Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner: Symphony No 4, 'Romantic'

Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner: Symphony No 4, 'Romantic'

Article excerpt

Bruckner

Symphony No 4, 'Romantic' (1878/80 version, ed Nowak) Munich Philharmonic Orchestra / Valery Gergiev Munchner Philharmoniker (F) MPHL0002 (68' * DDD) Recorded live at the Gasteig, Munich, September 22-23, 2015

Given their long history of Bruckner performances under principal conductors such as Hausegger, Kabasta, Celibidache and Thielemann, the Munich Philharmonic's decision to launch their own label with a recording of the composer's Fourth Symphony seems entirely fitting.

But what about Valery Gergiev as a Brucknerian? Some occasional performances from his Rotterdam Philharmonic tenure notwithstanding, Gergiev has shown relatively little interest in Bruckner's music before now. But, were someone to play this disc without knowing the identity of the performers, he or she could be forgiven for suspecting the presence of an experienced Bruckner conductor at the helm. Here we have a performance where the symphony's long-term structure is compellingly charted and directed, allegros are underpinned with a compelling muscularity and Brucknerian mystery features in abundance. There are no untoward interpretative quirks, the playing is refulgent and dynamic markings are observed with an unusual conscientiousness. …

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