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The Complete Symphonies [Box set, Classical]

Bruckner , Anton Bruckner Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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George Tintner's sudden, untimely death in the fall of 1999 coincided with the completion of his Naxos cycle devoted to Bruckner's complete symphonies. In nearly every case where more than one Bruckner version exists, Tintner favors the composer's first thoughts. Thus we have the first recording of Symphony No. 1 in its unrevised 1866 version, the original 1872 Second, plus the seldom heard 1873 Third and 1887 Eighth. By contrast, Tintner preferred Bruckner's revised Fourth of 1878/80, with its new and beloved "hunting" Scherzo. He also makes eloquent cases for the early "Study Symphony" No. 00 and "Die Nullte" (Symphony No. 0). The performances are beautifully sculpted, spaciously paced, and never dragging. Soft passages are full-bodied and vocally informed, while the magisterial climaxes congeal without losing textural differentiation between orchestral sections. The orchestras may not boast the tonal refulgence and lungpower you find in Jochum's Dresden Staatskapelle Bruckner recordings, or the best of Günter Wand's live accounts. Yet you can tell that Tintner's musicians constantly give their all. Certainly, you won't find as interesting or as moving a Bruckner cycle at Naxos's super-bargain price. Tintner's scholarly, heartfelt, and pedantry-free annotations, moreover, prove as articulate and caring as his music making. --Jed Distler

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5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Best Set of the Bruckner Symphonies June 8 2002
Format:Audio CD
I bought this set mainly out of curiosity. I had become familiar with the first versions of the Third and Eighth Symphonies in the Inbal renditions, but had never heard those of the First and Second. Well, from the very first hearing, I was dumbstruck by this set. Not only do Tintner's versions of the Third and Eighth surpass Inbal's in spaciousness and tension, but the other symphonies at the very least equal the very best competing performances; Tintner's Ninth is the only modern version that in my estimation equals the classic Furtwaengler recording.
I have seen some reviewers disparage the first version of the Eighth Symphony. I do not understand this at all. To me, this very first version of the Symphony is far more dramatic and turbulent than the rather smoothed out revision, even in the Haas score (the Nowak is a failure, as far as I'm concerned, in endorsing the cuts in the Adagio and Finale that ruin Bruckner's superb transitions). Bruckner's origingal thoughts in almost all cases (except the Fourth) show him as a far more inventive and bolder composer than do his own revisions.
I am also happy that Tintner chose to include the Symphonies "0" and "00". I have long enjoyed "0", but I find the "Schulsymphonie" rather conventional and uninteresting.
At any rate, here is a Bruckner set in superb sound that can stand as the standard recommendation. And at Naxos' prices, who can resist?
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Format:Audio CD
I recently reviewed the EMI "soft box" reissue of Jochum's Dresden recordings of the nine Bruckner symphonies as a first rate bargain, and here's another! Tintner was a superb Bruckner conductor, trained (by Felix Weingartner) in Vienna in the 1930s. After fleeing the Nazis, Tintner took up various conducting assignments in Australia and New Zealand, opting out of a more glamorous career in the major international music centers. He eventually ended up in Canada where he died in 1999, well-respected if relatively unknown (but with a growing reputation as a Bruckner interpreter). Naxos had the brilliant idea of commissioning him to record their Bruckner cycle and the results are very impressive. Tintner's performances are completely idiomatic and convincing, but what really sets this recording apart are his choices about what versions of the symphonies to perform. (Bruckner's symphonies exist in multiple versions made by the composer himself. In addition, these versions appear in different editions prepared by various editors, the most prominent being Robert Haas and Leopold Nowak. The first thing a conductor who performs Bruckner must do is choose among versions and editions. Yes, it's very complicated!) So, when considering whether to buy this wonderful set, think about these three factors. First, whereas Eugen Jochum, for example, recorded the standard nine symphonies in the Nowak editions, Tintner also gives us the early symphonies (nos. "0" and "00") making a total of 11 completely authentic Bruckner symphonies. (Although clearly early works, symphonies "0" and "00" are substantial and enjoyable compositions that should be heard.) Second, and again unlike Jochum, Tintner regularly performs the Haas editions rather than Nowak. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars GLORIOUSLY AFFORDABLE BRUCKNER CYCLE Aug. 3 2003
Format:Audio CD
I purchased these symphonies when they were issued individually and have constantly enjoyed Tintner's insights and the sheer authority of his readings. Although the conductor uses a variety of orchestras, his vision is imparted to whatever band he is conducting and the engineering and acoustics of all the venues are exemplary.
It is unfortunate that Georg Tintner committed suicide because of a particularly nasty form of cancer and we are denied his insights into the symphonic cycles of Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Haydn, etc.
There is being issued in Canada a "Georg Tintner Commemorative Edition" and having listened to some of the offerings, his death was a great loss to the world of music and musicology - he wrote his own liner notes to the Bruckner cycle.
I highly recommend this set to any Brucknerite as it measures up to and sometimes exceeds the offerings of Jochum - and even von Karajan (no mean feat, indeed!)
Timothy Wingate, Ottawa CANADA
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