Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Bruckner From the Archives, Vol. 2



SOMM Recordings announces the second instalment in Bruckner from the Archives, “a major commemorative series” (ConcertoNet.com) in six double-CD volumes celebrating the 200th anniversary of Anton Bruckner’s birth in 1824.

Conceived and designed by SOMM Executive Producer and acclaimed Audio Restoration Engineer Lani Spahr with support from the Bruckner Society of America, the series features rare archival recordings of Bruckner’s 11 symphonies and selected other important works, many appearing for the first time in any form. Recordings have been sourced from the more than 11,000 Bruckner performances in the Archive of John F. Berky, Executive Secretary of the Bruckner Society of America, who also acts as Consultant for this important series.

Volume 2 offers live radio broadcasts of Bruckner’s Symphony No.2 by the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra (today’s WDR S.O. Cologne) under Georg Ludwig Jochum (1962) and his unnumbered Symphony in D minor “Die Nullte” by the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam under Eduard van Beinum (1955). Joining these is the first recording in the long-play era of the Mass No.2 in E minor, made by the Berlin Philharmonic under Karl Forster with the Choir of St Hedwig’sCathedral (1956).

This is the first commercial release of the compelling performance of the Second Symphony, but all three of these works are presented here for the very first time in Lani Spahr’s expert new restoration and remastering.

The recordings are accompanied, as ever, by authoritative notes on the works’ genesis in the context of Bruckner’s life and compositional development, written by Professor Benjamin Korstvedt, President of the Bruckner Society of America and member of the Editorial Board of the New Anton Bruckner Complete Edition.

In his notes Prof. Korstvedt enthusiastically assesses the live broadcasts, noting the first release from Cologne is “undoubtedly a very good performance … which responds vividly to the contrasting moods of the music and presents the Second as a symphony of emotional depth, brilliant imagination, and sonic grandeur.” The “Nullte” from Amsterdam “conveys Van Beinum’s typical style. The tempos are generally brisk and his approach refreshingly direct, at times unabashed in its ardour, keenly alive to the vigour of the music.” The late Bruckner discographer Dr Hans Roelofs said of the Forster Mass: “The interpretation exudes power and solidity … a radiant choir, good balance with the orchestra and rather brisk tempos make the recording a real experience.

Lani Spahr’s previous SOMM releases include the lauded four-volume sets Vaughan Williams Live (ARIADNE 5016, 5018, 5019, 5020) and Elgar Remastered (SOMMCD 261-4), as well as Elgar from America, Volume 3 (Ariadne 5015-2), which garnered a Gramophone Editor’s Choice for “superb audio restorations [bringing] performances fully to life”.

On This Recording

CD1 Mass No. 2 in E Minor, WAB 27 (1882) (32:04)a
  1. I. Kyrie (6:12)
  2. II. Gloria (6:11)
  3. III. Credo (8:40)
  4. IV. Sanctus (2:16)
  5. V. Benedictus (4:50)
  6. VI. Agnus Dei (3:53)
Symphony in D Minor, WAB 100 “Die Nullte” (1869) (Ed. Wöss) (41:34)*b
  1. I. Allegro (12:59)
  2. II. Andante (sostenuto) (11:31)
  3. III. Scherzo. Presto -Trio. Langsamer und ruhiger (5:40)
  4. IV. Finale. Moderato (Andante) (11:23)
CD2 Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, WAB 102 (ed. Haas)*c
  1. I. Ziemlich schnell (15:43)
  2. II. Adagio. Feierlich, etwas bewegt (15:31)
  3. III. Scherzo. Schnell – Trio. Gleiches Tempo (9:35)
  4. IV. Finale. Mehr schnell (15:08)
*First Release
aChoir of St Hedwig’s Cathedral, Berlin; Berlin Philharmonic; Karl Forster, conductor
bConcertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam; Eduard van Beinum, conductor
cCologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Georg Ludwig Jochum, conductor