Bruckner: Symphony No. 00
Oehms Classics OC 686
Classical - Orchestral
Bruckner: Symphony No. 00 "Study"
The Study Symphony is a summing-up of the craftsmanship acquired by Anton Bruckner – it did not particularly serve the development of his own artistic profile. “It is”, evaluates his biographer Matthias Hansen, “as if Bruckner – one last time – wanted to play through what he had learned, taking great trouble and care not to forget the slightest detail”. Here, Bruckner tested the limits of the classical-romantic models, according to Hansen, “with a ‘borrowed’ looseness and flexibility, even with elegance” that he then dropped with the Symphony No.0.
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Review by Graham Williams - July 28, 2014
This is the seventh release in Simone Young's fine cycle of Bruckner Symphonies recorded live with the Hamburg Philharmoniker.
Bruckner's F minor symphony was composed in 1863 and was given the name 'Study Symphony' by Leopold Nowak when he compiled his 'Bruckner Complete Edition'. It is also known as Symphony No. 00 to indicate that it pre-dates Bruckner's early D minor Symphony No.0. Both these works were annulled by the composer and were omitted from his numbered canon. Though not typical of Bruckner's more monumental later style they are well crafted and definitely worth hearing, so any new recordings of them are most welcome.
The F minor 'Study Symphony' begins with a lively and beguiling 'Allegro molto vivace' whose freshness immediately brings Mendelssohn to mind, though the remainder of the symphony is more reminiscent of Schumann. The second movement is a deeply felt 'Andante molto' that unfolds with a leisurely beauty in Young's sensitive account and benefits from much fine playing from the Hamburg orchestra. The brief 'Scherzo' that follows does give a hint of the scherzi found in Bruckner's later symphonies while Young keeps a firm grip on the 'Finale', arguably the weakest of the four movements.
The live recording made in the clean and reverberant acoustic of the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg is excellent, and shows no evidence of the presence of an audience apart from a slight rustling between the movements.
Though there are many recordings of this symphony on CD the only competition on SACD is from Marcus Bosch on Coviello Classics Bruckner: Symphonies in F minor. Bosch despatches the work in 36.29 which leaves room for him to include Symphony 0 on the same disc. Young's more spacious performance takes 41.59 and has no fill-up ( Bruckner's early Overture in G minor also dating from 1863 would have been be an obvious candidate – a missed opportunity).
Admirer's of Simone Young's Bruckner interpretations will be well satisfied by this latest instalment.
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