Composer: Anton Bruckner
Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Conductor: Eugen Jochum
SPARS Code: ADD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue)
Size: 388 MB
01. I. Adagio – Allegro
02. II. Adagio – Sehr langsam
01. III. Scherzo. Molto vivace, schnell – Trio im gleichen Tempo
02. IV. Finale. Adagio – Allegro moderato
Spectactular – DO NOT MISS THIS!!
I am SOOO happy to see that this recording of Bruckner’s 5th is back in print. This would get my vote for being the greatest performance of Bruckner’s 5th of all time. By numerous reports, the 5th was Jochum’s favorite of the Bruckner symphonies. I’ve heard all of his earlier recordings except the Hamburg one, and this is hands-down the best by far. The tempos are slower than Jochum took in any other performance–which is for the good, as he gives the music time to breathe. This is an intensely spiritual piece of music, and Jochum brings out the spiritual element in this recording more than in any other performance of his I’ve heard. The 2nd movement in particular comes alive in this performance moreso than in any other of his recordings. This was the final concert Jochum performed with the Concertgebouw before he died, and it is a deeply moving performance. The playing of the Concergebouw is magnificent. It all comes together here: great conductor, great orchestra, performing a great work, and everyone playing as if their lives depended on it. We are incredibly lucky that this performance has been preserved and is available for us all to enjoy. It is very special, and even costing close to $30, it is worth every penny and then some.
Karajan’s DG performance of the 5th with the Berlin Philharmonic is also, like this, a great performance. But as much as I enjoy Karajan’s (and Karajan does the 2nd movement, which is the spiritual center of this whole symphony, better than Jochum), I think overall Jochum’s final 5th with the Concertgebouw is just a few millimeters better. Both, however, belong in the collection of every serious lover of Bruckner’s music.