Sinfonie 4/Die Romantische
Anton Bruckner
Remy Ballot / Altomonte Orchester St.Florian

GRAMOLA, 1 SACD

Veröffentlichungsdatum: 01.02.2022

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€ 21,90


Download: 14,99 € WAV
Download: 9,99 € MP3

 

Sinfonie 4/Die Romantische

Anton Bruckners Vierte Symphonie, die sog. »Romantische«, ist durch eine lange Entstehungsgeschichte geprägt, die sich von den ersten Entwürfen 1874 bis zur dritten Fassung 1888 zieht. Diese bis in die 1950er-Jahre hinein gängige Version wurde jedoch im »Fassungs-Streit« verworfen, und stattdessen die Zweitfassung von 1878/80 die vorherrschende Version der zweiten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts. Erst 1996 wurde die Drittfassung durch den Bruckner-Forscher Benjamin Korstvedt wiederentdeckt und 2004 neu editiert. Diese von Bruckner als letztgültig angesehene Fassung, die einige Streichungen und v. a. Tempoanpassungen zugunsten langsamerer Spielweise auszeichnet, wurde auf den St. Florianer Brucknertagen 2021 von Rémy Ballot und dem Altomonte Orchester präsentiert, und ist nun in gewohnt authentischem 5-Kanal-Surroundklang auf SACD verfügbar.

   
     
CD Track Titel Dauer Komponist PLAY
1 1 I Ruhig bewegt 22:24   9,99€
2 II Andante 18:43   3,19€
3 III Bewe 10:53   2,39€
4 IV Maessig bewegt 27:23   9,99€
 

In dieser Liveaufnahme aus der Stiftsbasilika St. Florian dirigiert Rémy Ballot die 3. Fassung von Anton Bruckners Vierter Symphonie, der sogenannten ‘Romantischen’, die 1996 vom Bruckner-Forscher Benjamin Korstvedt wiederentdeckt und 2004 neu editiert wurde. Seinem erklärenden Text im Booklet zufolge hält Ballot diese Fassung für die wirklich endgültige, die, welche dem entwickelten Geist Bruckners entspricht und das « Werk eines Genies ist, das seine Schöpfung verfeinert, um sie dem Hörer noch zugänglicher zu machen. » Im 5-Kanal-Surroundklang transportiert die SACD den Hörer ins ‘Allerheiligste’, in die Stiftsbasilika. Gut, akustisch ist das immer ein Wagnis, und es wird nicht jedem gefallen, der einen weniger halligen Sound bevorzugt. Aber wie schon in den vorangegangen Einspielungen, kann man nicht leugnen, dass die Tontechniker die schwierige Akustik des riesigen Kirchenraums relativ gut im Griff haben. Vor allem aber weiß Ballot mit dieser Akustik umzugehen und sie für seine Interpretation vorteilhaft zu nutzen. Diese hat Raum und Atem. Die Erregtheit des 1. Satzes ist ebenso zwingend wie es die expansive Ruhe und die aus feinsten Klängen ins Riesige gesteuerten Steigerungen des zweiten sind, oder der an Zuversicht und Aufbruchsenergie gewinnende dritte Satz. Im Finale werden die vorher geäußerten Gedanken wie im Brennglas gebündelt und mit viel Spannung und gewaltigen Steigerungen zum Jubilieren gebracht. Zwischendurch wird auch ausgeatmet und Bruckners vergnügte Zwischengedanken können aufblühen. ♪♪♪♪♪ - pizzicato.lu

This was one of the editions used by Jakub Hrůša in his excellent survey of all four versions – however, in typically expansive fashion, Rémy Ballot’s performance here takes a full eleven minutes longer than Hrůša’s, a feature especially apparent in the finale which is over five minutes more. This will as usual divide listeners, but both regular Ballot admirers and those less enamoured of his approach will know what to expect and can hardly express any surprise. To the untutored ear perhaps, apart from one or two more obvious alterations, the third version does not sound so very different from the more usually performed second version but as Ballot remarks in his note, the cumulative effect of the “numerous and precise changes in tempos, dynamics, instrumentation, and two moderate contractions” is to give the symphony a “younger, fresher” feeling; for me, its main challenge is to sustain sufficient tension in the finale, where the altered instrumentation and slower tempo marking to “Sehr langsam” risk vitiating the impact of the coda, despite the addition of “a pianissimo cymbal crash to the trumpet” at the last climax.

Likewise, Bruckner aficionados will know if they find the acoustic of the Stiftsbasilika to their taste; certainly the recording team headed by producer and sound engineer John Proffitt knows exactly how to handle it and I for one am very happy with the manner in which they achieve a balance between retaining its grandeur without obscuring detail although there is no denying that we hear nothing like the spotlit focus of a studio recording and there is still something of a wash of sound which some might find too diffuse. Nonetheless, there is a spacious grandeur about the opening three minutes, as the repeated horn call over tremolo strings eases into the famous “Bruckner rhythm” figure; the whole passage is marked by a stately assurance which does not drag. The music relaxes into the lyrical Gesangsperiode before building magnificently to the double forte brass chorale. There is an overall sweep and a sense of cohesive narrative about Ballot’s delivery of this first movement that I find wholly convincing.

I am somewhat less convinced by the leisurely pace of the Andante, whose extra two minutes compared with Hrůša lends it a certain undesirable torpor; in truth, I start to find myself losing interest as the long movement meanders on its way but half way through my concentration is revived by the beauty of the playing and the conclusion is imposing. Despite the cuts and changes to its dynamic markings, the Scherzo here seems closer to the conventional version we hear and is more recognisably familiar in its effect; the gentle Trio is especially lovely taken a fraction more slowly as it here.

As well evincing the greatest number of changes in the score, in Ballot’s hands the finale is the most radically different from other recordings and versions by virtue of his willingness to adopt slower tempi. However, there is no sense of undue lethargy about his attack in the opening marching theme; the brass and percussion bring real bite to its exposition, rising to a superb first climax three minutes in. The sombre, singing theme which ensues benefits from Ballot’s careful attention to dynamics and his very gradual but inexorable accelerando, such that every section of what can become a fragmented movement – always a danger with Bruckner’s finales - retains its own integrity and function within the totality of the movement’s structure, such that this listener, at least, is not conscious of any undue inertia. The coda might on first hearing seem to begin absurdly hesitantly but give it a chance and it culminates in an overwhelming blaze of sound. Slimmed-down, low-fat Bruckner this is not – but those with a taste for a lighter, leaner, more transparently textured approach are now increasingly being catered for by equally laudable but rather different modern recordings such as the recent releases from François-Xavier Roth of the Seventh (see my review). Meanwhile, performances such as this continue to appeal to Brucknerians such as I who prefer more monumental fare.

The slimline cardboard packaging with half a dozen colour photographs of the basilica and the personnel involved and full notes are all very attractive. Applause erupts after a decent interval has elapsed.

There is a little mistranslation – or misprint? – in the English version of the fine notes, as zupfen is rendered as “tuck” rather than “tug”, describing how Bruckner would meekly but resolutely alert his conductor to the omission of some detail by pulling on his coat-tail. - Ralph Moore (musicweb-international.com)

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