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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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2.0 out of 5 stars Provincial & Un-Inspired May 14 2004
Format:Audio CD
I have mixed feelings about writing a negative review of this set - it's obviously a sincere effort. But there is a great deal more to Bruckner than what Tintner offers here. So let's take a brief look at each symphony, the "versions" available, and some other performances of greater distinction. Tintner does have good moments: they can be heard on single CDs in lieu of purchasing this entire set.
"Study" Symphony (aka "00"). At 37:09, Tintner's performance of this minor work is the shortest ever (no exposition repeats in mvts. I & IV). Not much competition here - the coupling is the "Volkfest" finale from an early version of the 4th - it's a keeper.
#1. Tintner's is the only account of the original 1866 Linz version: indispensable. Far better as a performance is Jochum's 1877 Linz (DG) - I feel it is Jochum's best account of ANY Bruckner symphony. The 1893 Hynais edition, done with crusty swagger by Volkmar Andreae (1879-1962), was once on a Masterseal LP.
#0. Bruckner's third in order of composition - one wag called it the "Zeroica." Haitink (whom I generally dislike) offers much better playing than Tintner, whose Scherzo is too slow. I prefer the slightly ragged Henk Spruit (Concert Hall LP).
#2. Tintner's "1872 First Concept" version can be heard in a better account by Eichhorn and the Linz Brucknerhaus (Camerata). Andreae is superb in the 1877 Haas (Amadeo LP), and Jochum (DG) is tops for the 1877 Nowak.
#3. Tintner (the original 1873 version) is ponderous at 77:43. Inbal's 65:12 is better, but both are pedestrian. My favorite 3rd is Knappertsbusch ("Kna"), using the 1890 version (Tahra 132/135). In stereo, Schuricht (Preiser) and Jochum (DG) are both excellent.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars The best all digital Bruckner by far. July 27 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
No Brucknerian will want to be without this wonderful cycle.
Tintner, a very established Brucknerian of the Gunter Wand mold, handles these symphonies with the skill that only a true veteran can.
His vigorous, instinctly authoritative and evocative approach is apparent from the outset.
And at budget price, you just can not go wrong.
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