Day 53: Symphony No. 8 in C Minor (Inbal)

This morning, I am listening to Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C Minor (WAB 108), interpreted by Israeli conductor Eliahu Inbal (1936-).

I heard Maestro Inbal on seven previous days:

On Day 3, Symphony No. 1.

And on Day 8, Symphony No. 2.

And on Day 14, Symphony No. 3.

And on Day 21, Symphony No. 4.

And again on Day 29, Symphony No. 5.

And again on Day 37, Symphony No. 6.

And again, most recently, on Day 45, Symphony No. 7.

If you want to read what I thought of his interpretations, have at it. If not, read on…

Here are the objective stats about today’s performance:

Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C Minor (WAB 108), composed 1884–1892
Eliahu Inbal conducts
Inbal used the “First version,” (whatever that means) according to the CD sleeve
Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt plays
The symphony clocks in at 75:35
This was recorded in Frankfurt, Germany, in August of 1982
Inbal was 46 when he conducted it
Bruckner was 68 when he finished composing it
This recording was released on the Warner Classics & Jazz label/Teldec Classics label

Bruckner wrote his symphonies in four movements. The time breakdown of this one (Symphony No. 8 in C Minor), from this particular conductor (Inbal) and this particular orchestra (Frankfurt Radio Symphony) is as follows:

I. Allegro moderato………………………………………………………………………………..14:05
II. Adagio. Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam…………………………………………..13:39
III. Scherzo. Sehr schnell………………………………………………………………………..26:50
IV. Finale. Bewegt, doch nicht schnell……………………………………………………21:09

Total Time: 75:35

Here are the subjective aspects:

My Rating:
Recording quality: 3 (a few ambient noises here and there)
Overall musicianship: 4
CD liner notes: 3 (very thin booklet, sparse essay about Bruckner translated into English, German, and French; no information at all about Eliahu Inbal)
How does this make me feel: 3

Way too thin and brassy for me.

By “brassy” (a word I’ve used throughout my blogging about Bruckner) I mean tinny, without a lot of bottom end. Just kind of sharp and piercing. Like listening to a Jefferson Airplane recording from the 1960s. Thin. Hardly any bass.

I listened to this performance 4-5 times. At least. I had it on as background while I read, wrote, and just listened.

If not for the fact that I adore Bruckner’s Eighth, I’m afraid this would put me to sleep.

It seems incredibly average to me. It lacks “magic.”

But that’s all in the ear of the beholder.

Your mileage may vary.

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