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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly detailed and conscientious reading that adds greatly to the musical impact, 14 April 2013
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This review is from: Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 [Franz Welser-Möst, The Cleveland Orchestra] [Arthaus: 108078] [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Welser-Most has been supported by a major Upper Austrian bank for over 25 years now as a cultural envoy. This level of support suggests that Welser-Most has something special to offer in terms of Austrian music especially. In particular, Welser-Most has a passion for Bruckner that translates into meticulous orchestral preparation followed by performances of remarkable detail that manage to still come alive musically. These general observations apply to this new recording.

This recording is a performance of the 1888 version of this symphony in the new performing edition by Benjamin Korstvedt. The result is a performance of considerable splendour. The description of 'Cathedrals in sound' is easy to comprehend here, especially in the splendid setting of St. Florian in Austria. There are other versions of the symphony which may be more familiar but Welser-Most believes this new edition of the 1888 version is now the best.

I have grown to like this edition and interpretation very much indeed over several viewings. As with his previous recordings of Bruckner, Welser-Most's performance displays a typically very clear and long-term view of structure held under tight control but driven by a deeply held conviction. The climaxes are massive but this is balanced by considerable moments of delicacy, almost down to a whisper. There are times when woodwind lines are almost played like solo lines in a piece of chamber music. The orchestra is well able to deliver at this level.

The concert is well recorded by Brian Large and presented in DTS 5.1 surround and stereo sound formats. The sound in its DTS format is particularly spectacular in effect. The camera work is detailed without being invasive and is typical of the knowledgeable and sympathetic direction by Brian Large. The imaging is especially crisp and of good colour definition.

This seems to me to be a very fine entry in what is building to be a very significant series with a very personal and justifiable choice of editions. The standard of music making is of a consistently high calibre as is the recording quality. Welser-Most himself is clearly dedicated to his task and I would therefore suggest that this will give purchasers much pleasure and food for thought.
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