Monday, 2 October 2006

Bad back and leg (sciatica) mean I have had to spend much time lounging on my couch. A good opportunity to reduce the listening and re-listening backlogs! Highly impressed again yesterday evening with Furtwängler and the Berlin Philharmonic in Bruckner's 9th Symphony (1944). Suddenly, listening to -- or even keeping -- alternative versions really does seem pointless. And, for the time (62 years ago) the sound is perfectly accceptable, and only in the big climaxes is one aware of the constriction that was necessary. This recording is certainly one of the major classics of the 20th century. And hearing a Mahler movement (first movement of the 6th Symphony) on BBC radio on Saturday morning reminded me that I really am not partial to Mahler. Bruckner inhabits a more exhalted world!