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Bruckner: Symphonies 8 & 9 [Box set, Hybrid SACD, Limited Edition, Collector's Edition]

Anton Bruckner Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 12.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Bruckner: Symphonies 8 & 9 + Elgar: Cello Concerto, Sea Pictures / Delius: Cello Concerto Songs of Farewell [EMI Signature Edition] + Dvorak, Grieg, Schumann: Piano Concertos
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Carl Schuricht
  • Audio CD (9 April 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set, Hybrid SACD, Limited Edition, Collector's Edition
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B0079J26S4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,940 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Symphony No. 8 in C minor: I. Allegro moderato
2. Symphony No. 8 in C minor: II. Scherzo (Allegro moderato) & Trio (Langsam)
3. Symphony No. 8 in C minor: III. Adagio (Feierlich langsam, doch nicht schleppend)
4. Symphony No. 8 in C minor: IV. Finale (Feierlich, nicht schnell)
Disc: 2
1. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor: I. Feierlich, misterioso
2. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor: II. Scherzo (Bewegt, lebhaft) & Trio (Schnell)
3. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor: III. Adagio (Langsam, feierlich)

Product Description

EMI 9559842; EMI ITALIANA - Italia; Classica Orchestrale

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent music making and fine recordings 30 Jun 2013
By Hywel James TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Carl Schuricht's recordings of two of Bruckner's symphonies, the Ninth (recorded in 1961) and the Eighth (recorded in 1963), with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, appeared on long-play 12" vinyl, and later, in remastered sound, on the French EMI 'Rouge et Noir' series. They appear again in this set in newly-remastered sound undertaken in 2012 by four specialist engineers at EMI's Abbey Road Studios. The sound is exceptionally good, and certainly far better than I recall the earlier compact disc issue being on 'Rouge et Noir'. I have played the discs on a two-speaker system and on a DVD/Audio SACD system. The sound is very good on both, although the recordings were clearly made before a truly 'surround' acoustic could be captured. The set comes in a booklet-style folder, with thorough notes on the music and on Carl Schuricht's approach to performing Bruckner by John Williamson.

So the sound is very good indeed but what of the performances? They are quite wonderful and I recommend them wholeheartedly. Bruckner's symphonies can be long, they can be noisy, and sometimes a 'live' performance can an ordeal if a conductor does not grasp the essential architecture of the piece concerned - as much for the players as for the audience. But on these discs the music has mass and flow, it blooms and falls away, it has moments of rest and moments of enormous grandeur. In short, Schuricht ensures a flexible and mercurial propulsion which means that at no time does the music falter or seem irresolute. They are great performances of wonderful music. Highly recommended.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Schuricht in sensational SACD sound! 15 April 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
In a world of high resolution downloads and the geriatric compact disc's "imminent" demise, it is to EMI's great credit that it has reissued these magnificent Bruckner/Schuricht recordings in remastered, hybrid, SACD format. High resolution downloads serve their purpose, but there is nothing quite so pleasing as owning a tangible work of art. Collecting classical CDs/SACDs will become a specialist pursuit, in the not too distant future - collecting will appeal to connoisseurs who value quality over quantity/accessibility - EMI and the other major record companies would be well advised to pay heed to the market for high quality products! Had they - the record companies - combined forces and agreed on the superiority of the SACD format and its distribution, over a decade ago, then consumers, the whole classical music industry would have benefited greatly! Better late than never, as they say! The set is presented in hardback, booklet format with both discs held in place by paper sleeves glued to the spine. I would have preferred a slipcase with each SACD having its own separate case - one can't have everything, I suppose!

Schuricht's Bruckner has all of the spontaneity of Furtwangler's and Jochum's accounts of these works - lyrical, flexible and most decidedly of the stop-start school of conducting. Schuricht conducts the Nowak edition of Bruckner's Eighth Symphony, complete (?) with its five-bar cut in the Finale. Schuricht's inclination towards brisk tempi, coupled to the shortened Nowak edition, results in this recording clocking in at a relatively short 71 minutes. Those who favour architectural strength and the flowing beauty of the long line - a la Karajan - will enjoy hurling brickbats at Schuricht.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good performances. 28 Nov 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Carl Schuricht was one of the great performers of Bruckner's symphonies.
Here, in these studio recordings, he has more success withe the 8th symphony.
I prefer his "live" performances of these works.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Bruckner 8th & 9th in Brilliant Remastering 12 May 2012
By W. Chiles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Having given up any hope of finding these recordings in their last CD incarnation I was delighted to see that EMI not only rereleased them but gave them the royal treatment, remastering them using high resolution DSD and SACD technology as well. Kudos to EMI on this project modeled after BMG-RCA's "Living Stereo" SACD releases. They've taken several classic recordings, remastering them onto SACD at a budget price. I'm next going to order Klemperer's set of late Mozart symphonies in this series, a recording I've already enjoyed on CD. Production quality is high with the 2 CDS encased in a hardbound book with full notes including the historical liner notes and artwork and photos. Truly the deluxe treatment.

Carl Schuricht conducts taught performances, a bit on the brisk side, but quite flexible in tempo, enough to keep them moving and exciting, giving full weight to the great climaxes without allowing them to sound like one blast of the brass after another. There is a sense of architecture with sufficient attention to nuance and detail to hold your interest. He was no stickler about which edition to use, primarily relying on the Novak editions but happy to insert Haas edition portions where he thought they were to best musical effect. My take is that the original versions of most composers works are of little more than scholastic interest once they've found weaknesses and revised them. Novak is therefore more to my liking in general but each to his own taste. Both symphonies receive outstanding performances with the edge going to the 9th. Though it was recorded in 1961, it's sound is nearly as full and transparent as the 8th and it benefits from a bit more acoustic ambiance. Hard to beat the Vienna Philharmonic in the Grosse Vereinsaal for a Bruckner performance!
Much as I've enjoyed Karajan's DG Bruckner 8th (it's a particularly moving and spiritual sounding performance) I much prefer the sound on this SACD. It sounds to me as if you're sitting in the front orchestra.

The sound quality, particularly in the 1964 recording of the 8th is somewhat dry, I suspect because the engineers were using cardioid microphones to increase presence and withhold the resonance of an empty Grosse Vereinsaal. It's an attractive sound, very detailed yet surprisingly smooth sounding even in the biggest climaxes. There was a point in the finale of the 8h when I was amazed at how clean the sound was with an all out triple forte orchestra and cymbal crash, yet no brittleness to the texture. I have not yet heard the CD layer but the SACD sounds superb. One hears well defined placement of solo instruments with a wide stereo sound stage and a sense of depth when the woodwinds and brass make their entries. The engineers make use of 3 channels including your center speaker if you have a 5.1 setup. The stereo image is thus fully spread from left to right with no gaping hole in the center.

I would urge any serious audiophile to check out SACD technology. It totally eliminates the digital artifaction once heard in so many of those harsh brittle early 80s analog to digital CD remasterings. The new DSD recordings are amazingly transparent and typically in full surround revealing hall ambiance as well. The engineers added no surround channel or artificial reverb to these classic recordings however. They DID apply CEDAR noise reduction although I am not aware of any loss in treble frequencies. They likely cleaned up tape splices and momentary dropout on the original masters. It's incredibly clean and lifelike sound.

EMI is notorious for pulling recordings out of release quickly. Get this one while you can!

If you're looking for an SACD player, consider one by Oppo, a company manufacturing at least two models that can play Blu-Ray, DVD, SACD and DVD-Audio formats. OPPO BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player with SACD, DVD-Audio, and VRS Technology
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adding stars 16 May 2012
By Laszlo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Having purchased this item, I can concur with other reviews in terms of the quality of this release. Also agree with others who find the first batch of these releases (ten) to be rather odd in terms of choice. I guess EMI has selected best sellers; which, in my book, does not necessarily translate into great performances. But that, of course, is a matter of taste and we would not discuss that here. Suffice to say that I definitely will not buy those, even with improved sound and presentation.

This one, however, is a winner hands down. Towering symphonies, with a great Brucknerian conductor and the best Bruckner Orchestra was always special; and with superb sound, even more so.
So, having criticized EMI for their awful bass-shy sound in the past, I feel compelled, then, to congratulate them here.

Lastly, the presentation of this release is worth the price of admission: no plastic, elegant, superbly illustrated and annotated; simply luxurious; worthy.
Let us hope, then, that the next batches contain more interesting works and performances; EMI has those aplenty in store.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No complaints about EMI, take this on its merits 11 Mar 2013
By JWM3 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
In the SACD community it has unfortunately become the norm to bemoan all SACD releases that are not multi-channel, DSD recordings, or that have any PCM involvement in the making.
The second line of attack is to criticize EMI for issuing this recording, instead of that one.

I prefer to address the actual recording that I purchased, on the sole merits of what I hear coming through my speakers.

On that score, EMI hit this out of the park. At these prices, these are a steal.

There are too many great Bruckner 8s and 9s to declare one the "best," but these take their place alongside my longtime favorites (Walter's 9th, for example). Many will buy these for the sonics, and they will not be disappointed. The strings and french horns, in particular, are stunningly caught. The soundstage is immense; the largest of any classical recording I own, and there is a bit of spotlighting on the solo passages. It will take a top-notch system to hear everything that this SACD offers.

It is not as profoundly moving as the glorious Furtwanger 8 and 9 (on Music and Arts) but then again nothing else is, and this SACD offers excellent sound to match its excellent musicmaking.
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EMI does a fine job, excellent performances, zippy Bruckner 10 May 2012
By G. Bell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have bitched and moaned about EMI for years. Overall brittle dry sound mars recording after recording. If you are in luck, you can find a EMI Japanese remastering that might sound much better (or sort of the same -sigh). So, I would think, damn it EMI, you can do good sound. You just refuse to care much. Sort of a contempt for the performer and the customer. I would see the label EMI and think, can't I get an equally good performance on another label -RCA from the 50s, Mercury, or Decca with Walter Legge as producer, all did great sound? But there EMI is screwing things up.

Things partly change. Here in this new SACD version, not the old- EMI, I salute you. You did right! I doubt these are the Japanese remasterings, but they sound good. They still show their age, but the SACD has opened up the sound. Depth is there, space is there, individual instruments can be heard in a soundscape. Grand. I want to do a little dance because there really are some fine performances in the EMI catalogue. Keep doing this and I will buy them. Even though I have them, I will forgive you and buy them.

And it is a two for the price of one. EMI had just weeks before reissured these recordings in a regular cd. Skip those. Buy these- two for the price of one. Makes one wonder if there is anyone really running EMI, knowing what all hands are doing. But, I'm rooting for this remastering to continue.

And the performance? Well, no one will replace Furtwangler's conducting of Bruckner. Hands down the best. But the 1940, early 1950 sound even on the Japanese SACD which cost upwards of 40 bucks a pop or, even more outrageously the Deutche Gramophone SACDs at 60 bucks a pop is not great. So, I buy Wand's Berlin SACD and Horenstein, Jochum, Tintner, Solti, Barenboim, Walter, etc., well, you can see I have a lot of Bruckner by a lot of different conductors. Looking for that perfect performance. So with all that comparison, Schuricht and the mighty Vienna Phil are excellent. More in the 9th than the 8th but both are excellent.

Bruckner is one of my favorite composers but Bruckner needs help. His symphonies are very hard to perform; there are so many bad recordings that make him slow, long, beautiful and boring. Oh, God, how boring. Furtwangler can make them scary, jagged and still flow with the insane stops and pitting a single instrument against the raging of the orchestra. In performance this so often sounds stupid. Not here. Schuricht is criticized for taking the pace at a jog but it works for me. He makes Bruckner bracing! I can go with that. There is still beauty, weight - the "cathedral in sound" but here there is some urgency to get away from some demons painted on the back walls, the gates close, run for it. Yes, drama! Really after all the bad Bruckner, this goes to the top of my stack.

This is the Nowak edition which I remember as the whacked edition. Bruckner never had great self-esteem. People thought he was a country bumpkin -and that's putting it politely when it comes to women- so to get his symphonies performed he, like many musicians, cut it. Then his students, who didn't really get him either, went to work and cut it some more. Nowak = whacked. It still works for me but there is a Hass edition, which is an attempt to reconstruct the "original intent". Unfortunately, there is no edition where Bruckner says, this, this is my ideal symphony. So, for my money, it's the performance. For some people, however, the edition is make or break.

Now please make my dream come true and do a great Furtwangler set - the Beethoven, Bruckner, Wagner. SACD please. At these prices.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Craving for More 15 May 2012
By Aria Wenda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is how it should sound like. SACD Stereo at its best and I just love how Wiener Philharmoniker executes this piece.

I am here craving for more EMI Classics Signature Collection.
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