Notes & Reviews:
Recorded live at the Philharmonie Berlin, this recording captures a truly gripping performance of Bruckner's 7th Symphony, bringing an insightful, theatrical interpretation of epic grandeur to one of the greatest late-Romantic symphonies. This performance illuminates a landmark event - Daniel Barenboim's week-long Bruckner cycle with his Berliner Staatsskapelle in June 2010. The concert featured on this recording drew 13 minutes of uninterrupted applause from the exhilarated audience. This recording is released to coincide with the Berlin Staatskapelle's major Spring 2012 tour, which includes performances of Bruckner's 7th Symphony in Berlin, London and Paris as wel as a cycle of the complete Bruckner symphonies at the Musikverein in Vienna in June.
The press said of this magical concert: "[Barenboim’s] Bruckner is conceived and performed very theatrically, like an opera without words." -Der Tagesspiegel.
In the mighty orchestral build-ups, the effect is hair-raising, "like watching a Gothic cathedral arise in time lapse." -Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
"It was a joy to hear the symphony set off at a true Allegro moderato - none of the indulgent Adagio that often attends this wonderful dream theme (this melody apparently came to Bruckner in a dream). The underlying pulse of the first movement was steady throughout, its three themes being less contrasted than happens in performances that start slowly and speed up. The great crescendo at the end of the second subject was beautifully moulded with a generous ritardando at its end, the jaunty little third theme falling quite naturally in its wake... The climax of the symphony, and indeed of the evening, was the glorious third appearance of the main theme of the Adagio... Baranboim’s pacing of the build-up and delivery of this visionary moment was magnificent. And there then followed the dirge for Wagner tubas leading, which the horns take up in an outcry that mixes bereaved pain and noble aspiration - never have I heard it played so beautifully, so faultlessly, as the hornists of this wonderful orchestra played this evening... It is a wonderful orchestra, and Barenboim’s habit of entering into conversation with individual players, both musical and, during applause, verbal, gives the infectious impression that they are really enjoying themselves." -The Bruckner Journal
BBC Music Magazine
Barenboim's account of the underrated Nullte Symphony...has much to recommend it. The opening is suitably atmospheric, and Barenboim draws a sympathetic, warm-toned response from the CSO. The brief cantata, Helgoland and the setting of Psalm 150 also come out well.
Barenboim's Brucknerian instincts, and his orchestra's, are nonetheless formidable.
Much of the performance is magical and the tender, warmly cosseting string sound of the Staatskapelle Berlin is of truly vintage quality...The Scherzo is suitably rustic and only in the finale do some of Barenboim's tempo changes verge on sounding wilful...this is an emotionally generous, spontaneous and outstandingly communicative account of the Seventh, I'd say the best that Barenboim has yet given us.
Recording information: Berlin, Philharmonie (Groáer Saal) (06/2010).
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Works DetailsBruckner, Anton : Symphony no 7 in E major, WAB 107
- Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
- Ensemble: Staatskapelle Berlin
- Running Time: 66 min. 34 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Orchestral
- Written: 1881-1883
- Studio/Live: Live