ANTON BRUCKNER - Symphony No. 5

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ANTON BRUCKNER - Symphony No. 5 - London Symphony Orchestra - Lance Friedel (Conductor) - 681585160022 - Released: November 2015 - MSR Classics MS1600

Because of my ambivalent love-hate relationship with the music of Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) - see my blog for more details - it has always been difficult for me to get overly enthusiastic about any new Bruckner recordings. But when I read that American conductor Lance Friedel had studied conducting under Georg Tintner, one of the great Bruckner interpreters whose recordings of all the symphonies can be found on the Naxos label, my level of interest quickly intensified.

For starters, the sonic quality of this Hybrid SACD recording released by MSR Classics and recorded at All Hallows Church in London, is exemplary. It gives full justice to the opulent and powerful Bruckner sound, with plenty of dynamic headroom left over. And Lance Friedel well projects what he himself calls the "cathedral-like symmetry" of this symphony, with a pacing that allows the music to unfold naturally. And of course it goes without saying that the sound of the London Symphony Orchestra itself, one of the best ensembles in the world, goes a long way in producing the perfect Bruckner sonics. They had actually recorded this symphony under the direction of Tintner himself back in the '70s.

So if, unlike me, you're a true Bruckner enthusiast, don't hesitate to get your hands on this recording.

Below is a short video excerpt of Lance Friedel conducting a performance of Bruckner's Seventh.

Jean-Yves Duperron - March 2016