Day 10: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Young)

My “office” this morning is a local Tim Horton’s, a Canadian restaurant chain that recently entered the market in West Michigan.

Tim Horton’s coffee is tasty, I’ll give them that. Their donuts are passable. Their breakfast sammies are uniquely flavored. It’s their atmosphere that needs a bit of tweaking. Very small restaurants. Austere decor.

Plus, I wish they’d turn off the large screen TV blaring CNN’s anti-Trump “news” (and reporting Saturday Night Live’s anti-Trump skits as if it’s news) 24/7. I can’t stand CNN. Ruining my enjoyment of…

This morning, I am listening to Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (WAB 102), nicknamed “The Symphony of Pauses,” interpreted by Australian conductor Simone Young (1961-).

[NOTE: This is the last time I provide all this background on Simone Young and the orchestra. Next time, you’re on your own.]

According to an entry about her on Wikipedia,

Simone Margaret Young AM (born 2 March 1961) is an Australian conductor. She was born in Sydney, of Irish ancestry on her father’s side and Croatian ancestry on her mother’s side. Young was educated at the Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College in North Sydney. She studied composition, piano and conducting at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Her orchestra is the Philharmoniker Hamburg.

According to its entry on Wikipedia,

The Philharmoniker Hamburg is an internationally renowned symphony orchestra based in Hamburg. As of 2015, Kent Nagano has been General Music Director (Generalmusikdirektor) (de) and Chief Director (Chefdirigent). The Philharmoniker Hamburg also serves as the orchestra of the Hamburg State Opera. The Hamburg Philharmonic is one of three major orchestras in Hamburg, the others being the Hamburger Symphoniker and the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra.

The CD booklet that sort of serves as liner notes reads,

You will find detailed liner notes from Michael Lewis for all sinfonies via download on www.oehmsclassics.de

That’s all well and good.

But I just paid $31.58 for this box set. And now I have to go to a web site to find liner notes?

Good luck with that.

Especially when that URL is to the home page of OEHMS Classics, and not a specific page that lists liner notes for this set and others. Without that dedicated URL (which is what I would have printed in the liner notes booklet), it’s anyone’s guess where the liner notes are on their site.

See what I mean:

Where are the liner notes?

Yoo-hoo? Liner notes!

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

How much time do I want to spend searching for them?

Zero.

That’s how much time.

But I clicked around for awhile until I found the link to the pdf of the liner notes. Here it is.

You’re welcome.

And, by the way, the pdf of liner notes – at 56 pages – is actually quite extensive. There’s some interesting stuff in there. I just wish it was included in the CD box set and/or given a unique URL to find them quickly and easily on the OEHMS web site.

Ah well. As Tony Soprano would say, “Whattayagonnado?”

Here are the objective aspects of today’s recording:

Bruckner’s Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (WAB 102), composed 1872
Simone Young conducts
Young used the “Linz version,” according to the liner notes that I had to download myself from the OEHMS Classics web site (or “Linzer” and “Urfassung 1865/66,” according to the CD sleeve (“Urfassung” is German for “original version”)
Philharmoniker Hamburg plays
The symphony clocks in at 71:22 – Yikes! (this wins the coveted “Yikes!” award for length)
This was recorded in Hamburg, Germany, in March (12th and 13th) of 2006
Young was 45 when she conducted it
Bruckner was 48 when he finished composing it (the first time)
This recording was released on the OEHMS Classics label

Bruckner wrote his symphonies in four movements. The time breakdown of this one (Symphony No. 2 in C Minor), from this particular conductor (Young) and this particular orchestra (Philharmoniker Hamburg) is as follows:

I. Moderato……………………………………………………………………………………………………..20:40
II. Scherzo: Mäßig schnell (Moderately fast)…………………………………………………..10:47
III. Andante: Feierlich, etwas bewegt (Solemnly, somewhat animated)…………19:32
IV. Finale: Ziemlich schnell (Fairly fast)……………………………………………………………20:23

The score calls for a pair each of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani, and strings.

Total running time: 71:22 – Yikes!

Okay. Now, here are the subjective aspects of today’s recording:

My Rating:
Recording quality: 3
Overall musicianship: 4
CD liner notes: 2 (meager notes, confusing layout, essentially an “ad” for the Hamburg State Councillor of Culture and the Hamburg Philharmonic)
How does this make me feel: 4

Seriously?

This is 71:22 long?!?!?!

This is, by far, the longest performance of Bruckner’s second of the five conductors I heard in this leg of my journey.

Doubt me?

Take a look:

Janowski, Day 9 – 54:55
Inbal, Day 8 – 61:48
Barenboim (Pink Box) – 54:19
Barenboim (Blue Box) – 60:00

At 71:22, Maestro’s Young’s interpretation is nearly 20 minutes longer than Barenboim’s, and 10 minutes longer than Inbal’s. That’s a problem for me. At that length, we’re into Ass Hurt territory.

It’s a decent performance. But it’s not 10-20 minutes longer decent.

That, combined with the lack of decent liner notes…

Well, this isn’t a bad performance. In fact, it’s a good one.

But it’s not magical.

I wasn’t hooked.

Even though I listened to it twice through just to make sure I wasn’t missing something.

Nope. I wasn’t.

Tomorrow starts a new symphony – Bruckner’s Third!

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