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Bruckner: Symphony No. 6 / Eschenbach

Album Summary

>Bruckner, Anton : Symphony no 6 in A major, WAB 106
Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

Bruckner's Sixth Symphony is a work of graceful unity, containing some of the loveliest music he ever wrote. After a disappointing public reaction to his third symphony, his fourth and fifth symphonies had yet to be heard, but his need to compose was too strong to ignore. This vibrant performance was recorded live at London's Royal Festival Hall by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

"We've had a Bruckner Sixth from Christoph Eschenbach before, with the Houston Symphony. Here, as there, the accent is on scale and lyrical line. This present performance was taped at the Royal Festival Hall and has a good many laudable virtues, lightness of texture being one of them. Try the tautly buoyed opening of the Scherzo, or the elfin delicacy at the start of the Trio at 2'38", where soft pizzicato strings are answered by warmly unanimous horns. The noble - and potentially tricky - finale is very skilfully handled, its various sub-sections always sensitively paced, the string-dominated second subject especially, while the closing pages feature some superb brass playing. So does the first movement where, again, carefully gauged tempo relations are crucial, especially for the cantering central section (starting with flutes at around, say, 6'14", answered by strings), the shifting textures and modulating harmonies taking a potentially monumental turn at 7'04" when string choirs ferry us towards the movement's great central climax. The coda, too, is extremely well judged, starting at 13'31", the blazing (and well-controlled) brass counterpoint that dominates during the next couple of minutes or so one of the high-points of the performance.

But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the performance is the Adagio, a very broad 20 minutes, beautifully sung by all the sections: try the string section's diminuendo that falls from 16'06", the way it turns back into a key motif from earlier on. This is truly one of Bruckner's great slow movements and I'm not in the least surprised to see an Eschenbach version of it surface for a second time - actually, if you check the big Bruckner discography at www.abruckner.com, you'll note that it's for a sixth time! The music really suits him. In the digital field, I'd rate it alongside similarly gripping versions under Gielen (Hänssler Classic), Skrowaczewski (Arte Nova) and Wand (Profil, or RCA, 2/91 and 10/96)." -Gramophone

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Royal Festival Hall, London (11/04/2009).


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Works Details

>Bruckner, Anton : Symphony no 6 in A major, WAB 106
  • Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach
  • Notes: Composition written: 1879-81.
  • Running Time: 59 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1879-1881