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Abbado - Bruckner Box set


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£21.11 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 13 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Claudio Abbado enjoyed an international career almost without parallel, and occupied a position of unique standing in the musical world.

Admired and loved by the artists with whom he collaborated, he astonished and delighted audiences with the vivacity and poise of music-making and through his career as a conductor he took in a remarkable range of composers’ works.

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Frequently Bought Together

Abbado - Bruckner + Bruckner: Symphony No. 9
Price For Both: £30.68

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 May 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00JJ9DYU6
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,439 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Symphony no. 1
2. Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Disc: 2
1. Symphony no. 4
Disc: 3
1. Symphony no. 5
Disc: 4
1. Symphony no. 7
Disc: 5
1. Symphony no.9
2. Wiener Phiharmoniker

Product Description

This 5 CD BRUCKNER set includes Symphonies Nos. 1, 4, 5, 7 & 9. The incandescent new recording of the First Symphony with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra which “jumps off the page with remarkable beauty and power” Fanfare

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ultrarunner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Jun. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The organ which dominated Bruckner's life influenced his technique of orchestration. This is noticeable in the abrupt changes of tone colour which are comparable to changes of registration on the organ. And this can be seen in the box sets I have of this composer, Jochum conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden, and Von Karajan, the Berlin Philharmonic 1976-1981. In Jochum's 9 Bruckner symphonies, this is very obvious as he himself played the organ professionally. Of course, I also own Bruckner symphonies by Klemperer, Walter and Furtwangler. In one way or another, they bring out the spiritual side of this composer, also adhering to the organlike changes in the various movements. Each conductor brings out the beautiful melodies in their own way. They make sure that the brass comes to the fore and brings weight, solemnity and grandeur to the symphonies.

Then we have Abbado. I was attracted to his bluray version of the 5th symphony, because of the way he treated the melodies, tempi, and the organlike changes in the movements. I found it an overwhelming experience. So naturally, when the 1st Lucerne Festival orchestra-Live, Vienna version 1890/91,(2012) 4th 1878/1880 ed Nowak, Vienna Philharmonic,(1990) 5th, original version 1875-78 ed Nowak Live Vienna Phil, (1993) 7th ed Nowak (1992) and 9th ed Nowak (1996) -Live Vienna Phil became available in a set, I bought it straight away. All except the 1st symphony has been released for some time. I am not going to explain the Schalk, Haas, Nowak changes and what they mean for its too complicated. If you want to hear the Symphonies as Bruckner wrote them, I suggest you try the Tinter box set.

Take the 5th, Jochum adheres to the organlike structure, and you can actually imagine the organ being played via the music.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon on 29 Nov. 2014
Format: Audio CD
Among the Quadi and Sarmatians, encamped on the river Gran with his legions, Marcus Aurelius advises "now that your remaining years are few, live them as though on a mountain top." Bruckner affords this experience - or should.

I echo Mogulmeister's review. Namely, that Abbado, in his Mendelssohn-with-ostinatos-approach, is unable to elicit anything other than picturesque notes from the scores. It was a chore to revisit this landlubber semi-cycle. If it never falls below a certain standard, that's damnation by faint praise. Nothing is inexplicable. One trembles not. God and the Devil fail to make an appearance. The Fifth Symphony, as performed here, is not a Causeway of the Giants - rather, it's a Lonely Planet's Guide to Salzburg (at best). Catastrophically, Uncle Claudio uses the Vienna edition of the First where Bruckner, madder than a cut snake, zombified the score. Simpson was right on the money; it does not matter who plays it: it's a travesty.

This diet-Bruckner does not supplant or even supplement Bruckner: 9 Symphonies [Box Set] in any way.

That being said, Abbado and the Berliners nailed the Ninth in a fire-and-brimstone performance from 1997 which you can find on YouTube. It's head and shoulders above this Sound of Music pap.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stevo on 10 July 2014
Format: Audio CD
Abbado came relatively late in his career to Bruckner (although he had recorded the 1st earlier) and he imbues his Bruckner with many of the clear-sighted qualities that make his later Mahler so cherishable. This is a fine set which makes one regret that he did not go on to record the remainder (especially the noble 8th which one feels he would have covered admirably).

One caveat - whilst these recordings are principally with the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra perform No. 1, there is a newer recording of the Ninth in Lucerne - which ultimately proved to be Abbado's farewell. That newer recording outshines the account here, as does the DVD account of the Fifth in Lucerne, which seems a more refined performance. Seek these newer recordings out with the set here as a supplement, and you will have a fine set of perspectives on Bruckner by one of the greatest conductors of our age.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Only for Abbado-lovers, NOT Bruckner-lovers 18 Aug. 2014
By Mogulmeister - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Claudio Abbado is beloved in many quarters, and I own more than a few Abbado discs. Brahms is a composer who did quite well by Abbado, and his performances of the symphonies with the Berliners, and his recording of the 2nd Piano Concerto with Pollini and the Vienna Philharmonic in the 1970s, occupy special places on my CD rack. Ditto his recording of Schubert's incidental music to Rosamunde, and a number of other discs including a certain pianist named Martha Argerich. Abbado's Mahler is spoken of in particularly exalted terms by many Mahler-lovers (but as a reviewer who can't classify himself as such, I can't say anything useful).

But to my ears, Abbado has never been even a little convincing in Bruckner. Having heard him conduct Bruckner in both recordings and live, in fact, I think he misses Bruckner by a mile. It seems to me that Abbado just is not attuned to Bruckner's unique world, and he doesn't convincingly put across Bruckner symphonies. It's hard to understand why he kept coming back to Bruckner, because Abbado seems to my ears to be one of those really talented conductors who unfortunately is "lost at sea" in Bruckner (and he has some exalted company--Klemperer, Solti, Szell, etc.)

So to put together a box set of a number of Abbado's Bruckner performances seems to me to be something that will be potentially of interest to the hardcore Abbado faithful who don't already have these performances--but not to anyone else. For those who are not primarily interested in Claudio Abbado but are rather interested in Anton Bruckner, please, save your money and time and go elsewhere (suggestions are below). You will be much happier.

I have not heard every performance in this set, but I've heard most of them, and none are worth returning to. He has the services of the estimable Vienna Philharmonic in most of these recordings (4,5,7,9), and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in the other (#1). Probably the best performance in this set is 7, although it is nowhere near a first-rank performance of that great symphony. I haven't heard the Lucerne #1 that is in this set, but for some unknown reason Abbado decided to record the revised "Vienna" version of this symphony rather than the much earlier "Linz" version which he had earlier recorded, and which is favored by most hardcore Brucknerians. In the words of one well-regarded Bruckner reviewer, "I think Bruckner shot himself in the foot with the Vienna revision." Put me firmly in the Linz camp. And with regards to #1, there is a definitive performance out there that makes listening to any other performances impossible: Eugen Jochum's performance with the Berlin Philharmonic on DG, an incendiary, trailblazing performance which is available as part of his first complete cycle on DG, or individually (BRUCKNER: SYM 1/TE DEUM).

One of the most difficult Bruckner symphonies for any conductor to "pull off" is #5. The line that runs through this lengthy, demanding, and emotionally sprawling symphony is interpretatively more challenging to delineate. In the hands of someone not highly attuned to its highly unique idiom (even within Bruckner's overall body of work), it comes off as shapeless, endless, and bloated. And that's a good description of Abbado's first recording of #5 with the Vienna Philharmonic, which is included in this set. His second recording (live) with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra (not included in this set) fares better, but still falls significantly short of being a front-rank recommendation. When it comes to Bruckner's 5th, the best recordings are from Karajan (in his box set--a truly great performance), and Jochum's final recording of the symphony just months before he died from a live performance with the Concertgebouw (A. Bruckner: Symphony No. 5). Bruckner's 5th symphony is one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but it requires a particularly skilled conductor who is completely inside the music to effectively put it across. But when that happens, there are few more moving pieces of music ever written by anyone. It's a challenging and demanding symphony, but the payoff is immense. It's arguably one of the highlights of Bruckner's body of work (and it was Jochum's favorite of the Bruckner symphonies). But the 5th is far from the best choice of entry for someone interested in trying out Bruckner. The best starting points are 7 and 4 (my favorite 7ths are from Simon Rattle/City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (Symphony 7), and Jochum's Berlin Philharmonic performance from his DG box set; my favorite 4ths are from Karajan's DG Berlin performance (in his box set) and Chailly's with the Concertgebouw Bruckner Symphony 4 / Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Riccardo Chailly (London))).

So if not Abbado, where should someone interested in Bruckner's magnificent symphonies turn for a complete Bruckner set? That's easy, because there is an unambiguous first choice: Karajan's cycle of 1-9 with the Berlin Philharmonic (Bruckner: 9 Symphonies [Box Set]). Karajan's is the cycle for the ages. It is superlative in every way, and clearly, it is one of greatest recorded legacies in all of classical music. The playing of the Berliners has to be heard to be believed--it's consistently jaw-dropping. Karajan's interpretations are astonishing and completely revelatory. The direct channel to Bruckner has never been stronger. As a complete set, it just doesn't get any better than this and likely never will.

Jochum's first cycle on DG (as compared to his later Dresden cycle on EMI, now Warner Classics) is also outstanding. It delivers some incredible highs, but also a few clunkers (Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 1 - 9). While it does not in any way displace the Karajan, it's still outstanding overall (even with the clunkers) and mandatory listening (Jochum betters Karajan in 1 and 7). Every Bruckner lover will want both sets. No one has ever performed Bruckner's truly radical Symphony #1 as Jochum did (not even Karajan - #1 is the one "miss" in his set), and it alone is worth the price of admission. Jochum's performance of #1 transforms what many consider an immature early work into a formidable, overwhelming, and profoundly impactful piece of music that makes one understand how revolutionary a composer Bruckner truly was, and especially how truly radical a piece of music Symphony #1 is. [To this day, no one before, or since, has ever written another piece of music that's anything like it.] In Jochum's interpretation, Symphony #1 is a massive blast of energy whose shockwaves level everything in its path. At the conclusion, the symphony achieves an overwhelming transformation that's beyond moving, and which burns pure sunlight at the very end. Jochum's Berlin Philharmonic performance of #1 on DG is like nothing you've ever heard before by any composer. Jochum alone successfully reveals the greatness of this unmistakable masterpiece, even with its certain flaws.

Skrowaczewski's complete cycle is consistently strong, even if it doesn't reach the exalted heights of Karajan and Jochum (Complete Symphonies). But it's uniformly very good, and anyone learning their Bruckner from Skrow would be in good hands. But Skrow's orchestra is in the minor leagues as compared to the Berliners from Karajan's set (Jochum's set is split between the Berlin Philharmonic and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, both of which are better than Skrow's orchestra). This is decidedly not the equal of either Karajan's or Jochum's sets.

The world lost a great conductor in Claudio Abbado. But while he was wonderful with many composers, unfortunately, Bruckner was not among them.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Bruckner the Nice 29 Nov. 2014
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Among the Quadi and Sarmatians, encamped on the river Gran with his legions, Marcus Aurelius advises "now that your remaining years are few, live them as though on a mountain top." Bruckner affords this experience - or should.

I echo Mogulmeister's review. Namely, that Abbado, in his Mendelssohn-with-ostinatos-approach, is unable to elicit anything other than picturesque notes from the scores. It was a chore to revisit this landlubber semi-cycle. If it never falls below a certain standard, that's damnation by faint praise. Nothing is inexplicable. One trembles not. God and the Devil fail to make an appearance. The Fifth Symphony, as performed here, is not a Causeway of the Giants - rather, it's a Lonely Planet's Guide to Salzburg (at best). Catastrophically, Uncle Claudio uses the Vienna edition of the First where Bruckner, madder than a cut snake, zombified the score. Simpson was right on the money; it does not matter who plays it: it's a travesty.

This diet-Bruckner does not supplant or even supplement Bruckner: 9 Symphonies [Box Set] in any way.

That being said, Abbado and the Berliners nailed the Ninth in a fire-and-brimstone performance from 1997 which you can find on YouTube. It's head and shoulders above this Sound of Music pap.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good purchase. 16 Mar. 2015
By Colloredo von Salzburg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Great set. Compelling Bruckner. Beautiful playing of the Vienna Philharmonic under Abbado's baton. Happy to have it in this collection.
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