Rerurn to Romy the Cat's Site

Musical Discussions
Topic: If you are in Bruckner: Lovro von Matacic

Page 1 of 1 (19 items)

Posted by Romy the Cat on 10-29-2006

Then here is a new bright Brucknererian star that discovered recently: Lovro von Matacic. Did you even heard Bruckner colorful, not with zillions grades of gray and with fluctuation pressure but in full color, real color? Try the Lovro von Matacic, and particularly with the Czechoslovakia orchestra.

Symphony no 4 with Philharmonia Orchestra in 1954
Symphony No 5 with National Orchestra d'Ile de France in 1979 "Live"
Symphony No 7 Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in 1967
Symphony No 9 Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra in 19581 “Live”

If you have a chance then get Testament of Supraphon of Tokyo pressing. Japanese did a phenomenal job to remaster the Matacic’s recordings….

It is the Bruckner's evening…
Te caT

Posted by Romy the Cat on 12-02-2006

The folks who read my site know that I keep puling from Tokyo’s HMV the Japanese domestic mastering of the performances that I have interest in. The Japanese for own market just press with completely deferent level of quality and I love their mastering – whoever does it really know what they do and do have good ears. Yesterday I got a batch of CD’s from Tokyo’s HMV (thanks Yoshi!) Among them there was Japanese remastering of Surpraphone recording from 1960 of Matacic leads Czech Philharmonic, it was Tchaikovsky Symphony Fifth.

We were taking about the Fifth at:

but thsi one is deferent…..

If you are taking about a high-end sound then I hardly imagine that anything was more wonderful high-endish in sound then the sound Czech Philharmonic in 60s. Their winds sections, would it be brasses of woodwinds were so out of this world that it is scare. Matacic with Czech Philharmonic did the Tchaikovsky extraordinarily but there is more to it.  Their Tchaikovsky is not as articulate as Mravinsky and has no atrocious brasses as Russian orchestras. Still, Matacic does not hide itself into the glory of Czech Philharmonic’s Sound and does all necessary Tchaikovsky’s Fifth “kinks” that I feel the peace should have.

The Matacic Tchaikovsky is deferent. If Matacic Bruckner was “colorful” then his Matacic Tchaikovsky I would descried as “colorfully subdued but tonally enriched”. The play has reasonable tempos for that Matacic try to do; it has all necessary balances; it has some minor but very understandable prostitution on the Czech “tone” (even among the Tchaikovsky’s monochromeia). The perfomance has even some Matacic’s Ester Eggs, particularly in the last movement.

Listening to the Matacic’s is Tchaikovsky an unspeakable pleasure. I is not because the Tchaikovsky’ peace – how much more we can hear it – but rather it is a pleasure to see what Matacic does with that Czech Philharmonic tonal capacity playing the Tchaikovsky please. Listening the performance is like watching a talented and skilled painter just begins to make a sketch on a clean sheet a paper. The painter makes a few figures and adds a few details and you really do not know it will be then, while the painter extends his sketch you undusted that this few like become somebody’s eyes or somebody’s tails…. The very same with Matacic… You understand that “unique tone” but you not necessary know where or how in the Tchaikovsky peace it might be used. Then, listening the work, you feel it and you say: “Here you are! How elegant, smart, unexpected and… beautiful….”


Posted by Romy the Cat on 12-03-2006

As far as I know the Matacic discography never was made available. A few weeks ago a fellow at other (more amorphous) forum – Mr.  Makopolus - published his list that I find worth to be preserved and publicized. So he is it: the Matacic discography by Makopolus.

Balakirev: Islamey orch. Schalk (Philharmonia, Matacic, 14 Dec 1954), SBT 1331
Balakirev: Overture on Three Russian Themes (Philharmonia, Matacic, Matacic, Jan 1956), SBT 1331
Balakirev: Second Overture on Russian Themes (Philharmonia, Matacic, 11-13 Dec 1954), SBT 1331
Beethoven: Fidelio extracts (Frankfurt Opera, Matacic), dubbed from LP
Beethoven: Leonore No. 3 Overture (NHKSO, Matacic, 1967), ALT 130
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 (Lausanne CO, Matacic, 30 Jan 1981), Denon DC-8120
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 (NHKSO, Matacic, 14 March 1984), NHK CD KICC 3015
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 (NHKSO. Matacic, ?14 March 1984), film on private DVD
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 (Czech PO, Matacic, 15-17 March 1959), Supraphon COCO-70659
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 (NHKSO, Matacic, 1967), ALT 130
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 (Lausanne CO, Matacic, 6 Dec 1982), Denon DC-8119
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 (NHKSO, Matacic, 23 March 1984), NHK CD KICC 3015
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 (NHKSO. Matacic, ?23 March 1984), film on private DVD
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (Czech PO, Matacic, 1980), copy from Praga CD
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (NHKSO, Matacic), KICC 3066 [details to be added]
Beethoven: Nine Minuets from WoO7 (Lausanne CO, Matacic, 6 Dec 1982), Denon DC-8119
Bizet: Carmen Suite No. 1, L'Arlésienne Farandole (NHKSO, Matacic, 27 Dec 1973), ALT 061
Borodin: Prince Igor Overture, Polovtsian March, Polovtsian Dances (Philharmonia, Matacic, 5 Sept 1958), SBT 1330
Borodin: Prince Igor (Waechter, Zadek, Zampieri, Hotter, Vienna State Opera, Matacic, 6 Feb 1969), Gala GL 100615
Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem (Beretovac, Ruzdjak, Zagreb PO, Matacic, 4 June 1976), CD 37591
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 (NHKSO, Matacic, 28 Jan 1967), ALT 091
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 (NHKSO, Matacic, 24 March 1984), Denon 33CO-1003
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 (NHKSO, Matacic, ?24 March 1984), film on private DVD
Brahms: Symphony No. 3 (NHKSO, Matacic, 5 Dec 1973), ALT 060
Brahms: Tragische Ouvertüre (NHKSO, Matacic, 19 Nov 1975), ALT 060
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 (Oistrakh, Philharmonia, Matacic, 17-18 Nov 1954), EMI 345748-2
Bruckner: Overture in G minor (Philharmonia, Matacic, 16 Jan 1956), SBT 1050
Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 (Philharmonia, Matacic, 23 July 1983), BBCL 4079-2
Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 (Vienna SO, Matacic, 9 June 1982), GA-4-13
Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 (Budapest SO, Matacic, no date), Sardana 144
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 (Philharmonia, Matacic, 12-13 Oct and 14 Dec 1954), SBT 1050
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 (Vienna SO, Matacic, 13 June 1974), FKM CDR-75
Bruckner: Symphony No.5 (NHKSO, Matacic, 1967), ALT 131
Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 (Czech PO, Matacic, 2-6 Nov 1970), Supraphon COCO-70415
Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 (ONF, Matacic, 21 May 1979), Naive V5000
Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 (Czech PO, Matacic, 20-23 March 1967), Supraphon SU 3781-2
Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 (NHKSO, Matacic, 9 May 1969), ALT 093
Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 (Vienna SO, Matacic, no date), HYP 257
Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 (Slovene PO, 19-22 June 1984), Denon 32CO-2035
Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 (Prague RSO, Matacic, Sept 1967), LS 4035181
Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 (NHKSO, Matacic, 26 Nov 1975), ALT 048
Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 (NHKSO, Matacic, 7 March 1984), Denon 35CO-1001
Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 (N HKSO, Matacic, 7 March 1984), private DVD
Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 (Berlin Staatskapelle, Matacic, 17 Jan 1958), Weitblick SSS0050-2
Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 (Czech PO, Matacic, 4-5 Dec 1980), Supraphon COCO-70413
Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 (Vienna SO, Matacic, 12-13 March 1983), Amadeo/Tower Japan PROA-14
Bruckner: Symphony 'No. 0' Scherzo (Philharmonia, Matacic, Jan 1956), EMI 568739-2
Bruckner: Te Deum (Katanosaka, Nagano, Igarashi, Takahachi, NHKSO, Matacic, 1 Oct 1968), mp3 copy of NHK transcription disc
Bruckner Te Deum and Ninth Symphony during the 1972 Dubrovnik Summer Festival (Zagreb Phil) broadcast by the BBC Radio 3.
Detoni: Elucubrations (Zagreb PO, Matacic, 11 July 1971), CD 37598
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 (NHKSO, Matacic, 10 Dec 1975), ALT 050
Einem: Bruckner Dialog (Vienna SO, Matacic, 13 March 1983), Orfeo C235901A
Giordano: Andrea Chenier (Corelli, Tebaldi, Vienna State Opera, Matacic, 26 June 1960), OPD 1303
Glazunov: Raymonda Suite (Philharmonia, Matacic, Jan 1956), EMI 568739-2
Grieg: Piano Concerto (Richter, Monte Carlo Orch, Matacic, 25-20 Sept 1974), EMI 567982-2
Handel: Hercules (Schwarzkopf, Bastianini, Hines, Corelli, La Scala, Matacic, 1958), Melodram 50022
Haydn: Symphony No. 82 (Lausanne CO, Matacic, 30 Jan 1981), Denon DC-8120
Haydn: Symphony No. 103 (Zagreb PO, Matacic, 26 Oct 1979), CD 37592
Haydn: Symphony No. 103 (Vienna SO, Matacic, 7 Jan 1984), Orfeo C235901A
Janacek: Sinfonietta (Zagreb PO, Matacic, 19 Dec 1979), ZPO CD 37596
Janacek: Glagolitic Mass (Smiljanic, Cangalovic, Mijac, Marasovic,
Zagreb PO, Matacic, 19 Dec 1979), CD 37596
Kelemen: Changeant for cello and orchestra (Palm, Zagreb PO, 11 July 1971), CD 37598
Lehár: Die lustige Witwe (Schwarzkopf, Wächter, Gedda, Philharmonia, Matacic, 2-7, 9, 12 July 1962), EMI 567370-2
Matacic: Symphonie der Konfrontationen (NHKSO, Matacic, March 1984), Denon [add details]
Matacic: Symphonie der Konfrontationen extract and short interview
about the work with Matacic (NHKSO, ?March 1984), film on private DVD
Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine (Zagreb PO, Matacic, 6 June 1974), Nuova Era 7324/5
Mozart: Ave verum corpus (Kovacic Choir, Zagreb PO, Matacic, 26 Feb 1971), CD 37597
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 K466 (Hironaka, NHKSO, Matacic, 19 Nov 1975), ALT 062
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 K467 (Cassadesus, ONF, Matacic, 23 Sept 1960), CD-1179
Mozart: Symphony No. 25 K183 (Zagreb PO, Matacic, 26 Feb 1971), CD 37597
Mozart: Symphony No. 40 K550 (Zagreb PO, Matacic, 26 Feb 1971), CD 37597
Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov (Zagreb PO, Matacic), Orfej 329 (3 CDs) details to add
Mussorgsky: A Night on the Bare Mountain (Philharmonia, Matacic, 4-5 Sept 1958), SBT 1329
Papandopulo: Sinfonietta (Zagreb PO, Matacic, 11 July 1971) CD 37598
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 (Oistrakh, Philharmonia, Matacic, 18, 21 Nov 1954), EMI 562888-2
Puccini: La Fanciulla del West (Nilsson, Gibin, La Scala, Matacic, Aug 1958), EMI CMS 763970-2
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade (Philharmonia, Matacic, 1-2 Sept 1958), EMI CZS 56098-2, SBT 1329, EMI 568739-2
Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Festival (Philharmonia, Matacic, 4-5 Sept 1958), EMI CZS 56098-2, SBT 1329
Schubert: Symphony No. 2 (Zagreb PO, Matacic, 26 Oct 1979), CD 37592
Schubert: Symphony No. 8 (NHKSO, Matacic, 27 Dec 1973), ALT 061
Schubert: Symphony No. 8 (Vienna SO, Matacic, 7 Jan 1984), Orfeo C235901A
Schumann: Piano Concerto (Richter, Monte Carlo Orch, Matacic, 25-20 Sept 1974), EMI 567982-2
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 1 (NHKSO, Matacic, 1969), ALT 129
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 (NHKSO, Matacic, 1967), ALT 129
Smetana: Má Vlast (NHKSO, Matacic, 12 Sept 1968), ALT 092
Smetana: Má Vlast (Czech PO, Matacic, 12 May 1984), GA-4-13
Spontini: Fernando Cortez, extracts (Prevedi, Del Bosco., RAI Turin SO, Matacic, 5 March 1974), Gala 100.706
R. Strauss: Arabella excerpts (Schwarzkopf etc., Philharmonia, Matacic, 6 Oct 1954), EMI 585825-2
R. Strauss: Elektra (Ekkehard, Klose, Treptow, Niese, Berlin Staatsoper, Matacic, 3 Oct 1957), Weitblick SSS0049-2
R. Strauss: Salome Closing Scene (Welitsch, Austrian Radio Orch, Matacic, 1944), EMI CDH 761007-2
R. Strauss: Tod und Veklärung (Berlin Staatskapelle, Matacic, 18 Jan 1958), Weitblick SSS0049-2
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 (Czech PO, Matacic, 1960), Supraphon SU 3544-2
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 (NHKSO Matacic, 19 Nov 1975), ALT 062
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 (Czech PO, Matacic, 1968), Supraphon SU 3544-2
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 (RAISO, Matacic, March 1973), LS 4035181
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 (Budapest SO, Matacic, 6 May 1981), GA-4-13, HYP 258
Tchaikovsky: Capriccio italien (La Scala, Matacic, Sept 1960), SBT 1330
Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin Introduction, Waltz, Polonaise (La Scala, Matacic, Sept 1960), SBT 1330, EMI 568739-2
Tchaikovsky: Hamlet (Philharmonia, Matacic, Jan 1956), SBT 1331, EMI 568739-2
Tchaikovsky: The Storm (Philharmonia, Matacic, Jan 1956), SBT 1330, EMI 568739-2
Tchaikovsky: Theme and Variations from Suite No. 3 (La Scala, Matacic, Sept 1960), SBT 1331, , EMI 568739-2
Verdi: Aida (L. Price, Simionato, Bastianini, Vienna State Opera, Matacic, 3 June 1963), Foyer 2-CF 2018
Verdi: Requiem (Price, Pospis-Baldani, Gedda, Roni, Zagreb PO, Matacic, 13 July 1979), CD 37593
Vivaldi: Concerto Op. 3 No. 11 (Berlin Staatskapelle, Matacic, 18 Jan 1958), Weitblick SSS0050-2
Wagner: Faust Overture (Zagreb PO, Matacic, 11 Feb 1983), CD 37594
Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer Overture (Zagreb PO, Matacic), HYP 259
Wagner: Götterdämmerung Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey,
Siegfried's Death, Funeral March, Finale (NHKSO, Matacic, 4 Dec 1975), ALT 049
Wagner: Götterdämmerung Act III (Kovács, Jung, Farragó, Budapest SO, Matacic, 11 May 1983)
Wagner: Lohengrin (Konya, Grümmer, Gorr, Bayreuth Festival, Matacic, 1959), Orfeo
Wagner: Die Meistersinger (Taddei, Christoff, RAI Turin SO, Matacic, 1962), Myto 4MCD066338
Wagner: Die Meistersinger Prelude to Act 1 (NHKSO, Matacic, 1967), ALT 130
Wagner: Die Meistersinger Prelude to Act I (Budapest SO, Matacic, 6 May 1981), GA-4-13, HYP 259
Wagner: Parsifal Prelude and Good Friday Music (NHKSO, Matacic, 4 Dec 1975), ALT 049
Wagner: Siegfried Forest Murmurs (NHKSO, Matacic, 4 Dec 1975), ALT 049
Wagner: Siegfried Idyll (Budapest SO, Matacic, 6 May 1981), GA-4-13, HYP 259
Wagner: Siegfried Idyll (Zagreb PO, Matacic, 11 Feb 1983), CD 37594
Wagner: Tannhäuser Prelude to Act III (Zagreb PO, Matacic), HYP 259
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde Prelude and Liebestod (Kovács, Matacic, Zagreb PO), HYP 259
Wagner: Wesendonck-Lieder (Kovács, Zagreb PO, Matacic, 11 Feb 1983), CD 37594
Weber: Der Freischütz (Schock, Frick, Watson, Deutsche Opera Berlin, Matacic, 1967), RCA 74321-15287-2

Romy the caT

Posted by Romy the Cat on 07-28-2007

Lovro von Matacic was one of the great conductors who preserved the authentic late-Romantic tradition into the late-Romantic age.

He was a member of the Vienna Boys' Choir, then studied at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik. There he studied piano, organ, composition, and conducting. His teachers included Herbst and Nedbal. After graduation he obtained one of the typical entry-level job for young conductors in the Central European tradition, as an operatic chorus director. This was in the Cologne Opera, where he was considered promising enough that he was given a chance to conduct there in 1919, his conducting debut.

He worked at the Salzburg Festival on the music staff, and then returned to Yugoslavia, which at the end of World War I had finally obtained its independence from Austria.

He became the Music Director of the opera house in Osijek, continuing his career advancement through opera houses in the larger cities, Novi Sad, Ljubljana, Zagreb, and in 1938 the capital, Belgrade. In the same year he also became the conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra.

After the German invasion of 1941 he resigned his position at the Belgrade Opera (1942) and from 1942 to 1945 he was conductor of the Vienna Volksoper.

After the war, he became the General Music Director in Skopje. He organized the annual Dubrovnik and Split Festivals. He was permanent guest conductor at the opera houses of Munich and Vienna. From 1956 to 1958, he was General Music Director of the Dresden State Opera and Staatskapelle Orchestra and, with Franz Konwitschny, co-General Music Director of the (East) Berlin State Opera.

He appeared in America with the Chicago Lyric Opera in 1959.

In 1961, Matacic succeeded Georg Solti as General Music Director of the Frankfurt Opera and orchestra, remaining there through 1966. In 1965 he was appointed Honorary Chief Conductor of the NHK (Japanese Radio and Television) Orchestra in 1965. He was Music Director of the Zagreb Philharmonic from 1970 to 1980, and of the Monte Carlo Opera from 1974 to 1979. At the end of these tenures, he became honorary conductor for life of both organizations.

He guest conducted extensively and at various times was principal guest conductor or permanent guest conductor at various times of the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, and Prague Philharmonic. He began conducting orchestras in America frequently, and led opera performances at La Scala, the Bayreuth Festival, Opera di Roma, and various other European and Japanese venues.

He was best known for the late-Romantic repertory, particularly the symphonies of Bruckner and music of Wagner, as well as for music of Slavic composers. He received the Bruckner Medal of the International Bruckner Association, the Bruckner Ring of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Janacek Medal and the Smetana Medal (awarded by the government of Czechoslovakia), the Cross of the First Order for Arts and Sciences of the President of the Republic of Austria, and the Berlin Philharmonic's Hans von Bülow Medal.

He recorded frequently, and many "dall vivo" recordings of his live and broadcast performances exist. He was especially praised for his control over the immense formal structures of Bruckner's symphonies and his masterly control of phrasing. However, he also included in his favorite repertory music of the whole Romantic era and the music of Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn. His reputation with the most serious music of the era did not preclude him from having a light touch where recalled; his recording of Léhar's The Merry Widow, with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, is particularly prized.

As a composer, Matacic was not prolific, but his music was highly expressive in a highly chromatic post-Romantic style.


LOVRO von MATACIC (Susak, February 14, 1899 - Zagreb, January 4, 1985), the Croatian Conductor and Composer, belongs to the élite of the European and world music of the 20th century. Having been formed as a person and as an artist at the crossroads of traditions and cultures, he managed - in an amazing way - to assimilate and synthesize their differences, building them in the foundations of the expressive and cognitive richness of his accordance with music. He studied music at the Vienna Conservatoire (I. Herbst, O. Nedbal). His career started with the Opera Houses in Cologne, Osijek, Ljubljana and Zagreb, reaching its peak after the World War II. He was a permanent guest conductor at the Operas in Munich and Wienna; then he became the chief conductor of the Staatskapele and Opera in Dresden, and at the Opera in East Berlin (1956-58). He was Director of the Opera in Frankfurt (1961-66); honorary chief conductor of the N.H.K. - Symphony Orchestra of the Japanes Radio and TV (since 1965); honorary and lifelong chief conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra in Zagreb (since 1970), and honorary conductor of the Orchestre Nationale de Monte Carlo (1974-1979). At the same time, he is a permanent conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestras in Berlin, Wienna, London, Prague, and numerous Orchestras in U.S.A.; he is a conductor and director at the Opera di Roma, La Scala in Milan, Opera in Bayreuth, and many other Opera Houses. And although his work as a composer is not great by quantity, it is rich in expression. For his famous interpretations (especially of Bruckner and Wagner, and major works of the Slavic repertoire) he was awarded the Bruckner Medal of the International Bruckner Association, along with the Bruckner Ring of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, and the Janacek and Smetana Medals of the Czechoslovak Government; the Cross of the 1st Order for Arts and Sciences from the President of the Republic of Austria; the Hans von Büllow Medal from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and many other awards. The extraordinary power of Matacic's interpetations stems from a blend of the monumentality of form, and full expressivity of the phrase, as well as from a suggestive experience of the completeness of the work under whose firmly conceptualized arch pulsates a spontaneous life of luxurious details.

Posted by JANDL100 on 09-27-2007
I have only a few of his recordings, but they are all wonderful.. His Bruckner is quite wonderful.

I have his recordings of Beethoven 7th & 2nd symphonies, both echt-Beethoven, and his Bruckner takes pride of place in my collection - I have the following von Matacic Bruckner recordings on CD ...

9th with Czech PO
8th with NHK SO
8th with Prague RSO
7th with Slovene PO 1983 - his very last recording :-(
7th with VSO 1979
7th with Czech PO 1967
5th with Czech PO 1973
4th with Philharmonia O 1955 - mono, but who cares! - it's magnificent!
3rd with Philharmonia O - oh dear, a disaster, a real disappointment.  I'd love to hear a different Matacic performance, it's one of my favourite symphonies!

rgds, Jerry

Posted by steverino on 04-12-2014
I thought the  issue with V Matacic and Bruckner was his devotion to the Schalk editions. I only have the B7 by him for that reason although it is possible that some of his Bruckner recordings used Bruckner's versions. I'll have to investigate further. Thanks for the posting of the discography. I do agree that V Matacic was an excellent conductor. Anyone who can do Bruckner and Lehar superbly is an unusual talent.

Posted by Romy the Cat on 04-12-2014
Hm…. Listening Bruckner more than I am willing to admit publicly without fear of incriminating myself I need to say that have slightly different approach to Bruckner.  First of all I do not differentiate different revision of Bruckner symphonies. I know that Bruckner scholars would go crazy and would educate me about many different versions but honestly I care less.  For sure I acknowledge that there are different versions and for sure I have my preferences but I still with great pleasure listen the non-favorite editions and they are fine by me. It is not the edition itself but HOW the given editions were played. If it was respectfully and creatively done then why would I care the presents of more or less superfluous differences.

Next are the conductors.  Yes, Matacic was a great conductor but can we make this judgment based upon his phenomenal, truly mind boggling B7 with Czechs in 1967? I do not think so and there are many reasons why.

First of all the Matacic’s B7 from 1967 is not great all together but has truly wonderful first two movements, with second movement being unmatched in my view among anything that was ever committed to recording medium. The same Matacic did not do so great B8 or B9, so can I consider him a great Bruckner interpreter? The Bruckner Master - Gunner Wand never made any good B7, B5 or B9 but succeed only with B1, B4 and B8. Another Bruckner specialist – Karajan recorded million times Bruckner but only his one single B5 sound right to my years. Celibidache. Another Brucknerian played B8 endlessly but only one version was right where it has to be.  Giulini left the chistomatia-like B9 but did not do as great with anything else. So, I do not think that greatness of conductors has a lot to do with anything, in many instances it is just the stars aligned in some very special way and “it” just happened.

This brings me to the second reason. We deal with recordings and in our case the stars alignment for conductors, musicians, halls and audiences is not enough – we need to be lucky that after the stars did all their duties then we have the recording did not fuck everything up, that unfortunately so frequently happens in today worlds.  Why do you think some people are so love those mono recording from 70 years back, do you think the technologies were so great then? Of cause not!  What was great then that the recording personal then had very little impact to the recording and editing process ( and if they did then they did not have barbarian editing method invented) and we as result have much  better recording then. 

The Cat

Posted by steverino on 04-12-2014
I agree with most everything said except for the first paragraph. The reason that the Schalk revisions are discredited is because they were done to water down the original works. I don't say Schalk did it for bad reasons at the time but they are falsifications. They are not simply Bruckner revisions. In my post I said that V Matacic was an unusual talent because he could elicit a great performance in both Bruckner and Lehar, not that he was better than anyone else in Bruckner. The problem with Bruckner performances can't be laid totally in the conductor's baton. I have seen performances where the conductor was very good and the orchestra was bad. Nor can we say that it is all on the orchestra. Bruckner does not make it easy on orchestras to perform these works because of the structure and the scoring, brilliant as it may be. Let us celebrate the occasions when everything works and microphones happen to be set up. Bruckner is much harder to get right than almost any other major orchestral composer.

Posted by Paul S on 04-12-2014
Steve, thanks for the ideas, re-capped now in the other thread. And how often is the 4th movement of the 7th rendered and recorded intelligibly? Maybe it's only I who think the versions I have heard tend to dangle off the end of the symphony... again, apparently despite the fairly coherent development/exposition of the themes themselves on Bruckner's part?

Paul S

Posted by steverino on 04-12-2014
You raise an interesting question. Of course I don't know which performances you have heard other than the Solti. I think the 3 I mentioned give coherent performances. But there is something about the material in the B7 such that I think I know what you are talking about. Of his last 4 symphonies the 7th is  the only one that has an objective perspective dominate whereas the 6th, 8th and 9th seem highly subjective in their musical content. Even the famous B7 Adagio has the ethos of a public elegy or funeral procession rather than a private grief. The Scherzo and Finale which follow the first two expansive movements are beautifully constructed with fine musical content. However, do they really add anything new to the discussion or simply a more spirited reiteration? The similarly objective B5 solved the Finale problem with a massive expansion of the music almost like a tremendous dome put on a building. In the B7 though the Finale is briefer than the first 2 movements so it does not provide any kind of monumentality to them, only a more buoyant affirmation. Does that address your question or am I missing it completely?

Posted by Paul S on 04-13-2014
It seems to me that in terms of notes and sequences, the themes, broadly speaking, +/- "follow", but the spirit, tempi and mood (at least of the Solti performance), and even the extended chord structures seem somehow disconnected from what has transpired in the first 3 movements. I am stretching when I say, the 4th movement also sounds "public" to me, and yes, some "buoyancy", but it sounds oddly like "putting on a front" vs. "affirmation", though perhaps that's the particular performance. Again, the horns are amazing and profound, but they alternate with something else that I have not connected to, based on anything else I've heard to that point. I have had similar feelings about the ending of Beethoven's 9th, after that chorale. Just wondering if I am missing something, or...

Paul S

Posted by steverino on 04-13-2014
is that it is just Solti. As I stated I do not like Solti's Bruckner because it seems shallow and showy. I haven't heard his B7 but that sounds like him. You will only know by listening to the others.

Posted by JANDL100 on 04-13-2014
I agree about Solti's Bruckner -- with the one exception of the 6th symphony. Solti's no-nonsense precision works wonders for me in that symphony, and it is I think my favourite version.

Posted by rowuk on 04-13-2014
Perhaps the reason that the 4th movement of B7 is so often a postscript because the musicians bleed to death during the first 3 movements.

The orchestra played B7 last year and I can testify the first trumpeter (regardless of "quality") cannot just play without abandon from beginning to end. Bruckner did not compose with earthly bounds in mind. It is not a case of having enough chops to get through, it is more about being psychologically stable enough to survive the layers continually thrown at you. I think Romy is right about the stars having to line up.

My personal opinion is that IF you want a definitive 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th movement from one orchestra and conductor, you need a lot of time to record it - or a lot of "luck". Big money can buy right notes but for those that want more than good "specifications" there is more involved that money cannot buy.

Yes, a doctor earns a living keeping people thinking that they are on the road to being healthy, a psychologist earns a living by making people think that they are on the road to "sane", a policeman earns a living by giving the community a sense of "security", politicians earn a living by making their constituents feel like their interests are being represented. Why should we "assume" that conductors will have more opportunity than any of the above mentioned professions?

The wonderful thing about music is the acquired tastes. That is what I believe the correct goal is. Our lives are improved by OUR investments. The path to discovering what Solti, Ormandy, Wand, Thielemann does and anticipating what they did or will do is the sport.

Posted by Paul S on 04-13-2014
Interesting thought about recording time, Robin, if only because we tend to think a live performance is going to be better, warts and all. OTOH, stretching the recording over days in the quest for - whatever - often results in other problems, not the least of which can be just the sort of discontinuity I have decried. Of course I am not missing, merely setting aside, the "audience factors", for the nonce.

Couldn't agree more about the interactive nature of Art (vs. entertainment).

Best regards,

Posted by Romy the Cat on 04-13-2014
The last movement of the B7 is something that put the symphony as a symphony together and it is not a good idea in my view to look at the last movement as a self-contained piece of music. The fist movement might be self-contained – it is a wonderful truly symphonic work. The second movement, properly played, is pretty much self-contained piece of music, wonderful by itself not to mention that it is of the greatest adagios, in the realm of B8, M6, Ch5… The third movement is very nice but it does not rise to the point of self-contained piece of music. It is similar to B1 their movement – a spectacular Viennese music but with all those repeats if does not make great stand alone composition. The third movement is pretty much Slalom skiing – if you get right speed and right deviation from the poles then you just ride the slope. The last movement has the reference points to all previous movements and you need to hear and understand what was going on before to get what is going on in the last movement.

One more – those types of the movement s is VERY difficult to be played by playback. If you listen live then last movements on B7 or B9 are spectacular (by good orchestra) and infinitely fascinating. By playback it is very hard to make last movements of B7 or B9 spectacular. You would need a very special electricity day to make justice to those last movements…

Posted by Romy the Cat on 04-13-2014
 rowuk wrote:
The orchestra played B7 last year and I can testify the first trumpeter (regardless of "quality") cannot just play without abandon from beginning to end. Bruckner did not compose with earthly bounds in mind. It is not a case of having enough chops to get through, it is more about being psychologically stable enough to survive the layers continually thrown at you.
Rowuk, there are very few orchestra in the world that can play properly. If you want to have a truly stunning experience how orchestra shall look (not even sound but look) when they play Bruckner then do yourself a treat.  By in Japan a DVD with North German Radio Symphony of Hamburg playing B4 under Günter Wand. It was during 1990 Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival   and it is in Lübeck Church.  The play is phenomenal, truly phenomenal and when you see HOW the orchestra behave then this feeling of spectacular get magnified.

Posted by Paul S on 04-26-2014
God, I feel wrung out! What a MASTERPIECE!! Today the electricity was good enough that I could finally and unequivocally establish the relative VTA on my newly re-furbished cartridge, and then the electricity let this symphony really reveal itself to me, for the first time. While I could always hear the unity of the themes through development and exposition before, today I could hear how Bruckner uses the entire orchestra to tell a strong narrative, and how he "takes dynamics for granted". Further, I could hear how one instrument may have the rote thread of a theme but it might be passed off to another instrument or section by a "third party" that was otherwise /apparently playing mostly at the level of "ambience". And this is also true of a sort of "rolling" counterpoint that happens from the first to the last of this symphony. No instrument or section is ever just "making sound" in this symphony! As for this Solti/VPO performance, if it is in fact not good, then I am very excited to hear a good performance! If nothing else, the 3rd and 4th movements of this performance absolutely continue and tie together the entire symphony for me now, and I can and will from now on hear how essential they are to the "whole" symphony. What a magnificent symphony, and in saying this I must, perforce, include the performance!

Paul S

Posted by Paul S on 02-23-2024
OK, I'm late for the party, but von Matacic/CPO, Bruckner 7, 1967 is a whole new Universe of Bruckner. The Maestro goes "beyond orchestration" to voice this symphony so every part of it is Musical, and the whole is such a phenomenal symphony that I am agog. And the orchestra is incredible. I did get suckered into buying an Arkiv CD, since it was not mentioned anywhere in the ad that this was the item, but it is good enough for me to have my best-to-date Bruckner concert. Simply astounding! The Supraphon original must be one hell of a recording. Now I need other von Matcic, to mine the Music until I can no longer do it.

Thanks, Romy.

Paul S

Page 1 of 1 (19 items)