On the whole this is a beautiful performance, well thought-out and carefully shaped in all of its details. Kent Nagano takes great pains over transitions in the first movement, making seamless joins between the first and second subjects, and easing smoothly into the development section. The orchestra responds readily to his direction, offering rich string tone and darkly burnished brass, though at times the horns and trombones sound too reticent as compared to the trumpets. There are places, such as the first movement's recapitulation and coda, where the textures come across as too smooth, with insufficient emphasis given to those canonic echoes that make Bruckner's brass writing so special.
This is less of an issueRead more both in the Adagio, which is ideally paced and very moving, and in the exciting, mercurial scherzo. The finale, however, starts out with some self-conscious tempo adjustments, and both here and in the first movement you may not agree with Nagano's habit of interposing a "subito piano e crescendo" just when the music should be blazing forth, full steam ahead. There are also a few moments, especially toward the end, that could do with more rhythmic sharpness, though the coda works very well, with that last pileup of themes clearly delineated. Nagano's expressive sculpting of the movement's lyrical second subject also is very effective, successfully hiding any suspicion of triviality. Finally, Harmonia Mundi's typically fine sonics give the music the space that it needs to breathe and make its points naturally.
These are admittedly small points of differentiation, but ultimately this symphony needs just a touch more brazenness and edge, and a bit less overt intervention from the podium. You may well disagree, for by any standard this remains a very good performance, one that successfully distinguishes itself from the pack without resorting to tactics that violate Bruckner's intentions or fail to capture his idiomatic style. I certainly wouldn't go so far as to call this a "near miss". It simply offers a slightly different point of view, and if you are a Bruckner fan, then by all means listen and judge for yourself.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Reviewing original release, Harmonia Mundi 901901Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 6 in A major, WAB 106by Anton Bruckner Conductor:
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Period: Romantic Written: 1879-1881; Vienna, Austria Date of Recording: 06/2005 Venue: Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany Length: 56 Minutes 40 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Excellent Bruckner 6November 11, 2015By Gail M. (Goleta, CA)See All My Reviews"I found everything about this disk to be excellent. The Bruckner Sixth Symphony should be more widely appreciated, with its unusual dramatic themes and very beautiful slow movement that only Bruckner could have written, The conducting, playing, and sound quality of this recording are great. One unusual thing about this CD is its use of a black plastic medium for the disk material instead of the usual clear plastic with aluminum coating on the label side. This new black disk plays perfectly in my machine."Report Abuse