Marek Janowski

Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 6

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This recording of Bruckner's Sixth with Marek Janowski and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande starts out none too steadily and goes downhill from there. Janowski seems to have the measure of the Austrian Romantic composer's work, and his conception is appropriately large-scaled and capacious, but the orchestra appears unable to realize his conception. The orchestra could be faulted for lacking the opulent string tone, big brass sound, and raw energy necessary to make the performance sound suitably Brucknerian. Janowski seems unable to successfully manage either the score's myriad details or its long-range structure, much less give the orchestra clear enough cues. Whatever the cause, this Bruckner Sixth is decidedly unworthy to enter the ranks of the greatest recordings of the work, which include three by Jochum: with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra in 1966, the Staatskapelle Dresden in 1978, the Concertgebouw in 1980, and the canonical 1965 version with Klemperer and the New Philharmonia. PentaTone's super audio sound is transparent but disappointingly disembodied.

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