Friday, October 20, 2017

The Symphonic Breaking Point - Recommended Recordings

Middle Period Bruckner

Bruckner Motets (If you don't get Bruckner, this is where to start. Bruckner is to choral motet what Schubert is to the Lied and Chopin to the Nocturne)

Te Deum (orchestra+chorus)

Bruckner: Symphony no. 5
Honorable Mention: NDR Symphony/Herbert Blomstedt 2017
Honorable Mention: Leipzig Radio Symphony/Herbert Kegel  1977
Honorable Mention: BBC Symphony/Jascha Horenstein 1971


Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
(Charles Munch is the ultimate conductor of the Symphonie Fantastique. This work brings out the best in nearly every orchestra and conductor who's ever performed it. It's the perfect showpiece, but no other conductor understood the manic passion, craziness, strangeness, of this work so well. Save one, basically any of his performances are better than any other conductor. There is a live TV broadcast of it with the Boston Symphony which is perhaps still more exciting than the recommended version, but the sound unfortunately cuts off at certain points for split-seconds in an incredibly annoying way, so I couldn't ultimately use that as the prime recommendation in good faith. Of his two Boston studio recordings, the earlier mono one from 1954 is easily greater than the stereo from 1961.)
Honorable Mention

(I could have linked to many more I've listened to over time: Celibidache, Boulez, Karajan, Davis, Bruno Walter, Mitropoulos, Gatti, Norrington, Haitink, Klemperer, Tilson Thomas, Beecham, Pretre, Kubelik, Abbado, Ansermet, Golschmann, Markevitch, Stokowski, Martinon... This piece is a feast. No work in the entire repertoire brings out the best in conductors and orchestras more than this one. There seem to be 40 great recordings and they're all unique!) .

Harold in Italy: (not going to rank them)
Orchestre de France/Donald McInnes/Leonard Bernstein 1976 (The earlier Bernstein New York Philharmonic one is perhaps even better but tougher to find on youtube)

Other Worthwhile Berlioz:

Requiem (Mitropoulos) Requiem (Davis) Requiem (Munch) 

Te Deum (Davis) Te Deum (Beecham) Te Deum (Abbado) Te Deum (Barenboim) 

Les Troyens (Pappano) Les Troyens (@ MET) Les Troyens (Kubelik) Les Troyens (Scherchen) Les Troyens (Pretre) Les Troyens ??? 

No comments:

Post a Comment