Of Anton Bruckner’s 11 symphonies, the perennially popular 7th in E major is his most consistently melodious, evenly paced, & lyrically flowing, with comparatively few false starts, awkward pauses, or tedious fanfares. For this exceptional hybrid SACD from PentaTone, Yakov Kreizberg & the Vienna Symphony deliver 1 of the smoothest & roundest performances of the symphony heard in years. Yet it might actually be too polished for the liking of some old-guard Bruckner fans, who may argue that the orchestra is too mellow, luscious, & soft, & that Kreizberg’s inflections & phrases are too nuanced & sensual for the composer’s pure, almost sacred, intentions. But more important than the undeniably rich tonal quality found here is the interpretation, which draws on the style of Wagner’s most ardent music; some of the more ecstatic passages of Lohengrin & Tristan und Isolde may come to mind when one hears this disc.
Recorded live at the Philharmonie Berlin, this recording captures a truly gripping performance of Bruckner’s 7th Symphony, bringing an insightful, theatrical interpretation of epic grandeur to one of the greatest late-Romantic symphonies.
This 1985 Seventh, the first release in Riccardo Chailly's 15 year-old Bruckner symphony cycle, is a wonderful performance, thankfully available again. Chailly takes a majestic view of the work… Decca's remastering for this release adds just a bit more clarity and presence to what was already a dynamic and full-sounding recording. A great Bruckner seventh. –Victor Carr; classicstoday.com