LABELS: MCA Millennium Classics
WORKS: Symphony No. 8 Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
PERFORMER: Munich PO/Hans Knappertsbusch
CATALOGUE NO: MCD 80089 (1963)
Kna (as he was known) hated rehearsing and relied on the inspiration of the moment and adrenalin. His biting humour and rock-hewn appearance made him a formidable figure, but his interpretations of Wagner (he learned from Hans Richter) and Bruckner were among the greatest. His ability to sustain broad tempi through arching paragraphs is evident in this historic (1963) reading of Bruckner’s Eighth (original version), and his Parsifal was just as legendary. This may be of the old school and unfashionable, but it’s unbeatable.