The Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Georg Tintner have produced an amazingly brilliant recording here of the Bruckner Symphony 4. It is easily clear that Tintner really has got to grips with Bruckner and obviously understands the complex emotion in this great symphony. Every stage of the symphony is perfectly executed with full use of the orchestras melodic performance ability. There is great power where it is needed and the more subtle phrases are expertly done. It goes without saying that the symphony itself is fantastic but when you compare this recording to the likes of the earlier release on Naxos with the Royal Flanders Philharmonic under Geunter Neuhold or the more well known recordings on other labels you realise that this is an outstanding performance and recording. You really cannot go wrong with this release. The sound is really good and I would be interested to hear the recordings by the same orchestra and conductor of the other Bruckner symphonies in the cycle.
Georg Tintner proves again that he has the full measure of Bruckner. That he was discovered by Naxos and enabled to commit a full symphonic cycle to disc before his death has to be a source of great thankfulness. In an age of conductors who are too attached to "projecting" their performances, here is someone from a different era who understands the Bruckner pulse and is willing to allow the music to express itself fully. I have heard many good performances of this symphony on disc (and have a particular affection for Karl Bohm's reading with the Vienna Philharmonic on Decca) as well as being privileged to have been present at a stunningly good live performance at the Proms by the Leipzig Gewandhaus under Kurt Masur. This Tintner rendering can stand shoulder to shoulder with the very best. Moreover, the playing is completely in sympathy with the conductor's reading and the engineers capture the glow of the orchestral sound very realistically. A real bargain!
This version of Bruckner's Fourth Symphony is simply superb. When he was young,the conductor, Georg Tintner, sang Bruckner's Masses in the Vienna Boys' Choir, and it is obvious from this CD that he has a special affinity with Bruckner's music. All the tension, drama, sadness, austerity, innocence and lyrical beauty of the composer's music is here in abundance, with Tintner and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra doing great justice to the multi-faceted score. Since Bruckner revised the score several times after its first appearance in 1874,, it is worth pointing out here that this is the final version composed in 1880 with the new Finale - and what a breathtaking Finale it is! The more I listen to this CD, the more I love it - the sound quality is excellent, the tempi perfect, the brass clear and bright. A first-class CD that more than deserves its 5-star rating.