MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs
 

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World


all Nimbus reviews



all tudor reviews


Follow us on Twitter


Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for 10 + postage.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 7 in E major (1885, original version. ed. Robert Haas 1944) [63:30]
Berlin Staatskapelle/Kurt Masur
rec. live, Royal Festival Hall, London, 17 November 1967
ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs CD6/2009 [63:30]

Bruckner guru Robert Simpson opined that the seventh was one of the composer’s greatest and most original works. He spends the first page and a half of his analysis simply finding different ways of saying how wonderful the work is. I cannot but agree. This is Bruckner at his most lyrical, radiant and powerful. Kurt Masur and his great orchestra miss none of those characteristics. The Haas edition that he always used is free of all performing instructions not in Bruckner's own handwriting but in a sense there is little between Haas and Nowak on this occasion. The Symphony No. 7 is not one of the really contentious works from that point of view, only the presence or absence of some percussion in the Adagio marks out the two editions. Conductors who “get” Bruckner have no difficulty in allowing the music to breathe and sometimes to propel it forward even without score markings.

Kurt Masur, who died in 2015, recorded this Symphony with seven different orchestras over a period of more than 40 years. He seems to have stayed with the 1944 Haas edition of the score, so there is no cymbal crash to wait for in this live concert recording from 1967. Here the Berlin Staatskapelle turns in a blazingly intense performance that rightfully brings cheers from the attentive audience. The great Adagio is given rendered particularly movingly by a conductor who seems to have been one of the great Bruckner masters. He handles all the strange transitions and pauses with a natural ease that has not always been achieved by interpreters. This entire performance just sounds right.

As an impecunious student in 1967, I would have been unable to raise the price of a ticket to London or to the concert, but I do so regret missing this one. I am in debt to Geoffrey Terry for preserving such an impressive performance. On this occasion his recording seems to be rather over-bright, but judicious volume setting helps to moderate this, and it is certainly not grounds for dismissing this CD from consideration. It sounds historic but still clear and dynamic enough to enjoy. We have heard much of the Berlin Staatskapelle in recent years during their continuing tenure with Daniel Barenboim. They sounded as wonderful back in the 1960s as they did not so long ago, also at the Royal Festival Hall, also playing Bruckner. No studio recording exists of them with Masur in this work, so this live version is the more welcome.

Dave Billinge
 

 



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing