Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Beethoven;Brahms;Bruckner, Abendroth, Gwandhaus Leipzig; Deutsches Rundfunk|
Hermann Abendroth Conducts Beethoven, Brahms & Bruckner
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Listen to Samples
Better Bruckner is available; good Beethoven and Brahms
Jeffrey Lee | Asheville area, NC USA | 07/31/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a revision of my initial review of Abendroth's Bruckner Eighth. To begin with, I'm not too pleased with the sound of this 1949 performance. In the first movement in particular it is relatively distant, tubby and veiled. This, in combination with Abendroth's rather sleepwalking style, leaves me unsupportive. The faster paced second movement is fine, but nothing special. In the third and fourth movements, Abendroth reverts to intermittent sluggishness again but on balance things are really quite satisfactory. Though better sound might have given me a more favorable view of the entire performance, I still believe my feelings would have remained mixed. Besides, there are several other versions of the Bruckner Eighth I find more consistenly rewarding---for example, Schuricht/Vienna Phil., Van Beinum/Concertgebouw, Bohm/Vienna Phil., Jochum/Berlin Phil. and Knappertsbusch in both his Berlin and Munich Philharmonic readings. Indeed, generally speaking, for me Knappertsbusch, Schuricht and Jochum simply get to the soul of Bruckner in a way that is more satisfying and complete than any other conductors I have heard.
The other Eighth offered here---Beethoven's---has both nice rhythms and continuity. The first movement is attractively propulsive, the second brisk and satisfying and the third (menuetto) has a touch of romantic spirit, which I like. In the final movement, I had expected a mach speed pace from Abendroth. Instead, he presents a well timed, musical allegro vivace. Overall, a very fine performance with interesting detail and very good sound. The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra plays particularly well.
In the Brahms Second Symphony (1939) I wish the sound had been better. Alas, it is only fair. Abendroth takes a very romantic view, and his interpretation is most enjoyable. Expectedly, he projects a powerful sense of drive, especially in the last movement. Though the Breslau Radio Orchestra reveals its limitations, it weighs in with a pretty good effort.
In sum, this set is a mixed bag, especially soundwise. For better fare I would direct you to my previous review of Abendroth's unissued broadcast performances (the fourth disc in that set notwithstanding), 1939-1950."