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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonder, 2 May 2013
This review is from: Bruckner: Symphony 7 (Audio CD)
Haitink, in this recording, is revealed as some kind of modern day Klemperer. It is difficult to imagine a more perfectly paced performance than this, or one where every tempo transition is managed so naturally and subtly. But, and this is where he sounds like Klemperer, it is not really an "interpretation". At no point does Haitink place himself between the listener and the music; it simply "is".

The recording is extraordinary. At first I thought it very dry, rather like some LSO live recordings from the Barbican, and it is true that this recording has very little overhanging reverb, which might be thought wrong for this piece.
BUT - the recording is at no point "flat" - it has very good front to back and left to right definition; neither is it ever "constricted", in fact I have never heard the climaxes of this piece "open out" so well. The recording also has amazing detail and excellent, natural, balances. A front row seat. The CSO playing is simply stunning, and can easily manage the scrutiny the recording subjects it to.

All this adds up to a rather special CD. If you want to experience Brucker 7 as a spiritual vision, an ecstatic, out of body experience (and so do I sometimes), then look elsewhere. If you want to know what Bruckner 7 actually IS; how it goes; unvarnished, honest and true...

Then buy this.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haitink's Grand, Glorious Interpretation of the Bruckner 7th Symphony, 9 Aug 2008
John Kwok (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bruckner: Symphony 7 (Audio CD)
What a grand, glorious feast for the ears is Haitink's latest Bruckner recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the symphony's CSO-RESOUND label. Recorded during live concerts last year, producer James Mallinson and his staff have wrought yet another splendid recording of Haitink conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, demonstrating that the orchestra is once more an ensemble that is second to none with respect to its sterling musicianship, under the command of our greatest living interpreter of Bruckner. I honestly don't know whether this superb account is better than Haitink's earlier, critically acclaimed recordings with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Wiener Philharmoniker, except in this respect: it is quite simply the best recorded performance of a Bruckner symphony I have heard so far. Mallinson and his team has brought the listener into the orchestra itself, allowing us to hear it as though we were standing alongside Haitink at the conductor's podium.

Haitink's interpretation is one that is replete with great clarity, precise intonation and empathy for Bruckner and his score. From the opening notes in the first movement (Allegro moderato) we are treated to exceptionally warm playing from the strings, winds and brass, culminating in a "call and response" motif between the brass and strings which Bruckner uses again, in varying degrees, throughout the symphony. The second movement (Adagio: Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam) features prominently this same motif, albeit in a slower tempo, and, of course, subtle variations. The third movement reminds me a little of a fast-paced polka in its rhythm (Scherzo: Sehr schnell), or rather, perhaps more accurately, a traditional country folk Landler dance which Bruckner may have been familiar with. The symphony concludes with yet another swift movement (Finale: Begewt, doch nicht schnell) going out in a blaze of glory in a restrained, but still exquisite, brass fanfare. For anyone seeking a recent, well-produced recording of the Bruckner 7th Symphony No. 7 in E major, then the potential listener needs to look no further; without question, I must regard this as a definitive recording of this work.
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