Notes and Editorial Reviews
Klaus Tennstedt (1926–1998) became an international performing and recording star relatively late in his life, and then had his career further shortened by illness. He made many recordings, but apart from a fine Eighth with the London Philharmonic, I cannot recall any authorized commercial recordings of Bruckner symphonies. That makes the present release especially valuable, for Tennstedt was masterful in all the German and Austrian classics, Bruckner included. The present release gives us a performance taped by the Bavarian Radio in April 1976, and finds the orchestra—always a good one since Eugen Jochum rebuilt it after World War II—playing with its customary zest for the idiom of Anton Bruckner. Although the 1877 version of the Third Symphony had won several converts by 1976, Tennstedt, like Jochum, Herbert von Karajan, Sergiu Celibidache, and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, continued to perform the final, 1889 version of the symphony. By far the shortest of the three versions now in print, it can indeed be played idiomatically in 52 minutes.
This performance is intense and powerful in its outer movements, gentle and lyrical in the Andante, bewegt, quasi Adagio, and energetic in the Scherzo. The analog stereo sound is decently balanced, and generous in its range of frequencies and dynamics. However, it places the listener well back in a large and resonant space, so that inner details are sometimes swallowed by resonances. Most listeners should not mind this, as the performance always moves with assurance and, in those dynamic outer movements, irresistible urgency.
Robert McColley, FANFARE