Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner: Symphony No 5 (Ed Nowak, 1878)

Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner: Symphony No 5 (Ed Nowak, 1878)

Article excerpt

Bruckner

Symphony No 5 (ed Nowak, 1878)

London Philharmonic Orchestra / Stanislaw Skrowaczewski

LPO (M) LP00090 (79' * DDD)

Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall, London, October 31, 2015

This concert recording of Bruckner's Fifth Symphony follows on from the LPO's previous releases of the Third and Seventh symphonies under the same conductor. Skrowaczewski, who had just turned 92 at the time of this performance, not only conducted from memory but also stood for the entirety of the symphony, a fact that no doubt helps account for the rapturous applause heard at the end. However, the applause also reflects the fact that the audience had just heard a performance of exceptional insight and concentration.

Skrowaczewski is at his finest in the score's more introspective sections, such as the second subject of the first movement and much of the Adagio. The passage for woodwinds from bar 139 (12'04") of the latter is exquisitely rendered, particularly by solo flute. Indeed, the playing of the orchestra is first-class throughout, with mellifluous strings and wonderfully phrased and blended brass. …

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