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Zweden: Bruckner – Symphony no.8 (24/96 FLAC)

Zweden: Bruckner - Symphony no.8 (24/96 FLAC)
Zweden: Bruckner – Symphony no.8 (24/96 FLAC)


Composer: Anton Bruckner
Orchestra: Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Jaap van Zweden
Number of DIscs: 2
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Challenge
Catalogue: CC72549
Release: 2012
Size: 1.19 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: cover

Symphony No. 8 in C minor
CD 01
01. I. Allegro moderato
02. II. Scherzo (Allegro moderato)

CD 02
01. III. Adagio (Feierlich langsam, doch nicht schleppend)
02. IV. Finale (Feierlicht, nicht schnell)

On this 2012 SACD from Challenge, Jaap van Zweden performs Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C minor in the widely recorded 1890 version, edited by Leopold Nowak. Because it has become fashionable for conductors to perform the earliest versions of Bruckner’s symphonies, in a debatable effort to find “authentic” Bruckner, van Zweden’s choice of this late revision might suggest he’s bucking the trend, if not merely demonstrating his personal preference. In any case, van Zweden displays thorough knowledge of the symphony and absolute mastery of its pacing and structure, and his reading with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra reveals the work’s coherence and organic wholeness, as well as the fabulous skills of the musicians. The brass especially outdo themselves in the fullness of their blended sound and the warmth of their tone. Beyond the excellence of the interpretation and incandescence of the playing, this is one of the finest sounding SACD presentations available. The depth of the surround sound is extraordinary, and the vibrant presence of the orchestra puts the listener right in the front row. If the measure of a Bruckner performance can be taken from all these factors, this is an outstanding presentation and an indispensible recording that serious Brucknerians should own or at least hear several times.

Jaap van Zweden, whose international reputation has burgeoned in recent years, has conducted numerous recordings including the complete Beethoven and Brahms symphonies. He is now midway through recording all the Bruckner symphonies with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra for Exton and Challenge Classics, with Symphonies Nos. 2, 4, 5, 7 and 9 already issued to great critical acclaim. This latest release features the massive Eighth Symphony which was the last that the composer completed.

Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden has risen rapidly in little more than a decade to become one of today’s most sought-after conductors. He has been Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and is also Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Radio Chamber Philharmonic (having been Chief Conductor from 2005-2011). In January 2012 he was announced as Music Director Designate of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, where he will take up the post of Music Director in September 2012, for an initial contract of four years. Appointed at 19 as the youngest concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, he began his conducting career in 1995 and held the positions of Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (1996-2000), Chief Conductor of The Hague Philharmonic (2000-2005), and Chief Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra (2008-2011).

His recent releases for Challenge Classics have included a superb live recording with the Netherlands RPO of Britten’s War Requiem (CC72388), and a concert recording of Wagner’s Parsifal (CC72519) which has just won the Edison Award.

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