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Bruckner's 8th in Hi Res


Axiom05
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I am interested to know if anyone has recommendations for stereo (sorry, Kal) Hi Res recordings of Bruckner's 8th symphony. Although sound quality is certainly important, I am not really interested in something with fantastic SQ but mediocre performance (I have too many of these types in my collection already). The current recordings that I listen to are: von Karajan/Vienna Philharmonic, DG 1989, live recording (currently my favorite); Bernard Haitink/Concertgebouw Orchestra, Phillips 1981; Gunter Wand/Berlin Philharmonic, RCA 2001, live recording. I know there are some out there, including Haitink/Concertgebouw Live and Jaap van Zweden, but I have been disappointed by the reviews that I have read of these. I am a fan of Bruckner's music but certainly not an expert on what constitutes a good performance. For this, I have to rely on people who know what they are talking about. However, if a performance stands up to multiple listens, I generally conclude that there is something good about it; many recordings do not pass this test.

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I am interested to know if anyone has recommendations for stereo (sorry, Kal) Hi Res recordings of Bruckner's 8th symphony. Although sound quality is certainly important, I am not really interested in something with fantastic SQ but mediocre performance (I have too many of these types in my collection already). The current recordings that I listen to are: von Karajan/Vienna Philharmonic, DG 1989, live recording (currently my favorite); Bernard Haitink/Concertgebouw Orchestra, Phillips 1981; Gunter Wand/Berlin Philharmonic, RCA 2001, live recording. I know there are some out there, including Haitink/Concertgebouw Live and Jaap van Zweden, but I have been disappointed by the reviews that I have read of these. I am a fan of Bruckner's music but certainly not an expert on what constitutes a good performance. For this, I have to rely on people who know what they are talking about. However, if a performance stands up to multiple listens, I generally conclude that there is something good about it; many recordings do not pass this test.

Honestly, with Karajan and especially the Wand/BPO, you'll be disappointed by the currently available high-res albums out there. I'm only aware of Janowski, van Sweden, and Haitink. None of them get's even close. And why bother, I actually find that the Wand cycle is quite well recorded. I believe it was initially released on SACD, but haven't seen a DSD download available anywhere.

 

By the way, here's my take on Wand and Bruckner: https://musicophilesblog.com/2015/09/11/my-favorite-bruckner-gunter-wands-late-recordings-with-the-berlin-philharmonic/

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Honestly, with Karajan and especially the Wand/BPO, you'll be disappointed by the currently available high-res albums out there. I'm only aware of Janowski, van Sweden, and Haitink. None of them get's even close. And why bother, I actually find that the Wand cycle is quite well recorded. I believe it was initially released on SACD, but haven't seen a DSD download available anywhere.

 

By the way, here's my take on Wand and Bruckner: https://musicophilesblog.com/2015/09/11/my-favorite-bruckner-gunter-wands-late-recordings-with-the-berlin-philharmonic/

 

I was hoping that you would reply, thank you! And thanks for the link to your blog post, very helpful. Funny, I have taken the opposite journey to you: I am now trying to listen to more Brahms as I have let him fall by the wayside somewhat in recent years. I do have all of the Wand/BPO CD's and his approach is something special, definitely a set worth having. It is a shame that he did not record 1, 2, 3 & 6 as well.

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I have a 1944 Fürtwangler that's definitely worth a listen even though it's not stereo.

 

Skrowaczewski's recording is essential, I think.

 

I do like Skrowaczewski's approach to Bruckner. His recording of the 9th on Reference Recordings is one of my favorites of the 3-movement version and with wonderful SQ. I also recently downloaded his latest recording of the 5th with the London Philharmonic (Live). I need to listen to it again but it seems like a good performance but, unfortunately, only mediocre sound quality. Paying a premium for HiRes was not worth it (I seem to be thinking that a lot recently).

 

As for the 8th, are you referring to the Oehms Classics recording with the Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra? When was this recorded?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Blomstedt is available as a SACD and is a mighty fine reading.

 

There is also a good,but a bit cavernous, live version from the Concertgebouw and Hatink on SACD.

A few days ago I downloaded the van Zweden from The Spirit of Turtle downloadsite in its 24/192 version and I like it quite a lot.

Maybe not quite the same sense of flow as Haitink´s but good enough and a very realistic recording via my system.

But they seem to have missed to include the covershot with the files both on this one and the Prokofiev 3 and 4 which I also like.

The van Zweden,1st and 3rd Bruckner symphonies , which I downloaded as DSD 64 from native DSD.com both came with covershots embedded with the files.

Native DSD .com has got the 8th too as DSD 64 only.And as two separately priced albums at much higher price than where I got it from.

I find it a bit annoying when download sites don´t do a proper job . The same goes for the site owned by Pentatone , the only two albums I have downloaded from them also came without covers.

I hate having to type in the title to find them among alll my albums.

I think that by now they would have ironed out irritating things like this.

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I find it a bit annoying when download sites don´t do a proper job . The same goes for the site owned by Pentatone , the only two albums I have downloaded from them also came without covers.

I hate having to type in the title to find them among alll my albums.

I think that by now they would have ironed out irritating things like this.

 

I'm confused. Could you please be more specific about proper job. I read about covers and search parameters. Are those on the sites you frequent, or in your storage?

 

Thanks!

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I'm confused. Could you please be more specific about proper job. I read about covers and search parameters. Are those on the sites you frequent, or in your storage?

 

Thanks!

 

Tom, I believe he is referring to downloads that don't come with album cover art or booklets.

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Tom, I believe he is referring to downloads that don't come with album cover art or booklets.

 

Thanks, yes that's what I gathered until I got to the last sentence about typing in the title to find among his albums. The search engine at native is something we're always tweaking to improve.

 

Thanks again!

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There is also a good,but a bit cavernous, live version from the Concertgebouw and Hatink on SACD.

A few days ago I downloaded the van Zweden from The Spirit of Turtle downloadsite in its 24/192 version and I like it quite a lot.

Maybe not quite the same sense of flow as Haitink´s but good enough and a very realistic recording via my system.

But they seem to have missed to include the covershot with the files both on this one and the Prokofiev 3 and 4 which I also like.

The van Zweden,1st and 3rd Bruckner symphonies , which I downloaded as DSD 64 from native DSD.com both came with covershots embedded with the files.

Native DSD .com has got the 8th too as DSD 64 only.And as two separately priced albums at much higher price than where I got it from.

 

I had considered both the Haitink and the van Zweden. Reviews on the Haitink are in line with your "cavernous" description, so I passed on it. It is a performance that I would like to hear but I will not buy it just to listen to once. The van Zweden I would expect to have very good sound quality but it sounds like the performance is not exceptional. I do have his recording of Bruckner's First symphony (24/96) which is very good. Since posting my original question I kind of had an epiphany that has made me rethink my HiRes download strategy so, for now, I will probably not look any further for a HiRes version of this symphony unless something exceptional is released in the future.

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....Since posting my original question I kind of had an epiphany that has made me rethink my HiRes download strategy so, for now, I will probably not look any further for a HiRes version of this symphony unless something exceptional is released in the future.

 

Personally, I find the the experience of hearing Bruckner's 8 eclipsing my usual fanaticism over recording sound quality and technique. The Pentatone Janowski (PTC5186371) and Challenge Classics (CC72549 ) Bruckner 8 were both recorded by very experienced teams using the same Pyramix DSD recording system. Their primary difference is the orchestra, conductor, venue, and microphone technique.

 

Tell ta what, purchase the same track of each from NativeDSD and decide on a preference. If you choose one, I'll send it to you for the price of the two tracks you already paid. If you like neither, I'll refund you your tracks purchased amount. The only proviso is you report your findings here.

 

I also strongly recommend The Channel Classics BFO Bruckner 7. Again Pyramix recorded, with yet again different converters than the Pentatone and Challenge, and different perspective. But those same wonderful Wagner tubas!

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....huge Bruckner fan here, on the way to Austria next week for the annual BrucknerTage...

The van Zweden and Nagano are exceptional - solid performances from Barenboim, Janowski, Haitink (always dependable) - even the Blunier is worth a listen

 

One of my fondest memories is of watching the sunset years ago while on a beach just south of Kailua-Kona Hawaii, listening to the end of the third mvt of the Blomstedt Bruckner 8 on great headphones. It was at that moment I learned about Wagner tubas.

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That IS a marvelous moment in the 8th, tailspn!

The CSO/Solti 8th recorded on tour in St. Petersburg closes the 3rd mvt. in the most splendid of moments - revealing the best of what it is capable of (no matter what one thinks of Solti's approach to Bruckner in general...).

I saw Blomstedt perform the Bruckner 9th in NYC on tour with the SFSO. The end of the 1st mvt. was one of those moments I'll never forget. Too bad this collaboration didn't bring more Bruckner - the 9th was never recorded...

Michael

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Thanks, yes that's what I gathered until I got to the last sentence about typing in the title to find among his albums. The search engine at native is something we're always tweaking to improve.

 

Thanks again!

 

Hello Tom, my criticism was mainly directed at Primephonic, and Spirit of Turtle, which don´t seem to include covershots with their downloads.

Like I said I have to type in the title or composer to find them.

I store proxy files in itunes, but playback via Audirvana.

I have never had any problems with that from my many downloads from nativeDSD.com.

The reason I mentioned native.DSD .com was because one title Bruckner´s 8th from Challenge Classics is sold as two different albums instead of one,at native DSD.com.

The only problem I have had with some DSD albums from native DSD.com are that my player Audirvana sometimes has problems locking on to the tracks. My latest DSD albums If You Love for Beauty are very difficult to load in my player.

I don´t know the reason why this keeps happening with some albums from native DSD.com but no other site.

PS When can we expect Mahler´s 7th in binaural by the way?

And any update on your DSD 256 version of the 3rd?

Cheers Chris

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Hi Chris,

 

To my experience, NativeDSD is one of the few, or only download service to tag the cover into the metadata of DSD downloads. I, like every other download site receive the majority of their files through distribution. I've never seen a tagged cover in any of the thousand of files I've processed.

 

Regardless of the tags contained in a received DSD file, we completely retag them from .xml data received from the label, plus our research, to provide a uniform base of tagged information in every download we sell. That includes resizing the cover art and inserting into the metadata.

 

We're looking into your experience of the Challenge Classics CC72549 Bruckner 8, but I find only one complete album under that catalog number. Also, one of the team with player experience will contact you to help resolve your loading and playing issues.

 

The Mahler 3 and 7 projects are still in process, and are to be released this year. No decisions have been made yet under what basis the binaural Mahler 7, or separately mic'ed and recorded DSD256 versions will be released. They are not edited, which is a significant undertaking and expense. While they were recorded at the same time/place as the now edited Channel Classics, there's no correspondence between Take numbers, or length. That basically means it's a new separate editing project if it's to be the same Takes as the Channel Classics release.

 

Cheers to you Chris,

Tom

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The reason I mentioned native.DSD .com was because one title Bruckner´s 8th from Challenge Classics is sold as two different albums instead of one,at native DSD.com.

 

Chris, can you explain? Which two Bruckner 8 albums. We have the Challenge and the Pentatone, yes, but not two Challenges (simply two options...stereo or multichannel). Heck, we have like nine versions of some classics (Beethoven's 9th) as every label wants one in their catalog. :)

 

Do you mean A+ is showing it as multiple albums?

Thx

Ted

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I am seeing the Bruckner 8 at Native.dsd as a single download, not as two separate ones. The price is the same as a typical single album ($23+).

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Chris, can you explain? Which two Bruckner 8 albums. We have the Challenge and the Pentatone, yes, but not two Challenges (simply two options...stereo or multichannel). Heck, we have like nine versions of some classics (Beethoven's 9th) as every label wants one in their catalog. :)

 

Do you mean A+ is showing it as multiple albums?

Thx

Ted

Maybe my memory of Bruckner´s 8th is failing me? And I just happened to mistake Bruckner´s 8th download at nativedsd.com with Wagner´s Parsifal, which is still two separate downloads each separetely priced.

When looking now I also see Bruckner´s 8th from Challenge Classics, as one download, good. But why is a complete Opera still labeled as, and sold as two separate downloads?

And no I don´t mean that A+ is showing it as multiple albums.

Cheers Chris.

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Hi Chris,

 

To my experience, NativeDSD is one of the few, or only download service to tag the cover into the metadata of DSD downloads. I, like every other download site receive the majority of their files through distribution. I've never seen a tagged cover in any of the thousand of files I've processed.

 

Regardless of the tags contained in a received DSD file, we completely retag them from .xml data received from the label, plus our research, to provide a uniform base of tagged information in every download we sell. That includes resizing the cover art and inserting into the metadata.

 

We're looking into your experience of the Challenge Classics CC72549 Bruckner 8, but I find only one complete album under that catalog number. Also, one of the team with player experience will contact you to help resolve your loading and playing issues.

 

The Mahler 3 and 7 projects are still in process, and are to be released this year. No decisions have been made yet under what basis the binaural Mahler 7, or separately mic'ed and recorded DSD256 versions will be released. They are not edited, which is a significant undertaking and expense. While they were recorded at the same time/place as the now edited Channel Classics, there's no correspondence between Take numbers, or length. That basically means it's a new separate editing project if it's to be the same Takes as the Channel Classics release.

 

Cheers to you Chris,

Tom

 

Hmm, a bit worrying to hear. I was hoping to get at least the binaural 7th this fall.

Like I said in an earlier post here,I already have three digitally recorded versions of the third,two on SACD and one as a 24/96 download, plus both Haitink´s Philips and Solti´s classic Decca LP sets and would only be interested in your simply mic´d DSD 256 recorded version of it.

And the same goes for the 7th where binaural and DSD 256 would make me bite on yet another Mahler 7 although I have several good versions of that symphony too,both analogue on LPs from Haitink and Solti respectively and Tilson Thomas´s both on SACD and as download. Otherwise sorry ,but no.

Maybe it would actually be a good idea to offer slightly different Takes on the binaural and other DSD 256 recordings?

Who knows? That might make even me curious enough,to want to compare the two versions?

But if the standard multimic´d DSD 64 is all that will be offered I will pass on both the 3rd and 7th.

Thanks for your quick and informative response Tom.

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The CSO/Solti 8th recorded on tour in St. Petersburg closes the 3rd mvt. in the most splendid of moments - revealing the best of what it is capable of (no matter what one thinks of Solti's approach to Bruckner in general...).

As we started to talk non-hirez recordings of Bruckner I want to mention those made by Celibidache. His 8th with Munich had a great impact on me. I know, Celibidache stand still approach could be easily dismissed by many, nevertheless his Bruckner is something to hear. Jochum/Dresden and Barenboim are coming to mind as well. I have several 8th from Wand, he is very convincing. If somebody want to hear really controversial 8th, Mario Venzago provides one (I hope David Hurwitz is not reading this forum).

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As we started to talk non-hirez recordings of Bruckner I want to mention those made by Celibidache. His 8th with Munich had a great impact on me. I know, Celibidache stand still approach could be easily dismissed by many, nevertheless his Bruckner is something to hear. Jochum/Dresden and Barenboim are coming to mind as well. I have several 8th from Wand, he is very convincing. If somebody want to hear really controversial 8th, Mario Venzago provides one (I hope David Hurwitz is not reading this forum).

 

And for those who want to watch one of the best conductors ever of Bruckner´s symphonies ,I can heartily recommend The Unitel double DVD set Karajan /VPO / Bruckner´s 8th recorded in St Florian.And the ninth and Bruckner´s Te Deum LIVE from Musikvereinsaal in Vienna.

The recordings are certainly not hi res . But the playing and conducting are stunning.

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And for those who want to watch one of the best conductors ever of Bruckner´s symphonies ,I can heartily recommend The Unitel double DVD set Karajan /VPO / Bruckner´s 8th recorded in St Florian.And the ninth and Bruckner´s Te Deum LIVE from Musikvereinsaal in Vienna.

The recordings are certainly not hi res . But the playing and conducting are stunning.

Karajan has many admirers and many of those who are quite indifferent. I belong to latter, for me his Bruckner is too glossy or schmaltzy if you want.
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