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Bruckner: Symphony no 4 "Romantic" / Nezet-Seguin

Album Summary

>Bruckner, Anton : Symphony no 4 in E flat major ("Romantic"), WAB 104
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"All signs point to Nézet-Séguin's being a major Bruckner conductor" Philadelphia Enquirer. Following the critically acclaimed recordings of Bruckner's last 3 symphonies, Maestro Nézet-Séguin & l'Orchestre Métropolitain continue the series with Bruckner's most popular work, Symphony No. 4, performing the 1936 Haas Edition. Nézet-Séguin is one of the most sought after young conductors in the world, serving as Artistic Director & Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain of Montreal , Music Director of Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and in September '12 will join the Philadelphia Orchestra as Music Director.

Gramophone Magazine
Nezet-Seguin shies away from weighty sound blocks or dense textures; rather, he inflects the musical line according to its expressive place in the overall scheme of things and isn't afraid to dip the tempo at crucial corners, so that we can better appreciate the view...The Scherzo is full of energy, though again it's most lyrical aspects come off best...The Andante is equally successful.

BBC Music Magazine, May 2012 ****
Although Yannick Nezet-Seguin stresses Romantic warmth of sonority and richness of mood, it's remarkable how textured the orchestral sound is. We don't just hear the leading melodic lines, but also the echoes, imitations and counter-melodies that often get pushed into the background. It's refreshing to hear Bruckner's orchestral writing brought to life on so many levels, captured faithfully by the recording.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Église Saint-Ferdinand, Laval, Québec, Canada (04/2011).


bruckner symphony 4 Nezet-Seguin
Anyone who wants to come to grips with the symphonies of Bruckner is faced with the vexing problem of which version to choose. Different versions of most Bruckner symphonies exist, and this is hardly the place to expound on this complex subject. The Fourth was composed in 1874 and revised some six times between then and 1878. A Wikipedia article gives the details. Suffice it here to say that the 1874 version is markedly different from the one usually performed, the 1936 Robert Haas edition, which is based on the revised versions.
Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Metropolitain (Montreal) since March 2000, Yannick Nezet-Seguin is among the world's most sought-after young conductors. His personal approach to music, his respect towards the musicians and the public, his loyalty, his generosity, and his charismatic personality have earned everyone's respect. In June 2010, he became Music Director Designate of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra, and will take up this position in September 2012.
This new CD by Nezet-Seguin with the Orchestre Metropolitain performs the Haas 1936 edition, and the competition is fierce; other conductors offering this version include Boehm, Celibidache, Karajan, Klemperer, Tintner, Walter, and Wand. What's a Bruckner-lover to do?
The performance seems splendid, except in the Scherzo, which Nezet-Seguin takes too fast for my taste; in my opinion, this robs it of its dignity.
Recommended, if you're in the market for a new version of the Haas 1936 edition, although your personal choice of conductor may well decide the issue.
Ted Wilks
Submitted on 12/10/11 by Ted Wilks 
Splendid new Bruckner from Canada
Hearing a superbly wrought performance like this one reminds me that Bruckner's Fourth is among the most meticulously constructed of all symphonies. From the gentle horn signal at the outset to the majestic coda that serves as a summation of all that has come before, this complex, endlessly fascinating work is built from such simple materials as the interval of the fifth and a rhythmic figure consisting of two quarter notes followed by three triplets. These and various other unifying devices are especially important given Bruckner's penchant for bringing one section of his score to a complete close before blithely moving on to a completely new idea. Only a seasoned interpreter of the Bruckner symphonies can effectively manage these abrupt transitions and magically continue the musical line across the silences. Wilhelm Furtwangler was the consummate master of these "cathedrals in sound", followed closely by the Romanian-born maestro, Sergiu Celibidache.

Dozens of lesser conductors have essayed the Fourth. I've not heard them all, but of those known to me, this is one of the finest. The orchestra is small--60 players according to the booklet--though they must have employed additional strings for the recording sessions. In any event, this lends a welcome intimacy to the proceedings and precludes the histrionics of Furtwangler's overwrought Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor Nezet-Seguin fully understands that Bruckner's melodies are grounded in the songs of Schubert. Never have I heard a more lyrical or sweetly flowing performance of the score. Again and again the notes I took during my listening sessions read, "smooth, gentle... delicate, ethereal... soothing". Yet Nezet-Seguin never underplays or discounts the score's inherent drama. Climaxes are appropriately defiant and powerful. Moreover, they are marked by some extraordinarily heroic brass playing. Tempos are generally unhurried, as they should be in Bruckner. Nonetheless the Andante second movement proceeds quite smartly, and the conductor sets a very brisk pace for the hunting horns in the scherzo. Nezet-Seguin manages Bruckner's transitions (or lack thereof) seamlessly, and his interpretation has a dreamy quality that enhances the child-like innocence and wonder inherent in the music. Atma's recorded sound is wonderfully rich and creamy.

For skeptics and newcomers to Bruckner, this disc should serve as a splendid introduction to the composer's elusive idiom. Meanwhile seasoned collectors will appreciate the conductor's many insights and the heavenly playing of the Orchestre Metropolitain. According to the booklet, these forces have also recorded Bruckner's last three symphonies. Those discs are now at the very top of my want list.
Submitted on 02/12/12 by Tom Godell 
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Works Details

>Bruckner, Anton : Symphony no 4 in E flat major ("Romantic"), WAB 104
  • Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
  • Ensemble: Orchestre Metropolitain
  • Notes: Composition written: 1874-88.
  • Running Time: 69 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1874-1888