Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin had recorded for Atma Classique for a few years, but this 2007 release of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 in E major should guarantee a long and happy relationship with the label, if its merits are anything to go by. Indeed, Nézet-Séguin's transparent reading of the symphony with the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal is one of the most compelling to appear on SACD; anyone seeking a great-sounding recording that is also deeply stirring should feel satisfied with it. Understanding that this is one of Bruckner's most popular symphonies, and often subject to heavy-handed performances, Nézet-Séguin transforms it into something more subtle, transcendent, and otherworldly, and delivers it with a reverent tone that may suggest a religious interpretation (no doubt Montréal's Église Saint-Nom-de-Jésus lent a sacred ambience to the live performance, as well as its resonant acoustics). The orchestra's tonal palette is wonderfully broad, its dimensions are deep, the frequency range is wide, and the music is shaded with nuanced dynamics; furthermore, the ensemble is clear at any level, so audiophiles will relish every moment of this recording. However, purists may note with dismay the inclusion of the cymbal crash and triangle roll at the climax of the slow movement, which is widely regarded as inauthentic and omitted, even though it is printed in the Nowak Edition, which Nézet-Séguin uses here. Yet on the whole, this is a fine interpretation that does justice to Bruckner's intentions and is highly recommended for its extraordinary sensitivity and exceptionally rich sound.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 7 in E major, WAB 107|