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- Published on Amazon.com
After reading the reviews of Part I, I decided to invest in Set 2; however, it was not apparent exactly what music was presented. This set presents Bruckner's Fourth Symphony, coupled with Beethoven's Leonore Overture #3 on the first disc (1990); Schubert's Eighth and Ninth Symphonies on disc two (1995); Schubert's Symphony #5 and Brahms First Symphony on disc three (1997); the last performance, on disc four, is Bruckner's Symphony #7 (1999). As with Set I, all performances feature the North German Radio Orchestra (Hamburg) during summer concerts at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. All discs have the same director, Hugo Kach. Three locations figure in the set: the Domi (a cathedral) in Lubeck, the Music & Assembly Hall, Lubeck, and the Scloss in Kiel.
By far the best performance is the Brahms First. There are some minor imperfections in the Bruckner symphonies and in the Schubert 9th (Great C Major). The Schubert 8th is very well done.
The problem is with camera angles and shot selection. The earliest concert recorded, the Bruckner 4th, is by far the worst. An oft-repeated shot is from the rear of the cathedral with a great white column blocking 40% of the view, but the orchestra is seventy yards away, so one can't see anything anyway! In addition, there are a host of "overlay" (double-exposure) shots that I found irritating. However, each subsequent recording improves progressively. The final concert recording, the Bruckner 7th, is very well done. Woodwind soloists who weren't featured in the earlier camera shots now are caught on film.
If the Bruckner 4th had been directed like the Bruckner 7th, this review would reflect the audience at the conclusion of the Brahms 1st, a standing "O."