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Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 - Wand

Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 - Wand

RCA  BVCC-34147

Stereo Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Bruckner: Symphony No. 5

Berliner Philharmoniker
Günter Wand (conductor)

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Review by John Broggio - June 9, 2008

A world away from Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 - Jaap van Zweden, in both performance (good) and sonic aspects (bad). Here the sense of a planned journey with a sense of direction is apparent from the very start, helped I suspect by the involvement of an orchestra who know this repertoire very well indeed.

From the versions I have auditioned so far on SACD, this is the nearest to my idea of a great performance of this work (I have not yet heard Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 - Bosch); there is still a great deal of distance to go though. Throughout, tempo choices are uncontroversial - never lacking in speed in the outer movements, nor too speedy in the Adagio. Wand's choice of rubato are more extreme than some may find ideal and this is all that prevents the final peroration from being overwhelmingly joyous.

The sound is obviously dated (as far as modern recordings go) and one notices the relative "flatness" of a stereo presentation of this disc when compared to other accounts of this work and also from Wand's other discs of Bruckner issued on SACD. Still, most details are easily audible and the Berliners do make a good sound, although it was made in the period of time when they had lost their Karajan gloss and had yet to fully adopt the translucency that Abbado sought so there are some moments which are not entirely convincing.

A current placeholder choice (but one I hope that will be supplanted for musical and sonic reasons).

Copyright © 2008 John Broggio and HRAudio.net

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