One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

absolutely thrilling

immediacy and spontaneity

Schumann Lieder

24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs

‘Box of Delights.’

J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue

a most welcome issue

I enjoyed it tremendously

the finest traditions of the house

music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message

ground-breaking, winning release

screams quality

Surprise of the month

English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 6 in A, WAB 106 [54:35]
Philharmonie Festiva/Gerd Schaller
rec. info not provided
Reviewed as lossless download

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 6 in A, WAB 106 [53:08]
Symphony No. 7 in E, WAB [63:14]
Royal Concertgebouw/Mariss Jansons
rec. live, 7-9 March 2012 (No. 6), 23-25 December 2012 (No. 7), Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Reviewed as lossless download
RCO LIVE RCO14005 [53:08 + 63:14]

Three new Bruckner Sixth Symphony recordings in two months. I just finished covering Simone Young’s account with the Hamburg Philharmonic, which was fast and competent but not as emotionally hard-hitting as it could be (review). Now on to Gerd Schaller and the Philharmonie Festiva and Mariss Jansons with the Concertgebouw.

Surprisingly, Jansons is the lightweight. I mean this literally: his performance is the fastest and most balletic. The first movement, dispatched in under 15 minutes, is weirdly quiet and calm, the second subject emphasized at the expense of the first. The whole symphony, in fact, seems less dramatic than usual, with Jansons seeing it as a bouncy homage to the classical era. The slow movement flows nicely and is only lacking a little punch. This however is definitely not an account you should track down if you like your Bruckner to be big, monumental, and full of emphatic brass.

Gerd Schaller, meanwhile, contributes the slowest and most profound of the three interpretations. His first movement is flawlessly paced at a sort of middle-ground between, say, Young/Jansons and Celibidache. His adagio is deeply emotional, and expansively paced at 18 minutes, with surprisingly good playing from the Philharmonie Festiva. I’m not totally sure what the Philharmonie Festiva even is, but they are really excellent, and have a fuller, more richly developed Bruckner sound than Simone Young’s Hamburg orchestra. They rise to every challenge.

Of the three new recordings, only Gerd Schaller’s can be recommended without reservations. Schaller also benefits from a true Brucknerian acoustic: a good three seconds of reverb after the loud codas, but the instruments never wash each other out. Simone Young’s orchestra isn’t as good, and her interpretation a little plain; Mariss Jansons completely misfires, unless his eccentric, light reading is to your taste.

The Jansons CD does come with a bonus, in the form of the Seventh Symphony, which is excellent. “Eccentric, light” readings have a way of working in the Seventh, which after all is a far more lyrical and far less bombastic symphony than No. 6. The first two movements are unusually songlike and free-flowing. The adagio has a timpani and cymbal crash. You can however save yourself some cash by skipping Jansons and instead opting for the slightly older, slightly better Seventh by Nikolaus Harnoncourt performed with the same philosophy. By the way, the Jansons Seventh was recorded, in part, on Christmas Day.

Jansons’ Sixth is skippable, but his Seventh is good. Gerd Schaller’s Sixth is outstanding, one of the best recordings of the symphony in years. Not what you expected, is it? Me neither.

Brian Reinhart


We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger