Day 103: Symphony No. 7 in E Major (Jochum)

BrucknerJochumCD7FrontSymphony No. 7 in E Major (WAB 107) is German-born Eugen Jochum (1902-1987), unarguably one of the most highly respected interpreters of Anton Bruckner’s music who ever lived.

I own two CD box sets with performances conducted by Jochum – this one, on the Warner Classics label (I call it the “Green Box”), and another on the DG label (I call it the “White Box”). I chose to listen to the symphony from the DG “White Box” first because the recordings are older. (I figured alpha by conductor name, then chronological order by performance date was reasonable way to structure this project.)

The orchestra today, in the “Green Box,” is Staatskapelle Dresden.

To date, I have been privileged to hear 13 performances conducted by Maestro Jochum – seven from the “White Box” and six from the “Green Box.”

As I’ve discovered, I prefer one of those box sets over the other.

But I’ll save the subjective stuff for later.

First, the objective stuff.

I first encountered Eugen Jochum (in my 144-day project) on Day 7, Symphony No. 1 (Green Box)

Then again on Day 23, Symphony No. 2 (Green Box).

And again on Day 39, Symphony No. 3 (Green Box).

And again on Day 55, Symphony No. 4 (Green Box).

And again on Day 71, Symphony No. 5 (Green Box).

And, most recently, on Day 87, Symphony No. 6 (Green Box).

Here are the objective aspects of today’s recording:

Bruckner Jochum 2BoxBruckner’s Symphony No. 7 in E Major (WAB 107) composed 1881-1883
Eugen Jochum conducts
Jochum used the Nowak edition
Staatskapelle Dresden plays
The symphony clocks in at 69:27
This was recorded in Dresden, Germany, in 1976
Jochum was 74 when he conducted it
Bruckner was 59 when he finished composing it
This recording was released on the Warner Classics label

Bruckner wrote his symphonies in four parts. The time breakdown of this one (Symphony No. 7 in E Major, edition unknown), from this particular conductor (Jochum) and this particular orchestra (Staatskapelle Dresden) is as follows:

I. Allegro moderato…………………………………………………………………………21:05
II. Adagio. Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam…………………………………..25:54
III. Scherzo. Sehr schnell………………………………………………………………….10:02
IV. Finale. Bewegt, doch nicht schnell……………………………………………12:25

Total running time: 69:27

Now, the subjective aspects.

My Rating:
Recording quality: 4
Overall musicianship: 5
CD liner notes: 3 (minimal information, one essay)
How does this make me feel: 4

I liked this more than I thought I would, especially given the major strike against it: meager liner notes. In this case, liner notes that don’t even include the edition used. Nowak? Haas? Carrigan? I hate that.

That information is on the back of the CD box. But not on the CD, on the CD sleeve, or in the liner notes. Once this CD is separated from the box set, it’s anyone’s guess what we’re listening to.

It’s like the label (Warner Classics) was just too sloppy, lazy, or disrespectful to provide fans of Bruckner, Jochum, or Staatskapelle Dresden with a box set worthy of all those names.

Still, the music was well played. And it was recorded well.

It wasn’t the most electrifying performance I’ve ever heard. But it was solid.

Oh, by the way, Happy Friday the 13th for all you scaredy cats out there.

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