One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 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


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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

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


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 1 in C minor WAB 101 (Linz Version from 1868) [49:52]
Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann
rec. live 6 September 2017, Philharmonie Munich
Sound Format PCM Stereo, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.0 Surround; Picture Format 16:9, 1080i; Region ABC
Reviewed in surround
C MAJOR Blu-ray 744704 [56 mins]

Christian Thielemann has built himself a reputation as the current go-to conductor for Bruckner, and this magnificent disc does nothing to damage that. It will be interesting to see whether he becomes one of those rare completists by recording at least one version of each of the eleven symphonies. A glance at the catalogue suggests that he has No.2, No."0" and the F minor "Study" symphonies to go, assuming he is not going to dare to commit the ultimate iconoclasm and record one of the reconstructed finales for the 9th: do not hold your breath!  For this disc, Thielemann has opted to record the 1868 Linz version edited by Thomas Roeder in 2016 as the first volume of the New Complete Bruckner Edition, though that last item of information has to be gleaned from and is nowhere to be seen in the documentation.

There was a time when even obtaining a recording of this "First" Symphony in any edition was quite difficult. My 1960 copy of EMG's The Art of Record Buying, for example, does not even list one recommendable version of any symphony earlier than No.4. By 1967, they were listing Jochum and the Berlin Philharmonic in this Linz Symphony, and I would still rate that very highly as both a performance and a recording, whether on vinyl or CD. Thielemann is a few minutes slower than Jochum - a surprise, because he does not sound slow per se, indeed he seems to whip up a goodly amount of excitement. Tempi are far from being the only issue in Bruckner performance, but if pushed I would tend to say that Bruckner gains from more time spent on his remarkable ideas. I have only three other recordings, by Janowski, Karajan and Jochum, and all make for very satisfying listening. The present issue is my first (and indeed the first) on video and is likely to be played more often as a result: I am sure I am not alone in finding that the sight of an orchestra playing helps the concentration.

As for this recorded performance, not recorded in the Dresden Staatskapelle's home but in the equally excellent, though far more modern, Philharmonie in Munich, it exhibits the same positive characteristics as Thielemann’s previous forays into Bruckner. The orchestra are clearly absorbed but enjoying the performance. As one of the best orchestras in the world, they display superb precision as well as producing the most beautiful sound. The smallest details, like a brief solo from the principal cello, come through the texture naturally. The air of concentration is quite palpable during the performance and is suceeded during the lengthy applause with satisfied smiles from conductor and orchestra. The camerawork is exemplary, as is the sound. The most important thing to say is that this leaves one feeling thrilled to have experienced such a splendid performance.

Disc menus are rather basic, allowing access to stereo or surround only after play mode has been selected, and of course a segment of music is then used as background.

Dave Billinge

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience