Bruckner: Symphony No. 3

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

LABELS: RCA Victor Red Seal
WORKS: Symphony No. 3
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 61374-2 DDD
As in his 1981 account with the WDR Orchestra, Cologne, Günter Wand opts for the 1889 version of this problematic symphony, as for that matter did Karajan and Jochum. It is one of the finest performances he has so far given us in his new cycle, which is generally better played and certainly more opulently recorded than its predecessor. The general conception of the architecture is basically unchanged but there is a greater depth and flow. Everything about its pacing feels right, though some may feel that he pushes on the slow movement a bit too much. Both Karajan and Jochum are more spacious. But on its own terms this reading greatly impresses, and Wand has you in the palm of his hand from beginning to end. The symphony was recorded at live concerts in the Hamburg Musikhalle in January 1992, and there is a feeling of occasion about it. The recording is naturally balanced and truthful without being in the very top class. Haitink’s splendidly recorded Vienna account of the 1877 version is not displaced; nor is Karajan’s awesome Berlin performance. But no one investing in this disc will be disappointed. Robert Layton

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