The Complete Symphonies Box set, Classical
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
Top Customer Reviews
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?
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
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on May 14 2004 by Jeffrey Lipscomb
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... Read more