Day 63: Symphony No. 4 in E Flat Major (Tintner)

tintnercd4This morning’s conductor of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 in E Flat Major (WAB 104), titled “Romantic” by Bruckner himself, is Georg Tintner (1917-1999), the Austrian-born composer/conductor with whom I was already familiar prior to starting my 144-day exploration of Bruckner’s music.

For one thing, I own a couple of recordings conducted by Tintner.

Plus, if memory serves, I think I heard him on the local Classical radio station (WBLV FM).

In my 144-day adventure, I first encountered Georg Tintner on Day 15 of my 144-day journey. Then, on Day 31. And again on Day 47.

After this morning, only Gunter Wand remains of the 16 conductors interpreting Bruckner’s Fourth.

In other words (And why should I use other words? You’re not an imbecile) two days from now, I start listening to a new Bruckner symphony, his Fifth.

But, that’s 48 hours away.

brucknertintnerboxOn this day, in this hour, it’s Georg Tintner and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Back to the nuts and bolts:

Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 in E Flat Major composed in 1874
Georg Tintner conducts
Tintner used the 1881 version, edited by R. Haas
Royal Scottish National Orchestra plays
The symphony clocks in at 72:09 (Yikes!)
This was recorded at Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, on 16th and 17th October, 1996
Tintner was 79 when he conducted it
Bruckner was 50 when he composed it
This recording was released on the Naxos label

Bruckner wrote his symphonies in four parts. The time breakdown of this one (Symphony No. 4 in E Flat Major, 1881 version, edited by Haas), from this particular conductor (Tintner) and this particular orchestra (Royal Scottish National Orchestra) is as follows:

I. Bewegt, nicht zu schnell (With motion, not too fast) (E-flat major)…………..21:33
II. Andante, quasi allegretto (C minor)…………………………………………………………16:19
III. Scherzo. Bewegt (With motion) – Trio: Nicht zu schnell (Not too fast) (B-flat major)……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..12:05
IV. Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell (With motion, but not too fast) (E-flat major)………………………………………………………………………………………………………………23:10

Total running time: 72:09

Of the 1881 version (which, according to Wikipedia, is more accurately known as the “1881 revision“), its entry on Wiki tells us:

1881 revision

The 1881 version is the same as the 1880 version but includes some changes made after the first performance of the latter – notably a cut in the slow movement and a reworking of the finale. It is available in an edition by Robert Haas, which was published in 1936, based on Bruckner’s manuscript in the Austrian National Library.

Okay. Now for the subjective stuff…

My Rating:
Recording quality: 5
Overall musicianship: 5
CD liner notes: 5 (lengthy essays on each symphony, written by Georg Tintner)
How does this make me feel: 4

As I posted yesterday, I notice that I judge Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony by three things:

1. The tone of the horns and the tempo of the opening (first 1-2 minutes) of Movement I

2. Movement III (Scherzo) and the “Hunt” motif (does it invigorate me?)

3. The final moments of the Finale (in this case, from the last 2-3 minutes onward)

If the opening horn grabs me, if the Scherzo stirs me, if the Finale makes me hinge on each note until the last…

…I can shout “Huzzah!” and feel satisfied by my listening experience.

In this case…

Huzzah!

Naxos is a first-rate label all the way. They’re one of the best labels in the world for quality product. And this box set is probably the best I have of the Bruckner complete symphonies – not only regarding its solid construction, but also in the liner notes (I love reading Tintner’s own words) and the superiority of the music itself.

These liner notes are awesome. No two ways about it. I love reading Titner’s insights and explanations. Plus, his passion for Bruckner shines through loudly and clearly.

This Naxos box is a joy to behold, and an honor to own.

Let’s see if symphonies 5-9 are as exhilirating to me.

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