The late Colin Fortune was a fair and open-minded contributor to these Amazon pages, and I always respected his carefully-considered opinions. His views are always worth reading, and in particular he was very knowledgeable about Bruckner. I would certainly echo his recommendation of the Barenboim/BPO set on Teldec.
However with regard to this Solti Bruckner set I beg to differ with Mr Fortune, although, in offering an alternative view, my purpose is mainly to offset the nonsense written by a different reviewer elsewhere (see the one-star review by Mr Colin Chapman, who changes his username from time to time; at the time of typing this it is "old sole"). There is little point posting these comments after Mr Chapman's review as he would probably delete his review in order to remove them, which is why I have posted them after Mr Fortune's instead.
All of these digital transfers are the same ones as those used when the Bruckner/Solti Chicago cycle first appeared on CD in the 1980s & 1990s. Symphonies 4, 5, 6 & 7 appeared on LP; the other symphonies (0, 1, 2, 3, 8 & 9) were not issued on vinyl.
This set contains one of the finest performances of Symphony No. 6 ever put on disc. I have a copy of the original SXL 6946 vinyl issue and find that the CD transfer compares favourably with the LP; the quality of sound is different on CD, but I would hesitate to describe it as either superior or inferior to the LP - just different!
Symphony No. 6 was the first work in the cycle to be recorded and was analogue. The remainder of the cycle is DDD. Next to be recorded was Symphony No. 5, a 2LP set that was issued in December 1980. I bought it on the day it was released and I remember thinking how inferior the sound quality was to the analogue recording of No. 6, with clinical, harsh sound that lacked the richness characteristic of the recording of No. 6. The transfer of No. 5 sounds better than the LPs to me. As Mr Fortune says, the slow movement is unsettled and the tempo varies uncomfortably.
For the remainder of the cycle the sound quality is consistently fine. Symphony No. 4 sounded impressive on the SXDL 7538 vinyl issue and it sounds fine here too. I never heard No. 7 on LP so can't compare that recording with the CD issue. Overall I am puzzled by Mr Chapman's comments about the sound quality, and equally mystified by his assertion that notes in English are absent when notes in English certainly are included.
There are many impressive performances in this set, notably that of Symphony No. 1. Personally I prefer Solti's earlier 1966 Vienna Philharmonic version of No. 8 to this 1990 remake (Novak edition, incidentally), and neither do I think that this 1986 Chicago remake of No. 7 should be considered as necessarily superseding his 1965 VPO account, fine though this sensitive 1986 version is. No. 3 is a dynamic performance, rather too forceful for some tastes, though I am surprised that Mr Fortune considers it 'dreadful and coarse'.
I have over forty versions of many of the Bruckner symphonies in my collection, but would not wish to be without this fine set. Mr Chapman's complaint about the price is illogical; I recall paying £11.99 for my 2LP set of Symphony No. 5 in 1980 which in today's money is more like about £50 or more in 'real terms', allowing for inflation. The whole 10CD set of ten symphonies can therefore be bought for less than what I paid in 'real terms' for the LPs of Symphony No. 5 alone in 1980, so where is the problem? This set is a giveaway at the price.