Review by sacd_fan_2007 April 5, 2008 (3 of 6 found this review helpful)
|I believe the SA-CD.net Editorial Review was accurate, but I did find value in this SACD. Few could disagree with the referral to Gunter Wand, who is considered a leading Bruckner interpreter... but realize that the Gunter Wand SACD costs twice as much this one.
I'm not a huge fan of Bruckner Symphonies and believe his best works were vocal. Bruckner Symphonies consist of massive Wagner-like symphonic blocks with little attention paid to transitions. The prior Bruckner Symphony recordings I've heard on rbcd were all dynamically binary (very loud or very soft).
Nézet-Séguin actually explores some softer and delicate passages in the symphony; and best of all, he steadily grows the dynamics, so the climaxes have some context (and SACD can capture this contrast).
The Montreal ensemble seems like an unusual messenger for Bruckner, but they sound very good in the pleasant church acoustics. Their approach is a refreshing diversion from the bloated meat-and-potatoes large central European orchestra tradition of Bruckner, which may continue to keep this music inaccessible to wider audiences.
Since I don't consider myself a connoisseur of Bruckner Symphonies, I googled this particular recording to learn more about its reception:
Classics Today rated this recording:
"Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who will be conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Glasgow and
Edinburgh next weekend and has been appointed Valery Gergiev's successor at the Rotterdam
Philharmonic from next year, is perhaps best described as the Canadian Daniel Harding.
He is the same age (31) and, like his British colleague, was mentored by one of the Italian
conducting greats, in his case Carlo Maria Giulini. And something of Giulini's ability to give
expressive weight to the long line has obviously rubbed off on the young Canadian's approach
to Bruckner's Seventh Symphony. It is brave of him to tackle such a giant of the repertoire so
young, but the result is an idiomatic interpretation shot through with a highly personal
attention to detail. Nézet-Séguin's tempos sometimes seem broad - justifiably so in coping
with the resonant church acoustics of this live recording - but, perversely, he takes the
symphony's grand conclusion a little too briskly to allow the sense of culmination to tell
fully. The playing of the Montreal orchestra, whose conductor he has been since 2000, is sleek
and full-bodied, if lacking the personality of the greats in this music. But it is an
estimable calling card for YNS, as his official website helpfully abbreviates his name."
-Matthew Rye, Telegraph.co.uk
The SA-CD.net Editorial Review discusses some excellent alternatives, but this imperfect disc deserves some consideration in a price range more appropriate for Bruckner Symphonies. The artists here deserve credit for tinkering with the bloated and stale Bruckner formula.
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