Notes and Editorial Reviews
Wand is at his most incisive in this rendition, employing pointed attacks, crisp rhythms, and bold, rich sonorities... For Bruckner lovers it's a must!
Four of Günter Wand's commercial recordings of Bruckner's Eighth Symphony were released on RCA (at least two simultaneously). Of those, this 1987 version was the second (in order of recording) and the best. Wand is at his most incisive in this rendition, employing pointed attacks, crisp rhythms, and bold, rich sonorities. The NDR Symphony brass snarl darkly in the first movement and finale, while the strings deliver sharp-edged playing in the scherzo (which also features unique dynamic effects from the timpani).
The Adagio is quite spacious but never
sounds overlong, due to Wand's urgent shaping of the long-spun melodies. Wand renders the finale's dark drama with a stirring potency and makes a strong case for the Haas edition through his big-hearted playing of the restored cuts.
Another compelling aspect of this performance is the recording itself, made in the very live acoustic of Lübeck Cathedral. It features an echo decay that fits quite naturally into Bruckner's prolonged pauses. Listen to the dramatic effect of the brass fanfares before the first movement's quiet coda. RCA deleted this recording in lieu of later versions that never reached this one's level of excellence. Happily, Arkivmusic.com has made it available once again through its on-demand service. For Bruckner lovers it's a must!
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 8 in C minor, WAB 108 by Anton Bruckner
North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Written: Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 8/1987
Venue: Live Lübeck Cathedral
Length: 86 Minutes 11 Secs.
Notes: Ver: 1887/90, Robert Haas Edition, 1935.
Composition written: Vienna, Austria (1884 - 1887).
Composition revised: Vienna, Austria (1887 - 1890).
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