Fanfare’s Steven Kruger writes that, ”the Bruckner Third is reborn as normal, exciting, interesting, music again,” in his stunning review of Thomas Dausgaard and the Bergen Philharonic’s new BIS recording of the composer’s original 1873 version.

Kruger writes:

”If you have ever wondered why the 1873 version of Bruckner’s Third Symphony seems to be gathering converts and adherents, a performance as swift and gleaming as this one should go a long way towards explaining it.

”…[Dausgaard’s] speedy approach is an incandescent winner here. Dausgaard does not save time by chopping off his phrases, the way so many dry-eyed conductors do. Instead, he achieves a sort of swift elision with them. This is a performance of gleaming brass and percussion arches delivered at speed across the bar lines, ably assisted by the BIS engineers and the Bergen Philharmonic’s notably rich, graceful string section. It doesn’t sound hurried, though. …Performed this way, Bruckner’s slow movement climax sounds more Romantic when it explodes than when delivered in the usual self-conscious, quasi-religious manner. The first movement coda is cataclysmic and dissonant. The Scherzo comes across as effortlessly convulsive. Frisky dance moves in the finale are light and twirly, rather than perversely “peasantic” and clumpy. Played intensely and faster like this, the symphony oddly seems to have more to say. It holds your attention.

”Most importantly, one does not have a sense that the music is in any way a connective tissue experiment or a dry run for something better. As Bruckner’s unusual harmonies go quickly past, one admires their originality and quirkiness. It might just as well be the Schumann Fourth, performed with just the right amount of frenzied excitement. This is not only a wonderful performance. I think it rescues the piece from pedantry.”

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