Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 - Janowski
PentaTone Classics PTC 5186030
Classical - Orchestral
Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 in D minor
Suisse Romande Orchestra
Marek Janowski (conductor)
Review by John Broggio - March 5, 2008
Another gloriously recorded yet ultimately not satisfying account of this score.
This recording of Bruckner's 9th symphony must be the most revealing from a textural perspective - everything is laid bare before us thanks to the careful preparation of Janowski, the extraordinary engineering and, as importantly, the lightweight approach of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. This has many appealing features, such as being able to hear every note in the score without needing to look at the page. However, the brass players and timpanist have to be so restrained so as not to completely obliterate the strings - they are relatively small in number and sound it here - that the effect on the listener is one of feeling cheated because there are no true fortissimos relative to the opening pianissimo (or vice versa). This undermines the feeling of titanic climaxes that the best accounts achieve (even on RBCD) and as importantly, undermines the fine conception that Janowski shows he has between his ears. The orchestral response though is far too polite for the deep emotions that frequently surface, particularly in the finale - when the discordant final climax has one listening in admiration rather than awestruck terror then it is time to complain.
It is a shame Pentatone feel compelled to record this repertoire with these artists; especially as the sound achieved is really very special - certainly one of their engineering teams better efforts. What a pity that they couldn't have spent their time on other things; Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 - Harnoncourt and Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 - Wand are far preferable from an interpretative perspective.
Copyright © 2008 John Broggio and HRAudio.net