HD-Vinyl 24/96 (CBS) Anton Bruckner – Symphony No. 8 (Szell)

One of the greatest misconceptions about George Szell is that, while he was able to drill orchestras into incomparable playing, his interpretations were metronomic and lacked imagination. What a load of tosh.
George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra were long known for becoming one of the greatest orchestras of the 20th century. Using balance, precision and a desire for perfection, Szell was able to achieve results very few orchestras in the world could hope to achieve. While Szell was often portrayed in the media and society as cold or dictator like, his leadership resulted in the Cleveland Orchestra producing some of the finest Mozart, Bruckner, Beethoven and Haydn recordings ever made.

Composer: Anton Bruckner, Richard Wagner
Orchestra:  Cleveland Orchestra
Conductor: Georg Szell
Vinyl (1969)
Number of Discs: 2
Format: Flac
Label: CBS
DR-Analysis: 12
Size: 2.04 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory

Szell leads a taut well-balanced and energetic performance of Bruckner’s 8th symphony that disprove the often voiced notion that he was cold and unfeeling. His approach to ensemble precision and clarity bordered on the clinical, but he was a passionate exponent of central european classical & romantic music and an expert orchestral leader. He truly understood Bruckner and shapes performances that are artfully phrased with perfectly tiered dynamics and a sense of architectural structure that marks a good Bruckner conductor. These are relatively swifter performances than those by Karajan or Celibidache for example, but they don’t sound fast. The sound of this 8th, recorded later in 1969 is gorgeous; the engineers captured a great deal more of Severance Hall’s ambiance in the mix giving it a reverberence well suited to this great work. Szell uses the Nowak score 1890 for the symphony (the Hass edition is now fully discredited as being a hodge-podge of earlier and later Bruckner versions cobbled together by the musicologist). I enjoy performances of the Hass edition (Wand, Karajan e.g.) and some like to hear the additional music Hass wove into his edition from Bruckner’s earlier performing versions. The Nowak 1890 8th, however, is solely the work of the composer and better structured.


A1 Symphony No. 8 C-Minor – Allegro Moderato 14:31
A2 Symphony No. 8 C-Minor – Scherzo. Allegro Moderato-Trio. Langsam 16:15
B Symphony No. 8 C-Minor – Adagio. Feierlich Langsam, Doch Nicht Schleppend 29:08
C Symphony No. 8 C-Minor – Finale. Feierlich, Nicht Schnell 22:06
D Richard Wagner – Tristan Und Isolde: Vorspiel Und Liebestod

Analyzed folder: /96k Bruckner – Symphony No. 8 – Szell
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR11        -1.15 dB     -17.82 dB     A1 Symphony No. 8 C-Minor – Allegro Moderato.aif
DR12        -0.60 dB     -17.54 dB     A2 Symphony No. 8 C-Minor – Scherzo. Allegro Moderato-Trio. Langsam.aif
DR14        -0.96 dB     -21.71 dB     B Symphony No. 8 C-Minor – Adagio. Feierlich Langsam, Doch Nicht Schleppend.aif
DR12        -0.46 dB     -17.74 dB     C Symphony No. 8 C-Minor – Finale. Feierlich, Nicht Schnell.aif
DR13        -0.44 dB     -18.97 dB     D Richard Wagner – Tristan Und Isolde- Vorspiel Und Liebestod.aif
Number of files:    5
Official DR value:    DR12


Ripping Info


  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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15 thoughts on “HD-Vinyl 24/96 (CBS) Anton Bruckner – Symphony No. 8 (Szell)”

  1. Thank you very much, Alfredo!
    George Szell is indeed in Top 5 of my favorite conductors. In fact, the Cleveland Orchestra was his creature, and was one of the best classical music teams of the 60’s, as you have said. And Szell is at his best in both Classical and Romantic era music.
    I have not heard this Bruckner symphony by Szell, and I am not so much into the Bruckner music, to say the truth, but I am sure in advance that this is great!
    Unfortunately, there are so little Szell & Cleveland SO LPs in this blog, I keep them like treasures.

  2. Szell and his music are treasures. I never turn down a good looking copy in vinyl of any thing directed by him, BTW: I love Bruckner, my copy of the 8th by Karajan is getting worn out I play it so much. Thank you.

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