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Symphony 8 Import

Price: CDN$ 44.95
Only 1 left in stock.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 1 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Music & Arts Program
  • ASIN: B000001OEN
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1. I. Allegro Moderato
2. II. Scherzo/Trio. Allegro Moderato
3. III. Adagio. Feierlich Langsam, Doch Nicht Schleppend
4. IV. Finale. Feierlich, Nicht Schnell

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A very good recording Jan. 2 2000
By Greg Lumelsky - Published on
This is a juggernaut of a performance. It was recorded in Berlin on March 15, 1949. It has moments of great delicacy and concentrated power, and under Wilhelm Furtwängler's baton the music travels from one side of the spectrum to the other with astonishing naturalness, beauty and cohesiveness. As for the sound, imagine yourself inside a cast iron tub just beneath the kettle drums, and you will have something of an idea about the quality of the audio, especially at the more Wagnerian decibels. Given the year of performance, this is almost certainly a mono recording, although the jacket omits any indication either way. But if recorded sound is not a primary concern, this recording is one I would not want to be without.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Mercurial approach! Nov. 1 2005
By Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela - Published on
It is not easy to face and listen Bruckner. Not only because he is far to be entitled under a specific category; and this fact is determinant and talks us about his genius as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert or Wagner. They do not follow the rules, but his own muse and even create and establish his own universe. That is why it so difficult to employ minor epithets such tendencies or styles, because they have nothing to do with those labels.

The wide gamut of achieved sonorities, the wide emotional range, the wholeness present through the broadness of his musical writing leads us from the starkly austere chorale; silence and shattering fortissimo outbursts, impregnated of strong Wagnerian harmony but always inspired in the nature of the cosmos. His music is a true journey without time and frontiers, where the musical form is in constant movement and dynamic change, where epic and tragedy, contemplation and action, rapture and emotion are overlapped and interweaved, through the several orchestral voices. And such kaleidoscopic facets of anima states can disconcert for the newcomer listener. Because as the great artists establishes his own physical and spirit time, creating atmospheres. Here you have the reason of his authenticity and originality, they seem to compose according a mythic time; and that sounds us so far, specially in those ages where the modern times have flattened the cathartic experience, and the extreme rationality has demolished the tragic mood, reducing Oedipus universal tragedy to a simple sexual syndrome.

The Eighth Symphony is the most expansive, pyramidal and ambitious of all his works. That huge gamut of emotions is hard to put in words, because you must absolutely engaged and committed with this mythic journey.

Fürtwangler 's wisdom, the presence of a first rate Orchestra and the mercurial conviction in search of this experience makes the great difference respect the other visions, that can be accepted or rejected according your particular values code

This is a historic register and an invaluable musical legacy for all those who really are disposed to carry out the journey. And I hope you are.
Fantastic performance of Bruckner's 8th, marred by problematic sound quality (4.5 stars) Feb. 4 2015
By Mary Ann and Ken Bergman - Published on
This is a difficult CD to evaluate. The legendary Furtwangler recorded Bruckner's 8th four times: in 1944 with the Vienna Philharmonic, twice in 1949 on successive days with the Berlin Philharmonic, and in 1954 with the Vienna Philharmonic. Of the four, the March 15, 1949 live recording in the Titania Palast Theatre is the most compelling performance. Unfortunately, it also has the worst recording problems: clipped high frequencies, giving the recording a "tubby" sound, and an audience seized with paroxysms of coughing at the most embarrassing moments.

Furtwangler was noted as a great interpreter of Bruckner's symphonies, but also one who departed from the "script" when he saw fit, including unmarked accelerandos, rubato, and tempos that departed from what Bruckner wrote. Nonetheless his willful disregard of the written score when it suited him resulted in some outstanding performances. The Titania Palast performance is wildly dramatic, almost demonic in places, as in the central climax of the first movement, but also revels in the lush harmonic structures of the third movement adagio. Furtwangler starts the scherzo at a breakneck pace, hardly "moderato" as requested by Bruckner, but much better than the plodding tempos of many performances. He also has an affecting ritardando later in the scherzo that's not in the score. It's Bruckner heavily seasoned with Furtwangler's input, but the result is a great one in my opinion. It's unfortunate that the sound is so compromised.

The other Furtwangler performances lack the bite of this one, but they do have better sound quality. The 1944 Nazi era performance is somewhat more relaxed and sticks more closely to the written score. This is also a live performance, but the audience didn't cough (did they dare?), and the sound is remarkably good for the time. For many, this is the preferred performance. It has the added poignancy of being performed at a time when the Nazi regime was crumbling and Furtwangler was about to depart for Switzerland.

Of the others, the March 14, 1949 performance in a studio is well recorded but seems tame compared to the following day's Titania performance. Furtwangler apparently needed a live audience for inspiration; he rarely did studio recordings. The 1954 performance in Vienna, recorded shortly before Furtwangler died, is comparatively slow and tired sounding.

Furtwangler was of the old school of conductors who believed in putting an individual stamp on a performance. Many today prefer that conductors stick closely to the score and on that account will not like any of the Furtwangler recordings. A modern recording that sticks to the script and also has outstanding sound is that of Pierre Boulet with the Vienna Philharmonic. (See my review.) Another that some prefer but that I find too slow is von Karajan with the Berliners.

Bruckner's 8th is one of his symphonies that exists today in more than one edited version. Furtwangler mostly followed the Haas edition of 1935 but with a few differences, mainly in the third movement.

In summary, Furtwangler's ideosyncratic performance of what probably is Bruckner's greatest symphony is a spellbinder, but not for purists who believe the conductor should stick closely to the score. Also, the marred sound with its coughing fits detracts from this recording. I personally love this CD in spite of its obvious faults, but clearly it won't appeal to some Bruckner fans, who are advised to turn to the 1944 recording for a somewhat more traditional approach by Furtwangler, or to a modern recording like that of Boulet.
Five Stars Sept. 4 2014
By Laurie - Published on
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