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4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Composer: Anton Bruckner
  • Audio CD (April 24 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon - Universal Special Imports
  • ASIN: B000058BH0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #78,137 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Introduction/Adagio/Allegro
2. Adagio/Sehr langsam
3. Scherzo/Molto vivace (schnell)/Trio/Im gleichen Tempo
4. Finale/Adagio/Allegro moderato

Product Description


Sinopoli's Bruckner No. 5 has all the rhetorical grandeur necessary for an outstanding performance of this composer's music, but it also has a degree of detail rarely encountered. It's as if the score has been exactly translated into sound, with inner figures reaching the ear without exaggeration. The Dresden orchestra's playing is all one could ask for: weighty and airy at the same time, breathtaking accuracy and warmth from the strings, brass that cuts through the climaxes with weight and power, and wind playing of consummate sensitivity, helped in no small measure by the unique tonal quality of the oboe and flutes, rounder and warmer than we're used to from American orchestras. The engineering has an analytical, somewhat dry sound, whose dynamic extremes make it hard to find the right volume setting. All in all, one of the most interesting Bruckner Fives on the market. --Dan Davis

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Somehow, Bruckner's 5th Symphony gets overlooked, situated as it is between the more popular 4th and 7th. Actually, it has every bit as much appeal as those works, and would make a perfect introduction to his oeuvre. This live recording is the one to buy.
Modern live recordings can be just as plagued with balance problems and audience noise as older ones, but this one somehow manages to avoid these annoyances, conveying the spontaneity of this live event in clear, distortion-free sound.
The performance itself is remarkable. Sinopoli was always one to re-think standard repetoire, but he is never mannered or willful on this recording. Instead, he clearly communicates the structure of the symphony, and allows the listener to hear lines of counterpoint that would usually get buried under Bruckner's heavy textures.
The same could be said of the grand Statskapelle Dresden; conductor and orchestra together provide the requisite Brucknerian weight, but with a light enough touch that the orchestration sounds clear and unclotted.
In short, a true rarity: a performance that is technically and sonically impeccable, but also emotionally overwhelming. This 5th is revelatory and not to be missed.
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Format: Audio CD
The symphonies of Anton Bruckner are so large in orchestration and often so lengthy that it has taken a very long time for them to have anywhere near as permanent a place in the orchestral repertoire as those of Beethoven, Brahms, or Mahler. Of the nine numbered symphonies Bruckner composed, the Fourth (or "Romantic") is generally agreed to be the most popular. But its immediate successor, the Fifth, composed by Bruckner in 1878, seems to be reaching those heights now too.
This symphony highlights the hallmarks of Bruckner's symphonic style--the often grand pronouncements of the brass, mimicking the sounds of grand cathedral organs (Bruckner himself was a church organist); the shimmering string passages (redolent of the opening of the Beethoven Ninth), the vigorous scherzos, and the sometimes violent crescendos. Here, in this 1999 recording made by Deutsche Grammophon, the work is seemlessly performed, under the direction of the late Italian conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli, by the Dresden State Orchestra (Staatskapelle Dresden). The orchestra is one of the most qualified to handle Bruckner's massive symphonies, having recorded the complete set under Eugen Jochum between 1975 and 1982; and while Sinopoli may never have quite been able to reach Jochum's level with Bruckner, he still managed to achieve the best out of the orchestra and the symphony itself. The trombones and the tubas cleverly accentuate the organ-like passages of the score, and the rumbling timpani at the end of the first and fourth movements give the right sonic impact.
This is one of the best Bruckner recordings out there, and is highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
This recording has been hailed by many as the best Bruckner 5 on the market, and quite rightly so. Equally justified is the praise for the recording technique. Even if you're not a Bruckner-fanatic you would do well to check this recording out simply for the quality of the sound. The opening bars alone amply demonstrate it: the prowling pizzicati come through with such uncanny realism that it's almost startling. And none of the airiness, spaciousness and transparancy is lost as the sound expands. In fact, as one reviewer observed, this recording is so detailed that it amounts to the aural equivalent of a study score. If you have a score, just pick any detail in a secondary voice, listen to this record, and you are guaranteed to be able to hear it, even in the most massive tutti's.
I know some people find such 'audiophile' niceties beside the point, but in fact it is this transparancy that provides the marvellous coherence in this recording of what is potentially a fragmentary work, especially in the Finale. Seemingly unrelated passages are woven together because for once we can hear how Bruckner prepares a theme in a secondary voice before it is fully stated, or how echoes of a theme reverberate in the background while a new idea is developed. And of course this is not just a matter of technique; it is mainly the result of Sinopoli's totally committed but clearheaded vision of the work, combined with the matchless playing of the Dresden orchestra. I relished their burnished brass, which is powerful without the aggressiveness or fierceness often associated with ff brass playing, presenting a coherent pciture from the highest trumpet notes to the marvellously effective lowest tuba pedals. Horns are not buried beneath the other brass, as happens too often, and sound glorious as well.
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Format: Audio CD
I had never considered the 5th to be one of the "great" Bruckner symphonies, but here, Sinopoli gives a performance that reveals of real greatness. The music shines with a clariety of voicing, with great emotion and architecture, that I found spell-binding. It was as if I heard this music for the first time. My biggest concern when purchasing this, was that Sinopoli would insert some mannerism, or too broad a tempo, but there is nothing to complain about in any aspect of the interpretation. We may never hear a better performance. If you love any Bruckner, then this will be a cherished recording for your collection.
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