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Bruckner: Symphony No. 8


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: RCA Red Seal
  • ASIN: B0000261LF
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,518 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philoctetes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Dec. 2013
Günter Wand was always a master conductor of Bruckner's giant Symphony No.8. A fiery live recording from Cologne has recently reappeared on the market; as the years went on, Wand's interpretation got more spacious, noble, heartfelt. This 1987 Lübeck Cathedral broadcast is much the same length as the Gramophone Award-winning 2001 Berlin concert, but where in the latter one is struck by the physical impact of the playing and the sheer passion of the then 89 year-old conductor, here it is intensity married to a deep feeling of reverence, in a very reverential setting. The depth of acoustic, the resonance of the venue, these magnify somewhat the grandeur of the composer's symphonic vision and I felt the music anew, which after countless eighths was no mean feat.
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This is exactly the spiritually uplifting experience one anticipates from experiencing Wand's live Bruckner performances in person. I have been fortunate to attend several of his Bruckner performances during his last years and this earlier live Lubeck Cathedral recording of the eighth captures the intense radiance and sublime power in this masterpiece, even more - for me at least - than the later BPO recording which is very special recording too and one which I value very highly as it demonstrates the natural ease with which Wand presents the score. Yet, there is such a sense of spiritual occasion permeating the Lubeck recording that makes it a remarkable testament. One is very conscious of the cathedral acoustic, which I feel adds enormously to the qualities of this recording, and in several respects there is a more direct cleaner sound for the later Berlin recording. As much as I value the Berlin account and would not part with it, yet it is to the Lubeck recording that I turn more often when I want to "experience" Wand conducting the eighth. It has a breathtakingly beautiful natural eloquence which to this listener makes it one of the most memorable Bruckner recordings available.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel "Nate" Berkley on 18 July 2013
Günter Wand's best recording remains this live effort from Lübeck Cathedral (1987), though his Hamburg remake from six years later is no slouch either. Both feature the NDR (North German Radio) Symphony Orchestra.

Wand is at his most incisive in this rendition, employing pointed attacks, crisp rhythms, and bold, rich sonorities.

Another compelling aspect of this performance is the recording itself, made in the very live acoustic of Lübeck Cathedral. It features an echo decay that fits quite naturally into Bruckner's prolonged pauses.

REFERENCE RECORDINGS: This one, Giulini (DG), Wand 1993/NDR (RCA), Karajan/Vienna (DG), Böhm (Palexa), Suitner (Berlin Classics) and Furtwängler 1944/Vienna (Tahra).

No modern conductor extracts the kind of transcendent reading that Furtwängler does.

For myself, I'll stick with Furtwängler as the supreme historical interpreter of this masterpiece.
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