Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner: Symphony No 7

Magazine article Gramophone

Bruckner: Symphony No 7

Article excerpt

Bruckner [R]

Symphony No 7

SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra /KurtSanderiing

SWR Classic (F) SWR19410CD (71' * DDD)

Recorded live at the Liederhalle, Stuttgart, December 15-17, 1999

Bruckner [R]

Symphony No 9 (1894 original version)

SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra /Carlo Maria Giulini

SWR Classic (F) SWR19411CD (62' * DDD)

Recorded live at the Liederhalle, Stuttgart, September 20, 1996

Despite their interest in Bruckner's output being quite selective, both Kurt Sanderling and Carlo Maria Giulini made a number of very fine recordings of his music. Sanderling's 1999 live account of the Seventh Symphony, recorded when he was 87, seems to have divided critical opinion over the years but strikes me as being a quite magnificent performance. Although the CD booklet makes no mention of it, Sanderling uses the Nowak edition of the score until the climax of the Adagio, where he briefly reverts to the Haas edition by omitting the cymbal clash, timpani and triangle. This contrasts with his 1977 recording with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Unicorn, 7/79--nla), in which he included the timpani.

At just over 25 minutes, Sanderling's interpretation of the Adagio is spacious but never seems unduly slow, the performance conveying both expressiveness and spirituality. The depth of tone of the violins is remarkable and the playing of the solo flute in the coda is as poignant as any performance I've ever heard. …

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