While not recommendable as a first introduction to the Bruckner Fourth, this recording should intrigue longtime Bruckner aficionado. This is the original 1874 version of his Symphony No. 4, a version that is almost never recorded, and certainly never as persuasively as done here by Dennis Russell Davies. The original score -- radically different in every movement -- was a much more romantic, evocative, and even passionate work than the final version that became standard, and while it might confirm certain stereotypes about Bruckner to those who don't already know the work (too long, too simplistic, too bombastic), it can be heard as a rewarding alternate take by those who do. Davies' performance with the Bruckner Orchester Linz is superlative in form and pacing, executed with near-obsessive attention to detail. Arte Nova's sound is strong and lifelike.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Symphony No. 4 in E flat ("Romantic"), WAB 104|