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Symphony No. 6 Hybrid SACD, SACD

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Sept. 2013)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Querstand
  • ASIN: B001TN0VLU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 430,757 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Majestoso
  2. Adagio
  3. Scherzo
  4. Finale

Product Description

A further issue in the series of Bruckner symphonies being recorded live by these artists. Other issues feature symphonies 3, 5, 7 & 8.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
First let me a little bit patriotic: at last we Dutch have a serious record label that competes with the many many other small ones on the classical music scene. Challenge has brought us a very interesting Beethoven cycle with Jan Willem de Vriend en de Enschede orchestra, they're recording Mendelssohn, and the label brought the first ever SACD-recording of Elektra and this fall Der Schatzgräber too. How daring! My compliments.
This Bruckner is an unsentimental one and probably it's molded after Haitink. Jaap van Zweden must have worked many times with maestro Haitink; he was concert master of the Concertgebouw orchestra. There's nothing new in this Bruckner and there's nothing wrong. So, is it middle of the road? Not really: the slow movement is exceptionally wonderful and ensemble playing is really first class.
I listened stereo on the SACD layer and it's a great and detailed sound, although not as detailed BIS records achieve with the same orchestra on their Shostakovitch cycle with the NRPO. But I don't know if the recording is done in the same studio.
The presentation is great and happily there's Dutch text in the booklet too! I only have a problem with the Dracula cover, it's a very good pic of mr. Van Zweden but why does he look so grim? If there were awards for `most unattractive CD-cover'; I'd choose this one, brrrrrrrrrrrr.
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Format: Audio CD
This recording of Bruckner's 6th Symphony was made live in the Great Hall of the Gewandhaus Leipzig, in September 2008. It is Herbert Blomstedt's second recording of the work, the first being with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (SFSO) in 1990 (Decca).

Blomstedt's approach is warm-hearted, and, compared with Klemperer, Karajan, Dohnanyi or Chailly, for example, he is prepared to use more rubato, though it is always tastefully done. By the side of Blomstedt's earlier reading, the later possesses greater light and shade, and pliancy in phrasing, complemented by more supple string tone in the upper register and superior sound. It is also a more structurally balanced view.

The opening movement is marked Maestoso, but at letter B, where the lyrical second theme commences, Bruckner instructs that the music be played considerably more slowly than the rhythmic figure that precedes it. How then should these groups be performed to elicit their differences whilst adhering to the Maestoso marking?

Generally, whether the opening group of the first movement is taken at what might be regarded as a conventional speed (eg Karajan, Sawallisch, Dohnanyi) or more deliberately (eg Klemperer, Chailly or Davis), the second subject, while obviously slower, is not taken that much more slowly (interestingly, Wand, in his live 1999 performance with the Munich Philharmonic [Profil], goes further than any of the above in minimising the difference in tempo). In his earlier recording, however, Blomstedt took the opening relatively briskly (arguably not Maestoso), but then substantially reduced the tempo for the second theme.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great recording. Great performance!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x990845f4) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x977e8e04) out of 5 stars Superbly musical, a serious rival for first choice in the Bruckner Sixth 26 Aug. 2013
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Jaap van Zweden's ongoing Bruckner cycle has gained little traction, in the U.S. at least, which means that listeners are missing a conductor whose sympathy for Bruckner runs deep. Zweden has a affinity for string sound, being himself a gifted violinist (at nineteen, he became the Royal Concertgebouw's youngest concertmaster before giving p the job to become a full-time conductor), and it's immediately notable that the long lines of the Adagio in this new Bruckner Sixth are always espessivo. It's a style I associate, among modern conductors, with Giulini, another string player and ardent Brucknerian.

We're past the day when the Sixth was looked down upon as an unsuccessful work with one great movement, the Adagio, which at 18 min. forms almost a third of the symphony (the overall timing here is 57 min.) Zweden finds a wide variety of expression in the slow movement - Klemperer, whose Bruckner Sixth was the standard recommendation for decades, is actually 4 min. faster. Celibidache from Munich (EMI) extends this movement to 22 min. and succeeds on his own terms. The Scherzo is quick and ebullient, with vibrant brass attacks. It's a bracing contrast to the slow movement (in some other performances, the Adagio continues to cast a mood over the Scherzo). The hunting horn calls in the Trio sound as if they are in excited pursuit. The episodic finale displays a convincing balance between making each episode stand on its own and knitting them together with forward momentum and rising-falling dynamics.

I only wish the orchestra wasn't placed at a distance. Inner detail gets blurred in tuttis, and the exciting playing would be even more thrilling up close. As it is, the recorded sound is somewhat muddy in the middle and bass. The Netherlands Radio Phil. has had a long history with their Dutch conductor, which has made them attuned and responsive - I get the feeling of an enthusiastic performance from the musicians' viewpoint. The Bruckner Sixth has by now enjoyed a number of very good recordings, including Keilberth and Eschenbach (two recordings) in addition to Klemperer and Celibidache. Now we can add Zweden's new one, which for me is the best of all. (If I was in the mood for less exuberance and more refinement and polish, I'd turn to Haitink's live Bruckner Sixth from Dresden, on Profil.)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x977e8cf0) out of 5 stars A fine performance from Zweden but a lesser reading than his 3rd 24 Nov. 2013
By Long-Time Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My initial impression of this was good, and I think it's a fine performance. But I remembered having been drawn to other Bruckner 6ths in my collection, and for the sake of comparison, I followed Zweden's recording with Chailly's Concertgebouw reading. I thought I would be bored hearing the same symphony twice, but the opposite happened: I was drawn in by Chailly's clear lines, gracious shaping of phrases, and smart handling of tempo. And the sweet-toned, characterful playing of the oboist, among others, revealed the more secure control of the Concertgebouw Orchestra compared with Zweden's Netherlands symphony.

In the first movement, Chailly reveals a bit more of the spaciousness and mystery we're used to hearing in Bruckner, contrasting these elements effectively with its surprisingly powerful rhythms. In the second, Zweden's slower speeds prevent him from achieving the same level of graceful melodicism that is brought out by Chailly's more flowing tempo. Chailly draws the contrasts in this music more clearly throughout, it seems to me.

Zweden's recorded sound seems quite close up to me, and in fact the warm and present sound is one of the main attractions here. As Sante Fe Listener astutely observed, some of the "small notes"--the eighths and sixteenths--get lost in the tuttis; I assumed this was a problem with the orchestra, though it's possible the recording may contribute in some way. But again, Chailly's recording lets you hear everything.

In short, at first acquaintance, this seems less successful than some other Bruckner 6ths I've heard, and less successful than Zweden's 3rd. Other Bruckner 6ths that would make my five-star list, displaying attributes similar to Chailly's, would be Sawallisch, on Orfeo, and Skrowaczewski; I also have an Eschenbach recording (I'm not sure which of his it is) that I recall was quite good, but I haven't heard it lately.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x976bfd68) out of 5 stars An excellent performance of Bruckner's 6th 1 Jan. 2016
By Mogulmeister - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Blomstedt’s earlier recording of B6 with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra would get my vote as his finest Bruckner recording prior to the appearance of this cycle. The SFSO B6 is one of the strongest performances of the symphony I’ve ever heard, with some distinctive qualities that are unmatched in any other performances. This more recent Leipzig performance is similarly strong, with trade-offs here and there that make it seem to me to be *perhaps* marginally finer than the earlier performance.

On the plus side (and it’s a big plus), Blomstedt’s performance of the magnificent coda to the first movement is even more fully realized than in the SFSO performance. I’ve long been of the opinion that there is no greater passage that Bruckner ever wrote than the astonishing coda to the 1st movement of B6, and here Blomstedt takes us to another world altogether. With the exception of Jochum’s performance of B6 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra from his DG (first) box set, which achieves unreachable heights in the 1st movement overall and especially in the coda, I’ve never heard the coda so movingly performed by anyone else. It’s the key to the whole symphony to these ears. Another plus in this performance is that Blomstedt slows down significant parts of the 4th movement, which is a major gain (his earlier reading of the 4th movement of B6 is an exercise in musical aerobics, a race to the finish line unfortunately, which misses so much along the way).

Yet offsetting the 4th movement gains in this performance is that he doesn’t maintain a slower tempo throughout the movement (a mistake, in my opinion), and unaccountably shifts tempo disruptively in a way that is unpersuasive and induces whiplash. It’s his (relatively slight) performance of the 4th movement—in both recordings—that to my ears keeps this from being a top-rank recommendation. Still, there’s much to commend here, especially the gorgeous and moving adagio, so magnificently done. And I also want to draw attention to something that Blomstedt uniquely achieves in B6 that is distinctive in both of his performances—firmly establishing the rhythmic centrality of the 1st movement. I’m not sure how Blomstedt does it, but underlining his readings of the 1st movement is the rhythmic underpinnings that Bruckner establishes at the outset, and Blomstedt does not stint in maintaining the centrality of that rhythm across the entire movement, which sets up the entire symphony so magnificently. The effect to me is spellbinding and is what makes his readings of B6 so special, because I’ve never heard any other performances that achieve this at this level.

Yet with all that’s good here, there are two other B6 performances that are even better: Karajan’s with the BPO (a controversial choice for some), and Heinz Bongartz’s astonishing B6 also with the Leipzig Gewandhaus from 1964. The Bongartz is for me a “newer” performance, and I owe a gratitude of thanks to Eric Zuesse for his repeated exhortations that led me to picking it up. It’s magnificent, and the only thing that holds it back from being the definitive B6 is that Bongartz reduces the speed of the coda to such an extreme tempo that to these ears it doesn’t properly hold together, unfortunately. The rest of the reading is absolutely superb, with incredibly committed playing by the Gewandhaus that just sings out and grabs you. And with Karajan, he delivers an incredibly insightful performance that does just about everything right. His first movement coda, however, is just that last bit short of what it ought to be, and while still well done it misses nailing it by inches. The rest of the reading is superb, especially the 2nd and 4th movements. And one thing that’s interesting is that both Karajan and Bongartz take the 4th movement slower than anyone other than Celibidache, and I feel really nail it in a way that everyone else misses it (and this point was also made so powerfully by Robert Simpson in his magnificent book on the Bruckner symphonies).

And one last B6 recording comment which some will find controversial: stay away from Klemperer’s “classic” B6. I am completely mystified why so many consider it the finest B6 recording, let alone like it at all. I love Klemperer as a conductor—he’s one of my favorites—but I think his Bruckner is way off base. And his B6 just seems to me to miss the symphony by a universe. Go with Karajan and Bongartz in B6 for the A+ performances, with Jochum/Bav.RSO and Blomstedt being the A- alternatives. All four have something special to offer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9753bc24) out of 5 stars A Fabulous Performance 20 Jun. 2014
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Sixth Symphony of Anton Bruckner was composed between 1879 and 1881, and was dedicated to his landlord and his wife. It is the only one of his symphonies that the composer did not extensively revise. Bruckner thought his Sixth was his boldest symphony, terming it somewhat reckless or impetuous. The music is close to the Linz version of the First Symphony that Bruckner nickname "das kecke Beserl" ("saucy maid"). Critics, however, have considered it the ugly duckling of Bruckner’s works, and it was not regularly performed. Time has changed opinions and the Sixth is seen as rich in melodies, some sounding cinematic in character) with an imaginative orchestration. The first movement is uncharacteristic of Bruckner in that it sets off at a gallop instead of the usual quiet tremolo opening of the strings, and the opening marking “Majestoso” (majestic, august, or kingly) instead of the more conventional "Maestoso."

The performance by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jaap van Zweden, is a great reading of the score. The first movement is simply majestic; the Adagio is movingly expressive while the Scherzo is ebullient and full of playful energy. The Finale is difficult to bring off due to the wildly contrasting melodies. Jaap van Zweden manages to find the perfect tempi for the abrupt switches coming up with a thrilling Finale.

This is certainly one of the top recordings of the Sixth. I did not have issues with the recorded sound but that may be because I listen with headphones. This is a recording that anyone interested in Bruckner’s music should have in their library.
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