Marek Janowski / L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 1 in C minor

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PentaTone's line of hybrid multichannel SACDs are among the finest recordings available, and audiophiles are regularly tempted by these offerings, even if the selections are not always the most familiar. This 2012 release of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 1 in C minor may not have the instant appeal of better known orchestral showpieces, such as Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps or Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, but the music sounds remarkably colorful and nuanced in this subtle performance and must be counted as a sonic success. A seasoned Brucknerian, Marek Janowski previously has presented lucid interpretations of the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth symphonies for PentaTone, and his output is impressive on both musical and technical levels. Trained in the German repertory, Janowski has a deep feeling for this overlooked symphony, and under his direction, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande plays with particular zeal and convincing assurance. Yet Janowski is also aware that every note must come through, so he takes extraordinary pains to draw the most delicate distinctions and colors, even at the softest dynamics. While this isn't Bruckner's best-loved symphony, here it sounds like it should be better appreciated, and that's a sign of the craft and integrity that have gone into this first-rate recording.

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