In his novel “The Discovery of Slowness”, the German writer Sten Nadolny describes the life and death of the English naval officer and Arctic explorer John Franklin. The book is a subtle study on time. Franklin was a slow human being. He spoke slowly, thought slowly, and was slow to react. And even if he failes outwardly at the end, he yet emerges victorious, as in the old paradox of the race between Achilles and the tortoise. Because, from the perspective of slowness, the world does change. And the reader feels this. So what has that got to do with Anton Bruckner and his Fifth Symphony in B flat major? Well, at first glance, not a lot. But if we look more closely, it is not so difficult to credit this late Romantic composer with the “discovery of slowness”. The Fifth, like Nadolny’s book, is a deeply personal study on time.
Total time: 01:13:53
|Original Recording Format|
Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland
|Recording Type & Bit Rate|
|Release Date||August 7, 2015|
Marek Janowski’s incomparable recording of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5 in B flat major is at least equal to anything released by Pentatone Classics. Leading the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Janowski turns in a perfectly lucid and expressively spot-on reading of Bruckner’s contrapuntal masterpiece and inspires some of the finest playing in this work that has ever been recorded.
The instrumental details are crisp, the counterpoint absolutely transparent, the orchestra has full sonic presence, the ambience is resonant but clean and unblurred, and the recording is as credibly realistic as what might be heard in the best seat in a concert hall.
In short, this is the collector’s and audiophile’s go-to recording of Bruckner’s Fifth, and it is difficult to find anyone who could find fault with it, short of an ardent defender of some other cherished recording. But it’s impossible to find one to best this masterpiece of performance and recording, so further praise is superfluous.
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