Simone Young's recordings of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner on Oehms Classics are valued for her use of original versions, as well as for their exceptional super audio sound, so they have attracted considerable attention from collectors. This recording of the Symphony No. 6 in A major (1881) is one of the more straightforward volumes in the series, because Bruckner never revised this work, and the edition Young employs is Leopold Nowak's 1952 publication, so there's no textual controversy to confuse listeners. However, this is one of the least known of Bruckner's symphonies, largely because it was rarely performed and recorded in the early 20th century, which made it a late arrival to the repertoire. It is also unusual in that Bruckner's characteristic tremolos, fanfares, and chorales are replaced by less predictable contrapuntal episodes and more or less continuous thematic development, with few of the long pauses that arrested the flow of his earlier works. To the extent that Bruckner also explores unexpected keys and creates ambiguous tonal regions through his chromatic harmonies, the Sixth is one of his most enigmatic and challenging symphonies, paving the way for the late masterpieces. Young and the Hamburg Philharmonic deliver an impassioned and visionary performance that compels the listener to explore the piece in one sitting, and the experience is highly rewarding.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 6 in A major, WAB 106|