Reflections Upon Changing with Age

Listened to the Jochum/DG performance of Bruckner Symphony no. 3 last night. Whilst the orchestra played very well, and the recording has excellent sound quality, his more-or-less rapid approach missed the depths of feelings and heights of spirit which are so important for me in Bruckner.

Interestingly, much later in his life, in recordings with the RCO and Bamberger, he slowed down quite a bit, and in doing so was able to bring out the depths and nuances of the music much, much more.

A number of other conductors did the same, especially Celibidache and Giulini. And I am also reminded of Glenn Gould’s two very different interpretations of the Goldberg Variations, the first when he was about 25, and the last near the end of his life.

There are conductors whose Bruckner interpretations never changed much during their careers, such as Karajan, which is why I am not drawn to them. If I was the same person at 50 as I was at 30, something would surely be amiss!

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