I had always thought of Symphonies 3 & 7 as Bruckner's 'Wagner' symphonies, so imagine my surprise listening to the Wagner Faust Overture and hearing pre-echoes of the adagio of Bruckner's 9th. I must have heard it before but this was the first time the information became real to me. To be honest, the piece loses interest as it goes along but as a souvenir of Wagner and the 19th C. response to literature, it's perfectly enjoyable.
I'm not sure if Jascha Horenstein was a pupil, certainly an assistant to Furtwangler, and I guess probably a protegé. One thing is for sure, he was his own man as an interpreter of the classics, for despite being quite zippy in the first two movements, Horenstein's Bruckner 8 (Vienna, 1955) is not much like his legendary mentor. Straightforward, less emotionally complex, but very gratifying and despite its age smelling of roses in the Vox reissue. Gracious and compelling.
The Baden-Baden orchestra's performance of Liszt's Faust goes a long way towards bypassing the work's longueurs and is altogether charming and full of character (as well it might be). The tenor soloist has a beautiful, clear voice, the choir atmospherically caught.
All in all, a delightful reissue and one that holds its own with other oldies and more recent offerings.