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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 20 March 2014
Whoever scouts around for old recordings for the "Brilliant" label to re-master and and re-issue deserves a gold star and a bonus for this one. These recordings by Rögner have been previously issued separately on Berlin Classics but are here licensed from the German "Edel" label and presented by "Brilliant" in an attractive, super-bargain box set containing cardboard slipcases and a booklet providing good notes. (A misprint on the back of the slipcase and box states that the Eight is the "1877/90 Haas" edition, when of course it is 1887/90.)

It's not a true cycle as such, given that the recordings here are a compilation of Symphonies 4 to 9, with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by natural Bruckner conductor Heinz Rögner and recorded in superb, warm analogue sound between 1980 and 1985, while the earliest three symphonies are something of a rag-bag: the First, conducted by Vàclav Neumann and Third, with Kurt Sanderling, are both studio recordings from the early 60's with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, while the Second is decidedly incongruous, being a good, live mono recording from 1950 conducted by Franz Konwitschny but again with the BRSO.

There is a kind of unity to the set insofar as all are played in what must be acknowledged to be the old, post-war East German tradition. However, the first three, older recordings are decidedly grand and leisurely; with overall timings ranging, by comparison with other established classic recordings, from the average to the slow whereas Rögner's speeds and manner are swift and propulsive, mostly breathlessly and thrillingly fast with a real sense of drive and purpose. The Fifth, for example, clocks in at 68 minutes instead of the usual 80 and is none the worse for it; similarly, the Seventh and Eighth, each have timings some ten minutes (and more) swifter than many rival versions but never sound rushed, just compelling.

The orchestral playing is predictably marvellous - just listen to the string quality in the Adagios - but it's the conducting which astonishes. You might well say, "Rögner - who?" as did I: he was a Leipzig-born conductor who spent most of his career there and in East Berlin and thus had little exposure in the West but he is clearly a master of the Brucknerian idiom, with an extraordinarily confident, over-arching sense of the architecture of his symphonies, always eschewing the wallow in favour of forward momentum and thereby neatly side-stepping the facile accusations of Bruckner's detractors.

Yet the first three symphonies are well worth hearing, too. The First is coherent and convincing, the Leipzig fiddles maintaining perfect intonation and making the most of that lovely falling string figure reminiscent of Verdi's "Otello". The Second, despite the mono sound with thin upper frequencies and too much coughing, is a performance of stature typical of good old "con whisky" on a sober day, Romantic and rhapsodic with plenty of rubato and broad, subtly shaded phrasing of Wagnerian intensity and scale. I greatly enjoy Sanderling's Seventh on the Hänssler label; this Third is a recording to stand by it, being grand and stately.

However, it is Rögner's recordings of the last six symphonies which make this set an absolutely compulsory purchase for all true Brucknerians. It is difficult to pin down what it is which distinguishes his Bruckner but I can only point to the sense of unity and inevitability which informs his interpretations; each symphony emerges as an entirely integrated artistic entity. These are conceptions which emulate the sweep and concentration of Karajan yet are very different in affect.

The Fourth is fast and furious, removing all possibility of bombast or ponderousness, yet the second movement is deeply reflective and restrained. The Fifth is likewise first positively manic then imbued with a compensatory balance by the gentle tranquillity of the horn and pizzicato passages before the mad dash to the finish; this potentially problematic symphony seems all of a piece in Rögner's hands. The Sixth is tense and menacing and perhaps lacking in the gravitas conferred on it by other versions like that by Klemperer; it is closer to Sawallisch's conception. The Seventh is exceptionally fluent, flexible, always redolent of mystery and the narrative is always gripping. The brass is superb, simply heavenly at the climax of the first movement and the Wagner tubas in the opening of the Adagio are beautifully forward. The opening of the Eighth is nervy, almost edgy, yet with the sense of occasion that Karajan brought to a favourite symphony and certainly my candidate for the greatest ever written. The Scherzo is breath-takingly swift yet the individual instrumental lines remain wonderfully differentiated. The Ninth is sublime, exalted, gorgeously played and recorded in splendid sound.

This is the perfect set for introducing the doubting novice to Bruckner's world but nor will the seasoned collector want to be without it. What a bargain - what a revelation.
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This set has polarised opinion among ardent Brucknerians as can be seen by the spread of critical reviews. I needed another set of these works like another orifice-anywhere!-but I am grateful to friend and fellow reviewer Ralph Moore who knows me well enough-too well!-to know that I would not be able to resist a glowing recommendation from him, and thus I succumbed.

I would commend interested parties to Ralph’s review rather than those less enthused-provided that you are open-minded enough to appreciate that Bruckner was not ALL about spirituality, and that his music does not have to be “a Gothic Cathedral made music.”
I would remind the reader that the music that Bruckner most worshipped, aped and liberally quoted from was that of Richard Wagner, a self-confessed atheist and adherent of Schopenhauer without necessarily being a full blown Nihilist!
Of course, Bruckner never understood it-there are plenty of anecdotes to confirm this-and though he responded to the latent sensuality and sexuality of Wagner’s music, he sublimated this as he did his own sexuality into religious fervour.
What this means is that it is perfectly valid to approach Bruckner’s music from a secular position, and once the baggage of the eternal vistas of Heaven is expunged, to deliver vital, exciting and upbeat performances such as we get from Rögner in this superb set.

The first 3 symphonies are conventional and” reliable”, though it is good to hear Konwitschny live even in restricted sound.
It is from the Fourth onwards that these beautifully recorded and superbly played performances take flight.
The overwhelming mood is upbeat. The 6th is glorious, thankfully removed from the heavy fist of Klemperer so revered by so many in this work, and almost eclipsing the Sawallisch as my absolute favourite.
The Seventh makes me want to cheer. The famous Adagio becomes not a threnody but a joyous and whimsical celebration, with the glorious second subject transmuted into a lilting waltz-and it WORKS!
I could highlight passages where Rögner’s approach sounds a tad too superficial, but these are totally overwhelmed by the passages that enlighten us further about the “other side” of Bruckner.
I’m not suggesting for one second that this approach is definitive, nor does it replace the great conceptions of Giulini, Karajan, Knappertsbusch, Sinopoli, Sanderling, Maazel, Blomstedt, Celibidache and the many others who follow a more conventional path, but if you respond to the approach of Sawallisch then you will certainly enjoy these performances.

A further constituency is those to whom the prospect of the marmoreal edifices that Bruckner’s works so often constitute is too daunting, this attractively priced set may well prove the gateway to an intoxicating world.
Once again thanks to Ralph to whose review I again commend you, and an unreserved endorsement from me. 5 Glorious Stars! Stewart Crowe.
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on 1 March 2014
This new compendium of the nine "canonical" symphonies of Anton Bruckner brings to a wider audience some truly first-class and exceptional performances from the "old" East Germany: the DDR or erstwhile "German Democratic Republic." These recordings all originate with the state record label of the DDR, VEB Deutsche Schallplatten, with one exception (more about that later).

The centerpiece of this boxed set are Symphonies 4 - 9, with the (East) Berlin Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchestra, Heinz Rögner conducting [NOTE: Brilliant Classic's publicity for this set erroneously identifies this orchestra with the WEST Berlin Radio Symphony, now known as the Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin. They are not the same, neither then, in the divided Cold War Germany, nor now, in the re-united Berlin.] Heinz Rögner, alas, was almost unknown in the West during most of his career, since he rarely, if ever, travelled. More's the pity, because his musicianship is of the highest caliber and his Bruckner is superb. The salient characteristics of his Bruckner include generally swift, no-nonsense tempos, rhythmic acuity and a laser-like clarity extracted from Bruckner's orchestration. Each of the six symphonies he conducts is an interpretation and recording well worth knowing, but if one is hoping for solemnity and monumentality, look elsewhere. In general, movement timings come in under the average; and in particular, the Fifth Symphony is perhaps THE fastest I know, with a fugal finale that blazes furiously with an excitement that kept me on the edge of my seat while listening. Fast, and anything but superficial. The East Berlin Radio Orchestra is a fine ensemble, well suited to the Bruckner idiom, and the original analogue recordings are exemplary.

Maestro Rögner did not record 1 -3, much less the early F-Minor and D-Minor symphonies. However, a splendid set of Bruckner's choral works includes Rögner's wonderful interpretations of the Te Deum, Mass No. 2 in E-Minor and Mass No. 3 in F-Minor -- also highly recommended.

Symphony No. 3 in this new set features the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Kurt Sanderling in an early-1960's stereo recording. Although the sound does not measure up to that afforded the later symphonies, it is quite acceptable and delivers a traditional, and powerful, interpretation of Bruckner's last version of this work.

Symphony No. 2 brings the only caveat emptor of the set. Franz Konwitschny was a superb Brucknerian, and his interpretation of the Haas edition of Symphony 2 is fine, as might be expected. Unfortunately, the recording, with the Leipzig Radio Symphony, is mono and the orchestra sounds under-rehearsed. [This is in complete contrast to Konwitschny's roughly contemporary Bruckner 5, with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, taped in splendid stereo under studio conditions, and well worth seeking out.]

Along with that Symphony 5 under Konwitschny, this new set's Symphony No. 1 is one of the highlights of the old Eterna catalogue. Vaclav Neumann, at that time music director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, leads his ensemble in a noble, superbly executed First captured in excellent analogue stereo. Indeed, I find this First to be one of the very best available.

So four conductors, three orchestras and nine symphonies -- and a set worthy to compare with any of its Western rivals. This is also a glance at a period of history now, thankfully, behind us when Germany was divided by the Iron Curtain and the East's cultural scene was both insular and mostly hidden from Western view. Clearly, these musicians knew, respected and loved Bruckner's music, and now the results are available for all to hear and enjoy!
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on 4 July 2015
Others have written very detailed reviews of these performances and so there is no need for me to attempt that again. I would just like to say that the refreshing and very perceptive performances of symphonies 4-9 by Heinz Rogner have reawakened my interest in these great works. As others have pointed out, his tempi are often surprisingly brisk and this is no bad thing; the music comes alive without any sense of it being rushed or driven. Unlike many conductors, Rogner does not attempt to make these works more grand or more solemn than they already are and he has an unerring sense of pace and rubato. This is frequently heard in the great adagios which in other hands can outstay their welcome. This is particularly noticeable in the third movement of the ninth symphony which is quite simply the best performance that I have ever heard. He also understands where the climaxes are in movements and these are driven home with real conviction and great power. He is not afraid to let the timpani loose and this is quite stunning in numerous places.
The playing of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, particularly the strings, is very impressive indeed and the recorded sound is superb.
Symphonies 1-3 in this set are given what might be called more conventional performances from three other conductors, the second from as early as 1951 from Franz Konwitschny who was Rogner's mentor. But it is Rogner who excels in this set and gives us a refreshing and unique view of Bruckner.
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on 11 July 2014
This set of recordings would be worth buying at several times the price. I have seen reviews which criticise the tempi that Rögner chooses but personally I don't have a problem. I like his conducting and I like the sound of the orchestra too. I'm not a music specialist, I just like listening to music and this set has already in just a few days given me much pleasure. For me you would need to be very picky to be negative about these recordings. Nine symphonies for the price of a reasonable bottle of wine. Amazing.
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The small cardboard box, with lid which opens sideways is tough. The Brilliant box sets I own always are. The picture on the front of the box, is I think the ceiling of the church where Bruckner (1824-1896) is buried. On the back of the box, are the CD number and symphonies in yellow orchre, plus in white at the bottom, who is conducting. The back ground is in dark orange. The cardboard sleeve details are exactly like the box, but with CD numbers on the back, with track numbers and times. When retrieving the CDs from the CD you will not scratch them. The CD is white with the composer's name and orchestra in dark orange, plus CD number. For example, the Brilliant Faure edition has a orange cover and white CDs, with words in light orange. This shows you, how much trouble Brilliant goes to, when producing their box sets. Sound, Compact Disc digital audio, ADD. I suggest the CDs have been remastered, but there is no proof of this fact. The booklet gives you details about the conductors, the symphonies and Bruckner himself. What I like about this booklet, is the company does not assume you have any knowledge about Bruckner's life.

I own the Von Karajan,Jochum and Tintner Bruchner Box sets. Klemperer Live, 4th (1954), 7th ( 1958) and 8th (1957). Knappertsbusch 8th. Furtwanglers 6th and 8th symphonies, recorded live in the 2nd World War, plus Walter's 4th, 7th and 9th symphonies. Even Inbal's recording of the original first score of the 3rd and 4th Symphonies. Therefore, I am attuned to the Bruckner sound.

I would have much prefered to have all 9 symphonies recorded by Rogner, but who has heard of him, I have not. So it was decided to put recordings of Neumann No 1, which is the composers most original symphony. Konwitschny No 2 and Sanderling No 3, along side Rogner's 4- 9 symphonies. What the four conductors have in common apart from the East German connection, is that there is an emotional pulse, throughout all nine Bruckner symphonies. Sanderling's 3rd is passionate and that is all one requires from a conductor of the composer's symphonies. If Sanderling has recorded the entire set of Bruckner symphonies, I would snap them up. Neumann relishes the No 1, for the 4th movement is extremely swift. However, you can see in Konwitschny conducting of the symphony No 2, the principles that guided Rogner, for he was taught by that master conductor.

Bruckner speaks to us through his music, for in that he knew what he was doing. But in life he was naive and had many problems. His original scores he placed in the National libary in Vienna, "for future times." Bruckner was God struck, for through his music, he speaks of this, as for his love of the upper Austrian countryside and his mother. He was a professional organist who played in London, Paris and Nancy. So within these large works, you can hear the orchestra sounding like a large organ. Rogner could play the organ on a professional level, so you can hear the flowing transitions and pedal effects in the orchestra, which would not have been achieved without him being able to play the organ. His tempi are fast, which brings out the sheer emotion, but down plays the spirituality, and shows us the Human face of Bruckner. Even so, you can still hear the organlike music of the orchestra with its clear textures. Rogner shows us there is another way to conduct Bruckner, instead of slow. However, to understand the organ effect, hear J.S Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D minor a work for the organ.

I would say the adagio of the 7th Symphony, as conducted by Heinz Rogner, his orchestra, the Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, is beautful and heart felt. But Klemperer in the 8th symphony ( live) is the only conductor of the CDs I own of that work, who captures the Adagio perfectly. I thought I would compare Rogner's times in the BRUCKNER 5th, with that of Jochum, conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden. He played the organ and treated Bruckner's symphony as though it were one. Rogner 1st Mov 19.40. 2nd Mov 14.41. 3rd Mov 13.48. 4th Mov 20.02. Jochum Bruckner 5th. 1st Mov 21.26. 2nd Mov 19.16. 3rd Mov 13.04. 4th Mov 23.42.
BRUCKNER'S 8th symphony. Rogner 1st Mov 12.33. 2nd 13.18. 3rd Mov 26.21. 4th Mov 22.47. Klemperer (live 1957) 1st Mov 14.19. 2nd Mov 14.28. 3rd Mov 22.37. 4th Mov 20.38. Furtwangler ( live Wien 1944). 1st Mov 15.09. 2nd Mov 14.05. 3rd Mov 25.08. 4th Mov 22.17. Jochum 1st Mov 13.55. 2nd Mov 14.00. 3rd Mov 27.24. 4th Mov 20.46.

CD 1 1965. Sym No 1 Linz version, ed. Haas. CD 2.Sym 2 (Live) 1951. 1877 version, ed. Haas. CD 3.Sym 3 1963.1890 version, ed Raettig- a new version. CD 4.Sym 4 1983 & 1984. 1886 version, ed. Nowak. CD 5.Sym 5 1983 & 1984. ed. Nowak. CD 6. Sym 6 1980. ed.Nowak. CD 7. Sym 7 1983. ed.Haas.CD 8 Sym 8 1985 1987/90 version, ed.Haas. CD 9.Sym 9 1983. Ed Nowak.

Bruckner rewrote his symphonies, but so did his pupils, Franz and Josef Schalk, also, the conductors Loewe and Nikisch, to help their friend. They attempted to make these huge scores acceptable to the public; changing parts of the scores, even without the composers permission. Bruckner consistently revised his works 1-4 symphonies. As a result, we have several versions. Sometimes the later editions are improvements, as with the 4th symphony, but sometimes the first version is superior as with the 2nd and 3rd symphony. The problem was that Bruckner suffered from self-doubt and felt inferior to those surrounding him. He felt they must know better. He was no Wagner, or Beethoven his idols, who had great self confidence. But as I have already stated, in his music he had a vision and stuck to it.

The 8th symphony will give you an idea of the type of problems I have mentioned. In 1887 the composer had completed the score to his satisfaction. Hermann Levi who led the World premiere of Parsival, and had become a strong advocate for the 7th symphony, rejected the 8th symphony and would not conduct it. With his pupil Josef Schalk, Bruckner made many cuts and additional changes. Two years later, Bruckner agreed to more revisions in line with the audience expectations and trends of the time. The premiere was given in 1892 with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Hans Richter.

In the 1930's, Robert Haas, as editor of the Complete Bruckner Edition, chose to combine details from Bruckner's original 1887 score with amendments made for the 1890 version that Bruckner had created following Levi's rejection of the work. The resulting score included not only revisions that Bruckner had made, but also restored many cuts from the earlier score. Published in 1935, this score was performed in 1939. Leopold Nowak succeeded Haas as chief editor for the International Bruckner society after World war 2. He felt that Haas's score was wrong, because Bruckner had not seen or sanctioned it. Nowak, in turn, created two different versions of the 8th Symphony. He felt strongly that the 1890's score was correct, because of the thoughtful revisions. However, for Nowak's second edition, the editor chose to create the work as closely as possible to Bruckner's original thinking in 1887, before Levi rejected it.The version was first performed in 1954, and not frequently performed after the publication in 1972. However, Tintner suggests that Haas's is the best of three versions. But the original 1887 symphony shows an almost primitive spontaneity.

The 3rd symphony written in 1873 is another example. For after the first performance in 1877 it was a failure. Bruckner revised it in 1878 and then again in 1888-89. Thus, there are three different versions in all, even Franz Schalk got involved changing parts which the composer agreed to. Loewe changed parts of the 4th without the composers approval. The 5th for many years was performed in a version by Franz Schalk that severely truncated its Finale and did so without Bruckner's approval. However, when changes were made that do have the composer's agreement,it is not always possible to determine which were made against his better judgement and which of the two alternative procedures he would prefer. This gives you an understanding of the problems that Bruckner's symphonies do pose. Added to that, there are now newer editions then the Nowak. Those familar with Bruckner are aware of all these problems and watch out for what score is being used. So those Haas and Nowak scores used in this new Bruckner set,are often used today.

To conclude this review, I shall give you some information about the conductors. Valclav Neumann 1920-1995, was born in Prague. He became conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus until 1969. He became principal conductor of the Czech Phil, a post he held until 1990. Franz Konwitschny 1901-1962. Played the Viola in the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra under Wilhelm Furtwangler. He became a conductor, joining the Stuttgart opera in 1927. From 1949 until his death he was principal conductor of the Gewandhaus orchestra. From 1955 onwards he led the Berlin State opera. Like Furtwangler, Konwitschny used expensive gestures and had a dislike of an exact beat. Recordings: Flying Dutchman. Schech, Schock, Fischer-Dieskau and Wunderlich, Staatskapelle,Berlin. 1960. Tannhauser Hopf, Frick, Fischer-Dieskau, Grummer, Staatskapelle, Berlin.

Kurt Sanderling 1912-2011. He was a rehearsal director for Furtwangler and Kleiber at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. This was cut short, when the Nazi regime removed him from his post because he was Jewish. He left for the Soviet Union in 1936 where he worked with the Moscow Radio sym orch. From 1942-1950 he was joint principal conductor with Yegeny Mravinsky of the Leningrad Phil. He grew very close to Shostakovich. He was very well liked and got good results from lesser orchestras. He returned to East Germany where he led the Berlin Sym Orch and Dresden Staatskapelle. Sanderling made his British debut in 1970. He was associated with the Philharmonia orch in London 1980. In 2002 he was awarded the CBE. He made complete recordings of the Beethoven Symphonies with the Philharmonia.

Heinz Rogner 1929-2001. From 1947- 1951 he was Kapellmeister of the German National theatre and Staatskapelle Weimar.However, from 1958- 1962 Rogner was Chief conductor of the Leipzig Radio orchestra, 1953- 1993, he was chief conductor of the Berlin Radio symphony orchestra. He was unpretentious and modest,he always evaded questions from Journalists who wanted to get him to talk about his personal life, but he steered questions to music. Thus, when the fall of the Berlin wall happened, he was not news worthy. He was not a star in the classical World. Not a way to get noticed, which is a shame, because his conducting of Bruckner is marvellous. His later development as a Bruckner conductor, stemmed from a relationship with Franz Konwitschny, who performed original versions of Bruckner symphonies.

REFERENCES: Bacharach,A & Pearce J. The Musical Companion 1977. Victor Gollancz. London. Bruckner: Symphony No 8 article, Franz Welser-Most.2010. Arthaus Musik. Tintner G. Bruckner. Naxos. Wikipedia.
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on 8 May 2015
Wonderful value. Although I'm not really a musician I love music and Bruckner (among others) in particular. I had something of a Bruckner-fest on a train journey to Dublin recently, and the quality of these recordings is pretty high. As others have noted the tempi are on the fast side but one never feels as if the conductor is rushing for a train, as I heard a reviewer comment recently on one interpretation. One of the symphonies is in mono which comes as something of a surprise, but once past the intial shock, the recoding is still a pretty good one. Just a shame that it doesn't include the realisation of the finale to the ninth!
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on 3 April 2014
Let's focus on Symphonies 4 - 9, featuring Heinz Rögner and Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. The first three symphonies, drawn from a variety of services, are solid, idiomatic performanes which failed to disturb my wider allegiances. The Linz version is used in the First whereas the 1889 edition is played in the Third.

Patience is cardinal in Bruckner - if not the Pontifex Maximus himself. If a conductor has sufficient grip on the score, to a certain extent it will underwrite a fast tempi. Nevertheless, so much is lost at warp-speed. If prayer is essentially a passive act in wait for a moment of grace or union - and one views Bruckner's Symphonies in such a light - conductors are best served to evoke the runes of these numinous scores - and do so with abandonment and receptivity. Failure to do so relegates one to Maazel-Land where mere drama is king Bruckner: 10 Symphonies.

Rögner is no slouch in this domain. The BRSO has Bruckner in its DNA. There is no soup. That being said, so much of the music-making here is super-heated and/or vin ordinaire within the parameters of a second-tier German orchestra. Cosmic stillness and repose are minimal. Not once - to my antipodean ears at least - is the radiance of the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters evoked. Nor does this set raise any metaphysical questions. Furthermore, Rogner is a literalist in much of his phrasing.

Here are some examples.

The opening of the Romantic Symphony is crude, non-pictorial and to my tastes at least, rushed and metronomic. How perky and unsubtle the woodwinds are at 5'42"ff. Re the fortissimo at 7'00": if Sinopoli and the Dresden Staatskapelle evoke a German WW1 railway gun, here's the pea-shooter equivalent. The Holy of Holies chorale from 8'02" is as numinous as the Crystal Cathedral and the string-threnody that follows at 8'50"ff is prosaic and metrical. The recapitulation of the horn-call is bereft of magic - Mother Hubbard's cupboard has more sustenance to its name. A name comes to mind as I listen to the opening of the finale and it's a contagion in context: welcome to Marriner Country.

I'm bored by fast traversals of the slow movement of the Fifth so let's skip to the finale and its self-contained chorale (6'01ff). It's comically bad. Such be the blatancy of the brass, one wonders whether some tuskers from the USSR Ministry of Culture Orchestra have infiltrated the ranks to cacophonous effect.

The Bruckner Sixth is a Skeleton Coast whose shoals have beached many a conductor. The first movement in particular is treacherous - even Karajan struggles with its opening. Eschewing patience, Rogner sprints through it with all the thoughtfulness of Riccardo Muti (Bruckner: Symphonies 4 & 6). The build up to the famous "timpani-recapituation" from 6'10" onwards is crude and rushed - and the advent of the timpani itself - strangely enough - is a non-event.

Consider the opening of the Eighth Symphony. There are any number of chances for infinitesimal delays (as recorded here, say at 0'07", 0'14", 0'22", 0'30", 0'41", 0'48") to segment the narrative. Rogner fails to capitalise on them and then lets fly with a crude fortissimo at 1'12".

I hear a lot of surface-drama in the Ninth; not once do I sense that the ice is cracking.

If the likes of Karajan and Knappertsbusch (3 - 4, 7 - 9) hold the Five Star high-ground, I cannot see how anyone could rank this cycle alongside these colossi. For those who are suckers for slow, meditative Bruckner that is aligned with the constellations as they circle the poles, this jaunty set has little to offer.
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on 6 January 2016
Surprisingly good and well worth double the asking price. A clear recording and very acceptable interpretations so far.
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on 17 April 2014
At last a good budget version of Bruckner's symphonies is available. These may be old recordings but they are very good ones and should not be missed at this price.
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