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Bruckner: Symphony No 5 - Philharmonia Orchestra, cond Benjamin Zander

The Sunday Times

April 12, 2009

Bruckner: Symphony No 5 - Philharmonia Orchestra, cond Benjamin Zander

by David Cairns

Even today, after the dedicated campaigning to advance Bruckner’s reputation in this country by writers such as Robert Simpson, Deryck Cooke and Stephen Johnson, and by conductors such as Gunther Wand and, before him, Horenstein, and with the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Symphonies now much performed and recorded, No 5 is still too rarely heard. Yet it is in some ways the most ambitious and the most audacious of the nine, in harmony, tonal architecture, symphonic form, scoring, and richness and delicacy of texture. Benjamin Zander, on a second, accompanying, disc devoted to a characteristically lucid, passionate analysis of the work, is an eloquent advocate of its transcendent compositional and spiritual qualities, and the performance, with the Philharmonia on effulgent form, matches it in clarity and conviction.

Telarc 80706


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