Mariss Jansons / Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7

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Performances of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner are never light, breezy affairs, though there are degrees of weightiness, and not all interpretations need to sound like they were carved out of stone. To the extent that Mariss Jansons fine tunes the sonorities and textures of Bruckner's Symphony No. 6 in A major and the Symphony No. 7 in E major and keeps the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra transparent in its details and overall blend, then his performances on the RCO Live label may be regarded among the lighter readings available. Then again, these comparatively cheerful and lyrical symphonies lack the dark brooding and marmoreal gravitas of the Eighth and Ninth, so they already seem a bit easier to render with a gentle, gemütlich feeling (notwithstanding the Adagio movements in each work, where Bruckner's most profound expressions are inescapably heavy). Thanks to the great clarity of the direct stream digital recordings, these hybrid SACDs make the orchestra sound remarkably clear and open, so there's none of the murky sound that afflicts some live recordings of Bruckner.

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