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Bruckner: Symphony No. 4
Anton Bruckner, Eduard Van Beinum
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (4) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Anton Bruckner, Eduard Van Beinum
Title: Bruckner: Symphony No. 4
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Audio Legends
Original Release Date: 1/1/1952
Re-Release Date: 7/24/2001
Genre: Classical
Style: Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 675754408220

CD Reviews

Mark E. Farrington | Albany, NY | 03/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Throughout most of his career, Eduard van Beinum co-conducted the magnificent Concertgebouw- with either Wilhelm Mengelberg or, after the war, with such "guest-regulars" as George Szell and Pierre Monteux- not to mention Erich Kleiber and Eugen Jochum. (What a perpetual musical FEAST for those lucky post-war Amsterdamers.) This situation, combined with Van Beinum's untimely death in 1959, meant that there were several works which he and the Concertgebouw never got around to playing or recording together...Sadly, we have no recordings of this symbiotic team in the Beethoven Symphonies except 2, 3 & 7 (these are live, and the 7th is with the Philharmoinia of London !); of Schubert's 1st & 2nd Symphonies; none of Schumann; neither of the Orchestral Serenades of Brahms; or Bruckner's 1-3 or 6th. (Only the Brahms Symphonies are fully "covered.")

EVB left behind two commerical recordings of the Bruckner 7th (1947 and 1953); one live and one commercial recording of the 8th (both from 1955); one live and one commercial version of the 9th (1941 and 1956, respectively); a recently uncovered live Symphony No."0" (1955); the fabled live 5th of March 12, 1959 (Van Beinum's last concert); and this live 4th from 1956. The live 5th, the 1953 7th, the commercial 8th and the 1956 9th, were briefly available in a 4-CD Philips Dutch Masters box, issued in 2000 and now withdrawn. (I've got mine.)

Fortunately, Van Beinum's live Bruckner 4th is still available in this "Audiophile" edition. Snap it up before they pull the plug on this one, too. It is stupendous. Only Eugen Jochum's 1954 Bavarian Radio 4th (available from amazon's German site) is in the same league. The legendary strings, horns and woodwinds of the 1950s Concertgebouw are in top form- the strings especially, with that subtle "tang" which rendered the 1950s-60s Concertgebouw instantly recognizable...The radio broadcast sound is more than acceptable (even if there are some drop-outs in the last movement), and there is plenty of ambience. This most "hackneyed" of Bruckner's works is stripped of its encrusted "traditionalism" and comes up fresh, in all its subtle and primary colors...The first movement is paced perfectly- nothing overdone, nothing taken for granted; the second movement is pensive, yet not cloying (a rare achievement in this work!); the hunting-horn Scherzo is such that you can almost SMELL the pre-dawn mist as the steeds are galloped over the heather; the Finale is both shattering and consoling...By the time this performance is over, you will know an immense warmth and spiritual generosity in the midst of ambiguity and pain. Which is a window on the noble spirits of Eduard van Beinum and his beloved Concertgebouw in their greatest days. Don't miss this one.
A rave from someone who's not a Brucker fan
Alan | New York, NY | 12/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Take this for what this is worth (which if you're a Bruckner fan, may not be much): I have tried with Bruckner, but I rarely get it. Great moments, but separated by long expanses that just don't interest me much. It may be my fault. Perhaps the Zen of Bruckner just eludes me.

Still, having tried the Fourth (and most of the other symphonies) with Karajan, Jochum, Klemperer and several other highly regarded Bruckner conductors, this is the first Bruckner recording I've heard that I especially wanted to listen to again. I wish I had some great insights into why this is so, but I don't.

Clearly, this recording is only for people who happily listen to historical recordings. You will have to adjust the volume several times, and the sound becomes very harsh during the last movement (and I don't think that can fixed by adjusting anything), but I found this unusually compelling Bruckner."
Too staid
Jeffrey Lee | Asheville area, NC USA | 04/15/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"One knows from reading about Eduard Van Beinum and Eugen Jochum that both conductors had great admiration for Bruckner's music. But in comparing Jochum's Bruckner Fourth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic and Van Beinum's with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the former is able to infuse his reading with more life and emotional involvement than the latter. Certainly, one cannot fault the Dutchman regarding technical execution, but his interpretive style in this work is simply too straightlaced for me. Even the so-called "hunting" scherzo is played a little too formally. In fact, alongside both Jochum AND Schuricht, Van Beinum sounds like an actor delivering his lines in somewhat rote fashion. When called for, the qualities of robustness, passion and a flexible, fluidly moving organic whole are simply not given adequate representation. Sound reproduction too is unremarkable. At about one minute and fifty seconds into the first movement, the engineers turn down the volume noticeably. Frustratingly, this results in a loss of real presence to the very end of the movement---something one doesn't want to experience especially when listening to Bruckner. Not so incidentally, the sound engineers return with their annoying gain riding in the fourth movement too. There are quite a few other fine Bruckner Fourths out there. Aside from the aforementioned Jochum and Schuricht versions, Klemperer, Knappertsbusch and Kertesz are also worthy of consideration."