If by chance you are looking for another Bruckner fix after going through all the usual suspects, then stop reading and order this cycle by Skroweczewski. This was my first introduction to his symphonies and for me still the best, with wonderful digital sound and stonking brass. It also has the bonus of including his 0 & 00 symphonies. Skrowaczewski must rank amongst the top 5 Brucknerians, yet is relatively unknown. After hearing this cycle you will no doubt believe him to be in the top 3.
This box contains a Brucknerian cornucopia. Not only do you get the standard nine symphonies, but in addition, the symphony no.0 and the symphony in F minor. Both of these are vital pieces in the initial construction of this composer's mighty symphonic universe. Not only that, but as part of the deal you also get the adagio from the string quiintet and his early overture in G minor.
So far, so good. The playing is vigorous and disciplined. Skrowaczewski amply demonstrates his Brucknerian credentials - he has the breath of a Brucknerian, and breathes at the correct tempo. All of the performances can be recommended here, although for me numbers 6 and 7 were a little too starchy for my taste.
So, no quibbles? Well, yes, there is one. The sound quality overall is good, not brilliant. It is quite clear that some (all?) of these performances are live, which is not made clear on the accompanying literature. Whilst this increases the high estimation of the performances themselves, those who do not like the background sound of the audience (admittedly not too intrusive) may well want to steer clear from this box set.
It's not the best in my collection, but is worthy all the same. Depending on the price offered, it could be a brilliant bargain.