Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Great Bruckner Interpreters

In the history of recorded music of Anton Bruckner, various interpreters have shown their mutual affinity for him. Their conducting styles may have varied but the depth of their commitment was consistently sublime. Some conductors such as Wilhelm Furtwangler, Otto Klemperer and Karl Bohm were born before Bruckner's death. Klemperer, in his early days, was associated with another giant, Gustav Mahler who had met Bruckner and was influenced by the Master while developing his own distinct style. He gave that reverence to the medium of symphony as his highest form of expression. Karl Bohm was encouraged ten years after Mahler's death by Bruno Walter, a disciple and a Bruckner advocate. Wilhelm Furtwangler studied with Felix Mottl who was one of the composition pupils of Anton Bruckner. Another great Bruckner conductor, Jascha Horenstein collaborated with Furtwangler earlier in his career and prepared festival concerts. It is a well known fact that both Furtwangler and Klemperer had to face staggering challenges while continuing with their careers. The troubles were of a political nature in the case of Furtwangler while for Klemperer, there were a chain of physical mishaps and with little political influence also taking its toll. It had a negative impact in terms of health and his public image. Klemperer had an iron will and he was determined to survive through numerous afflictions. Everything was going against him and yet, he triumphed. These are my Bruckner conductors in order of preference - Sergiu Celibidache, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Otto Klemperer, Eugen Jochum, Lovro von Matacic, Volkmar Andreae, Hermann Abendroth, Gunter Wand, Franz Konwitschny, Yevgeny Mravinsky, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Georg Solti, Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Sir Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Zubin Mehta, Takashi Asahina, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Daniel Barenboim, Jascha Horenstein, Karl Bohm, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Carlo Maria Giulini and Christoph Eschenbach.

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