Bruckner Orchester Linz

Anton Bruckner; Symphony No. 0

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The confusingly misnamed Symphony No. 0 in D minor, "Die Nullte," is, along with the Student Symphony in F minor, the least recorded of Anton Bruckner's symphonies, and seldom given a stirring or memorable performance. The composer's own indifference to it has negatively affected its reception, and most conductors and critics regard the piece as inferior to its closest neighbors in the canonical cycle. Yet even if "Die Nullte" is rather loose at the seams, and sounds in too many places like an indistinct or uninspired sketch for the more fully realized Symphony No. 3 in D minor, this symphonic "orphan" still has its charming and powerful moments, and warrants more attention (or at least as much as the early symphonies, which share some of its deficiencies). This 1981 AAD recording by the Bruckner Orchester Linz, under Theodor Guschlbauer, is one of a handful of solid recordings that render "Die Nullte" coherently and with enough vitality and propulsion to make its trajectory clear, and to minimize the few awkward starts and stops. This recording deserves to be expertly remastered someday, for the early digital sound is problematic and seems to have diminished the luster of the original tapes, which is nonetheless still apparent in the resonant climaxes.

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