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Bruckner: Symphony No. 4
 
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Bruckner: Symphony No. 4

13 Dec 2011 | Format: MP3

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Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
20:32
30
2
15:07
30
3
11:11
30
4
22:16


Product details

  • Original Release Date: 13 Dec 2011
  • Label: LSO Live
  • Copyright: (c) 2011 London Symphony Orchestra Ltd
  • Total Length: 1:09:06
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00632S64G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,514 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is a live 2011 performance of what is nowadays the most commonly performed version of the Romantic Symphony, the 1878/80 version in the Nowak edition (incorporating some relatively minor modifications made by the composer in 1886 for a New York performance conducted by Anton Seidl).

Haitink, now over 80 years of age, has been conducting Bruckner for several decades. His latest recording of this work has something of that "unhurried majesty" that Deryck Cooke in the Gramophone used to describe Karl Bohm's 1973 performance with the VPO, running to a total time of 69 minutes.

Whether Haitink has anything particularly new to say over his previous recordings with the RCO and VPO I cannot say, as I do not own those recordings; given his reputation, probably not. What emerges here, however, is a conductor who is at ease in handling transitions, builds climaxes steadily with an ear for maintaining balances, and enjoys the commitment of a great orchestra.

The opening horn solo is delivered broadly and mellifluously, setting the tone of a performance where beauty, mystery and spaciousness go hand in hand. The first fortissimo for orchestra arrives in weighty and authoritative fashion, yet it is relatively relaxed compared with Karajan's forceful stride or Jochum's impetuosity. It's like a rolling wave of sound, with all instrumental departments distinct yet balanced within the rich texture, the brass full toned but not dominating. The movement is allowed to unfold naturally with a cumulative rise in tension. Of note is that part of the development leading up to the opening fortissimo's restatement and the ensuing chorale where Haitink and his players evoke a wondrous wooded landscape with playing of the utmost delicacy and refinement.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By tmoklc on 21 Nov 2011
Format: Audio CD
This recording is definitely one of the best classical albums I've bought this year. The four lyrical movements are played with precision and care by the LSO. The brass sound in particular is beautifully rich and warm, hats off to the horn player! The conductor, Bernard Haitink, commands the orchestra and shapes the sound with ease. An absolute pleasure.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By musiclover on 21 Nov 2011
Format: Audio CD
Bernard Haitink really knows how to conduct Bruckner. He and the LSO perform this work effortlessly and the result is quite breath-taking. The brass, woodwind and strings melt into each other and really relax into to the vivid sonorities that Bruckner is so well-known for. The horns in particular are quite exquisite. If you want a truly exceptional performance of Bruckner's Fourth then this is it.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon on 23 July 2013
Format: Audio CD
Having been impressed by Haitink's recent surveys of Bruckner's Fifth and Sixth Symphonies with various German orchestras, it was time to chance my arm one more time by listening to his live performance of the Fourth with the London Symphony Orchestra. In doing so, I was deeply conscious that his expositions from 1965 and two decades later are well played, conscientious and dull as dishwater.

Bruckner's Fourth, above all, seeks to strip away the detritus of modernity, thereby reverting mankind to a realm where we - like our ancestors - are liegemen to signs, portents and totemic powers, be they benevolent or otherwise. If you have ever been out in the forest by yourself - yes, completely and utterly by yourself - roofed by constellations at night, bereft of mobile-coverage and coffee machines alike and surrounded by any number of critters that can send you to Boot Hill, this dynamic will be familiar to you. Goodbye lip-gloss and heated car-seats - hello Otherness. Your frequent-flyer points: you won't need them.

Yet again Haitink fails signally to evoke any genuine terror and awe from this miraculous symphony. Not once was I transported back to Megalithic times where stone rings were raised to propitiate powers-that-be and gods illuminated all phenomena. Karajan and Celibidache made four recordings of the Fourth between them and each of them evokes 1 Million BC (alas, without the young Raquel Welch in train). Haitink is no hierophant: here is exhibit number three. Nor is his cause served by a run-of-the-mill recording and an orchestra which is highly competent and no more.

If you are seeking a thoughtful and polished Bruckner Fourth, your journey ends here. Settle into your arm-chair. Open a red. There are worse ways to while away an hour. Or alternatively, stride into the forest. Something old and new awaits you.
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