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Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Berliner Philharmoniker/Various conductors
rec. live, 2009-2019, Philharmonie, Berlin.
9 CDs + Pure Audio Blu-ray Disc + 3 Concert Video Blu-ray Discs in High Definition including documentary video: ‘The conductors talk about Bruckner’s symphonies’ [37:00] + Download code for high resolution audio file of the entire album + 7 Day Ticket for Digital Concert Hall BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER BPHR190281 CD/BD-A [595 mins] Blu-ray [639 mins]
The Berlin Philharmonic has a long and distinguished pedigree when it comes to Bruckner, and that history is the subject of one of the two extensive essays in the documentation included with this set. The orchestra’s first Bruckner performance, the Seventh symphony, was given in 1887. After that, the pace picked up. The date of the first BPO performance of each symphony is included in the track listings: by 1915 all nine had been played by the orchestra; the last one to come into their repertoire was No 1. The key figure in the early Bruckner years was Artur Nikisch, the Chief Conductor from 1895 until his death in 1922. He led the BPO’s first performances of no less than five of the symphonies: numbers 2, 4, 5, 8 and 9. Rather surprisingly, Nikisch didn’t lead the orchestra’s first performance of No 7 in 1887, even though he had given the work’s premiere three years earlier; that was with his other orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus. After Nikisch, the BPO’s Bruckner tradition continued, most notably under Furtwängler and Karajan. A good many Furtwängler recordings exist - from live broadcasts - and, in addition to a number of miscellaneous recordings with Karajan, the orchestra set down a complete symphony cycle for DG with him (review). In the light of this commitment to the composer over the decades, it’s wholly appropriate that the orchestra should now celebrate their Bruckner tradition by making the composer the latest beneficiary of their policy of issuing lavish own-label sets of recordings in audio and video. Here eight conductors are captured in concert performances of the nine numbered symphonies.
Seiji Ozawa is allocated the First Symphony. I must say that Bruckner is not a composer with whom I would have readily associated the Japanese conductor. However, I read in the booklet that he performed nearly all of the symphonies with the Boston Symphony during his long tenure there. This, though, is the first time I’ve experienced him in Bruckner.
Ozawa, who was 73 at the time of this performance, plays the original 1865/66 version of the score. The thematic material of the first movement doesn’t strike me as especially memorable – except, perhaps, for the little march figure that’s heard right at the start. However, Ozawa makes a good job of the movement. He makes the music fiery at times and elsewhere he takes full advantage of the flexibility offered by the BPO’s wonderful woodwind section. I was interested to find that even the author of the brief notes relating to this performance doesn’t think the slow movement’s material is very memorable. Sadly, I have to agree. However, the rich-toned playing of the BPO is ample compensation and Ozawa keeps the music moving forward sensibly. He achieves great vitality in the Scherzo – the part of the symphony that comes closest to the mature Bruckner – and it’s not the conductor’s fault that the music of the Trio is rather dull. In the Finale it’s the tutti passages that make the greatest impact; Ozawa injects great fire into these sections and, overall, I think his full-blooded approach to this movement pays off.
I’ve not heard Paavo Järvi in Bruckner before. However, he set down at least some of the symphonies for BMG-RCA with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and it appears from Roy Westbrook’s review of the Sixth that these recordings were generally well received. I don’t know if the Second Symphony, which he conducts here, was included in his Frankfurt series. The symphony dates from 1871/2 but Bruckner revised it no less than four times. Järvi conducts the penultimate revision, dating from 1877.
The author of the musical notes in the booklet is surprisingly disparaging about the music, saying, for example, that “The writing seems awkward and circumlocutory, the form piecemeal.” I find it hard to argue with the honesty of that verdict. In the first movement I fear that the music didn’t always sustain my interest but the refined playing of the BPO most certainly did. The Andante second movement may not be the equal of later Bruckner slow movements but there’s a good deal to enjoy in it, especially when it’s played as persuasively as is here the case. Järvi conducts well, allowing the music to flow and to find its own level. As in the First symphony, the Scherzo comes closest to what we expect from mature Bruckner. The Finale is rather discursive and is not without its longueurs but it receives a fine performance.
I must confess that despite my overall admiration for Bruckner, I find the first two symphonies rather dull. There’s a significant step change in quality with the Third Symphony and so I was delighted to find the veteran Swedish
conductor Herbert Blomstedt in charge of this work. He was 90 at the time of this performance and he sits down to conduct, though I noticed that he was sprightly enough when making his entrance to and exit from the platform. His conducting is sprightly too. Like Ozawa, he eschews both a score and a baton.
Blomstedt elects to play the original version of the score. In the first movement, for the first time we hear the authentic voice of Bruckner the symphonist, not least through the majesty of some of the writing. Blomstedt conducts authoritatively and, crucially, he achieves the important balancing act of allowing the music the necessary space while at the same time maintaining momentum. The orchestra plays marvellously for him and I especially admired the wonderful unforced power in the climaxes. It’s a very long movement in its original version but Blomstedt holds it together expertly. The Adagio is solemn and spacious; Blomstedt moulds it with great care, his hand gestures very expressive as he encourages the musical line. This is the first example of a true Bruckner slow movement in that the themes have the authentic feel that one associates with the slow movements that were to follow in later symphonies. Furthermore, the counterpoint and the harmonic language also anticipate what we will hear in future Bruckner Adagios. In a very fine overall performance, the main climax is built – and sustained – superbly. The Scherzo is full of vitality and I liked also Blomstedt’s genial approach to the Trio. In the Finale the conductor ensures that the orchestra makes the most of the contrasts in the music. This movement can seem episodic but Blomstedt knits it all together convincingly. The loud passages blaze with conviction and excitement until, right at the end, the trumpet theme that was first heard an hour ago at the start of the symphony comes back. Now, however, it’s transformed from the minor to major-key grandeur and in this performance it’s an imposing moment. In Herbert Blomstedt’s hands the symphony receives a performance of genuine stature and the sustained ovation at the end is fully deserved.
The only conductor who is honoured with the inclusion of more than one performance in this set is Bernard Haitink. He leads the orchestra in a performance of the Fourth Symphony from 2014. We’re not short of Haitink recordings of this symphony, thank goodness. There’s his 1985 version with the Vienna Philharmonic (review) and a 2011 live version with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO0716), both of them highly distinguished. In addition, in celebration of his 90th birthday in 2019, Decca reissued his first recording of the work, made as far back as 1965. That was in a boxed set of all his Bruckner recordings with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (483 4660). This Berlin performance is, so far as I’m aware, the most recent Haitink recorded performance, given 49 years after that first recording. He uses the 1878/80 version of the score, edited by Robert Haas, to which he has adhered in all his recordings, I believe.
The symphony’s opening emerges magically; there’s an air of hushed expectancy. The expectation is more than fulfilled, for Haitink leads a reading of the movement that is distinguished in every respect. He controls the performance marvellously and seems to me to have a completely sure sense of where the music is going; indeed, there’s a sense of inevitability. The tuttis blaze thrillingly but the delivery of the more lyrical passages is just as satisfying. Much of the slow movement is relaxed and lyrical, though the relaxation is tempered by a consistent sense of purpose. The climaxes rise majestically from time to time, rather in the way that mountains might rise from a rural landscape. The last climax is especially impressive. The ‘hunting’ Scherzo is full of vitality and the Trio, when it arrives, is genial – the gentle shading of the woodwind solos at the start of the trio is a special delight. The Finale is splendid. Again, Haitink evidences a firm grip on the music’s architecture. It’s a performance of contrasts, varying between episodes where the music – and the way it is played – is delicate and very refined, and other passages where the effortless full power of the BPO is unleashed. In the long build-up to the final peroration the entire orchestra plays with sovereign control of dynamics and tension until the symphony ends in great majesty. At the end, Haitink shows his appreciation of the orchestra, as well he might, and fittingly the principal horn, Stefan Dohr is given his own bow to acknowledge his imperious playing throughout. It’s noticeable, though, that while the audience rightly applauds the orchestra very enthusiastically their warmest reception of all is reserved for the great Dutch conductor, who has given them such a masterly performance.
Three years earlier, in 2011, Haitink was on the Berlin podium to direct the Fifth Symphony. As is the case with the Fourth, this is a work he has recorded a number of times and I still retain huge respect for his 1988 recording with the Vienna Philharmonic (review). Mind you, his 2010 recording of the work with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is also a magnificent achievement (review). On that occasion he used Leopold Nowak’s edition of the score, as he did for his 1988 recording so, though we’re not told explicitly in the documentation accompanying this set, I presume that edition is used also for this present recording. The very first recording of this work that I bought (on LP) was Haitink’s 1971 Concertgebouw recording, his first. That was getting on for 50 years ago and back then I’m sure I was far too inexperienced in Bruckner listening to appreciate Haitink’s conducting to the full but, my goodness, I recognise his excellence now in this performance.
The Adagio Introduction to the long first movement has suitable solemnity, but is never in danger of getting weighed down by that gravitas. When the main Allegro is reached Haitink’s interpretation has just the right blend of breadth and momentum, while the second subject is beautifully phrased and shaded. The playing benefits consistently from marvellously judged dynamics and, indeed, the sheer sound of the orchestra is a delight in itself. The pacing of the Adagio second movement strikes me as ideal. The second subject brings sumptuously rich-toned playing from the strings, while later on there’s an abundance of exquisite woodwind contributions to savour. Haitink is a sure-footed guide to the music; he displays a firm sense of structure. The climaxes are full-voiced, dignified and perfectly proportioned. The Scherzo is well done; there’s ample, well-controlled energy and Haitink makes the most of all the contrasts within the movement. Also, he judges expertly the little pauses between episodes. It’s in the vast Finale, however, that Haitink exerts the greatest mastery. In lesser hands this extensive movement can sag and lose focus: that never happens here. The movement contains perhaps the most sustained exhibition of contrapuntal writing anywhere in the Bruckner symphonies, especially in the second fugue and the substantial episode that flows from it. There’s complex part-writing here which surely owes its origins to Bruckner’s background as a renowned organist. Haitink, supported to the hilt by the superb orchestra, ensures that all the contrapuntal lines are rendered with clarity. Come the final peroration, the magnificent Berlin brass section crowns the orchestral sound majestically and Haitink and the orchestra bring the symphony home in triumph. This is, quite simply, an outstanding performance of the Fifth and a pinnacle within this set.
The late Mariss Jansons presides over the Sixth Symphony in what may have been one of his last appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic. Some collectors may already have his live recording of the symphony, coupled with the Seventh as performed in 2012 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra while he was their Chief Conductor. Reviewing the recordings, Ralph Moore said of the two performances, “these are brisk, energised accounts with real crispness of attack and sustained momentum.”
The pacing of the first movement is tricky to judge. To be honest, the composer’s marking, here labelled Maestoso (or Majestoso as it’s often rendered – for example on Jansons’ RCO Live recording), isn’t a great help. Here, Jansons adopts a fairly swift basic pulse, as he did in his Amsterdam performance. There’s no denying the urgency and electricity of the performance that he elicits from the Berliners. That said, I must confess that I prefer just a touch more breadth. Otto Klemperer is surely far too spacious in his 1964 EMI recording (review) but Haitink seems to me to judge the tempo adroitly in his splendid 2017 live recording from Munich (review). His core speed is just fractionally slower than Jansons adopts in either of his recordings and I think that the Dutchman finds the right balance between momentum and spaciousness. Jansons is brisk in his delivery of the first movement. His conducting is purposeful and even though I might wish for a somewhat less propulsive basic tempo I like his unstuffy approach. What I miss, though, is any ‘give’ at the end of phrases or paragraphs; everything seems very direct and muscular. I should hasten to say, however, that the ‘give’ that I miss in the first movement is in evidence elsewhere in the symphony.
I have no reservations about Jansons’ account of the Adagio. Sehr feierlich is Bruckner’s instruction and Jansons follows him to the letter. The keening oboe solo near the start is exquisitely played by Albrecht Mayer and he lays down a gauntlet which his colleagues in the orchestra gladly pick up. The music is phrased gloriously – Jansons allows it to bloom – and the glowing playing of the BPO does full justice to his conception of the music. This is a very fine performance of the movement. The Scherzo has abundant drive and energy. I always think Bruckner’s marking of Nicht schnell is rather counter-intuitive: this is one-in-a-bar music and Jansons treats it as such. The slower Trio is warmly done. The Finale is, for the most part, very spirited, but Jansons obtains warmth and also breadth of phrasing in the slower passages. He accommodates the changes of pace expertly. Notwithstanding my reservations about the interpretation of the first movement – which others may not share – this is an impressive traversal of the symphony. Jansons’ feeling for the music is never in doubt and his facial expressions frequently show pleasure in the results the orchestra is giving him.
The catalogue already contains two video performances of the Seventh Symphony conducted by Christian Thielemann; both predate the 2016 reading included here. There’s a 2006 performance in which he conducts the Munich Philharmonic (review), which I’ve not seen, and a 2012 performance in which the orchestra is the Staatskapelle Dresden; I reviewed that video in 2013. The generous, lyrical flow that Thielemann achieves in the first movement offers a ready reminder of why this is Bruckner’s most popular symphony. He sculpts the music with great understanding and the BPO plays with admirable warmth for him. The last few minutes of the movement, beginning well before the build-up to the peroration, are taken very spaciously indeed but the results are very impressive.
The Adagio carries the marking Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam and that’s exactly what we get from Thielemann. The movement is interpreted and played with great sensitivity and the music emerges with all the nobility and dignity you could ask for. When eventually the cymbal-capped climax arrives it’s a true moment of culmination. In the long autumnal coda, I admired both the utmost refinement of the strings and flautist Mathieu Dufour and also the wonderful golden tones with which the horns and Wagner tubas enrich the texture. The annotator makes the very fair comment that in this symphony the “dramaturgical climax” occurs not in the Finale but in the Adagio. However, Christian Thielemann ensures that there’s no sense of anti-climax in the last movement, even if the music (deliberately) perhaps lacks the weight of the comparable movements in the Fourth, Fifth or Eighth symphonies. Bruckner adopts a predominantly lyrical tone, which is beautifully rendered here; the moments of grandeur register impressively too. It seems to me that in this movement Thielemann adopts an almost Furtwängler-like freedom of tempo for rhetorical purposes. The results are very impressive and the Finale crowns a pretty considerable performance of the symphony. It’s noticeable that at the end Thielemann ensures that quite a long silence is observed before applause breaks out.
Zubin Mehta is in charge of the Eighth Symphony in a performance that dates from 2012. Late in 2019, he returned to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic in the work and I see from Mark Berry’s review of that concert that this 2012 appearance, here preserved, was the last time, until Mehta came back in 2019, that the orchestra had played the Nowak edition of the score. I went back to Mark’s review after I’d done my listening work and was intrigued to read this comment about the 2019 performance of the Eighth, which I’d not remembered: “while there was a good deal to admire in an approach that did not have the conductor imprint his ego on Bruckner’s score, especially earlier on, the final two movements in particular lacked direction and coherence, leaving one simply to marvel at the excellence of the BPO’s playing.” That fascinated me because, as we shall see, my evaluation of this 2012 performance led me to a somewhat similar view of the first two movements but a very different take on Mehta’s account of the last two.
The mystery and grandeur register well in the first movement but I wondered how much this was simply due to the stellar quality of the orchestra. Mehta, conducting from memory, is calm and measured in style, eschewing any extravagant gestures, all of which I applaud. However, I gained the impression, perhaps unfairly, that the conducting was efficient but a bit soulless. That said, Mehta is still able to summon up the power of the BPO when required. The last climax is particularly imposing and leads, via a soft, liquid solo clarinet line, to a sensitive account of the desolate coda. The Scherzo is done well but seems a bit unremarkable. And then, it’s as if a switch has been thrown and the performance moves up onto an altogether higher interpretative plane. The great Adagio might almost have been written for this orchestra, so well does the music fit their rich, deep corporate sound. Mehta sets and sustains a suitably broad tempo, maintaining the line expertly. The playing is simply magnificent, the tone from all sections of the orchestra burnished and cultivated: how nice it is to hear the three harps make their mark. Mehta’s approach is patient – no rushing of fences for him – and, as a result, the towering climaxes rise very naturally out of the musical flow. The final climax is memorable, as is what follows. As the music recedes from the climax, the horns, Wagner tubas and strings combine in a simply outstanding rendition of the noble, valedictory coda. The performance of this movement is a highlight of the entire set of discs. The Finale is no less compelling. Mehta displays a sure sense of the movement’s structure and the BPO demonstrates, yet again, why this is an aristocrat among leading orchestras. The grandeur of Bruckner’s conception is realised, and nowhere more than in the magnificence of the concluding peroration, including the patient build-up to it.
The Ninth Symphony is entrusted to Sir Simon Rattle, the orchestra’s recently-departed Chief Conductor. He opts not to play the familiar, unfinished three-movement version of the score; instead, he adds the completion of Bruckner’s surviving sketches of the Finale, as edited collaboratively by four musicologists. Nicola Samale and Giuseppe Mazzuca did the initial work between 1983 and 1985 and Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs and John A. Phillips subsequently joined them in that endeavour. EMI issued a 2012 live performance by Rattle and the BPO and I discussed the background to this completion in my review. I also addressed three principal – and very valid – objections to a completion of the Finale. Intriguingly, the present performance, which dates from 2018, is described as the edition of 1985-2008, revised in 2010. EMI, though, describe the score used by Rattle in 2012 as “1983-2012, Conclusive revised Edition 2012”. Who is right?
It seems to me that Rattle has the measure of the big first movement, conveying the mystery and craggy grandeur in the music. As I listened, I felt convinced by the pacing. However, not everyone will like the urgency in parts of the reading, especially at climaxes. I was interested to see that Rattle’s overall timing for the movement is 22:50 whereas his earlier recording came in at 23:56. Both of these timings are appreciably less than the more spacious interpretations of such luminaries as Abbado (review), Haitink (review) or Günter Wand (review), all of whom take more than 26 minutes over this movement. However, Rattle’s interpretation shouldn’t by any means be dismissed simply on account of considerations of timing. He has a definite and, to my mind, valid view of the music. His famed attention to detail is much in evidence but I never felt that this impeded the music’s progress. The Scherzo is dynamic, while there’s gossamer lightness in the playing during the Trio. Judged by the clock, all three of the conductors I’ve referenced are more spacious than Rattle in the Adagio. His performance plays for 23:24 – again, slightly less than his 2012 recording – while the other three conductors take at least three minutes longer. In this performance, the BPO delivers the great climaxes with awesome power but what really grabbed my attention was the amazing technical control that Rattle and his players exhibit in the many passages where the textures have a sparseness that is arguably unique in Bruckner. It’s in these episodes above all that one feels that in the Ninth Bruckner was extending his own boundaries significantly: there’s often a sorrowful remoteness and austerity to the music. Rattle’s way with the music is intense, though he does bring out the lyrical beauty in a good deal of the string writing. In the last few pages Bruckner expresses peace and quiet acceptance, and the exquisite playing of the BPO makes these moments memorable.
In most performances of the Ninth we would end there, but on this occasion there’s some twenty minutes of additional music to hear. Looking back on my review of the 2012 performance I see that I was partly, though not completely, convinced by this attempt to construct Bruckner’s Finale. This time, I’m afraid, I was much less convinced. I hasten to say that this is through no fault of the performers: if this completion is to be heard, it is hard to imagine that it will receive better advocacy. The trouble, I find, is that the material doesn’t strike me as being particularly memorable. The marking at the head of the movement is Misterioso, nicht schnell and a good deal of the music is turbulent in character; it’s projected strongly by the BPO. To be sure, the tone of voice often sounds authentically Brucknerian, not least in terms of the scoring. The movement achieves a big major-key ending and in many ways, I think that this is acceptable – if I may use such a word – in the context of the preceding music. However, I wrote in my notes “isn’t it a bit obvious?” Then I revisited my review of the EMI recording and noticed that I’d written “it appears that the last 109 bars are the most conjectural of all”. In other words, it seems that this big, positive ending represents an editorial decision. Given the often-austere character of the preceding three movements, would Bruckner have chosen to end the Ninth symphony in such a fashion, had he been able to complete it? We shall never know, but maybe there’s a precedent. Anyone who has heard the Eighth symphony in its original form, as marvellously recorded by Simone Young (review), will know that Bruckner’s first thought was to end the first movement in a major-key blaze. How right he was to change his mind and substitute the drained coda with which we’re all familiar. Similarly, I wonder if Bruckner, had he lived, would have ended his Ninth in the way that the team of Messrs Samale et al propose? Whatever the merits or otherwise of this completion I do think it’s remiss of the Berliner Philharmoniker label not to include in their otherwise comprehensive documentation any worthwhile information concerning the completion and how it came into being; after all, many purchasers of this set will be unfamiliar with the story. Anyway, with the unfamiliar sounds of this completion of the Ninth ringing in our ears, the Berlin Philharmonic’s odyssey through Bruckner’s nine symphonies comes to an end and this Simon Rattle performance upholds the highly distinguished standards of the set as a whole.
The set is lavishly presented and documented. One small criticism is that though there’s otherwise comprehensive information about each symphony – scoring, date of composition etc - the descriptions of the editions used aren’t complete: we’re not told whether each conductor is using a Haas or a Nowak edition. On the other hand, there are two very substantial and worthwhile essays: one by Richard Taruskin, entitled ‘Listening again to Bruckner’; and one by Volker Tarnow in which he discusses the orchestra’s history with Bruckner’s music. The first of the three Blu-ray video discs includes a film in which various of the conductors involved talk about Bruckner’s music.
The performances are contained on 9 CDs, one disc per symphony, and on a single Blu-ray audio disc. In addition, videos of the nine performances are contained on three Blu-ray video discs. The Blu-ray options (audio and video) offer 2.0 PCM Stereo & 5.1 Surround DTS-HD Master Audio options. I don’t have surround equipment, so in each case I’ve used the 2.0 Stereo option. As is my wont with these Berlin Philharmonic packages, my primary evaluation work has been done watching all nine symphonies on video. The picture quality is first rate and the camera work is very well done: the image you see at any point is invariably relevant to what you are hearing. I got very good sonic results through my TV, boosted by my Cambridge audio box.
I’ve also sampled extensively both the CDs and the BD-A disc. The CD sound is very good indeed though, as you might expect, the BD-A offers even more in terms of impact and definition. Two or three examples will suffice. The opening of the Fifth, with its extremes of dynamics, offers an excellent illustration of how good the BD-A sound is – those soft pizzicato bass notes come through really well. The CD option is also very good. At the start of the Sixth, those soft, propulsive violin figures are crisply reported on BD-A, though I must say that the CD is nearly a match for it. Sonically, though, the Adagio of the Eighth seals the deal. No one will be disappointed by the CD, but the music is superbly sonorous on BD-A. With that option the sound really opens up with surpassing richness and depth of perspective. After a while I stopped taking notes and simply sat back to immerse myself once more in the profound experience of this performance, which is heard to its best advantage on BD-A. The last climax is glorious, and in the coda the BD-A sound captures to perfection the gently glowing orchestral sound. Having used the videos as my principal means for evaluating this set, I’m sure that when I return to it in the future I shall be reaching for the BD-A disc. I should mention that purchasers of this set also get a code to access a high-resolution audio file of the whole set. I can’t comment on that as I’m not set up for downloads, but I would presume it will offer sound that is at least as impressive as the BD-A.
How can I sum up this set? It’s not cheap, but should we focus on cost or benefits? It may be a premium-priced product but the set undoubtedly offers premium quality, which justifies the price tag, with terrific audio and video as well as excellent documentation. Even more importantly, you get all nine symphonies played by a peerless orchestra. Furthermore, as I hope my comments on the individual performances have shown, there are some considerable interpretations in this set – and not one that is less than very good. I think it’s a decided asset that we see and hear at work not just one conductor but several, all of them excellent Bruckner interpreters.
So, though it’s an expensive proposition, this is a set that will grace any Bruckner collection. With it the Berlin Philharmonic has set out to celebrate their proud Bruckner tradition and they’ve certainly achieved that.
I wonder if the Berlin Philharmonic would next consider a comparable package of recordings of the Mahler symphonies. Now that would be something!
Contents Symphony No 1 in C minor (1866 ‘Linz’ version) [49:18]
Berliner Philharmoniker/Seiji Ozawa
rec. 29-31 January, 2009 Symphony No 2 in C minor (1877 version) [56:38]
Berliner Philharmoniker/Paavo Järvi
rec. 23-25 May, 2019 Symphony No 3 in D minor (1873 version) [63:25]
Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert Blomstedt
rec. 8-10 December, 2017 Symphony No 4 in E-flat major ‘Romantic’ (1879/80 version) [68:30]
Berliner Philharmoniker/Bernard Haitink
rec. 13-15 March, 2014 Symphony No 5 in B-flat major [74:42]
Berliner Philharmoniker/Bernard Haitink
rec. 10-12 March, 2011 Symphony No 6 in A major (original version) [54:18]
Berliner Philharmoniker/Mariss Jansons
rec. 25-27 January, 2018 Symphony No 7 in E major (1885 version) [70:32]
Berliner Philharmoniker/Christian Thielemann
rec. 15-17 December, 2016 Symphony No 8 in C minor (1890 version)
Berliner Philharmoniker/Zubin Mehta
rec.15-17 March, 2012 Symphony No 9 in D minor [77:09]
With the completed performance version of the 4th movement by Samale-Philips-Cohrs-Mazzuca (1985-2008, rev 2010)
Berliner Philharmoniker/Sir Simon Rattle
rec. 26 May, 2018 9 CDs:
Recorded in 24bit/48 kHz 1 Pure Audio Blu-ray Disc:
In lossless studio master quality - Sound options: 2.0 PCM Stereo - 24bit/48 kHz & 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, 24bit/48 kHz 3 Concert Video Blu-ray discs:
In High Definition Video Picture Format: Full HD 1080/60i – 16:9
Sound options: 2.0 PCM Stereo & 5.1 Surround DTS-HD Master Audio
Region Code: ABC (worldwide)