Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Anton Bruckner, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra|
Bruckner: Symphony No. 9
Listen to Samples
Furtwangler's intensity suits Bruckner 9 to a tee!
Alan Majeska | Bad Axe, MI, USA | 08/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This may be the best performance of Bruckner 9 I have heard. I have several other studio recordings: Bruno Walter (Odyssey), Mehta (Decca), Jochum/Bavarian Radio (EMI), and Tintner (Naxos), but none of them-especially Walter-have the intensity of Furtwangler, although they all have better sound. Furtwangler's 1944 live performance has good mono sound (for the time it was recorded), rather rich and powerful in the climaxes. I and III strike me as louder/at a higher level than II: perhaps that's the recording acoustics, or Classico d'Oro's engineering.
No matter: this recording has a blistering intensity that suits Bruckner 9 to a tee! What recording of Furtwangler's was not intense? I swells to great climaxes of sound: the ending brass fanfares and crashing chords could herald the second coming, a real apocolypse:thrilling and frightening at once! II is played at a quick tempo, and Furtwangler shows a playful, more peaceful contrast in the trio section. III is very tragic, sharing the feeling of the Liebestod from TRISTAN AND ISOLDE, although Bruckner did not intend any relationship to Wagner's great opera.
Symphony 9 was unfinished at Bruckner's death, and scholars have speculated about how he would have wanted a fourth movement to sound. This work doesn't need a fourth movement in Furtwangler's hands. Mono sound aside, this is a great recording, and for under $5.00! Grab it while you can."
This Ninth blew me away, and still does.
Into | everywhereandnowhere | 02/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I own nearly sixty Bruckner Ninths. At the time that I first heard this one I already owned two or three dozen. I was all ready not too like this recording: dusty old historical recording by that bald, birdlike old marionette, Furtwangler. Although I knew a little about his reputation, and had seen footage of him conducting, this was the first full Furtwangler recording I ever heard. It opened my eyes to the merits of "historical recordings, and also made me a Furtwangler fan for life (well, at least a big fan of about a half dozen of his recordings, of which this Bruckner Ninth is my favorite).
I sometimes describe this as the most "spiritually scary" Ninth I've ever heard, if not the most spiritually scary recording of ANYTHING that I've ever heard! It's been said that there are "no atheists in foxholes," and I think you could probably say the same thing about those who have heard this Bruckner Ninth. Although I do not own this pressing (The Music and Arts was the one that first caught my attention, and it also includes a great Tristan Prelude & Liebestod), I have heard and read that it is a good one, and it certainly is a bargain.
Yes, the recording is not ideal, sometimes sounding like it's about to "split at the seams," but this is one of those rare cases where somehow a somewhat archaic-sounding recording only seems to add to the searing intensity of the performance. Even though the recording is rough, you can still clearly hear some rapt string playing, esp. in the adagio, as well as some majestic brass playing, and Furtwangler's characteristic booming timpani. If you are a fan of the Ninth, and you don't have this one, yet, get it now."
Incredible performance, perhaps there are better transfers?
Andrew R. Weiss | Raleigh, NC USA | 06/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First, the 4 stars do not reflect in any way on this elemental, amazing performance; it's a 5 stars plus.
However, I have questions about the sound in this transfer. I have an LP pressing by DGG/Germany from the mid-1960's (in the "Furtwangler in Memoriam" set), and, despite some overload distorion, it has much more presence than this digital version. The winds and brass have more color, the bass and tympani jump out, and the strings, while a bit shrill, have a brightness missing here. In this transfer, I almost feel as though I'm listening through a veil. There is more sound in the original tape than comes through here.
The problem is, this is the only currently available version. And it is available on iTunes (yes, iTunes!!), so when the Amazon marketplace runs out of copies you can download from there.
I never did hear the M&A transfer but I understand it's better. I am hoping M&A will put their master into their Pristine Audio remastering program for download so that version will be available again. This performance is too good and too important to be out of print."