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5.0 out of 5 stars Bruckner by Furtwängler., 18 July 2013
This review is from: Furtwangler Conducts Bruckner Symphony No. VIII In C Minor (Audio CD)
For myself, I'll stick with Furtwängler as the supreme historical interpreter of this masterpiece.

REFERENCE RECORDINGS: This one, Giulini (DG), Wand 1987/NDR (RCA), Karajan/Vienna (DG), Böhm (Palexa) and Suitner (Berlin Classics).

No modern conductor extracts the kind of transcendent reading that Furtwängler does.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...and God knows I am not a "massive" Furtwängler fan in Bruckner, 6 Jan. 2013
By 
Autonome (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Furtwangler Conducts Bruckner Symphony No. VIII In C Minor (Audio CD)
...But here we have a fantastic rendition of the massive 8th - significantly better than the much praised 9th captured by the Berliner Rundfunks a week earlier.
What is beautiful here is the quasi sense of improvisation with which Furt goes into this music. Every bar, every note seems a discovery, and while the whole architecture of the piece is always for all to hear, the sense of detail is properly amazing, and Furt gives some magnificent colors to the symphony. The slow movement in particular is really the peak of this beautiful performance: it flows with sensitivity and an unbearable sadness. The Finale is just the natural conclusion of this slow movement - knowing that Furt had "prepared" us for this peak with extremely dynamic and articulated 1st and 2nd movements.
There are times when Furt can get on my nerves in Bruckner (5th, 1942, for me a hijacking and that 9th of 1944, beautiful but overdramatic at times). But he can also be magical (2nd movement of the 7th, 1942), surprisingly enthusiastic (incomplete 6th, 1943) or simply gobsmacking (this 8th from 1944).
This is NOT my ideal view of Bruckner (I like him more religious, less spectacular and overall more "graduated" and structured - Jochum 1949 on DG is a reference IMHO) but this Furtwängler's 8th is phenomenal music-making.
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