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Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 - Nagano

Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 - Nagano

Harmonia Mundi  HMC 801817

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Bruckner: Symphony No. 3

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Kent Nagano (conductor)


Performances of at least three of Bruckner's symphonies always raise the same problem: which version is the one to choose? In the case of the third symphony, at least three versions exist. The differences between them affect the musical material, the formal conception, the balance of the work's proportions, and its sonorities. It is the first version of 1873 - neither published nor performed during Bruckner's lifetime - that Kent Nagano presents here.

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Review by Mark Novak - November 14, 2004

The original version of this symphony is rife with the (in)famous Bruckner pause. Nagano does a great job of turning those from awkward pauses to a useful musical device. He creates anticipation in what is to come making the listening experience that much more enjoyable. In a sym of this length, it is important to interpret the page and not just play the notes. Nagano does indeed interpret and as a result keeps me engaged. As a Bruckner admirer, I am glad to add this performance to my (large) collection.

Sound-wise, this is well balanced. In my recent review of the MTT Mahler 2, I noted that the brass were too prevalent with too much bite. Here, they are more realistically integrated into the texture. However, I must also point out that there are times in the big tuttis that seem a bit congested. Perhaps an artifact of this originating in a pcm master??

Copyright © 2004 Mark Novak and HRAudio.net

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Comment by Andrew Cochrane - January 17, 2016 (1 of 1)

I am not yet familiar enough with Bruckner's works to comment on the artistic merits of this performance, but I will comment on the two-channel sonics. I must say I find the sound quite disappointing; the strings and brass in the louder, and even moderately loud, passages actually distort somewhat, and the recording as a whole sounds congested and lacking in clarity. The bottom end sounds muddy, and lacks weight. This is all the more disappointing from such a quality label as Harmonia Mundi.

From a sonics perspective, I would not recommend this disc for playback on a high-end system.

P.S. I note that "congested" is a term used by the (as yet) sole reviewer, so in that we agree. Like that reviewer, I also wondered if these are digital artifacts. The disc does pre-date the golden age of DSD mastering.