Rafael Kubelik was one of the 20th century's most brilliant and charismatic conductors, yet under-appreciated because of his reluctance to embrace the "star" system. Here he is seen working with the great orchestras of Berlin, Vienna and Amsterdam, and featured in a bonus biographical documentary acclaimed for "stylish camera-work and a counterpoint of image, word and music reflecting Kubelik's spontaneity, exuberance, trust in emotion, and ability, even in tailcoat, to retain his warmth and humanity" (Süddeutsche Zeitung).
"Even though Stefan Blunier's 2011 recording of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 8 in C minor is a lot to digest, timed at over 88 minutes and stretched almost to the breaking point, this is a deeply compelling performance and an impressive recording that deserves all the time listeners devote to it. (…) MDG's natural, unprocessed sound is a great aid to capturing the orchestra's subtle dynamics, and the live recording has very few extraneous sounds. Highly recommended." ~AMG
For his project of recording the complete symphonies of Anton Bruckner on CPO, Mario Venzago has chosen to record each symphony with a different orchestra to re-create the sounds that Bruckner would have heard. Considering that Bruckner's experiences with orchestras spanned three decades, he would have witnessed growth of the orchestra's size and the introduction of new instruments, which clearly influenced his decisions when he composed and revised each work. Venzago performs the Symphony No. 8 in C minor with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, following the 1890 version and employing the same instrumentation and ensemble scale, as well as traditional practices that are documented in performances from that period. The result is an Eighth that sounds strikingly different from the other symphonies, quite far removed from the early Romantic orchestra he used in the First, and considerably expanded from the ensembles he would have expected for the Fourth or even the Seventh symphonies.
"…A box set of the entire cycle was issued at around the same time as this release. Although Bosch’s fast tempos might make some of the individual movements less attractive, I suspect that, in its entirety, the cycle will be well worthwhile, especially for the sheer drama he draws from this music, the quality of the orchestra, and of the recorded soundscape, both from the acoustic itself and the SACD engineering. Of the individual discs, the early symphonies deserve the highest recommendation, the Second Symphony in particular, but also this, although chiefly for the Zero Symphony, by far the finest of the two compositions on the disc." ~Fanfare
"This SACD is an essential purchase for Bruckner aficionados, as not only does it contain an eloquent performance of Bruckner’s early D minor Symphony WAB 100 (Nullte) in superb sound, but also some other rare orchestral music by the same composer. (…) Strongly recommended." 5/5 ~SA-CD.net
"…Still, the 1962 is not first rank for todays standards but is very good for the period. Recommended." ~sa-cd.net