This is perhaps THE most famous video recording of a Bruckner Symphony.
Many say Bruckner’s 8th is the mount Everest of all symphonies.
Recorded June 4th 1979, and filmed on location in the monastery church in St. Florian, Austria with Herbert von Karajan and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
This video testament is extremely historically important because it helped solidify the international Brucknerfest in Linz after the opening of the new concert hall, the “Brucknerhaus” in 1974. Herbert von Karajan was the first famous international conductor to conduct a symphony in the Stiftskirche in St. Florian, which helped establish the reputation of the yearly festival to this day.
Karajan later in an interview related that he was given special access to Bruckner’s underground tomb located beneath the great organ, where he was alone with Bruckner’s sarcophagus for a lengthy amount of time before the performance.
On a side note:
Boulez’s video version IMO greatly pales in comparison to Karajan’s power, sensitivity and spirituality in this 1979 recording…even Karajan’s video remake in 1988 (in Vienna) does not come as close.
One musical scholar stated about this concert:
“Massive, glowing and infused with cosmic power”.
…so thankfully we can now finally enjoy the performance COMPLETE, and not in chunks!