BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7 / Nelsons

ANTON BRUCKNER

Symphony No. 7
WAGNER: Siegfried's Funeral March
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Andris Nelsons
Int. Release 20 Apr. 2018
1 CD / Download
0289 479 8494 8
Pre-release Germany: 06 Apr. 2018


Track List

Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883)
Götterdämmerung, WWV 86D

Act 3

Anton Bruckner (1824 - 1896)
Symphony No.7 In E Major, WAB 107

Ed. Haas

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Andris Nelsons

Total Playing Time 1:16:47

The opening is sublimely confident, finding just the right mood of mystery and exaltation; the cellos singing over the violins' tremolando are sumptuous. Dynamics in the third theme of running octaves are carefully graded and a feeling of lightness pervades the whole movement, despite the grandeur of its burden. The concluding coda is simply glorious . . . The Scherzo is splendidly joyous, animated and flexible, and every instrumental line is brought out cleanly . . . The Trio is butter-smooth, the strings swelling and sliding seductively, with alternately urbane then perky interventions from the woodwind and brass. That perkiness spills over into the opening of the finale, which is first alert and high-spirited, then quizzical, then three minutes in the brass roars menacingly like a herd of Cretan bulls. The playing is really sharp and tight; Nelsons maintains tension throughout this potentially fragmentary movement by following Bruckner's instructions and avoiding the temptation of simply speeding up; thus the conclusion is suitably monumental . . . There is no shortage of classic, competitive recordings of this symphony from great Bruckner conductors . . . the excellence of the recorded sound and the superlative quality of the orchestral playing support Nelsons' masterly interpretation so well that it must be counted in many ways their equal.

[Wagner / "Siegfried's Funeral March"]: [the playing is] splendid . . . It's also very vividly recorded with a whole host of instrumental detail uncovered that often goes unnoticed, from beautifully transparent harps, to luxuriously expansive, and plaintive, woodwind phrasing. I don't think I've ever heard this orchestra play Wagner better than they do here -- it's really quite exceptionally beautifully done . . . [Bruckner / Symphony no. 7]: [the] Scherzo is a success . . . There's no question that the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester play superbly on this disc.

The orchestra sounds absolutely magnificent -- the unforced, majestic tone quality of the brass instruments is an especial pleasure throughout. Furthermore, the sound is well balanced and clear. Thus, for example, when the brass are heard in all their collective splendour at the end of the first movement of the symphony you can still hear the violins quite clearly. This is first rate sound . . . [Wagner / "Siegfried's Funeral March"]: Nelsons leads a performance which is deeply felt yet not to the point of over-emphasis. In particular, I approve of the way that he keeps the music moving forward at the March's great climax. This is a performance that leavens grief with nobility . . . [Bruckner 7]: we hear beauty of phrasing and of line while the orchestral textures are ideal for Bruckner. The orchestra displays a tremendous dynamic range -- which the engineers convey with great success . . . Persuasively conducted, superbly played and expertly recorded, this is a very considerable Bruckner Seventh and a noble celebration of this illustrious orchestra's 275 years of music-making. This Andris Nelsons series is developing into a Bruckner cycle of note.

. . . [Nelsons] témoigne d'une incroyable osmose entre le jeune "Kapellmeister" et la prestigieuse phalange allemande . . . Avec Wagner et surtout Bruckner, Nelsons joue évidemment sur du velours tant l'ADN des musiciens allemands . . . Mais c'est bien le Letton qui sculpte ces formes aux contours juvéniles et raffinés, lui qui distille ce lyrisme sensuel et poignant, ces couleurs mouvantes, ces dynamiques puissantes, lui qui chante aussi, éperdument, et donne à la musique une éloquence profonde sans spectaculaire ni grandiloquence. Son Bruckner est à la fois poète, nocturne, visionnaire et lumineux. Délestée de la scène et du drame, la "Marche funèbre de Siegfried" avance telle une procession mystique qui parle de perte et de renoncement, une acception sans doute plus brucknérienne que wagnérienne.

La flexibilité entre passages ou se déploient la formidable fanfare et les basses de l'harmonie, puis l'expression d'une blessure personnelle, force l'admiration: ampleur, profondeur, intériorité, humanité . . . Emotion initiale et première, déflagration spectaculaire (dont l'orchestration fait entrevoir le colossal du Wahlala) et sentiment tragique irrépressible (pleurs des cordes au I): tout cela est magistralement exprimé par le chef letton . . . la 7è Symphonie trouve en Andris Nelsons et la phalange de Leipzig, des ambassadeurs actuels de premier plan. Magistral rencontre, excellent accomplissement. Intégrale en cours à suivre. Pour le moment le meilleur volet du cycle.