Wednesday, November 18, 2015

BRUCKNER Symphony No. 4 'Romantic' 1888 version

“The performance is vintage Vänskä: lean, lithe, emotionally engaged, meticulously prepared” --Gramophone Magazine, October 2010

“...even if you decide against this score in the end, this finely recorded, authoritative performance will make the process all the more enjoyable.” --BBC Music Magazine, October 2010 ****

“Vänskä's rhythmic incisiveness and his rendering the music's formal evolution in terms of dovetailed blocks rather than rolling paragraphs is appropriate for the continuity pursued here” --Unternational Record Review, October 2010

Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä

Symphony No.4 in E-flat major has been one of Bruckner's most popular works ever since its first performance, in Vienna 1881. It is often called the ‘Romantic', a nickname that Bruckner himself used, most probably in reference to the literary genre of the medieval romance. What was performed in Vienna in 1881 was a second, revised version of the symphony, which had actually already seen first light in 1874. In spite of the success of the revised version, further revisions took place before publication, resulting in the so-called ‘1888 version' recorded here. Although this remained the preferred version for several decades, it later became discredited, as it was assumed that the revisions it contained were the product of others than the composer himself. The rehabilitation of the 1888 version is to a large extent due to the efforts of the musicologist Benjamin Korstvedt, who in 2004 prepared the first modern edition of the 1888 version for the Bruckner Collected Works edition. In his liner notes to the present disc, Korstvedt discusses this background, giving a number of interesting illustrations of the differences between editions.

It has been said that Bruckner took Beethoven's Symphony No.9 as the starting point for his symphonies. It therefore seems logical that Osmo Vänskä and his Minnesota Orchestra have chosen to record this work after their acclaimed cycle of Beethoven's symphonies.

“…surely the hottest modern interpretation on disc. Rhythms, colours, articulation: everything is pointed and bright…Buy and rejoice.” The Times on Vanska’s Beethoven cycle with the Minnesota Orchestra.

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