Day 43: Symphony No. 3 in D Minor (Paternostro)

brucknerpaternostrocd3fThis morning’s conductor of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3 in D Minor (WAB 103), nicknamed “Wagner,” is Vienna-born Roberto Paternostro (1957?-), another person about whom I knew nothing and of whom I had never heard until I started this project.

And, truth be told, still know very little about since there’s scant scraps of information about him anywhere online.

I encountered Paternostro before – the first time on Day 11, and the second time on Day 27.

The first time I cracked open the Paternostro box I was dismayed to discover nothing but CDs inside, which I’ll allow is the main point of a box set. But if all I wanted was a stack of CDs why not sell them on a spindle? Why put them in a box? Hmm? Think about it.

Here’s what I wrote on Day 11:

To make matters worse, there’s no CD booklet; hence, no liner notes. No bio on Paternostro. No info on Bruckner and his symphonies. No description of the orchestra used for Bruckner’s First Symphony.

The information in this box set doesn’t even include which version of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 1 in C Minor Paternostro is using – Linz? Or Vienna? That omission is inexcusable.

Less information in a box set I don’t think I’ve seen so far.

True, this is a budget-priced set. I paid only about $16 for it on Amazon. Still, how much more time and effort – and cost – would it have taken to include at least the version of the symphony?

brucknerpaternostroboxI began my review on Day 11 with this:

Given how little there is about him online – including a compelling biography that includes (at the very least) his date of birth – I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’s not ever going to be well known until he at least has an English-language entry on Wikipedia. I do believe there is a Wiki entry for him, but it’s in German. So I can only guess that his date of birth is 1957. Very little else (in fact, nothing else) on that page is decipherable, at least to me.

Paternostro needs a publicist in the worst way.

I concluded my post that day with this:

Obviously, the orchestra could also use a publicist.

Maybe the venue (Basilika Weingarten) needs one, too.

And how about the record label on which this is recorded? It can’t find anything about them.

Hell, let’s just say they all need a publicist.

Who are all these people?

So I’m going into this morning’s review knowing this guy is a phantom, a will-o’-the-wisp, among conductors.

I fully understand it’s a bargain-priced box set. I get that. Really. I do.

brucknerpaternostroamazon

As of this morning (November 14, 2016) the price range on Amazon is $10.77 to $15.51 – New.

With just a little more effort, and (maybe) another $1 or $2 in cost, this could have been a fine box set.

But that’s way too much subjective before I’ve even gotten to the objective nuts and bolts, which are:

Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3 in D Minor, composed in 1873
The version Paternostro used is the 1888/89 version
Roberto Paternostro conducts
Wurttembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen plays
The symphony clocks in at 56:34
This was recorded in July of 1998 at the Basilika Weingarten in Germany
Paternostro was 41 when he conducted it
Bruckner was 49 when he composed it
This recording was released on the Membran ecord label

Bruckner wrote his symphonies in four parts. The time breakdown of this one (Symphony No. 3 in D Minor, 1888/89 version), from this particular conductor (Paternostro) and this particular orchestra (Wurttembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen) is as follows:

Moderato (Sehr langsam, misterioso, officially)………………………….21:54
Adagio (Bewegt, quasi Andante, officially)…………………………………….15:12
Scherzo…………………………………………………………………………………………….6:51
Finale………………………………………………………………………………………………12:37

Total: 56:34

Okay. Now for the subjective stuff…

My Rating:
Recording quality: 4 (a bit of ambient noise from band and/or audience, plus a cavernous sound)
Overall musicianship: 3
CD liner notes: 0 (there are none! boo! hiss!)
How does this make me feel: 3

This recording is serviceable. It’s not terrific. It’s not awful. It’s a very solid performance of Bruckner’s Third Symphony. I listened to it three times through. While none of it particularly grated on my nerves, none of it really touched my soul, either.

For the price, this is a good value. But it’s not the best presentation of Bruckner’s Third that I’ve heard so far.

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