- Symphony No. 8 in C minor ("Apocalyptic"; "The German Michel"), WAB 108 (various versions)
- Symphony No. 8 in G major, B. 163 (Op.88) (first published as No. 4)
- Semiramide, opera: Overture
For the first two movements, Carlo Maria Giulini's 1983 live recording of Bruckner's apocalyptic "Symphony No. 8" with the Philharmonia is unbearably intense and unbelievably compelling. The heights and depths of the opening Allegro moderato and the power and glory of the following Scherzo rivals Giulini's tremendous later recording with the Vienna Philharmonic and one has the hope that, if the remainder of the performance continues at this level, then one will ultimately be translated into a state of sustained spiritual ecstasy. Fortunately or unfortunately, it doesn't happen: Giulini loses concentration in the Adagio, which seems to go on far longer than its 27-minute duration, and almost loses consciousness in the closing Finale, which seems to lose its way several times before the end. Still, for anyone who loves the lovingly lyrical and intensely expressive art of Carlo Maria Giulini, this recording is well worth hearing if only for the opening two movements. Thankfully, Giulini's 1963 live recordings of Dvorák's ebullient "Symphony No. 8" and rousing "Semiranmide Overture," both which are also with the Philharmonia, are pure delights from start to finish. Giulini leads performances that sing and dance, that sigh and shout through every melody with endless exuberance and that bounce and bound over the bar lines with unadulterated joy. Whatever reservations one has for Giulini's Bruckner, one has none for his Dvorák and Rossini, and anyone who loves great conducting will love both recordings. BBC's stereo in the Bruckner and Dvorák and monaural in the Rossini sound are more acceptable, but not nearly as impressive as Giulini's studio recordings of the same works.