Nearly thirty years ago, a former member of the L.A. Philharmonic under Otto Klemperer said to me that he thought of Bruckner as a composer who "had had his day," despite the efforts at the time (the mid-1970s) to foster a widespread revival of interest in his work. The individual in question was Austrian by birth, a man of profound musical education, and an admirer of Bruckner's symphonic art. It simply struck him as implausible that these gargantuan scores, with their extreme demands on audience attention, had much of a future in the concert hall. With slightly less tenacity, perhaps, than Mahler, Bruckner has proved my old friend (long since departed from this earth) wrong. One symptom of the curious peristence of Bruckner is the proliferation of recorded versions of his scores. The Fourth and Seventh Symphonies in particular may be obtained in dozens, if not scores, of competing performances. But it is a mark of how central Bruckner has become to the symphonic repertory that a half a dozen complete sets of his symphonies bedizen the "B" pages of the recorded music catalogues at any given time. To call attention to itself, then, any new traversal of the Bruckner symphonies must possesses extraordinarily individual character. The late Georg Tintner's cycle, for Naxos, is one such, and his interpretation of the mighty Eighth Symphony (C-Minor) tells us why. Tintner - who died, in his late eighties, a year ago - lavished studious attention on the different versions of Bruckner's scores. For his recording of the Eighth, he chose the rarely visited first-version of the work, which is the longest of the two major competing versions, and whose First Movement is significantly different from the one that most of us know. In the familiar version, the First Movement ends quietly; in the original version, it ends with a tremendous fortissimo dominated by the brass and underpinned by the tympany. Minor differences distinguish the other movements of the first version from those of the revised score. The difference that distinguishes Tintner's delivery of any of the Bruckner symphonies in any of their versions, however, is his slow tempi; only Celibidache takes a slower Eighth and not by much. But the slowing-down results in no loss of tension: This is Bruckner the religious visionary yearning for his God. It is "Geistlicher Bruckner," "Spiritual Bruckner." (Note: In the Scherzo, Tintner is not noticeably slower and is, in fact, faster than some other interpreters.) The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland is a first-rate orchestra. We also get Bruckner's early D-Minor symphony, "Die Nullte," also called Symphony No. 0. Superb.