A fair number of conductors -- Georg Tintner, Eliahu Inbal, Marcus Bosch, Roger Norrington, and Jonathon Nott among them -- have recorded the original version of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 in D minor, replete with the quotations from Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, Die Walküre, and Die Meistersinger, as well as quotes from Franz Liszt's Graner Messe and Bruckner's own Mass in D minor. Though Simone Young can be added to the growing company of maestros who prefer this version, one need not take that as evidence that this is necessarily the best version of the Symphony No. 3. A greater number of conductors have favored the Nowak edition of the 1889 version, where the musical references have been eliminated and the structure tightened up, and many listeners have come to know the symphony in that heavily edited but easier to digest form. The Urfassung of 1873 runs to over 68 minutes, and it is easily the longest version of any symphony Bruckner composed, a dubious achievement for those who think less is more. Still, if this expansive version is the one listeners seek, then Young's exemplary performance is certainly among the best available, both for her deeply sympathetic interpretation and the committed playing of the Hamburg Philharmonic. This live performance is captured with sharp yet spacious reproduction, which is well served by the hybrid SACD format. This is the second release in Young's projected Bruckner cycle, which is to include original versions of the First, Fourth, and Eighth symphonies, as well as the 2007 release of the Second and this superb recording.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 3 in D minor, WAB 103|