Munich Philharmonic Orchestra / Günter Wand

Bruckner: Symphony No. 6

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Except for its slow movement, this 1999 recording of Bruckner's Sixth Symphony with Günter Wand leading the Münchner Philharmoniker is a huge disappointment. Wand's earlier set of recordings with Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra was highly regarded for its polish, dedication, and integrity, but all this recording has going for it is polish. Wand elicits refined playing from the Munich musicians, and he applies it with care and intelligence to Bruckner's Sixth. But, sadly, Wand seems tired and his readings of three of the work's four movements are dreary and lethargic, particularly the Finale, which seems to lack forward motion, especially in its coda. Still, Wand's take on the Adagio is surpassingly lovely, with great inwardness and tremendous tenderness, particularly in its quiet climax, which almost makes the recording worth hearing. But only almost, and while hardcore fans of the conductor might want to hear this disc, anyone coming to the work for the first time would do better to look elsewhere. Hänssler's live digital sound is distant and lacking in detail.

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