Capriccio’s New Very Complete Bruckner Symphony Cycle Begins Well

Review by: David Hurwitz


Artistic Quality: 9

Sound Quality: 9

This is the first release in what promises to be a complete cycle of all of the Bruckner symphonies in all of their various versions. It would be more exciting if the industry hadn’t already been spitting out Bruckner symphony recordings like a baseball dugout chewing tobacco, but perhaps when this series concludes, in 2024, the 200th anniversary of Bruckner’s birth, the mania will subside for a while and we can move on to other things. Of course, this assumes that the moronic apparatus known as Bruckner “scholarship” stops issuing new editions of the symphonies.

Markus Poschner’s view of the Sixth reminds me of Jochum’s. It’s a lively, rhythmically alert interpretation that permits a welcome flexibility of pulse, reserving the moments of gravity for the Adagio and such intimate passages as those in the finale’s second subject. Poschner’s careful attention to rhythm pays big dividends in the first movement’s development section, and especially in the scherzo, which is unquestionably one of the finest on disc. I do wish he had made a bit more out of the finale’s closing pages. He just plows straight through them, accepting the slight feeling of anticlimax that results; but then, that’s really Bruckner’s fault.

Of course, the Bruckner Orchestra of Linz knows the music as well as any group in existence, but what impresses most is its ability to keep it sounding so fresh. I mean, imagine growing up on a diet of Bruckner and Philip Glass symphonies. Kill me now. So good job all around, including the clean and clear engineering. Up next: the 1890 Eighth in Nowak’s edition. Keep your fingers crossed.

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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: Klemperer (Warner); Jochum (Warner); Barenboim/Chicago (DG)

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