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06-15-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 8,731
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 13757
Reply to: 13757
How to play Bruckner Sound in Audio.

If you one of those who feel that playback make difference then  I do not think that better playing  of Bruckner music  would require any different playback efforts than an y other better playback. Still, practicing “better playback” and loving to see the playback efforts through the Bruckner prism I would like to share some of my views in the Bruckner Sound and how it relates to playback.

Bruckner Sound is an ultimate enemy of any intermodulations. No sound like intermodulations but with Bruckner the anti- intermodulations methods I feel are the most result effective. The more independently operating channels you have then better it will be. Of course I am talking about the properly implemented independently operating channels, not the pile of accidentals crap that most audio people typically toss together and call it multi-channeling. The multi-channeling give the Natural Transient Resolution that I feel is so important in Bruckner. You do not want juts to hear “detail” but you want the dental to be properly sized in terms of color, contrast and volume on the Bruckner’s accordion background. The multi-channeling allows separating sounds and isolating them from each other. Think in term of cooking and use of individual ingredients. The combined channels will you a more or less proper balance of salt, paper, garlic and vinegar in your marinade.  The multi-channeling would permit you to discriminate each individual ingredient. The paper might not be just a paper but it might be a combination of black, red and some kind of other peppers. The important thing is that if you (of more precisely to say the conductor) decided to use gochujang (some kind of Korean pepper) then the tasted of the gochujang will be distinctly recognized in the final meal and it will not be mask out by other species.

Compression is a strange enemy of Bruckner Sound. If you expect that I will run against compression then I won’t. In fact I do feel that in some cases the slightly compressed Bruckner sounds much better. It is partially because most of the playbacks have very bad sound at very low dymick level and at very high dymick level. So, a moderate compression is fine with Bruckner as it adds some drama. Bruckner Sound does not like hard limiting however.

While playing Bruckner it is very important that playback does not change sound balance at very low dymick level. This is very important and very difficult to accomplish task. Yes, with volume drop all the way down the sound balance shall change. We all know about the equal loudness curves and a few other things. Still, one playback has one rate of change sound balance at low level and another has another rate. The closer the rate of change your playback will be to the way how sound change naturally at low volume the more “interesting” you will feel during the Bruckner’s dymick valleys.

The Absolute Tone. Read elsewhere at my site what I call “The Absolute Tone” – it has a very direct relation to Bruckner Sound. The Bruckner has not a lot of thing going on in orchestra. The instruments do not talk a lot in the sections and the sections do not talk a lot between each other. Bruckner is not Mahler and not Rimsky-Korsakov. Bruckner withholds in his instrumental expressivity and he use instruments more like “processes development” instead as “events”. The gipsy skirt Sound is very much how the Brucknerian. Here is why we need in my view the absolutely extreme Tonal capacity from a playback – it is not a lot of colors to begin with and therefore those colors that exist shall be shown with maximum level of color aristocracy.

Bruckner sound require very quiet listening room. The external noise, particularly a noise with harmonic or texture is not good for Bruckner. It is not just because the Bruckner Sound has a tendency to collapse to low dymick level but because noises make listener to want more instant gratification. This desire for instant gratification ruins Bruckner Sound.

Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-15-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Amir
Iran
Posts 65
Joined on 02-11-2009

Post #: 2
Post ID: 13760
Reply to: 13757
Shaping sound
I'm not a classic listener but who listen to classic music (between my friends) they very like multi-chanelling and they prefer more dynamic sound.
I like persian classic music that it do not make me so happy with multi-chanelling.
most section of persian classic music do not need multi-chanelling but it need good micro dymanic.
12-17-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 252
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 15209
Reply to: 13760
Persian dynamics
"...persian classic music does not need multi-chanelling but it needs good micro dymanic."

I know exactly what you mean and I agree.

clark
09-24-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 8,731
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 17057
Reply to: 13757
This is ridicules!
I just realized that practically 85% of my non-FM listening is Bruckner music.  I found myself that sometime listing some other programs I feel a need to interrupt it and play some Bruckner, to rest. I hit the rock bottom and I have some of the concerts made by 3 copies: for home, for car and for work. I hope it is not contentions and not terminal… Regardless what it is but I do not feel bad about it.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-30-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 8,731
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 17108
Reply to: 13757
About me being a full of shit.
I need to admit that I am partially a full of shit in this subject. For sure all the audio methods that I have mention are very beneficial to play Bruckner but the essence of the Bruckner music does not come from some kind of proper playback methods. I have my Bruckner collection in my car, at my work and at home. I play it everywhere completely degrading the quality of Sound and I do not recognize that I have in my car, where I have very bad sound, any less valuable listening experience then I have home, where I have good sound. I do admit that better playback allow to turn some moment on but since a person “get it” then “it” might be ascertained from within any audio presentation. Particularly Bruckner.

So, at the site where people looking the “recommendations” what tonearm to buy, how to drive tube and how to bind drivers to horns all my pontifications about the ways to play Bruckner are well warranted. Still, the people with perspective, no matter how few of them out there, shall understand dialectic interpretation of my arguments. Bruckner do not need audio and Bruckner does not need Bruckner, particularly if it is a single-driver audio (sorry, can not resist). Shire, good Bruckner and good audio might work beneficial. Is it necessary? Well, as necessary as all audio is. The people who have proper understanding of audio do know answer to this question.

Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-10-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 8,731
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 17701
Reply to: 13757
Playback: Bruckner vs. Mahler.
Interesting. This weekend a local guy visited and and he had a conversation about my playback. He said that my playback has very distinct my type of sound and it makes Bruckner to sound like Mahler. I was surprised with this assessment as I always thought opposite: my playback k rather makes Mahler to sound like Bruckner.

I do not think that he is correct; in fact I know that that he is not. I think he was deceived by the fact that my playback makes Bruckner to sound not in a typical way in which audio unfortunately makes Bruckner to sound but more exciting. I think that added expressionism made my visitor to feel that I converted Bruckner into Mahler.

The Cat.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-16-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 8,731
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 17714
Reply to: 13757
My Bruckner
A few weeks back a local guy stopped by, spent a few hours listening and told me that no one play Bruckner like I do. I pitched this idea to a few visitors on mine since then and they unanimously agreed. The most important is that it is exactly how I feel – Bruckner in my room with my installation sound very different that in any other place I ever heard. It is not “better”, it is it different and I absolutely convinced that until one hears HOW I play Bruckner they have no idea what I mean when I am talking about Bruckner playback.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-29-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 8,731
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 17889
Reply to: 13757
Nothing else but Bruckner?
I had yesterday a visitor from west coast came to my place and we spent sometime to listen some music.  It is interesting that among all music that I played for him I had little interest to how my playback sounded unless I played Bruckner.  I kind of played different music but I did not acknowledge how playback performed. I kind of had no interests to do it, even thought I did played very interesting material. Ironi9clsy my yesterday visitor was not in Bruckner and I do think that he was getting what I was trying to demonstrate to him; even though he did liked the adagio from the Seventh.

It is funny how Bruckner in a way fulfill all my audio interests and it is in particularly funny that I recognize no gratification if people like or do not like the sound of my playback but are not able to recognize what I mean after they hear how my installations plays Bruckner. I kind of develop in me an idea of my new wet audio dram – when an audio person comes to me from let say Mars and we play during the entire listening session nothing else but Bruckner….

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-05-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 8,731
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 18038
Reply to: 13757
Furtwangler B8, 1944

I kind of deeper and deeper submersing into my version of Audio and for the last few months I completely naturally switch to explicit listening of Bruckner. I do have other music and I do attend concerts where non- Bruckner music is played but it all in my mind slowly developing a name “chicken music” and when I want to hear my music I play Bruckner. It is not obsessive but rather very fulfilling and all that I am willing to get from music and audio I am getting recently only from Bruckner.

Anyhow, here is a great tip to other Bruckner listeners. The celebrated Furtwangler B8 was re-mastered (again) and this time spectacularly good. I can’t stress how good it is and I have 3 copies – home, in my car and at my work:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040T7COE/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851

Snatch it.
The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-06-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 252
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 18043
Reply to: 18038
Abbey Road engineer Simon Gibson on remastering Furtwangler
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfA61_noOQQ

Many problems, as we all shall see, but an informative 24 minutes nevertheless.

clark
04-11-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 8,731
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 11
Post ID: 18059
Reply to: 13757
The shaking Bruckner.
A few nights ago I slept in my listening room, on the floor and we were listening Bruckner 8…

My floor in the listening room does not vibrate but as I lied on the floor (4” futon) I did pick up some bone vibration during the orchestra climaxes. I was running Macondo at full throttle, with preamp in unity gain. It was loud and I have to admit that the bone vibration did added some drama, even made it to feel scare. It was in a way interesting experience that made me to think…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-17-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 8,731
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 18073
Reply to: 13757
The Baffling Case of Anton Bruckner
...by H. Robbins Landon 
From "High Fidelity" (mid 1960s)

A couple of years ago, Vienna's famous concert organization, the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, sent out to its subscribers a questionnaire asking them what kind of music they wanted to hear, which composers, which works. Of the 4,000 persons queried, only 1,086 replied; on the whole, however, their preferences may be taken as representative of those of the average conservative concertgoer in Vienna. The answers were tabulated in two ways: first, by composer; then by specific works. As anyone familiar with postwar Vienna might surmise, Anton Bruckner came out on top, by a comfortable margin: Bruckner, 337; Mozart, 277; Franz Schmidt, 270; Beethoven, 257; Haydn, 244; Richard Strauss, 244-and so on down to Schoenberg (77), Webern (71), and Prokofiev (66). As for particular works, Bruckner's Eighth Symphony won at 377 (Mozart's Jupiter got only 100 votes).
 
For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon of Bruckner in Austria, it should be explained that his popularity there has been rising steadily ever since the First World War, and most sharply since the sensational revelations of the early Thirties, when it was shown that the published scores of Bruckner's famous symphonies had been "improved" by well-meaning disciples. It is not always clear why Bruckner allowed his original versions to be altered by conductors; but in at least one case, the unfinished and towering Ninth Symphony, the retouchings by Franz Schalk and Ferdinand Lowe were flagrant . falsifications of the master's intentions; and there was no question that the Originalfassung-first played in l932-of the Ninth was more powerful in addition to being more authentic. As score after score appeared in the "original version," not only was the musicological sensation among scholars heightened but audiences in Austria and Germany had a chance to reconsider Bruckner. Both the professional critics and the general public came to wholehearted agreement that the original versions, though longer, were more convincing than the "edited" scores. Bruno Walter, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Hans Weisbach, Sigmund von Hausegger switched from the "old" to the "new" and authentic versions. (Of celebrated present-day conductors, only Knappertsbusch stubbornly refuses to use the corrected scores.)
 
Gradually, to many Austrian and German music lovers, Bruckner came to mean all things. As World War II progressed, it was to Bruckner that they turned in times of bombing, darkness, and death. When Hitler's death was announced over Hamburg Radio in those final cataclysmic days of April 1945, it was the Adagio of the Seventh Symphony that followed, illustrating (one presumes) the utter depth and despair into which the German nation had been plunged. Even more than Wagner, Bruckner came to mean the essence of German spiritual life: all that was Dichter and Denker, all that was mystic and philosophic, seemed to be summed up in the solemn grandeur of Bruckner's adagios. It was, people felt, the ultimate expression of the Faustian nature in music. The shattering emotional experience of the Eighth under Furtwangler, played by the Vienna Philharmonic in the scarcely heated Musikvereinsaal . during the somber winter of 1944, seemed to make all the suffering worthwhile. An officer on leave in late 1944 wrote in his diary, "The [Bruckner] Ninth with Hans Weisbach: now I know what we are fighting for; to return to the Front will be easier."
 
The reverence for Bruckner in Vienna has, indeed, something extramusical and feverish about it. The newest trend is to hiss applause after performances of the Eighth and Ninth Symphonies, on the principle that "profound silence" is the only appropriate tribute to these two huge and emotionally racking works. The Viennese also considered it entirely appropriate that St. Stephen's Cathedral should, a couple of Vienna Festivals ago, have allowed the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to give a concert there consisting of the Bruckner Ninth Symphony , and his Te Deum. "Thank God," said one Viennese to me, "they couldn't applaud in the Stefansdom. Besides, it's almost a Mass, that symphony, isn't it?" In the fifteen years during which I have lived in Vienna, I have often-as a matter of statistical curiosity-asked people at a Philharmonic Orchestra concert if they thought that Bruckner was a greater composer than Beethoven. Most of them have replied: "Perhaps not, but he says more to me." Those who have not attended a Bruckner concert in Vienna can hardly imagine the concentration, the dedication, with which audiences listen to the Masses and symphonies. I have never felt a more charged atmosphere in any concert hall than I did in the Musikverein after Furtwangler's performance with the Philharmonic, shortly before his death, of the Bruckner Eighth. And not only the audience is so emotionally involved; the players themselves seem to take on a kind of rapt, otherworldly inwardness when playing Bruckner. Everything combines to produce an atmosphere closely akin to mass hysteria by the time the work is finished. The very loudness of the last pages of the Eighth, in which it is tradition to have a whole set of extra brass come in (making sixteen horns, six trumpets, six trombones, and two bass tubas), is in itself shocking. And thus the return to reality after the final unison notes crash down is so difficult that applause really does seem out of place (as, indeed, it often does after the performance of any great piece of music).
 
But this is only one side of the picture. The composer is nowhere near so universally admired as the existence of the Bruckner cult in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Holland would suggest. In other countries and other cultures, Bruckner is often regarded with a loathing fully as strong, and perhaps as unreasonable, as the adoration in which he is held in Austria. I have seldom met someone to whom Bruckner was simply "egal," and the violence of reaction which his music calls forth constitutes what must be called the Bruckner Problem. Bruckner's music produces, and I think will continue to produce, intense emotions, because it was born in a man whose simple, peasant-like exterior concealed a swirling flood of passionate feelings. When the Third Symphony was first performed in Vienna, the audience was so shocked that it first laughed and then angrily walked out of the hall, leaving the composer alone with the orchestra and a few faithful followers. In the United States, people do not generally walk out in the middle of . concerts; but I remember distinctly the fury of some Bostonians who were treated to their first taste of Bruckner's Eighth with Koussevitzky shortly after the last war. I was invited to lunch at a house on Beacon Street the next day, and as the discussion about the Eighth grew more and more heated, one man, literally shaking with rage, put down his fork and left the table, choking out as he stormed from the dining room: "It's the most frightful, wicked music I ever heard." I was exposed to a similarly violent reaction when I paid my first visit to Denmark. We were sitting around the piano-one of Copenhagen's leading conductors, a well-known Danish musicologist, several other musicians, and myself-when the conversation fell on Bruckner. It was then I realized that much of the Bruckner Problem in non-German-speaking countries is political rather than musical. "Karajan came up during the war and conducted Bruckner, I think it was the Seventh Symphony," said the Danish conductor. "I'm sure he did it well, but for us it represented everything about Germany we hate, the marching boots, the concentration camps...." "Surely that's an exaggeration," I said. "You can't mix music and politics that way." And on the argument went, till I sat down at the piano and began to play the beginning of the Ninth Symphony. The company listened attentively, but after a few minutes my host came over. "Please don't play it," he said, pushing a glass of cognac into my hand; "it really makes me ill."
 
Several years later I was in Prague, talking to members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. We were discussing the group's repertoire, and I asked if they did any Bruckner. "During the war and before, the German Philharmonic Orchestra here [now the Bamberg Symphony] played a lot of Bruckner; but it was for the German population. We Czechs can't stand Bruckner; it reminds us of the Occupation." And the subject was very abruptly changed. Actually, this confusion of art and politics in connection with Bruckner is partly the result of the Austro-German attitude which, as I have tried to convey, borders on worship. If Bruckner's music represents (as I think it must, at least subconsciously) the essence of German spiritual life to the Austro-Germans, such peoples as the Danes and Czechs probably react against it more for what it represents than for what it is. Dragging politics into the Bruckner Problem has only served to make it worse.
 
It does not help matters to include Bruckner with the parochial, highly nationalistic composers who sprouted forth at the end of the nineteenth century, such as Delius, Sibelius, Smetana, Elgar, and Nielsen -composers whose present popularity exists almost exclusively (and even Sibelius is hardly an exception any more) in the cultural milieu to which they belonged. In other words, the English do not dislike Bruckner for the same reason that the Austrians dislike or, more truthfully, are bored by Elgar. The problem of Bruckner is surely one that is, or should be regarded as, purely musical. Austrians sometimes try to persuade doubting foreigners that in order to savor Bruckner you must have seen St. Florian, the great Benedictine Abbey in Upper Austria where Bruckner was organist; you must have soaked up the atmosphere of Upper Austria, the lilting countryside, and so forth. This is surely rubbish, just as it is foolish to say that to like Delius you must lie on the grass by the Thames on a summer evening. Of course it is obvious that the Landler, from Mozart and Haydn down to Mahler, has had a strong effect on Austrian music; but you can like a Landler or a waltz without ever having set foot on Austrian soil. And to confuse the Bruckner Problem with local "Kolorit" is certainly as bad as to bring politics or Weltanschauung into the affair.
 
The first thing that labels a Bruckner Symphony as out of the ordinary is its huge length compared to that of previous symphonic works. The Eighth Symphony, for example, is almost three times as long as Beethoven's Fifth. This, in itself superficial, observation means that the listener must concentrate for some eighty minutes; it puts the playing of a Bruckner symphony on a special level, otherwise occupied (as far as length goes) only by Mahler. The large size of the orchestra-not to speak of the technical difficulties demanded of the brass section- also places the music out of the range of all but major symphonic organizations. Thus, on the simplest level, the execution of a Bruckner work involves problems unrelated to those of the standard repertoire. It takes but one thought for an orchestral management to schedule a Bach suite, a Schubert symphony, a Mozart concerto: it takes at least two, even in Austria, to include Bruckner's Seventh, Eighth, or Ninth on a program. The moment one stops thinking about the Bruckner Problem and starts listening to the music with an objective ear, however, it is not difficult to see at once why the Austrians identify themselves, or rather their cultural heritage, with this music: for Bruckner is a vast summing up, a final passionate outpouring of a long and hallowed tradition, the end beyond which it is not-and, as history has shown us, has not been-possible to proceed. Mahler was by no means such a repository of tradition as was Bruckner; Mahler leads forward, even to Shostakovich. Bruckner leads nowhere (unless you are prepared to call Franz Schmidt somewhere, which most non-Austrians are not): he is the end of the long road.
 
In the Bruckner orchestral works, there are powerful echoes of the great symphonic tradition: of Austrian baroque, with gigantic fugues, proud trumpets, and rattling kettledrums; of Haydn's late Masses, which were miraculous fusions of the late Viennese classical style and the older contrapuntal forms; of the doom-ridden tremolos in the first movement of Beethoven's Ninth-an atmosphere to which Bruckner, trancelike, returns again and again. There are also traces of Schubert's lyricism, and many of Bruckner's second subjects bear the stamp of music's greatest song writer. In the scherzos, we have a continuation of the famous Austrian dance tradition, one that flourished in the Deutsche Tanze and Minuets which Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven wrote (and were not ashamed of writing) for court balls and also for less formal occasions; this tradition turned into the early waltz (Josef Lanner) and, of course, the Strauss dynasty. In the orchestration of Bruckner's symphonies, there is always a strong undercurrent of a mighty organ; and this is no accident, for Bruckner began his career as an organist, and toured Europe-as far as London -in that capacity. Finally, his orchestration and his harmonic language owe a strong debt to Wagner, the composer who might be said to have colored Bruckner's music more than anyone else. In short, when a musically well-educated Austrian listens to Bruckner he hears, at least in his subconscious, the mighty procession of his musical culture.
 
After what I have written above, it sounds, on paper, as if Bruckner were music's greatest eclectic; but if you knew no Beethoven and were to read a scholarly German thesis on Beethoven's musical inheritance, you might imagine that composer to have been a combination of Haydn and Mozart but with more ff's. Bruckner's language, though we can easily trace its sources, is highly original; once you know it, you could turn on the radio and spot Bruckner at once even if the piece were one you had never heard. For like all great synthesizers-Mozart is perhaps the most celebrated example-Bruckner knew instinctively which elements of his heritage to accept and which to reject.
 
The enormous forms in which his music is cast are necessary because the material he presents is highly complex; it is also complicated, which is not the same thing. Thus, in the Finale of the Eighth Symphony, the coda unfolds itself like the reading of the Archangel at Doomsday; and at the very end, preceded by jagged timpani fanfares, every principal theme in the symphony comes in at once in a final and apocalyptic flash of grandeur. But to arrive at this point, to make this last affirmation of e pluribus unum, Bruckner had to construct a long and involved movement, to build up, stone by stone, the mighty edifice capable of receiving, at the end, such an overwhelming superstructure. One of the things that bewilders many people about Bruckner is this very size; we must always remember that he worked in the largest possible forms; (There is, significantly, no important short piece at all by Bruckner.) His mind worked precisely opposite from that of a Persian miniaturist, in whose art our eye is caressed by delightful details; in Bruckner, everything-even the smallest detail-is constructed with an eye to the whole and is thus relatively unimportant in itself. In this sense, not only the Austrians but the rest of us too are getting a Faustian summing-up in such a work as the Bruckner Eighth or Ninth Symphony. Why, then, has this music- coming from a school whose other members have written works cherished the world over-not gone the way of earlier Austrian composers? Why has not Bruckner become a main staple of our musical fare in the way that have Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, or Johann Strauss?
 
A number of answers to this difficult question have been suggested, but none appears to be wholly satisfactory. It is, for example, possible to link Bruckner's fate with the fate of romantic music in general: for with the upsurge of romanticism, the course of music began to take that fateful direction towards nationalism which ended in the pre-Schoenbergian chaos of a host of minor composers, all working within their own countries and penetrating the international concert world only with difficulty, or not at all. By conjuring up the temptation of subjectivity, composers had to pay the devil's price: isolation and misunderstanding. And if Schubert's path was difficult-we must remember that he wrote his Ninth Symphony more or less for the desk drawer-how much more tortuous was that of Bruckner, who was, moreover, burdened by a total lack of worldly sophistication, a hard, peasant's accent (his crude, primitive German was a sort of society joke in Vienna), and a generally uncouth appearance. Still, this naive exterior obviously had nothing to do with the visionary grandeur of his music, and the argument connecting Bruckner and romanticism can be effectively countered by citing other romantic figures such as Mendelssohn or Tchaikovsky, whose music has not experienced any difficulty in crossing the borders of the countries in which it originated.
 
Still another argument, which one heard more frequently twenty or thirty years ago than one does today, is the old anti-Wagnerian cry. For many years it was the fashion to decry Wagner and, automatically, Bruckner, whose music, as we know, owes much to Wagnerian methods. Yet today Wagner is accepted as one of music's greatest geniuses, certainly not to be classified as a problem any more. This argument, too, does not bring us nearer the core of the matter. "I am tempted to believe," writes a valued colleague, "that there is no explanation for the feast-or-famine attitude towards Bruckner-except that we are perhaps in the presence of a cultural lag that seems to be more laggardly in some milieus than in others." 
   
Granted this is true, someone reading this article a hundred years from now will probably experience the same curious sensations with which we read of mighty and earth-shaking aesthetic battles that took place generations ago: battles with which we can hardly identify ourselves emotionally, so long ago in space and time did they occur. Personally, I do not doubt for a minute that Bruckner is the greatest symphonist since Beethoven. Bruckner, I am convinced, is here to stay, and it is up to us to face his music squarely. Like the tourist in the Uffizi gallery in Florence who was told by the guard, "It is not the pictures that are on trial, it is you," one might paraphrase, "It is not Bruckner's music that is on trial...." Perhaps the answer to the Bruckner Problem is as simple as that.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-21-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 8,731
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 13
Post ID: 18076
Reply to: 13757
Bruckner as audio anti-idiocy tool.

There was a guy as one musical forum. His name is William Sommerwerck and for all intended purpose he is an idiot. He was posting more or less lucid comments about music but he also fancied himself as some kind of expert on audio.  He insisted that he was a godfather of electricity, acoustics and gravity. He informed that anybody who ever did anything in audio solicited his advice. He claimed that he accomplished some unimaginable result in his listening room. The fact the he works as floor sales person in hi-fi store dose says a lot. The playback that he uses and the ideas that he insists others to subscribe are truly pathetic, so I very fast discard him as one more many unfortunate idiots of audio. However, a few days back I was looking something on-line and I came across the Sommerwerck’s comment that he insisted that his playback and any other audio playback do not do well with large scale music. He claimed that quarters are the most that he can play on his audio “impressively”. That was very predictable (5ch Quads with digital amplification + brainless owner) even though I do not think that that I would care too much about his version of quarters.

The point is not about the unfortunate William and even not about the pathetic expectation that retarget reference point the some audio fools have. The subject that stroke me was mach wider – what complexity of music audio can do and how that complexity relates to audio intelligence of a playback owner. We all know that in most of the cases the so-called high-end audio is good enough only to play what I call “girl with banjo” type of music and it is very seldom hi-fi can deal with full orchestral might. So, the complain of idiot- Sommerwerck are not so unwarranted but there are a reason why  his mind does not operate further then the hi-fi crap the he was presold and that he is so desperate to defend.

Sine I entered the world of horns and multi-amping with good SETs in 1999 I did observed a growth of my playback capacity to play complex music and I did not have the large-scale music syndrome. Incidentally I was discovering an intrusting thing – as my appreciation of Bruckner grew and since I was made my playback more and more able to play Bruckner I begin to develop deeper and deeper rejection of the Sommerwerck-like industry-induced Sound, the Sound that absolutely not able to play anything remotely Bruckner -like.

So, thinking about this further I asked: why do not use Bruckner music as a tool to fight the audio idiocy. A typical audio Morons read these audio publications, listen the retarded sales-people the store and end up with expensive pile of sonic crap on their rooms along with brainless audio-garbage in the heads. How about if to use Bruckner to bleach of that audio stupidity that audio people looks like to eager to sponge from audio would? I need to tell you that there was a lot of audio BS removed from my mind as my interest to Bruckner Sound grew.  As I can see now I would not even go to listen anybody else playback if the owner does not play Bruckner on this playback more or less regularly. Pay attention: in my mind I discard the audio experience and audio accomplishment if the person does not “do Bruckner”. It is not about tastes or personal preferences but about me insisting that until a person has a strong feeling and tangible accomplishment in playing Bruckner than this person in my mind is not ready support audio at the level I demand.

I know, many of you will find my position being very rigid but I am not in business of patting anybody shoulders.  I express what I feel and it is what it is. To me relationship with playback able to play Bruckner is an indication of audio success. Also, in the way how I see the things: audio people, among these who have no audio expertise and not too much audio listening intelligence, might use own relationship with Bruckner sound as an indication how potent their playback is.

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-22-2012 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 252
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 14
Post ID: 18081
Reply to: 18076
I beg not to differ with you!
nt
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