Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner: Symphony No 8 (1887-90 Version, Ed Haas)

Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner: Symphony No 8 (1887-90 Version, Ed Haas)

Article excerpt

Bruckner

Symphony No 8 (1887-90 version, ed Haas)

Staatskapelle Berlin / Daniel Barenboim

Accentus (F) (DVD) ACC202178; (F) (Blu-ray) ACC102178

(85' * NTSC * DTS-HD MA5.1, DTS5.1 & PCM stereo * 0). Recorded live at the Philharmonie, Berlin, June 26,2010

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

At the turn of the year the BBC broadcast a radio series on Magna Carta which took the Scherzo of the Eighth for its theme tune, and this concert performance shares something of that document's freewheeling, improvisatory magnificence. It also holds together better than a concert given by Barenboim and the orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall around the same time, though that may partly be due to the Philharmonic's greater suitability as a Bruckner acoustic. The crushing dissonances of the first movement have a rounded weight here that they lacked in London, making the pulse firmer and the movement's death-clock denouement more telling.

The broad outline of the interpretation may be familiar from the conductor's previous recording, made in the same hall with the Philharmonic 20 years ago (Teldec, 2/96), but the principal differences lie as they should, in the corporate personalities of the two Berlin orchestras: the strings and brass of the Staatskapelle are less massive, more transparent, so that the woodwind decorations in the Scherzo don't force their way to prominence. …

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