George Tintner's sudden, untimely death in the fall of 1999 coincided with the completion of his Naxos cycle devoted to Bruckner's complete symphonies. In nearly every case where more than one Bruckner version exists, Tintner favors the composer's first thoughts. Thus we have the first recording of Symphony No. 1 in its unrevised 1866 version, the original 1872 Second, plus the seldom heard 1873 Third and 1887 Eighth. By contrast, Tintner preferred Bruckner's revised Fourth of 1878/80, with its new and beloved "hunting" Scherzo. He also makes eloquent cases for the early "Study Symphony" No. 00 and "Die Nullte" (Symphony No. 0). The performances are beautifully sculpted, spaciously paced, and never dragging. Soft passages are full-bodied and vocally informed, while the magisterial climaxes congeal without losing textural differentiation between orchestral sections. The orchestras may not boast the tonal refulgence and lungpower you find in Jochum's Dresden Staatskapelle Bruckner recordings, or the best of Günter Wand's live accounts. Yet you can tell that Tintner's musicians constantly give their all. Certainly, you won't find as interesting or as moving a Bruckner cycle at Naxos's super-bargain price. Tintner's scholarly, heartfelt, and pedantry-free annotations, moreover, prove as articulate and caring as his music making. --Jed Distler
I have mixed feelings about writing a negative review of this set - it's obviously a sincere effort. But there is a great deal more to Bruckner than what Tintner offers here. Read morePublished on May 14 2004 by Jeffrey Lipscomb
No Brucknerian will want to be without this wonderful cycle.
Tintner, a very established Brucknerian of the Gunter Wand mold, handles these symphonies with the skill that only... Read more