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Boulez: Bruckner – Symphony no.8 (FLAC)

Boulez: Bruckner - Symphony no.8 (FLAC)

Boulez: Bruckner - Symphony no.8 (FLAC)

Composer: Anton Bruckner
Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Pierre Boulez
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 334 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Symphony No. 8 in C minor (“Apocalyptic”; “The German Michel”), WAB 108 (various versions)
Composed by Anton Bruckner
Performed by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Pierre Boulez

01. Allegro moderato
02. Scherzo: Allegro moderato
03. Adagio: Feierlich langsam; doch nicht schleppend
04. Finale: Feierlich, nicht schnell

tremendous clarity and vision through timbre

I never liked Bruckner I thought he was too simpleminded with his penchant for the spiritual and his mindless infatuation with Wagner. But here Boulez reveals another side to Bruckner the labyrinth-like scheme of harmonies which seem to re-emerge in forever new configurations.He treats the Bruckner sound as one monolith on a single canvas,intensily controlled and attenuated, with a seamless timbral body of sound,always with the strings ion the forefront dominating, yet balanced the sound. The other way around with the winds as you might find in Wand or Karajan, you find there an ugly organ-like massive sonority with the winds directing the sound upwards into halting gestures. You find this in Brahms’s orchestrations as well. The Romantic imagination had little to contribute to the art of orchestration,their feel for sound was fairly basic,with a constitution of families of sound,divided and domesticated. Today with a modernist sensibility to timbre you find these problems to resolve as Boulez so admirably does as the organ timbre I mentioned also the bottom heavy configurations of sound,balance and the brass as in Mahler and here in Bruckner need special care. Boulez knows all this, and the sound he is able to coax out of Vienna is inspiring, and worth repeated hearing. Boulez’s passiveness is a misnomer and is not an inferior aspect of the Boulez interpretive aesthetic.His penchant for clarity and timbre is what imparts another vision here.You find this in Abbado and Eotvos.They make us listen more. The overbearing Karajan or Solti,or Barenboim interpretations many times goes for the juggler with direct emphasis on the graphic elements in Bruckner, the reiterations in the brass, an the overbearing sound that you can only give in and submit to. There is no room there for contemplation.So our listening experiences there are well taxed,draining ourselves. Here Boulez sweeps the brass sonorities into the overall sound,simply as an unknown buttress of the sound, similar to the beams and supports we never see within the bowels of the great cathedrals. There are also wonderful chamber like moments, with the horn, harp and strings alternating their entrances.Boulez also allows the solo moments as the clarinet and oboe emerge from this labyrinth sound,pitting the solo lone voice against the masses. This creates a tension never heard before in Bruckner,where before solo voices seem to be enveloped and dominated. I also thought Boulez brought a razor sharp sound here, very strident and piercing, again this emanates from a direct emphasis on the string body. This sound also creates a tension which propells the work forward, without the necessity of emphasis of certain harmonic tension. There is also a very real immediacy of expression from moment to moment which compells the work forward,as if Boulez wants us to listen on a localized pallette, rather than simply waiting for the violence of the brass entrances coming from the hinterlands as we have found with other interpreters. I also found never heard before pianissimos, the various string tremoli I could listen to again and again. Boulez makes Bruckner almost into a modernist.

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