Herbert Blomstedt / Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra

Anton Bruckner: Sinfonie Nr. 6 A-Dur

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Herbert Blomstedt has recorded Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 6 in A major several times since the early 1980s, which makes him something of a champion for this comparatively under-recorded work. His live 2008 recording with the the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is the first super audio version he has made, and while audiophiles will be attracted to it and his other SACDs in the Bruckner cycle on Querstand, it is recommended to a general audience as well. Blomstedt is a past master in Bruckner's music, with decades of intimate experience, and his controlled expression, steady pacing, and clear conception of the formal needs of the symphony make him an excellent guide, especially for listeners who might not know it as well as the more popular Fourth or the Seventh. Leipzig's playing is full in expression and rich in tone, though the music never feels heavy or plodding, thanks to Blomstedt's light touch and forward propulsion. High energy is sustained throughout, even in the Adagio where the slightest slackening of tempo can distract from the movement's building outpouring of emotion, and there is an air of suspense that holds the listener's attention through the fast movements, most notably in the Scherzo and the Finale. The reproduction is exceptional in every way, providing vivid orchestral colors, credible dimensions, and a fine balance between acoustic resonance and precise details that are perfectly audible. Highly recommended.

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