This recording of the seventh, again like previous ones made live, is beautifully played and recorded. Whilst having a great forward pulse throughout Nelsons lets the whole piece breathe. The scherzo has a wonderful rhythmic lilt. Nelsons also achieves great linear clarity in all the movements. The cello and bass pizzicato accompaniment near the start of the last movement is clearly articulated, as are the syncopated phrases in the slow movement. A magisterial reading and as mentioned played magnificently in all departments by the Gewandhaus orchestra. Top marks to the brass and in particular the tubas at the end of the adagio. Phrases are well woven together avoiding the chunky stop start trap that conductors can so easily fall into.
The Siegfried Funeral music is not in the same league. a rather strange performance with odd rubato. Perhaps the prelude to Parsifal may have been a better choice.
As for the photos in the booklet they are best forgotten. I came close to taking a star off for the ridiculous one on the sixth page showing Nelsons asleep with his arms draped round the neck of a bust of Bruckner who is wearing a rather pained expression. Message to DG marketing department: have you taken leave of your senses?
Despite that minor quibble this performance is well worth buying. It bodes well for the rest of the cycle. Like the other recordings the applause has been edited out.
Leipzig has a long memory for the works of Herr Bruckner and this shows right from the start. Herr Nelsons seems to have inherited with his orchestra. Together, they completely avoid the perils facing a great conductor who does not have Bruckner's blood in his veins. (Vide the excellent Claudio Abbado completely freezing the interpretation of Bruckner's ninth symphony).