The Discographic "Den of Horrors"
(Updated December 6, 2015)
There are lots of errors on the recordings listed in this discography. Some give the wrong date, some give false names for the artists, but some gaffes will always bubble to the top and these are my present nominees for the Brucknerian "Den of Horrors."
Adventure Classic MJ 26368 - Bruckner: Symphony No. 6 (Actually Symphony in D Minor)
Classic Bruckner! It's a classic, alright. The CD says it is the Bruckner Symphony # 6, but in fact the CD contains a very poor monaural copy of Marzendorfer's performance of the early Symphony in D Minor. It lists that the symphony is in three movements since they combined the last two movements onto one track. Nice work!
Allegretto 210695 - Bruckner Symphony No. 4
The conductor on this CD is listed as Henry Adolph. This fictitious maestro shows up on lots of CDs, so that alone does not get this CD a listing. However, now we have Bruckner living from 1838-1880. That certainly puts many of the composer's late editions - and the entire Symphony # 9 - outside of his lifespan! This makes the problems with the editions all the more confusing.
(My thanks to Holger Grintz in Germany for this information.)
Arkadia / Hunt 725 - Bruckner: Symphony No. 6
This recording has come out on two slightly different labels: Arkadia CDGI 725.1 and Hunt Productions HUNTCD 725. The Arkadia release states that the Klemperer / New Philharmonia Orchestra performance dates from 21/3/61 in London. The Hunt CD (with the identical recording) states that the performance took place on 21/3/67 in London. That's enough to make anyone suspicious. Turns out that both dates are wrong. This is just a poor sounding monaural copy of the EMI commercial recording with fake applause added. Avoid them both!
ASV CD QS 6154: Bruckner Symphony No. 7
This ASV Quicksilver recording of the Bruckner 7th (with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Francesco D'Avalos) lists the 3rd movement as lasting 7:55. In fact, the track starts at letter D, after the timpani solo. The recording of the scherzo actually begins at 21:10 of the second movement, which is listed as ending at 22:17!
(My thanks to Tony Burton-Page for pointing out this defect which does not show up if you play the CD straight through.)
Audite 95.495 - Symphony No. 8 - Boehm
Here is one of those recordings that was cursed from the beginning. When Audite transferred this 1971 recording to digital format, they goofed with the transfer of movements 3 and 4 which came out about a semi-tone flat. The timings on the tray card reflect the actual timing of the CD, so the timings for movements 3 and 4 are too long (26'37" & 22'28"). Audite discovered the error after some CDs were shipped and they corrected the CD. The proper timings for movements 3 and 4 are 24'27" and 20'40". However, as of this writing, the tray cards still show the incorrect timings.
(My thanks to Bruce Morrison in the UK who helped me & Audite discover the errors.)
Camerata 33CM-379-80 - Bruckner Symphony No. 2
This recording has been added on two accounts. The original project that Camerata undertook was to record the 1872 first concept and 1873 first performance editions of the Bruckner Symphony # 2. After the sessions were over, Kurt Eichhorn wanted to record another version of the finale that amalgamated some of Bruckner's later thoughts - mostly dating from 1876. So instead of clarifying issues, it just muddied the water by introducing yet another amalgamated version. But what really gets this set listed here is how Camerata packaged it. The 1872 & 1873 performances were released on a two CD set (15CM-195-96). They then released this set with the 1872 version and coupled the amalgamated finale with some rehearsal material. If you went ahead and bought the complete symphony set, you would now have THREE copies of the 1872 edition.
Classic Mediaphon MED 22.207 - Bruckner Collection
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Here is a nice compilation of Bruckner excerpts. The credits for the Quintet and the Motets are correct, but for the Symphony No. 4, not only do they use the pseudonym (it's actually Milan Horvat), but they spell the pseudonym's name incorrectly!! It's Denis Zsoltay, not Szoltay! Or...maybe this is the correct spelling and all the others are wrong??
Here's an odd one. Decca released this CD with Georg Solti leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the Bruckner 8th. The recording didn't sound right and the timings were different from earlier releases. Was it a different performance with Chicago? Unfortunately no. It is the earlier recording that he made with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Decca has corrected the error, but that is why there are CD covers on the market with either Vienna or Chicago on the label. The performance on these CDs is always Vienna.
The recording is the Anton Nanut performance of the Bruckner 8th, but somehow the cover designer got confused with Brahms. Also, I know of the occasional subtitle, "Apocalypse" but not "Apocalypsis." At least it's not "Apocalypso." Then we might expect to hear Bruckner with a Jamaican beat! Or maybe I'm wrong and Brahms actually wrote an 8th Symphony... Other "Denon Essentials" include Brahms' Symphonies No. 3 and 7 which, I assume, are part of this unique Brahms symphony cycle.
(My thanks to Doug Halfen for bringing this to my attention.)
Designo 222505 354 - The Rosbaud Bruckner 7th
This is a four CD set with some interesting, but inconvenient packaging. The set contains three classic Bruckner performances. I have only had the "pleasure" of listening to the Rosbaud recording of the Symphony No. 7. This recording has been around for a long time, but this is the worst processing imaginable. While this was an early stereo recording with modest stereo imaging, it has now been twisted to make the instrumental sections come out of different channels. It occasionally shifts to monaural and is "enhanced" with some glaring midrange boost.
(My thanks to Andre Gauthier for providing this information.)
This legendary recording has been in the catalog since it was issued back in the 1970's. Its first appearance on CD (EMI CDM 7 69923 2) came through OK since the engineers inserted all the edits. But all subsequent re-masterings have omitted bars 35-38 from the finale! EMI had been told about this error before but they chose to ignore it. Subsequently, when Yoshio Okazaki re-mastered the recording for Toshiba in Japan in 2006, he perpetuated EMI's error. The MHS CD suffers from the same defect. Happily, EMI is now acknowledging the error and is supplying corrected discs. Unhappily, it appears that the faulty recording was used in EMI's recent 160 CD Karajan commemorative set! And the story takes on another amazing twist. As part of the 100th Anniversary of Karajan's birth, EMI released a special commemorative set in Japan (TOCE-56056/59). But the recording of the Bruckner 4th in this set turned out to be the one recorded by Simon Rattle. Once again EMI owned up to the error and repressed the CD with the Symphony No. 4 with the Karajan performance, but now it seems that Bars 233-236 (8:20 - 8:36) of the 1st Movement are incorrectly repeated twice! Keep trying EMI!!
EMI Double Forte - Jochum Dresden Recordings
This series of recordings is fine in terms of the recordings themselves, but it was the total production that gets really low marks. Take a look at the series if releases - all put out as "two-fers."
Nos.2+4: CD 7243 5 74837 2 8 Nos.3+7: CD 7243 5 68652 2 8 Nos.5+6: CD 7243 5 72661 2 3 Nos.8+9: CD 7243 5 73827 2 4
So with the full release of four "two-fers" one gets eight symphonies...no sign of the Symphony No. 1.
Nice job, EMI!
Essential Media Group / Point Classics / Symphony No. 2
Will the real Hans Zanotelli please stand up!
From the appearances of these two recordings, Hans Zanotelli's interpretation of the Bruckner Symphony No. 2 is well represented on disc - especially when you consider that these are two different performances.
The problem here is that NEITHER of these performances are actually by Zanotelli. The Essential Media Group recording (available as a download and as a custom CD) is actually a recording by Carl Melles and the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra. The Point Classics CD is a performance by Eric Schmid and the SW German Radio Symphony Orchestra.
But before we relegate Hans Zanotelli to the Pseudonym dust bin, let's consider the fact that Maestro Zanotelli (1927-1993) actually has a recording of Bruckner motets on the Profil label and the Bruckner archive has a Zanotelli recording of the Bruckner Symphony No. 6 produced for broadcast by the North German Radio (NDR).
Eterna vs. Eurodisc - Which Orchestra is this??
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In the 1960's VEB Deutsche Schallplatten, the East German Record company released an LP of Franz Konwitschny conducting the Bruckner Symphony No. 4. It was released on their Eterna label (8 25 504). As was often the case, this recording was licensed to other companies for distribution outside of the Eastern Bloc. On the Eterna LP, the orchestra is the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, but on many of the western pressings (most notably Eurodisc on several of their re-packagings) the orchestra was listed as the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. So which orchestra is it? It's Vienna. Eurodisc made an assumption but Eterna was there when the recording was made.
Fachmann fur Klassischer Musik FKM-CDR-347 - Symphony No. 6
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Given how my ability to read Japanese is literally non-existant, I really cannot take to big a swing at this Japanese pirate CDR which claims to give us a recording of the Bruckner Symphony No. 6 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by the Finnish conductor, Sakari Oramo. True, the real date of the concert was January 12, 2005 - not January 5th as stated on the back cover and the interview with Sakari Oramo which is listed on the back cover is nowhere to be heard on the CD. But the REAL problem here is that the conductor is not Sakari Oramo, but another Finnish conductor, Petri Sakari. If you have the CD, just change the conductor's name and enjoy a nice recording.
Iron Needle IN 1392 - Bruckner Symphony No. 7
Here is a company that prides itself on issuing historical recordings and then provides incorrect information. The label says that the recording is, "Newly Remastered from Original Sources." Whatever the "source" is, it is not very original. Compared to the Preiser issue (Preiser CD 90192) the sound is heavily processed and muddy. One would also think that the "original sources" would know the details of the recording. The label states that it is a recording by the Sachische Staatskapelle in 1944. In reality, it is a recording by the Vienna Philharmonic in June of 1943. One is forced to wonder if this company is purposely mis-labeling performances in order to entice the unsuspecting collector to a supposedly different performance. It is pretty shabby work either way.
Landscape Classics CD8741028 - Symphony No. 4 / Joseph Kreutzer
I'll be honest. I don't know what this really is. I have never found anything about a Joseph Kreutzer (except for the composer who died in 1840). He does show up on a CD conducting Mahler, but it is another CD like this one. I cannot easily ascribe it to Alfred Scholz because the Bruckner 4th recording that has come out on labels that usually offer his recordings actually use a recording by Milan Horvat. This might be a Scholz recording...it might not. I just don't know. It's a good one, but the timings on the back cover are all wrong.
Live Classic BEST 100 - Bruckner: Symphonies No. 4 & 9
If you love Karajan, this CD will disappoint you. It claims to have two live Karajan Bruckner performances. But if you find one, you may want to snatch it up, because the Bruckner 4th is actually a performance by Kurt Sanderling and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Bruckner 9th is with Jascha Horenstein and the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra.
Living Stage LS-1009 - Bruckner Symphony No. 9
The conductor and the date are right, but the orchestra is wrong. It's the Bavarian State Orchestra. But the big news here is that Knappertsbusch conducts the Finale to the Bruckner 9th. Amazing! I wonder if he uses Carragan's or one of the Samale/Cohrs/Phillips editions - or maybe it's by Loewe!! You can relax, it's just the 3 movement Ninth - but what symphony do those four movements belong to? It appears to be the first published edition of the Third Symphony. That's why it attributes the edition to Franz Schalk.
(My thanks to Yasuhiro Izumi in Japan for this information.)
Lodia CP 805 - Carlos Paita / Symphony No. 4
This "Lodia" release has all the trappings of a companion release to Lodia's celebrated recording of Carlos Paita's Bruckner Eighth Symphony. But the problem is that the orchestra is not the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (as in the Eighth Symphony) that is listed on the cover or is this actually an official Lodia release! The recording contained on this pirate CD is, in fact, by Carlos Paita but the performance is by the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington and it was given on March 12-13, 1987. The source of the recording is an aircheck. The CD was offered commercially in the US for a few weeks but was then deleted due to possible copyright issues.
(My thanks to Antony Hodgson, the producer of the some Carlos Paita recordings for this information.}
Orfeo C208 891 A - Bruckner Symphony No. 7
At first, I resisted putting this CD onto my list, since it deals with a performance issue and not a production issue. Getting into performance issues can open up an entirely new type of discussion. However, I believe that this is a unique situation that defies a rational explanation. This CD offers a performance by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis. It is a live performance recorded in the Philharmonie im Gasteig in Munich on May 1st of 1987. As the CD booklet shows, Sir Colin chose to perform the symphony with the Scherzo and Adagio reversed. Before adding this CD to this page, I had a colleague check with the Bavarian Radio about this performance. Perhaps, the movements were reversed in the production of the CD. However, the actual concert tape in the Bavarian Radio archives states that, "changed order of movements authorized by Colin Davis". So there you have it. Perhaps Sir Colin thought that the Seventh Symphony should be performed like the Symphony No. 8. In 1984, he performed the same work with the same ensemble in the correct order. And one must wonder why Orfeo would release such a peculiar performance.
(My thanks to Johannes Honigmann and Hans Roelofs for this information.)
Orfeo C 550 011B - Bruckner: Symphony No. 9
Rafael Kubelik has long been associated with the music of Bruckner as well at that of his fellow countryman, Antonin Dvorak. Maybe that is why this disc gives Bruckner's dates as ANTON BRUCKNER (1841-1904). Also, the Concerto Grosso by Handel is mis-labeled Opus 6, No. 10. It is actually Opus 6, No. 6. (My thanks to Johannes Honigmann in France & Takis Atsidakos in Greece for this information.)
Past Classics SP638 - Karl Boehm - Bruckner Symphony No. 7
This CD (actually a CDR) is marketed by Saland Publishing in the UK. It is sold through Amazon websites. The CD cover claims that this is a recording with Karl Boehm conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden. It is not. It is the 1943 Vienna Philharmonic recording that is available on a real CD for much less money ($19.99). Saland has no contact info on their website, so they apparantly don't care about hearing from their customers. Amazon has been contacted.
Philips 443 599-2: Jurassic Classics
This is not an horrific release, it's really an interesting way to get kids interested in classical music, but given the cover and the lack of any other meaningful place to put it, I have listed it here. This CD was released in conjunction with the first "Jurassic Park" movie and it links classical selections with specific dinosaurs. "Jurassic Classics gets listed here because track No. 7 features the Triceratops and the associated music is the Scherzo to Bruckner's Symphony No. 9. As you would expect from this Philips release, the performance is by Bernard Haitink and the Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Point 2650102 - Bruckner: Symphony No. 9
This recording (claimed to be conducted by Cesare Cantieri) has shown up under the name of several conductors. Most recently, it has surfaced on a Spanish Zafiro LP (ZTV-75) where the conductor is Denis Zsoltay. Nevertheless, in every guise and format, the recording opens with the third movement, followed by the scherzo and then concludes with the adagio all over again. Up until June of 2014, we never found the first movement.
UPDATE # 1: Since informing the company of the error on this CD, they have changed the performance. The more recent CDs still have Cantieri's name on the back tray card but the booklet front now credits Evgeny Mravinsky and the Leningrad Philharmonic. In fact, the company has substituted the Mravinsky performance of January 30, 1980 for the defective Scholz recording.
UPDATE # 2: In June of 2014, by a very strange coincidence of auditioning recordings, it was determined that some of the South German Philharmonic recordings were actually performed by the SW German Radio Symphony Orchestra. A check of the SWF archives showed a Bruckner 9th recorded during the mid 60s by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. The performance was compared to the Point CD and it was clear that the Skrowaczewski performance was the same as the "South German Philharmonic" recording. The recording has been identified and the first movement has been located!!
Russian Season: Music of Grief and Sorrow
When they gave this downloadable recording its provocative title, they most likely didn't know how much grief they were actually causing when they included the Adagio from the Symphony No. 9 by Brunker. In addition to the Brunker, the album includes music by Wagner, Beethoven, Albinoni and some guys named Gluek and Grig. Good Grief!! The "Brunker" is the Svetlanov / Academic State Symphony Orchestra recording made in 1998 and once available on the Triton label.
Sony SB2K 53519 - Bruckner Symphonies 3 and 8
When this release came out in 1995 (a pairing of two George Szell / Cleveland Orchestra performances), it suffered from an incredible defect in that the dacapo of the scherzo (from bar 59) to the Symphony No. 3 was missing. It sounded terrible and it is hard to imagine how anyone with any musical sensitivity could have heard this and not known that something was missing. Sony eventually corrected the error. When the corrected copies were released, Sony stayed with the covers that posted the timing of the scherzo at 5'53". The corrected scherzo times out at 7'18".
Sony Classics "Great Composers" Series (Greece)
This set is not so much a horror but simply a poorly planned release. I purchased this set purely out of curiosity since it did not provide any performance data (conductor / orchestra / etc.). Upon receiving the set, I was able to clearly identify the performers as Gunter Wand and the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra. But the question must be raised about the selection of the music since the title of the set is not only (in Greek) "Great Composers" but also, "The Great Symphonies." If one were to choose the great symphonies of Bruckner, would one choose Symphonies 1-4?? How about 4, 7, 8, 9? The choice is even more questionable with these performance since it is known that Gunter Wand did not like performing Bruckner Symphonies 1 and 2 and only made these recordings since the Cologne Radio / Harmonia Mundi wanted a complete Bruckner cycle.
Sony Classics 88697368812
This Sony SACD contains Kent Nagano's recording of the 1874 version of the Symphony No.4. He conducts the Bavarian State Orchestra. But when it was time to print the covers, someone at Sony decided to use the movement titles for the 1878/80 version. My thanks to Horace Lau in Hong Kong for this information.
The producers of this pirate CD should have known something was up. When do you get an entire live concert of the Bruckner Eighth without a single noise from the audience? In 1979, Bernard Haitink's 1969 Concertgebouw recording (Philips) was played in the parks in Linz. In a recent broadcast of the 1966 recording, ORF made reference to the Linz event. SunJay Classics in Japan has released this broadcast as a performance given by Haitink in Linz in 1979. Sorry, it is just Haitink's 1969 studio recording.
Tuxedo TUXCD 1207 - Rudolf Moralt: Bruckner Symphony No. 7
Rudolf Moralt (February 26, 1902, Munich - December 16, 1958, Vienna) was a German conductor, particularly associated with Mozart and the German repertory.
Born in Munich, he studied there with Walter Courvoisier and August Schmid-Lindner, and was engaged as an assistant at the Munich State Opera under Bruno Walter and Hans Knappertsbusch from 1919 until 1923.
He was conductor at the opera house of Kaiserslautern (1923-28) and musical director of the opera house in Brno (1932-34). He also worked in Braunschweig and Graz before being appointed chief conductor at the Vienna State Opera in 1940 until his death in Vienna at age 58.
Given this information, it was exciting when Tuxedo announced a Bruckner 7th with Rudolf Moralt conducting. The only problem is that when the recording was released, it now listed Hans Rosbaud and the SWF Symphony Orchestra - a recording available from many other labels. But the real problem here is that for years, this cover with Moralt's name is still showing up in all promotions of the disc. I wonder how many people have purchased the Moralt only to receive the Rosbaud. Wake up Tuxedo! You too Qualiton!
Urania URN 22.188 - Bruckner Symphony No. 8
This CD was produced in Milan, Italy The liner notes tell of the important contribution that this CD makes to the Rosbaud discography. They state that the recording was made in 1951. The timings of the individual movements are 13'35" 13'24" 18'05" and 19'29". However, the tape in the SWR archives gives the date as November 17, 1955. The timings of this recording are 13'39" 13'28" 26'11" and 19'20". So, the big question here is - What happened to eight minutes of the Adagio? The edit is smooth and hard to find but why was it ever cut? Even in its full length, the recording clocks in at under 74 minutes, so there is no problem fitting this performance onto one CD. Hopefully, the full recording will be available someday!
Vibrato VHL 26 - Bruckner Symphony No. 8
This recording is a pirate CD produced in Japan (don't let the "Made in USA" statement fool you). If you happen to be in a CD specialty shop in Japan and you see this recording which claims, on the cover, that it contains a Bruckner Symphony No.5 conducted by Josef Krips, you might get very excited. I sure would. Actually, if you flip the CD over, it accurately states that the recording is of the Symphony No. 8. Secondly, the CD claims that the recording comes from a concert given at Carnegie Hall in New York on December 2, 1961. Our producer seems to have trouble with his numbers. The recording dates from December 3rd
Vibrato VLL 136 - Bruckner: Symphony No. 9
This company wants you to believe that this is yet another Celi Bruckner Ninth from Stuttgart. They date it correctly as 1974 (other companies have mis-dated this recording) but the timings would indicate that it must be different from the one commercially released on Deutsche Grammophon. The extra length is achieved by playing the opening 115 bars of the Scherzo (to letter E) twice!
(My thanks to Hans Roelofs for pointing this out.)
Weton Wesgram GC019 - Bruckner Symphony No. 4
The cover says it all! This is a CD + CD-Rom with a brief biography in addition to a performance of the Symphony # 4 (The infamous Adolph / Philharmonia Slavonica performance - actually Horvat / ORF S.O.) . The multimedia concept is interesting and the biography is OK, but the picture of Brahms keeps showing up and ruins the entire presentation. What kind of quality control would let a picture of Brahms grace a Bruckner CD?