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Recorded live at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, London, on 4 November 2009.
Anton Bruckner began writing his Sixth Symphony after the Third had received a disappointing public reaction, and the Fourth and Fifth symphonies still remained unheard. His indefatigable need to compose here results in a work of graceful unity; and one that contains some of the loveliest music he ever wrote.
This fine recording, under Christoph Eschenbach, is the fourth Bruckner Symphony disc to be released on the LPO Label: the Fourth, Seventh and Eighth, conducted by Tennstedt, were released in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Eschenbach is one of the most interesting and inspiring conductors around. And this recording of Bruckner’s Sixth is testimony to this inspiring talent. Eschenbach draws the most amazingly rich sonority from the LPO. Eschenbach’s interpretation and intent is clear from the outset: the first movement opening with a beautifully articulated rhythmic motive in the strings, wisely with the first and second violins divided. The Adagio is not especially slow, yet never sounds hurried or pushed. As the Adagio progresses it seems to naturally slow, but not enough to ever feel as it drags. In the Finale Eschenbach is a master in conveying a sense of the mysterious or sacred emerging.
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 6 in A major, WAB 106
II. Adagio: sehr feierlich
III. Scherzo: Nicht schnell - Trio: Langsam
IV. Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
“This present performance...has a good many laudable virtues, lightness of texture being one of them...The noble - and potentially tricky - finale is very skilfully handled...But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the performance is the Adagio, a very broad 20 minutes, beautifully sung by all the sections”
“this orchestra has long had an impressive way with Bruckner's music...this performance confirms the tradition, and more...[The LPO's] horn section, so important in Bruckner, is as impressive as you'll hear anywhere. And Christoph Eschenbach's conducting shapes the long musical paragraphs with a sure and purposeful touch.”
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