Day 125: Symphony No. 8 in C Minor (Skrowaczewski)

This morning’s conductor of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C Minor (WAB 108), nicknamed “The Apocalyptic,” although I don’t know why, is Stanislaw Skrowaczewski (1923-), the famed Polish-born artist who even has a web site with a cool name: Seeking The Infinite, which is also the title of a very fine biography about him by Dr. Frederick Edward Harris Jr.

You can find the bio here.

I first experienced Maestro Skrowaczewski (conducting Symphony No. 1) on Day 13 of my 144-day project.

Then again on Day 29, Symphony No. 2.

Then again on Day 45, Symphony No. 3.
Then again on Day 61, Symphony No. 4.

Then again on Day 77, Symphony No. 5.

Then again on Day 93, Symphony No. 6.

Then again, most recently, on Day 109.

On to the facts of today’s recording…

Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C Minor (WAB 108), composed between 1884 and 1890
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducts
Skrowaczewski used the ??? version, edited by ???
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrucken plays
The symphony clocks in at 82:24 (over two CDs)
This was recorded October 8 & 9, 1993, at Kongresshalle Saarbrucken, Germany
Skrowaczewski was 70 when he conducted it
Bruckner was 66 when he finished composing it

brucknerskrowaczeskiboxThis recording was released on the OEHMS Classics label

Bruckner wrote his symphonies in four parts. The time breakdown of this one (Symphony No. 8 in C Minor), from this particular conductor (Skrowaczewski) and this particular orchestra (Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrucken) is as follows:

I. Allegro moderato…………………………………………………………………………….15:30
II. Scherzo. Allegro moderato…………………………………………………………….16:02
II. Adagio. Feierlich langsam; aber nicht schleppend……………………….28:14
IV. Finale. Feierlich, nicht schnell……………………………………………………….22:19

Total running time: 82:24 (over two CDs: CD 1 – 60:05, CD 2 – 22:19)

And now for my subjective assessment:

My Rating:
Recording quality: 4
Overall musicianship: 4
CD liner notes: 3 (lengthy essays, but incomplete recording/version information)
How does this make me feel: 4

This was another very fine performance from Maestro Skrowaczewski and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrucken. However, I wasn’t as enamored with the Scherzo in this recording, though. I’m not sure why. It seemed to be less electrifying than on previous performances. It seemed a bit sluggish, rather than incredibly stirring.

The Finale, though, was as big and bold and moving as it should be.

I dunno. I’m tempted to give this a “Huzzah!”

But I can’t. It was a fine performance, but an uneven one.

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