In Fanfare 24:6, I began a review of a recording by Kurt Sanderling, Hänssler CD 93.027, like this: “This public performance, recorded in December 1999, gives us one of the finest recordings ever made of Bruckner’s eloquent and melodious Seventh Symphony.” Günter Hanssler now produces CDs for Profil, and brings us this 1994 performance of Bruckner’s most popular symphony, No. 4, “Romantic.” It requires exactly the same praise. Coincidentally, it is also somewhat more leisurely than the average “Romantic,” taking about 71 minutes, as did that remarkable Seventh.
Kurt Sanderling, born in Germany in 1912,Read more fled to the Soviet Union in 1936, and returned to the Democratic Republic of East Germany in 1960. He reappeared in Western Europe late in life, but with powers undiminished, until he retired in 2002. This recording finds him shaping a compelling performance with an orchestra founded by one of the greatest Bruckner conductors, Eugen Jochum. Every section of the orchestra contributes to the beauties of this performance, and the Bavarian Radio engineers did a superb job of keeping them all in proper focus. What a pleasure it is to hear woodwinds out in front, with bright, clear tones. Meanwhile the brass is soft and mellow when appropriate; weighty, bright, and imposing when required. The long brass chorale in the middle of the first movement is especially impressive. The strings are remarkably pure in tone and eloquent in phrasing. I’ll admit to one minor quibble: the second subject of the finale might move along a bit faster than Sanderling takes it. Still, I have never before been so thoroughly engrossed and pleased with a Bruckner Fourth. Urgently recommended.
Symphony no 4 in E flat major, WAB 104 "Romantic"by Anton Bruckner Conductor:
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1874; Vienna, Austria Notes: Composition written: Vienna, Austria (1874 - 1886).
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Definitive Bruckner 4th SymphonyJune 12, 2014By W. Finch (Austin, TX)See All My Reviews"This is a most emotionally satisfying performance of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 4. I know the work well. I have played the bassoon part with three orchestras starting 1953. Orchestral styles have varied over the years, not always to the compliment of Romantic composers. Kurt Sanderling and the BRS have given us a definitive performance of this work. It is astonishingly correct. Bruckner himself is smiling."Report Abuse