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Poschner: Bruckner – Symphony no.4 1888 Version (24/96 FLAC)

Poschner: Bruckner - Symphony no.4 1888 Version (24/96 FLAC)
Poschner: Bruckner – Symphony no.4 1888 Version (24/96 FLAC)


Composer: Anton Bruckner
Orchestra: ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Markus Poschner
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Capriccio
Catalogue: C8085
Release: 2023
Size: 1.01 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: cover

Symphony No. 4 in Eb Major ‘Romantic’
01. I. Ruhig bewegt
02. II. Andante
03. III. Scherzo. Bewegt
04. IV. Finale. Mäßig bewegt

The most comprehensive Bruckner Symphonies cycle, including all 19 available versions. Bruckner’s frantic revisions of his symphonies Nos. 3, 4 and 8 followed his disappointment with Hermann Levi’s rejection of the original version of the Eighth Symphony. Helping in this large-scale effort to revise the works were some of Bruckner’s former students – Franz and Joseph Schalk, Ferdinand Lowe, Max von Oberleithner and Cyrill Hynai. The result was that the reputation of these versions – especially the final version of the Fourth – became tarnished as something not quite Echt-Bruckner. It wasn’t until the discovery of photographs of the 1888 version’s manuscript score, and the subsequent publication of Benjamin Korstvedt’s edition of the work, that it became clear that this late edition really did reflect Bruckner’s intentions. To ears familiar with the even better-known 1881 version, the result might sound mystifying, even troubling, but it also surprises with many particularly exquisite passages!

The Capriccio label’s series of Bruckner symphonies offers not only a full set of the composer’s nine but also recordings of the individual versions the revision-happy Bruckner made over the years. It seems a lot, but for the perfect Brucknerian, it is probably just the ticket, and the recordings, with several different orchestras involved under conductor Markus Poschner, have been competently done. Here, Poschner and the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra offer the Symphony No. 4 in E flat major in its 1888 version, the one most commonly played now. The orchestra sounds terrific, and this must be credited to the work of Marin Alsop, its music director for several years when this album appeared in 2023. Poschner’s reading is brisk and straightforward, with an unusually deep lyricism in the Andante (which one might sample — it is a standout); nobody would pick this from among the better-known versions out there, but it won’t disappoint listeners following the series in the least. The notes by Paul Hawkshaw and Norbert Trawöger, with the former delving into the editorial role of Bruckner’s students in the development of the 1888 version, are a draw, as is Capriccio’s sound from the Wien Radio Kulturhaus.

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