Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 - Janowski

Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 - Janowski

PentaTone Classics  PTC 5186449

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral

Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 in D minor

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Marek Janowski (conductor)

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DSD recording
Reviews (1)

Review by Graham Williams - September 16, 2012

Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 is one of the most problematic of his nine symphonies with regard to alternative versions of the score. A quick look at will illustrate the potential minefield of various editions to be negotiated by any prospective purchaser of this work. The first version (1873), dedicated to Wagner and containing quotes from 'Tristan' and the 'Ring', was never performed in Bruckner's lifetime. A revised version (1877/8) shortened the work and removed the aforementioned quotes, while the final version (1889) made further cuts, particularly to the finale, that many feel damages its structural balance.

However, on this new recording in PentaTone's on-going Bruckner Symphony cycle with L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Marek Janowski opts for the 1889 version edited by Leopold Nowak as do the majority of conductors who have committed this symphony to disc.

Janowski's account of this work is characterised by generally swift tempi in all four movements, an approach that accepts the limitations of this edition of the score and does not attempt to impose any unnecessary interpretative aggrandisement on it. At the start Janowski establishes the 'misterioso' marking of the opening movement and the trumpet melody is skilfully integrated into the orchestral texture. As the movement progresses his management of the many tempo changes and pauses flow with a natural ease. The tripartite slow movement is nobly projected with a flowing inevitability and expressive playing from the orchestra's wind section. The scherzo - delivered with rhythmic security - is fierce and urgent with spitting trumpets, yet Janowski does not fail to bring out the melodic charm of the Ländler Trio section nor the delightful polka in the finale.

The OSR respond to Janowski's direction with the commitment that has characterised the earlier issues in this cycle. The ample and quite reverberant acoustic of the Victoria Hall in Geneva gives the recorded sound the sense of space essential for Bruckner's works. The sound stage is both wide and deep yet, thanks to the superlative engineering, congestion in the symphony's often brassy climaxes is rare.

With just Symphonies 2 and 4 of this cycle still to appear Janowski's eloquent and refreshingly direct performance of this symphony matches the high standard of the earlier issues and can be confidently recommended.

Copyright © 2012 Graham Williams and


Sonics (Multichannel):

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