Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Norman, Minton, Rendall|
Bruckner: Symphony No.1; Te Deum [Australia]
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Bruckner, Barenboim, And Chicago
Erik North | San Gabriel, CA USA | 02/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although Anton Bruckner is now widely regarded as one of the giants of classical music, it has taken an incredibly long time for his symphonies to be recorded or performed with anywhere near the same frequency as those of his protege Gustav Mahler, let alone Beethoven or Brahms. Much of it has to do with the sometimes extreme length of the symphonies, the imposing scale of them, and Bruckner's penchant for massive brass chorales, intended to mimic the sound of grand cathedral organs where the composer first plied his trade. For those reasons too, any conductor who takes on these symphonies has to have a lot of assurance not only in himself but in the orchestra he leads through these massive pieces.
Such is the case with this early 1980s recording of Bruckner's First Symphony, made by conductor Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Though obviously an embryonic work (and not necessarily really the composer's "first"), all the hallmarks of the composer's style--prominent brass; vigorous scherzos; imposing opening movements--are in evidence here; and both Barenboim and the orchestra, the latter of which has the brass section more than a little capable of handling Bruckner's towering organ-like brass chorales, make the most of the piece. The fact that it is the "shortest" of the composer's symphonies at just under 48 minutes makes it a bit easier for those who are just getting into Bruckner's massive works.
To go along with the symphony, Barenboim and the CSO pull out a cadre of great vocal soloists--Yvonne Minton; Jessye Norman; David Rendall; and Samuel Ramey--and the Chicago Symphony Chorus, as prepared by Margaret Hillis, for what is undoubtedly Bruckner's most popular choral work, a 23 minute-long setting in C Major of the Te Deum, which dates roughly from 1884. Bruckner's sacred works outnumber the orchestral ones, but only the Te Deum has held a place in the repertoire, largely because it is more conventionally structured. But the prominent brass chorales, along with the organ, are still there, as is the power of the combined vocal soloists and chorus. Barenboim and his forces pull off this work with the kind of power and dignity it requires.
This recording is now only available as a Deutsche Grammophon import; but as a first guide into the massive cathedrals of sound that make up Bruckner's output, it is strongly recommended, especially for the most adventuresome classical music aficionado out there"