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Vienna Symphony Orchestra (Kreizberg) – ‘Bruckner: Symphony No.7 in E major’  An SACD review by Mark Jordan

Vienna Symphony Orchestra (Kreizberg) – ‘Bruckner: Symphony No.7 in E major’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

The nasty Viennese critic Eduard Hanslick infamously described Bruckner’s ‘Symphony No. 7 in E major’ as “a symphonic boa constrictor” after its first Vienna performance in 1884, but even he had to begrudgingly note in his review that the audience seemed very pleased with the work. In fact, their ovation lasted for forty-five minutes, giving the shy bumpkin Bruckner his first taste of success at the tender young age of sixty, after a lifetime of laboring in relative obscurity. In retrospect, it seems hard to imagine what efforts Hanslick must have gone to in order not to like this expansive, sincere, and often quite genial work. What the critic couldn’t (or wouldn’t) come to terms with was Bruckner’s expansion of traditional symphonic structure allowing for structures much more massive than earlier classical symphonies. His typical sonata form structure is almost like traditional sonata form squared, with each subsection having its own contrasting subsections. Bruckner combined this ingenuity with the sound world of Baroque and Renaissance polyphony, which he then “souped up” with a Wagnerian approach to harmonic flexibility. The resultant brew is unique to Bruckner, and it is no wonder that many early listeners became hopelessly lost along the way. The ‘Seventh’, however, is Bruckner’s least wayward symphonic adventure, and most patient listeners will find themselves eventually swept up by the composer’s heartfelt invention. read more…

Latest Release News from Pentatone

Forte Distribution, PentaTone’s new US distributor, recently released in the USA ‘Russian Violin Concertos‘, the long awaited debut SACD of Julia Fischer. Recorded in Moscow in May 2004, the album features the Khachaturian Violin Concerto, Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto, and Glazunov’s Violin Concerto. read more…

Telarc, Heads Up and PentaTone Release 5 Surround Sound SACDs

Telarc International along with their Heads Up jazz label and the PentaTone Classics label they distribute in the U.S. have released 5 Surround Sound SACDs. The Super Audio CDs from Telarc and Heads Up are «day and date» releases by the Boston Baroque, Pieces of a Dream and Marion Meadows, with both the Surround Sound SACD and Stereo CD versions of the album arriving in stores on the same day. In the case of the two Surround Sound SACDs from PentaTone Classics, these are Single Inventory Surround Sound SACDs with the SACD serving as both the SACD and CD release of the album. read more…

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