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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From Russia with Love and no Elephants, 29 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Bruckner : Symphonie No 8 (Audio CD)
With one caveat, this is the most convincing performance of Bruckner I've heard from Mother Russia. It's more idiomatic than alternatives from the likes of Mravinsky and Rozhdestvensky.

Svetlanov - much to his credit - left nothing to chance. Word has it that he acquired an elephant-gun and fired a volley of tranquiliser darts into the brass section of the USSR State Symphony Orchestra: no other explanation is possible. The tuskers are docile. They're integrated into the wider polemic. Who would have thought that such unanimity was possible?

Better still, the array is likeminded: the Eighth is an ultimate statement. Like the Kingdom, it demands enslavement to Bruckner's cosmology if the vision is to be actualised (which is one of the reasons why I am suspicious of Boulez in this domain). On the whole, this eventuates. The requisite tension is present. Svetlanov is patient and farsighted. He pays fealty to the numinosity of the score. I do not know how often Bruckner was performed in the USSR: I cannot hear any tentativeness per se.

The problem is this: come the coda of the finale where Bruckner espies the One, they run out of gas and manifestly so. They have nothing more to give - zippo. Regret accrues: it's just another climax, not a parousia.

The stereo recording from 1981 is good to very good: audiophiles, look elsewhere.

This is a fervent and idiomatic Bruckner Eighth whose ascent to the peak is praiseworthy. It does not command the summit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glorious & powerful performance, 4 Oct 2010
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Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bruckner : Symphonie No 8 (Audio CD)
Svetlanov gives very unique and immensely powerful account of Bruckner's greatest symphony with lots of emphasis on brass and percussion. He puts more emphasis on emotional aspect of the music rather than the spiritual. You hear echos of Tchaikovsky and Scriabin in this performance. You may not agree with Svetlanov's interpretation, but this is a compelling account well worth listening. Beautifully recorded in 1981, stereo.
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Bruckner : Symphonie No 8
Bruckner : Symphonie No 8 by Evgeny Svetlanov (Audio CD - 2007)
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