Nearing completion of her critically acclaimed hybrid SACD cycle of Anton Bruckner's symphonies for Oehms Classics, Simone Young has reserved the antepenultimate spot for the ever-popular Symphony No. 7 in E major. This luminous performance shows how deeply committed Young and the Hamburg Philharmonic have been throughout the series, but goes one step further into a transcendence that the earlier performances only hinted at, and which, one hopes, will be fully realized in the Fifth and Ninth. The live recording captures the special radiance and warmth of the playing, and the musicians' unabashed love for this symphony comes through in their long-breathed phrases, swelling dynamics, and the blaze of sonorities that conveys real passion and presence. Young has established herself as an authority on the early versions of Bruckner's symphonies, but because this is the standard 1885 version, edited by Leopold Nowak, and performed by most modern conductors, there are no textual surprises, except that Young preserves the Adagio's cymbal crash and triangle roll, thought to have been rejected by Bruckner. Beyond that mere detail, this is a profound and compelling performance, and where Simone Young leads, true Brucknerians must follow. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 7 in E major, WAB 107|