Notes & Reviews:
Anton Bruckner presented most of his symphonies in more than one version. Today these works have been carefully edited in published form, evaluated, and are universally known. Is the authoritative status of the canonical inventory the reason why so many of today's recordings no longer strikingly differ, at least in view of the staggeringly divergent readings by earlier Bruckner exegetes? Mario Venzago, the principal conductor of the Bern Symphony Orchestra, opposes the heavy, pathos-laden, slow-noise sound of most current interpretations and has assembled a special orchestra for each of the ten symphonies. His work with ensembles varying significantly in size, orientation, and stamp aims at emphasizing not sameness but the so very marvelous phenomenon of difference in Bruckner's oeuvre. In this way he underscores the fact that Bruckner himself wrote his symphonies over a period of twenty-seven years during which he developed just as spectacularly as a composer as did his performance medium - that is, the romantic orchestra. The production of this recording cycle was accompanied by film documentation. Venzago's Bruckner is an unconventional, original, and visionary look at a classical composer, touches on sacred subjects, offers insights into musical rehearsal processes and - subtly and authentically captured by Laurent Jaquet - the portrait of an observant, questing conductor. A must for every music fan!