Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner * Wagner: Bruckner Symphony No 3

Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner * Wagner: Bruckner Symphony No 3

Article excerpt

Bruckner * Wagner

Bruckner Symphony No 3 (1889 version, ed Nowak) Wagner Tannhauser--Overture Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra / Andris Nelsons DG (F) 479 8208GH (76' * DDD) Recorded live, June 2016

This first instalment of a new Bruckner series by Andris Nelsons and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra for DG couples the Third Symphony with Wagner's Tannhauser Overture. In an interview in the booklet, Nelsons discusses the influence of Wagner on Bruckner's music, although in fact the shorter 1889 version of the symphony recorded here omits the quotations from Tannhduser, Lohengrin and Tristan found in earlier versions of the score, leaving only the reference to the 'magic sleep' motif from Die Walkure intact near the end of the Adagio.

As a Bruckner interpreter, Nelsons is direct, clear-sighted and spacious, the performance guided with a sure hand and a sense of inevitability but also meticulous in observing tempo and dynamic markings. The attention to dynamic levels is especially impressive, Bruckner's frequent juxtapositions of loud and soft presented with unfailing accuracy and musicality without giving the impression of being self-conscious or mannered. …

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