping the Japan super audio surround remasterings of Gunter Wand in Berlin; plus Karl Bohm and Carlo Maria Giulini in Vienna.

(I still think I've got Klemperer's eighth, too, but I've misplaced it on the back storage shelves. I keep wondering if or when, EMI might get around to remastering the Klemperer readings in super audio. Such Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Mozart - already in the can. So far EMI is really dragging their technical feet, despite the fact that they sit on great holdings in the classical music catalog. Blue ray now confuses the high resolution re-release questions further, by competing it would seem with DSD super audio. Tired of the format wars, yet?)

Just as in Young's earlier Oehms discs, the high resolution surround sound captured on these discs is state of the art. I haven't heard the red book layer of this set yet; I assume I will get around to portable listening, sooner or later. But part of the glory of the Young's Bruckner cycle in Hamburg so far must surely be the warm glow, heft, vigor, and detail of her current band's sound in the hall, a traditional Laeiszhalle. You are simply immersed in surround sound, all to winning musical and recorded impact. Young goes for a more old-fashioned, fat, big band sound - compared to say, Nagano, who likes his Bruckner to show off remarkable discipline in the lean-athletic string sections. Young's sense of Bruckner - rich, luxurious, fat enough to be ponderous except for her drive? - is closer to Kubelik in Bavaria? Hamburg is eagerly anticipating a new venue, the Elbe complex; yet one hopes that Young and the players will finish their Bruckner cycle in the Laeiszhalle, resisting pressures to show off the new hall when it opens. Can they record something else there, as needed?

If anybody can convince me to hear the original versions of the Bruckner eighth, it will be Simone Young in Hamburg, or the surround masters of Wand in Berlin. As it happens the original version as it unfolds under Young's sure hand, does indeed look back; more towards the early symphonies than later versions. Bruckner originally wrote a less single-minded structure of four movements, with plenty of nostalgic lyrical passages that sound reflections of even his second or third symphonies. Sitting back with Young, a listener simply is drawn into that other lush sound world - and if you have been enjoying the second, third, original fourth symphonies fired up by Young in Hamburg - you will be nourished by the unhurried depth, detail, and ice to fire colors of her Hamburg eighth. I've allowed myself to revel in her reading, too. I have alternatives, I have Young. Big welcome to the keeper shelves.

Strongly recommended, especially in high resolution super audio surround sound.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This conductor is the real thing! Oct. 24 2009
By Tired of the BS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Simone Young's Bruckner is THE CYCLE to collect at the present time. Great performances (all) in resplendent sound. There are no recordings by a conductor working today--none--for which I would pay top-dollar--except hers.

These recordings are of the once-ignored, now-adored (by the record companies) early versions of these magisterial works. Inbal and Tintner, for two, to be thanked for starting the trend. Unfortunately, Tintner's Bruckner recordings are marred by orchestral playing that ranges from the merely competent to the absolutely pathetic--even though his commitment to, and passion for the cause are always in evidence--and Inbal's, with a good orchestra (Frankfurt Radio), are no longer available.

A brief mention of a few past cycles of interest (by no means all): I will always highly recommend Günter Wand--both the full Köln cycle and the partial one with NDR (great performances and sound on both). The sonics of the Karajan cycle remain an embarrassment for DGG (why aren't they ashamed?) considering that the performances here are uniformly excellent. Solti/Chicago is an acquired taste (I happen to respect these a great deal), and Barenboim's best--the one with Chicago--is no longer available (another DGG blunder). (Unfortunately, the Berlin Philharmonic remakes by him on Teldec are mostly forgettable interpretations which document a great orchestra being asked to wade through the notes.) And then there is Celibidache, I paid full-price for his partial cycle (EMI not DGG).

I absolutely hear greatness in Simone Young's work and look forward to her next offering. Another time I remember hearing a new conductor that had this quality was when Mariss Jansons recorded the Tchaikovsky symphonies with the Oslo Philharmonic, on Chandos (I also paid full-price for those). It's the best work he's ever done...then he got famous!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Do we have an emerging successor to Karajan and Wand? Very possibly! April 20 2014
By Joseph Kline PhD, MD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had heard tidbits about the new female conductor in Germany, but until now had not heard any of the interpretative/conducting products. Here the Australian Simone Young leads the Hamburg Philharmonic in a 2008 SACD recording of Bruckner's 8th Symphony. The conductor chose to use the composers original 1st version dated 1887, reasoning that until the Eighth, Bruckner had never finished a score and started revising it immediately. Be that as it may, in the 1st Movement the original is very noticeably different from a later revision that is richer in texture, has a more complex and interesting rhythm and frankly is more beautiful in my opinion. Put more simply, I don't care as much for the original version, but Young produces a splendid performance nonetheless.

Simone Young's performance proves her to be a gifted Bruckner conductor. Interpretatively, her tempo for the 1st Movement is faster than the norm (though not as fast as Schuricht), while the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Movements are more conventionally paced. The Adagio is gorgeous in every respect. The lyrical elements are performed with an emotionally longing sense. Her treatment of the drama throughout is awe-inspiring and emotionally-evocative for me. This is a conductor who has the depth and power necessary for Bruckner, the essential long view of Bruckner's structure, and who is well on her way to being considered a great Bruckner interpreter. The 4th Movement is very dramatic, intense, and powerful, and it demonstrates the combined effect of all the aforementioned attributes. I would love to hear a second cycle in a decade or so after she has had more time to mature even more in her thoughts on Bruckner. I can only imagine how great that cycle could be. The orchestra plays superbly and is a world-class ensemble. They play with uncommon precision and obvious heart-felt emotion. I am extremely impressed. The Hamburg Phil is definitely ready for prime-time. Where exactly have they been hiding???

The sonics of the recording are as superb as the interpretation and orchestral playing. Violins are sweet. Brass and winds are very slightly recessed. The base register is not perfectly defined at lower volumes but very close to it, and I suspect this is due to the hall's ambience rather than any deficiency of the recording end of things. Instrument sonorities are very natural and truly beautiful. There is good weight to the recording as there is to Young's reading. The ambience of the hall is almost perfect. I could have stood another second or two of reberberation, but compared to Wand's Lubeck Cathedral venue, it would sound dry.

This performance of Bruckner's 8th is superb. I think I will try some more of this gifted conductor's Bruckner. I am not about to throw out my Karajan or Wand/Lubeck discs, but I now need to make a place for Simone Young in my top shelf collection. Very highly recommended!!
Superb May 4 2014
By Marc A. Murison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Riveting, flawless. Goosebump city on the adagio and finale movements. Don't tell Oehms Classics, but I'd happily have paid four times as much (yes, a C-note) for this recording.


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