Bruckner From the Archives Volume 2 Offers New Revelations

This is the second volume of Bruckner from the Archives. And the series continues to maintain the standards established by the first release. One goal is to issue all of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies, with other significant works. The second is to do so through archival recordings that haven’t been heard in decades — if at all.

These older performances often lean towards the style of the late Romantic Era. The very time when Bruckner conceived and wrote these works.

As with the previous volume, the source material comes from the archive of John F. Berky. He’s the Executive Secretary of the Bruckner Society of America. And the recordings are remastered by Audio Restoration Engineer Lani Spahr.

Mass No. 2 is performed by the Berlin Philharmonic directed by Karl Forster. This 1956 Electrola recording has a warm, homogenous sound. It gives the Choir of St. Hedwig’s Cathedral a luminous glow that seems well-suited to the music.

Bruckner completed his Symphony in D minor in 1869. A run-through with the Vienna Philharmonic didn’t go well. And so the symphony wasn’t performed again during Bruckner’s lifetime. It was never assigned a number and became known as “Die Nulbe,” or Symphony No. Zero.

The performance here is with the Concertgebouw Orchestra under Eduard van Beinum. It’s a live Radio Netherlands aircheck from 1955. It receives its world premiere release here — heard by the general public for the first time.

Once again, the sound is a little soft on the details. But Beinum drives the orchestra in an energetic performance. It does great service to the music and makes one think that perhaps the Vienna Phil made a mistake in 1869.

Symphony No. 2 in C minor is performed by the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra. Ludwig Joachum conducts this live 1962 performance. The recording is a WDR aircheck. It’s also a world premiere release.

The two volumes present a variety of ensembles — from a variety of decades. And all unfamiliar performances. These multiple approaches make the listener reassess Bruckner’s music. Even music they’ve heard hundreds of times over.

Can’t wait for volume three!

Bruckner from the Archives, Volume 2
Mass No. 2 in E minor: Choir of St Hedwing’s Cathedral, Berlin; Berlin Philharmonic; Karl Forster, conductor
Symphony in D minor “Die Multe”: Concertgebouw Orchestra of Ambersdam; Eduard van Beinum, conductor
Symphony No. 2 in C minor: Cologne Radio symphony Orchestra; Georg Ludwig Jochum, conductor
SOMM Reocrdings ARIADNE 5027-2
2 CD set

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