No matter how many times you've heard Bruckner's Third and no matter how much you may or may not have liked the work in the past, you've got to hear Kent Nagano and the Deutscher-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin's recording. First, Nagano has chosen to record Bruckner's original version of the work complete with all its quotations from Wagner and it makes an enormous difference in terms of the work's coherence. Second, Nagano has become a great Bruckner conductor and it makes an enormous difference in terms of the performance's conviction. Third, the Deutscher-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin has become not so much a great Bruckner orchestra as a great orchestra, and it makes an enormous difference in terms of the performance's polish. Taken all together, this is arguably the most successful performance of the Third ever recorded because the original version is more coherent, Nagano's conducting is more convincing, and the DSOB's playing is more polished than any other recording of the work. Harmonia Mundi's sound is lush and plush, lucid and pellucid.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Symphony No. 3 in D minor, WAB 103|