Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Anton Bruckner, Klaus Tennstedt, London Philharmonic Orchestra|
Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 in E Major
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Ugly sound, but Tennstedt really soars
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 03/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bit by bit Klaus Tennstedt's posthumous legacy grows, much to the delight of his admirers. This live Bruckner 7th with his own London Phil. dates from May, 1984. Unfortunately, the venue is the acoustically dismal Royal Festival Hall in London, and the sound is distant and tubby, with gritty strings -- not the best way to convey Bruckner's inspiring cathedral sonority. But there's no studio release from Tennstedt that I know of, so this is it (on obscure private labels there's a version from Philadelphia - 1985 - and New York - 1986 - neither of which I've ever run across.)
I found myself caught up in the excitement of this dynamic, heartfelt performance, which quickly transcends the defective sonics. The LPO palys with real commitment -- not a bar sounds routine -- and nothing eccentric happens as to tempo or orchestral balance. The Haas edition is used: there are no cymbals or triangle at the climax of the Adagio. As in Tennstedt's other live Bruckner (see the Fourth previously released by the London Phil.), there's a wonderful sense of improvisation without violating the overall structure. In both Mahler and Bruckner the huge scale of the music makes it difficult for a condcutor to convincingly take a personal stand, which is why so many Bruckner recordings sound blandly alike. In Tennstedt's case, however, he does convince me that his free use of rubato, as with Furtwangler, adds another expressive layer.
But where I hear a spontaneous, joyful response to the score, others may hear a messy misread. The Gramophone's resident Brucknerian, Richard Osborne, panned this CD and ended his review by saying that he would not willingly listen to it ever again (he also panned the live Fourth mentioned above). All I can say is that you have to like "interventionist" conducting, to use a horrid pet phrase of music journalists. If you favor correctness and discipline instead, such as Szell and Bohm bring to their Bruckner recordings, Tennstedt may be a turn-off. For me he wasn't. I found this an exhilarating Seventh, and it joins another live account, from Giulini on BBC Legends, as one of my favorites."
Full of warmth and humanity
Donald James | London | 07/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A classic Tennstedt performance. Warm, beautifully-shaped with a slow movement full of feeling and the whole symphony bursting with energy and forward momentum. The recording does not quite capture the astonishing intensity of the LPO strings when they played for Klaus, but even so, it's a remarkably lovely performance. KT once said to me that he wasn't sure he liked this symphony because he felt the last movement went 'blah blah'. He was wrong. It doesn't."