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24.11.04

Dip Your Ears... ( 17 ) 

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A. Bruckner, Sy. #7, P. Herreweghe
Oh Boy! “Historically Informed Bruckner” – just what we needed, right? Seriously: after Roger Norrington suggesting to play Mahler without vibrato (historically correct as that may be), this seemed to be just about the next-dumbest idea. But unlike the recent and highly unnecessary Bruckner recordings of Messrs. Eschenbach and Nagano, this is actually rather a delight. Smaller forces, original instruments (gut strings and all) make for a very clean, crisp sound. Clocking in at exactly an hour, this 7th – sans cymbal crash in the Adagio – has a sheen that puts it above many conventional rivals that pander too much to the clichés of Bruckner-performance. Among modern versions it stands up to Rattle and Harnoncourt – and while I reserve a special place in my heart for G. Wand’s and E. Jochum’s recordings, this live performance is good enough even to make a first choice.

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