Friday, 6 July 2012

Schuricht in Bruckner

I reflected yesterday evening that, out of all the concerts I had attended in excess of half a century, there were three that really stood out in my mind:

1. My first concert at the age of around 14. Bach's Mass in B minor at a nearby church (probably given with piano). The music I found amazing. I was also a little worried that my bicycle left outside the church might not be there when the concert ended.

2. A concert in Paris around 1956 at the Théâtre du Châtelet with Carl Schuricht conducting the Colonne Orchestra. It was Easter, so the programme contained Wagner's Good Friday music from Parsifal, as well as the adagio (only) from Bruckner's seventh symphony. My love of both Wagner and Bruckner dates from that time.

3. The third concert stuck firmly in my mind was in 1961 (I think) at the Royal Festival Hall, listening to Jascha Heifetz (with the Philharmonia conducted by John Pritchard) in the fifth Mozart violin concerto K.219, and Sibelius's violin concerto (yes, even in those days repertoire was stereotyped).

I was reminded of this yesterday evening listening to Carl Schuricht conducting Bruckner's eighth symphony. Solid, no-nonsense conducting, with the paragraphs and movements moulded into a logical and organic whole. Plus the Vienna Philharmonic, almost an essential in a real Bruckner performance; the music seems written for that orchestra's golden sound. Also in the double pack is Schuricht and the same forces in Bruckner's ninth; the re-jigged sound from 1961-3 is truly excellent (EMI). The ninth awaits a future listening.

No comments: