Composer: Anton Bruckner
Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Günter Wand
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Size: 291 MB
01. Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, “Romantic” (Haas Version)/Bewegt, nicht zu schnell
02. Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, “Romantic” (Haas Version)/Andante
03. Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, “Romantic” (Haas Version)/Scherzo
04. Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, “Romantic” (Haas Version)/Finale
Wand leads the Berlin Philharmonic in a rich, warm live performance
This live recording from the Berliner Philharmonie in early 1998 was one of the first Bruckner Fourths I heard. It was among the first Bruckner symphonies I heard, period — Wand’s live recordings with the Berlin Philharmonic, Jochum’s DG cycle, and Celibidache’s live cycle with the Munich Philharmonic.
It has always sounded great to me, even now that I have heard several more highly regarded recordings. As Günter Wand (1912-2002) rose to prominence in the Eighties and Nineties, he divided opinion, with some of us holding his Bruckner and Beethoven recordings in high esteem while others saw him as over-hyped, a boring German kappelmeister without vision.
Granted, his vision is not cosmic and mystical like Celi’s or forceful and heroic like Karajan’s classic 1975 recording with Berlin. I suppose you might say it is more prosaic, but it might also be characterized as warmer and earthier.
I will always have Wand to thank for helping introduce me to the splendor of Bruckner’s symphonies, and I highly recommend this performance and recording.