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I thought the video was made at St. Florian, but that the audio was a studio recording from the Musikverein. It doesn't sound live. I'll check it tomorrow.

As for the Zero and double Zero, DG did make a 'zero' symphony with Barenboim/C.S.O. However, that's certainly not an issue with me, as I don't feel the early Bruckner symphonies are anywhere as musically strong as the later ones.
Barry, my issue of the Boulez B8 was recorded at St. Florian. Did he make another recording in Vienna?
Barry, sounds like a great box, but it appears that they were unable to come across recordings  made by renown conductors for the two early symphonies before No. 1.  Not that they were absolutely necessary, but just thought I'd make mention of that.

Check this out. For once, DG got it right in curating a box such as this. It's all with the Vienna Phil. Your conductors are: B1 - Abbado (Sofiensaal); B2 - Muti (live from Salzburg); B3 - Haitink (Musikverein, studio); B4 - Karl Boehm (Sofiensaal); B5 - Maazel (Sofiensaal); M6 - Horst Stein (Sofiensaal); B7 - Karajan (Musikverein, live); B8 - Boulez (Musikverein, studio); B9 - Giulini (Musikverein). These are all great!

Thanks. I will look for the D.R.D. recording of the first version then.
OK, having now listened to three recordings of B4 1874, score in hand (thank you, Chicago Public Library):

Inbal and Davies are outstanding. Lopez-Cobos takes II more slowly, c. 20 minutes vs 16 (Davies) and 18 (Inbal). In the 1874 version, II bumps along, rarely rising above mf except at the big eruption toward the end, a long slog. And having endured that, you may be ready for a rollicking and propulsive Bruckner scherzo, only to run into the start-stop effect I mentioned earlier. It's almost as though the composer is playing a cosmic joke on us.

The 1878/80 revision being more audience friendly, with a stronger narrative through line and that brilliant hunting scherzo, I can see where conductors and orchestra managers would be reluctant to program 1874. Thank heavens for recordings, where enthusiasts are free to compare and contrast.

Once we finally arrive at the coda to the 1874 finale, Bruckner blows the roof off the top of the concert hall. Lopez-Cobos seems determined to sabotage the effect, because Bruckner wrote quintuplets alternating between the horns and trombones, creating a savage cross rhythm; JLC turns it into two quarter notes followed by a triplet. Even though that rhythmic pattern features prominently earlier in the symphony, JLC turns something apocalyptic into the merely ordinary.

If you're a serious Bruckner fan, even if 1878/80 will remain your preferred version, you owe it to yourself to hear 1874.
Presto Music has the FLAC download for $9.50, normal price $13.75; Hi-Res FLAC for $12.75, normal price $18.75.
I don't know how much they want for shipping, but the M.O. is selling the Vanska/BIS M3 direct for $22. You can't beat that!
Hi. I've decided to put my sacd hybrid version of the Boulez/V.P.O. M3 up for sale. I've never played it! I've decided to keep the box set instead. The version in the box set has "Das Klagende Lied" after the Adagio finale. I can start from the "DKL" track and 'rewind' to hear the last seven minutes of the finale (I can also just do that at Spotify too). I'll still have sacd versions of both the Honeck/Pittsburgh/Exton release, and the Zinman/Zurich Tonhalle/RCA one. I'll eventually be acquiring the Vanska/M.O./BIS M3 as well.

Since these are now very rare and I've never played it, I'm asking $35 for it. That includes the shipping within the U.S. or Canada. Overseas shipping will be extra. I'm also putting this on the "for sale/trade/WTB" page.

Barry Guerrero
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