Gerd Schaller / Philharmonie Festiva

Bruckner: Symphony 6

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For this 2015 release on Profil, Gerd Schaller and the Philharmonie Festiva present Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 6 in A major, one of the least controversial of the symphonies because it exists in only one version, though for a long time it has also been least performed of the mature works, due to its spotty performance history and slow acceptance in the repertoire. When compared with the universally popular Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, "Romantic" and the equally loved Symphony No. 7 in E major, the Sixth has received far fewer recordings, and it seldom comes up in discussions of Bruckner's most profound symphonies, which usually revolve around the Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, the Symphony No. 8 in C minor, and the unfinished Symphony No. 9 in D minor. Yet despite its relative unfamiliarity, the Sixth is a solid symphony that boasts compelling counterpoint and fascinating development sections, and less of the characteristic tremolos, fanfares, and abrupt pauses that are so problematic in the early symphonies. This live performance shines a light on the work's distinctive features, and Schaller and his musicians play with great energy and commitment, as they have in their other fine Bruckner recordings, giving the work coherence and consistency in the cycle. The high quality recording gives the orchestra a warm, close-up presence, and every detail can be heard clearly.

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