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Full Operas - Released January 1, 1964 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Symphonic Music - Released October 1, 2010 | Audite

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Opera - Released February 1, 2015 | Myto Historical

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
Lovers of this opera have long treasured the Phillips set conducted by Hans Knappertsbusch. This recording has practically the same cast and was done the year before, in 1961. Knappertsbusch seems to have the power stop time. He manages to create the most transparent textures and then turns on a dime releasing incredible power from the covered pit. Jess Thomas may be one of the most lyric Parsifals ever. He sings with Mozartian sweetness. He is joined by his good friend Irene Dalis who is sultry as Kundry. Although Hans Hotter's voice may not be that of a true bass, he brings touching nobility to one of the greatest bass roles, ever. The sound is very good.
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Classical - Released November 2, 2015 | Orfeo

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Symphonies - Released February 7, 2020 | Decca

Newly remastered and gathered under one roof for the first time, the Decca recordings of Hans Knappertsbusch conducting Bruckner: a legendary combination. For record collectors in the 1950s and 60s, the names of Bruckner and Knappertsbusch (‘Kna’) were practically synonymous. At a time when the composer’s symphonies were routinely compared to Gothic cathedrals, the rough grandeur, steady pulse and towering climaxes of these readings marked out the conductor as an architect of symphonic majesty. Record companies did not have to work hard to cultivate this image, thanks to Knappertsbusch’s craggy visage, imposing presence on the podium and decades of Wagnerian experience at Bayreuth. At a time when Wagner’s Parsifal was still experienced as a primarily sacred music drama, the major works of Bruckner were likewise understood in semi-sacred terms as concert-hall rites, and who better to pierce their mysteries than Parsifal’s pre-eminent interpreter? Knappertsbusch began recording Bruckner for Decca in 1954, with the Third. The Fourth and Fifth quickly followed, also from Vienna, and then the Eighth arrived as an appendix from Munich, first issued on the Westminster label in 1963. By then the conductor’s readings of Romantic repertoire had become less impulsive, even more monumental in concept, but still lightened by a natural feeling for the dance rhythms in Bruckner’s scherzos and Ländler themes. Knappertsbusch persisted in conducting from editions prepared by Bruckner’s pupils, notably the Schalk brothers, with their liberal re-scorings and cuts, to the finales in particular – all outlined in a perceptive booklet essay by Antony Hodgson. In the light of recent scholarship and a more nuanced perspective on Bruckner’s evolving intentions with the composing and revising of his symphonies, these performances gain a certain, compelling authenticity of their own. No Brucknerian can afford to be without them. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Opera - Released July 20, 2009 | Archipel - Walhall

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Opera - Released February 15, 2008 | Archipel - Walhall

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Classical - Released March 7, 2003 | Urania

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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

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Symphonic Music - Released November 20, 2007 | Archipel - Walhall

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Classical - Released July 2, 2013 | Music and Arts Programs of America

Booklet
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Opera - Released July 21, 2009 | Archipel - Walhall

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Classical - Released November 1, 2011 | Music and Arts Programs of America

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Symphonies - Released September 25, 2006 | Preiser Records

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Classical - Released November 1, 2011 | Music and Arts Programs of America

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Classical - Released May 2, 2012 | Music and Arts Programs of America

Hans Knappertsbusch recorded Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 in D minor with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1950, and even though the appeal of this concert performance will be felt most strongly by collectors of historical recordings, Music & Arts has done a fine job in restoring this important document and made it clean, clear, and rich enough in sound quality to attract the general listener. Knappertsbusch's Ninth is cogent and urgent under his masterful direction: there is no shilly-shallying about the direction the music must take, and no dawdling over Bruckner's self-inflicted pauses, which are the symphony's worst flaws. With Knappertsbusch, the first movement is tightly argued and grimly determined, the Scherzo is brutal and compelling (though it has an unusually slow and uninteresting Trio), and the Adagio is majestic and radiant, so the trajectory of this unfinished symphony is laid out with the clarity of one that had a definite end point, and at no point does the music feel aimless. The Berlin Philharmonic is brilliant in execution and shattering in expression, so this has to be regarded as one of the orchestra's finest performances of this piece, whether on LP or CD, and hardcore Brucknerians will be quite impressed with this treasure from the vaults. The 1961 recording of Bruckner's Symphony No. 8 in C minor finds Knappertsbusch near the close of his career, but still in full command of his faculties and of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's skillful musicians. Knappertsbusch is quite expansive in this work, very much in line with mid-twentieth century practice; but this is not to say he takes the music too broadly or slowly, for which he was sometimes accused, because the tempos are generally in step with modern practices. His close attention to details makes the music seem correctly timed, and the massive scale of this symphony also seems to warrant the deliberate pacing. The live concert recording offers robust sound and most details are plainly audible, though the upper range seems slightly compressed and the orchestra seems a bit flattened and not as crisp as it should be. Yet considering its historical significance, since this was Knappertsbusch's last airing of the Eighth with the VPO, this is still a terrific sounding performance that deserves an attentive hearing from all devoted Bruckner fans and even a few listeners who have less experience with vintage recordings. For this remastered 2008 reissue, Music & Arts packaged the two symphonies together as a twofer, with the Ninth and the first movement of the Eighth on Disc 1, with the remaining Scherzo, Adagio, and Finale on Disc 2. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 20, 2009 | Archipel - Walhall

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Symphonic Music - Released October 1, 2007 | Archipel - Walhall

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Classical - Released October 1, 2011 | Archiphon

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Symphonic Music - Released November 20, 2007 | Archipel - Walhall