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Bruckner: Symphony No. 6

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Audio CD, November 16, 2010
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Editorial Reviews



Product Details

  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orch
  • Conductor: Eschenbach
  • Composer: Bruckner
  • Audio CD (November 16, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: LPO
  • ASIN: B00442M0WQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,467 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon on May 11, 2011
Format: Audio CD
While I am inherently suspicious of any non-German orchestra playing Bruckner, it has to be said that the main London-based orchestras play the Meister so often, it's in their DNA; and Eschenbach himself mitigates the risk.

There is an admirable performance. Eschenbach is a natural Brucknerian who can see the wood for the trees. His patience is to the fore. There is poetry and prose in every Bruckner symphony: Eschenbach, by virtue of his concentration, avoids the mistake of focusing on the former to the detriment of the latter. The biggest challenge to any conductor in the Sixth is the last movement: Eschenbach forges it into a convincing whole. Perhaps the first movement is a little unsmiling - perhaps.

The LPO play superbly. In a blindfold test, one would never mistake them for the Vienna Philharmonic or the Berlin Phil (under the Ancien Regime); in the last analysis they cannot quite muster that weight of sonority at the big climaxes (such as the end of the first movement). Even so, they acquit themselves well (for instance, the silkiness of the strings transforms the second movement into a Lied for Orchestra). The recording itself is top-notch. Who needs the likes of EMI, Decca or DG (currently domiciled in the elephant's graveyard of reissues) when an orchestra's in-house engineers can generate such a fine product

All in all, one walks away from this performance with deeper insights into this elusive work. Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 16, 2010
Format: Audio CD
On their house label the London Phil. is accumulating a Bruckner cycle under more than one conductor. Tennstedt has dominated the series so far, but in this, the fourth installment, we get a live concert from 2005 with Christoph Eschenbach leading the Bruckner Sixth. That's a steep drop in talent, but even though I don't much admire Eschenbach, his previous Sixth on Koch with the Houston Sym., now a decade old, was a good entry in a weak field. That, too, was a live reading, in which the first movement was dispatched quickly, with some rough, blowzy playing. Noting much has changed. The LPO sound more assured than the Houstoners; they have an easier time following Eschenbach's spur-of-the-moment ideas.

He fiddles with every phrase in bursts of spontaneity. We haven't had Bruckner conducting like that since Eugen Jochum, who never met a phrase he couldn't play around with. for me, this approach is only satisfying if a conductor's ideas have some basis in a point of view. Fiddling for fiddling's sake leads to a woozy sense of constant instability. Others disagree, naturally, and for them Jochum and Eschenbach add a welcome dash of lively unpredictability. Listening to the first movement on this Cd, there's no doubt that a lot happens; there's a whole lot of styling going on, and it's up to each listener to adjust and admire, or not.

Throughout the decades when the Bruckner Sixth was considered a problem symphony on the order of the Mahler Seventh, the Adagio was undisputed as one of the composer's strongest. Eschenbach's pacing favors forward motion; the hesitations and pauses are not given full weight. I'm sympathetic to that approach and found myself engaged throughout -- there's an even lyrical flow, which wasn't true in the first movement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ricardo Mio on March 25, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I heard Christoph Eschenbach conduct Bruckner's exhilerating Sixth Symphony with the New York Philharmonic in 2013 with astonishing results. He pushed the orchestra to reach deep within the score for the Symphony's inner spirit, and achieved true brilliance with the second movement, which Eschenbach stretched into one long, glorious journey toward eternity, or so it seemed. The spell was broken with the third movement Scherzo which romped joyously, leading to the jaunty and thoroughly satisfying Finale. Stunning. On the strength of that performance I purchased Eschenbach's account with the London Philharmonic, here presented, as a memento of the evening. The first three movements are brilliantly performed, but for some reason the Fourth Movement fails to catch fire, especially compared with Otto Klemperer's classic account with the New Philharmonia Orchestra on EMI. I also prefer George Solti's account with the CSO on London. Having said that, if you're a fan of Bruckner as I am, then by all means purchase Eschenbach's account with the LPO for the hushed, spiritual second movement. Four stars.
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