The two symphonies were recorded 2006 and 2008 in the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, a venue familiar to those who know Michael Gielen's outstanding Beethoven cycle on DVD filmed there in part. The present recordings, just like Gielen's, are taken both from live performance (with audience) and dress rehearsal footage, the latter with a fairly empty hall. Apart from some fancy and distracting visuals (dual exposures etc.), the video is good, though by no means exceptional (it claims to have been filmed in High Definition), for today's standards. So is the audio (stereo preferable), which could be more transparent and immediate. The Münchner Philharmoniker play very well indeed for their music director, who at this time was still cherished, and there is some congenial exchange between conductor and musicians. Thielemann's tempi are exceedingly slow throughout, slower than Wand's and the other performances available on DVD, and slower than most on any medium, including Celibidache and Klemperer. Thielemann takes ca. 75 min. for the 4th and ca. 72 min. for the 7th. The latter is performed with the cymbal crash in the adagio, as it rightly should be according to the composer's instructions in the manuscript. I have listened to Bruckner's symphonies for decades as performed in the Klemperer-Jochum-Barenboim tradition, albeit often uneasy with the deliberate tempi and an overly reverent approach to what is, after all, secular music. Celibidache never convinced me. I find Skrowaczewski still impressive, Harnoncourt and Norrington very thought-provoking and refreshing. So much for my own Bruckner experience in a nutshell. Surprisingly, I was not consciously aware all the way of Thielemann's slow tempi when listening to these performances. The exceptions are the respective second and fourth movements in both symphonies, where I wish for slightly less attention to detail and more forward drive. However, the relative internal tempo relationships -- extremely important in Bruckner -- within these performances appear to be perfectly right, and the rest is a matter of personal taste. If you like to savor every note and every dynamic nuance in highly cohesive interpretations that thoughtfully re-invent the respective symphonic edifice step by step, this DVD is for you. If, on the other hand, you envision Bruckner as a "dramatic", occasionally dissonant and even proto-modernist composer with plenty of sharp edges, you should look elsewhere.