Bruckner: Symphony No.8 インポート
Pairing one of the world's great orchestras with one of the day's top Brucknerians produces a superb performance. Chailly's eccentricity-free Eighth glows with conviction. He achieves his results through careful attention to the score, ensuring that every telling detail makes its effect without exaggeration. He secures phenomenal playing from his orchestra, and carefully calibrates dynamics and balances. The result for the listener is to forget about the mechanics of the work and be drawn into Bruckner's message of struggle and acceptance.
Throughout, one is amazed at the power of the Concertgebouw's low brass, its spectacular wind soloists, and its deep, rich strings. Chailly doesn't overplay the climaxes, so you may find more of the work's brute force elsewhere, but you get a better sense of the work's structure than most of the competition offers. And in the long, central Adagio and the Finale, his apt phrasing and precision produce a tremendous emotional effect. The Adagio movement, in particular, comes across as deeply moving, and Chailly communicates its underlying tensions, so that, for once, its great length never seems a minute longer than it has to be. One of the great Eighths, and one of the best engineered as well. --Dan Davis
Chailly's first movement intro is a bit limp, and lacks the grandeur of that "CURTAN RAISING"effect this grand Symphony needs. The Maestro already seems to be going through the motions and he comes off top me as too laid back. If he is holding things in reserve, he has plenty of time for that later, but for now, her needs to sound the call that this is a reat Symphony, "pay attention!" Early in the first movement, here is is found between 05:42 and 06:50, there is a "conversation between oboes, horns and tremolo violins that I think of as angels calling to eash othert across the heavens. Chailly clips the ends from these beautiful phrases, resulting in a rough abruptness I find harsh. It is an extremely subtle example, and perhaps not significant to many listeners, but , to mer, it is an examplle of the delicacy with which Brucknerf composed when he had a mind to. His big, brash and swaggering statements are, of course, thrilling and powerful, but, writing in such fragile terms takes a certain skill not all composers had in as much wuantity or quality. Bruckner had this gift and I always listen for this small "scene" in hearing any 8th for the first time or the thirty-first time.
In most of this first movement, the conductor seems to me disinterested in general and I couldn't shake the idea that he was rather impatient with the whole project. Choosing the Nowak version made sense to me, since it, unfortunately clipped off some very fine music that the Haas, my preference, left in. He simply doesn't allow enough time between thoughts to savor the full effect this wonderful music requires. This jeopardizes it's charm, beauty and , above all, it's essentially spiritual nature. I don't necessarily mean that this is a "liturgical Symphony, "but it DOES have an otherworldly touch to much of it. I had higher hopes for the Scherzo but found, sadly, much of the similar sluggishness herre that plagued the beginning Allegro moderato. Still the gust and throatiness of the full RCO and their brass are stunning and they romp through this dance moevement with joy and a sunny and upbeat viewpoint. As many have said, either Brucknefr is praising God, or he is reveling in his native soil, and that is exactly what he is doing in the first and third "A" sections of this "A_B_A" constructed Scherzo. The RCO follows Chailly's direction with hair trigger response. The trio, from 05: to 09:37, and the harps can be clearly heard through my phones, with a crisp clarity that I enjoyed almost as much as that same clip from the Berlin Phil. re-do with Wand, late in life, and also, on one CD. That recording, however, uses the better version, the "Haas. The second "A" section is a repeat of the first one, and presents the continuity this Scherzo needs. Better than the first movement, this 2nd section was helpful, but we still have THE critical Adagio and finale to go.
Somehow, I deleted an ENTIRE PARAGRAPH while looking at the Adagio, but here is an abbreviated version of the missing text. like trying to build a campfire, Bruckner has assembled the three woods needed, tinder, kindling and firewood. Evidently, Chailly has let these material get wet and he fails to achieve an adequate blaze. In the woods, one simply starts over again, but here it is a different matter. The big percussion climax, at about the 20"30 point , is anti-climactic and rings hollow. There is, however, a nice, gentle loving and pious recovery in the strings and winds taking us to the movement's conclusion, but it too, feels less than it could have been. If we lived in a perfect world, Chailly should of scrapped the whole thing, caught his plane and rescheduled a re-do recording session in the near future. But, of course, we don't live in such a place as that, and now, London is stuck, as are we, with a rather sub-standard 8th. This is not good, and I was quite disappointed with this reading. Oh well, there is still the Finale.
The final movement is a Feierelich, nicht schnell, "solemn but not quick (fast). Chailly's tempo is fine and this piece unfolds with better grandeur than much of the proceeding material, even from the very beginning of the entire Symphony. It is, however, not enough to salvage this work and I can't give it a good recommendation, but only a 2.75 star rating. The RCO trys to save more than it can, but it is not to be. Still, their power is the usual jaw-dropping revelation. The slow, stately trek to the final notes has much grander and cohesiveness required of it. At the 19:22 mark, Chailly starts the uphill journey to the climax with long, elegant strides and proper pauses between ideas, something he seemed unable to do in the first three movements. If his pre-recording concerts were anything like this recorded result, his reception probably was cool. Much applause for the orchestra but only a polite reception for the conductor. That seems appropriate and so, I give it a likewise tepid reaction. Unless you're a wild RCO fan, I can't really recommend this London CD, as there are a plethora of alternates available.
My personal recommendations ae as follows: Haitink, RCO, Wand/BPO, WSand?NDR (on RCA). These are all Haas versions, by the way. For Nowak, there readings by Jochum/Dresden(EMI), Karajan/BPO Karajan? (haas), Tennstedt EMI Solti/CSO (Nowak) Barenboim?CSO?DGG etc., etc., etc. I may just actually give this one away to a friend since I have little interest in hearing it anymore. Too bad. An opportunity squandered with a fine label and a great orchestra. Go0d bless you all, and best wishes for good listening to OTHER 8ths in the future. Tony.
Chailly once again demonstrates he has a vision and the grip to bring it to life. Never does this reading feel episodic, with Chailly's sense of pulse apparent throughout. This cogency is probably aided by the use of the Nowak edition, which while perhaps not as interesting as the Haas, certainly has logic going for it. And of course the Concertgebouw is to the manner born, captured in spectacular digital sound by Decca.
Highlights include one of the most enchanting Trios I have ever heard culminating in a stunning chorale that is as majestic as the Matterhorn (II. 5'18'' - 9'36" - as an aside I must say that one of the great strengths of Chailly's Bruckner cycle are his Scherzos...the man understands how to balance these wild and beautiful movements implicitly); an Adagio that soars above the craggy peaks (truly, Musica universalis) with a spellbinding coda in which the Concertgebouw brass redefine the term "burnished;" and a Finale that does not deceive you with false climaxes until the final peroration drops you at Heaven's Door.
Again, this record is not going to supplant Karajan ('44, '76, or '88) Guilini/VPO ('84), or Knappertsbusch '63 - each of those readings will take you into deep into Heaven AND Hell, something Chailly isn't even trying to do here. But taken on its own terms, this performance is a winner. The Concertgebouw is at its pedigree best and the Decca sound is demonstration caliber - these factors alone make a strong enough claim on the collector; but it is Chailly's serene vision and mastery of fine detail (never veering into mannerism) that push this reading over the top. While this Bruckner 8 may not be a first choice, it deserves a place on the shelf of any Brucknerian - alongside the rest of Chailly's cycle.
Chailly and the Concertgebouw are in the midst of what appears to be a complete Bruckner cycle; they have already recorded numbers 2, 4, 5, 6, and 9. (Chailly recorded the 7th with the RSO Berlin, also excellent.) The Eighth is enormous - about 80 minutes long - and Chailly has the full measure of the work's massive structure, but takes care to allow the myriad details to come through. The half-hour long "Adagio" (for many listeners the high point of the piece) is done with great feeling and mystery, and the orchestra is as sublime as anyone could wish for. Actually, the playing everywhere is superb; take for example, the galloping, thrilling opening of the final movement. The sheer power of the orchestra will sweep you away.
As someone who greatly admires this piece, I have a number of versions, with Haitink, Tennstedt, Karajan, Furtwängler and Welser-Möst as the most interesting so far. But this excellent newcomer is self-recommending, and fits on a single disc, making it a relative bargain as well. (NB: Chailly uses the Nowak edition, for those who are interested.)
A great piece, performed by one of the finest orchestras in the world, collaborating with one of the world's great conductors. Spectacular sound to boot.