Mariss Jansons / Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

Bruckner: Symphonie Nr. 8

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While he has been astonishingly prolific as a recording artist, with a strong affinity for late Romantic classics, Mariss Jansons has comparatively few Bruckner recordings to his credit, with only one previous release for BR Klassik of the Symphony No. 7 in E major. However, Jansons' second Bruckner offering for the label, a live performance of the Symphony No. 8 in C minor, demonstrates an assurance and authority one might associate with the great Bruckner conductors of the past. Using the 1890 version edited by Leopold Nowak, Jansons conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in a live performance that is riveting throughout, balancing the work's dark expressions with its poignant lyricism and creating an impression of wholeness that may remind listeners of the interpretations of Günter Wand or Klaus Tennstedt. Timed here at an hour and 27 minutes, this massive symphony is an endurance test that would break a lesser orchestra, but Jansons guides the musicians to its conclusion with steady pacing and decisive power, and a feeling of unity comes across in the orchestra's committed playing. The sound of the recording is exceptional by any standard and superb for a concert recording, so even the murkiest parts of Bruckner's heavy orchestration can be heard clearly, and inner details are emphasized without studio manipulation.

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