Christian Thielemann / Staatskapelle Dresden

Anton Bruckner: Symphonie Nr. 4 Es-Dur "Romantische"

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Anton Bruckner: Symphonie Nr. 4 Es-Dur "Romantische" Review

by Blair Sanderson

Of the different versions of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, "Romantic," one of the most frequently performed is the 1878/1880 revision in Robert Haas' 1936 edition, and despite efforts to revive alternate versions, its staying power in the repertoire has practically made it standard. Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden are reliable interpreters of Bruckner, as they have demonstrated in recordings of the Symphony No. 7 in E major and the Symphony No. 8 in C minor, and this 2017 release on Profil offers a traditionalist approach to the "Romantic" that satisfies all expectations. The live recording has extraordinary clarity and richness, and the warmth of Bruckner's score radiates through the orchestra, especially in the brass, and the Staatskapelle Dresden gives the performance wonderfully burnished sonorities and vibrant tone colors. Thielemann's sense of the work's epic scale and sweeping grandeur is apparent in his broad pacing and expansive phrasing, but he is careful to bring out little details in the counterpoint that are sometimes lost in concert recordings. Fortunately, between Thielemann's attentiveness and the high standards of the engineers at Profil, virtually every note can be heard distinctly in this exceptional performance. Highly recommended.

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