Really bad sound
HB | Fort Mill, SC | 11/24/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The performance by George Szell is okay, stiff in the first two movements, better in the scherzo and finale. But the sound on this CD is just horrible. Without a superstar conductor, this recording would have never been issued. Sony hoped having a legendary conductor would help sell this CD. But Bruckner with bad sound is like a car with no gas. In other words, this CD is basically useless. And the Amazon Marketplace price is way too high. Save your money."
David Saemann | 02/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"George Szell recorded this work in fine stereo sound with his Cleveland Orchestra. So what is the point of acquiring the current live performance, which features raspy, often insubstantial monaural sound? Well, first of all there is the joy in hearing Szell captured live. He made a point of scheduling all his recording sessions prior to actual concert performances of that repertoire. For him, the concert was the main event, not the recording. To hear Szell controlling the dynamic contrasts of a performance with no editing is a thrill almost as great as hearing Toscanini's live recordings. The second main reason for hearing this CD is the Dresden Staatskapelle. At the time of this performance in 1965, this orchestra had retained the deep brass sounds and burnished, liquid strings that were absolutely ideal for Bruckner performance. As good as Szell's studio performance of this symphony is, there is an authenticity to the live account that is very hard to beat. In recent years, I have come to prefer recordings of the 1877 version of this symphony over the later version recorded here. But for all fans of George Szell, this is an intriguing CD."