One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1






Download: Classicsonline

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 6 in A (1879-81) [57:35]
Munich Philharmonic/Günter Wand
rec. Munich, June 1999


Experience Classicsonline

Günter Wand has, over the course of many years - and numerous re-recordings, some, like this one, made in concert - grown into a Bruckner interpreter of insight and understanding. His cohesive, gripping renditions of this symphony’s outer movements represent a considerable achievement. The first movement is one of Bruckner's more elusive creations - it's difficult to sustain a through-line across such diverse, seemingly unrelated episodes. Here the conductor displays a thorough command of issues of structure and balance. The opening ostinato - alternating dotted figures and triplets, replacing the customary "Bruckner tremolo" - is crisp and properly pianissimo. The dotted rhythms maintain their rhythmic buoyancy even among the heavy brass in tutti. Conductors usually mark off the problematic second subject as a separate "paragraph". Wand makes a smooth, easy-sounding transition into it, slowing the tempo just slightly, and the three-against-four rhythm, basses against violins, immediately falls into place with assurance. Throughout the movement Wand takes care over details of balance - bringing out whooping horns within tuttis, for example, and drawing melodic motifs in sharp relief - and even fine rhythmic points, such as the difference in stress between two triplets and one sextuplet in the passage at 7:00 (before rehearsal L, if you're following with a score).
Wand maintains a similar sense of inevitable purpose in the Adagio, at least initially. His direct, flowing manner in the opening string phrases still allows the notes enough space to impart the appropriate gravity. But at 8:27, the start of the slow build-up, Wand takes the editorial Tempo I indication literally, and the tempo seems disconcertingly fast. More distressingly, the technical control the conductor brought to the first movement - even more important in the Bruckner slow movements - isn't as sure here, and the playing misses the first movement's visionary glow. The resonant basses which earlier provided a foundation for the string sonority repeatedly dominate it, and blunted attacks leave things sounding vaguely fuzzy: the arrival at 12:53 is unfocused, insufficiently affirmative. The coda does convey the right sort of repose.
The latter two movements recover somewhat. The lively Scherzo, another uncharacteristically quirky conception, could use a bit more weight and grounding, but the sense of air between the pizzicatos in the Trio is effective. The airborne tempo at the Finale's start conjures real mystery from the sparse textures, and Wand fairly hurtles through the tuttis. The strings weave the counterpoint of the second subject with an almost dancing "lift," and the exposition's close, with trim basses articulating the dotted rhythms, effectively builds anticipation. But fatigue, and nervousness, eventually set in: the tutti at 9:16, sounds tubby, with not enough violin and too much everything else; Wand marks off too many short phrases in the recap with ritards the composer didn't ask for, with a stop-and-go effect; and the final coda falls short of the expected resplendent exuberance.
Aside from previously expressed reservations, I liked the firm, compact ensemble sound of the Munich Philharmonic, its impact enhanced by "deep" reproduction of the big brass chords. The horns are full-throated, yet clean; woodwinds are graceful and sensitive. The violins sound scratchy where pressed, and exposed, in the Scherzo, but make lovely sounds in the broad melodies.
There's enough alternative documentation of Wand in this symphony - at least two previous recordings - that the Hänssler issue isn't strictly necessary. Still, conductors and students should find it instructive, particularly in the first movement. Meanwhile, general listeners ought to seek out, Karajan (DG); Klemperer (EMI/Angel Studio); Solti (Decca - I'm not a fan of Solti's cycle, but the conductor's strengths seem to suit this score); or Barenboim, whose Chicago version on DG sounds more specific, and more weighty, than his capable Berlin remake for Teldec.

Stephen Francis Vasta



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.