Unlike several of Anton Bruckner's other symphonies, the Symphony No. 6 in A major did not undergo a major revision by the composer, and apart from the problematic 1899 edition by Cyrill Hynais, it has been treated rather well in publication. The edition that Marcus Bosch and the Aachen Symphony Orchestra follow for this hybrid SACD is the authoritative 1952 edition by Leopold Nowak, which has been preferred by most conductors since the 1980s. Bosch's intention in recording the Bruckner symphonies for Coviello Classics has been to deliver them in the versions the composer preferred, usually the original or Ur-fassung; so, considering its closeness to Bruckner's autograph, this version is as authentic as anyone will ever get of the least known and appreciated of Bruckner's mature symphonies. This work has been eclipsed in popularity by the Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, "Romantic," and the Symphony No. 7 in E major, and even the once underplayed Symphony No. 5 in B flat major has shot past it in frequency of performances and recordings. Yet its relative unfamiliarity is no indication of its musical worth, for this is first-rate Bruckner, with all the obsessive rhythms, soaring themes, elegiac chorales, blazing fanfares, and heaven-storming climaxes, and devotees who find Bruckner's symphonies rewarding should find this work as rich and profound as any other. Bosch and his orchestra present the symphony with their customary technical brilliance and expressive depth, and they perform it in the St. Nikolaus Church in Aachen, which provides a spacious, highly resonant acoustic that goes superbly with Bruckner's music. Coviello's sound is just as open and reverberant, so the combined elements of this recording make it one of the best in the series.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 6 in A Major|