Marek Janowski's recordings of Anton Bruckner's symphonies for PentaTone are among the finest renditions available, and they are also among the best sounding SACD releases on this extraordinary label. Working with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Janowski presents the Symphony No. 7 in E major with stunning clarity, generous warmth, spacious dimensions, and profound feeling, and the orchestra responds with some of the best playing in its storied history, with technique and expression to match the conductor's exacting standards. Admirers of Bruckner's symphonies know how tricky they are to interpret, in light of the myriad versions and editions in existence and the differing opinions about the composer's intentions. Fortunately, the Seventh Symphony is one of the least controversial, and the Nowak edition Janowski uses is frequently recorded, so it is familiar to fans. (Note for purists: this performance includes the unauthorized cymbal crash at the Adagio's climax, which is the only point of contention in this recording.) Since there is no special case to be made for the symphony's edition, all that's necessary is to listen to the magnificent playing and to take in the majestic pacing of this symphony, which is one of Bruckner's most popular works. Because Janowski and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande have had great successes with this and the last two Bruckner symphonies, listeners in search of great performances should give them a try, and audiophiles should regard them as required listening.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 7 in E major (Nowak Edition)|