Bruno Walter Edition: Bruckner - Symphony no.7 (APE)
Bruno Walter Edition: Bruckner - Symphony no.7 (APE)

Composer: Anton Bruckner
Orchestra: Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Bruno Walter
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: APE (tracks)
Label: Sony
Size: 317 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

# Symphony No. 7 in E major (“Lyric”), WAB 107
Composed by Anton Bruckner
Performed by Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Bruno Walter

01. Symphony No. 7 in E major, WAB 107: Allegro moderato
02. Symphony No. 7 in E major, WAB 107: Adagio: Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam
03. Symphony No. 7 in E major, WAB 107: Scherzo: Nicht schnell, Trio: Langsam
04. Symphony No. 7 in E major, WAB 107: Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell

Five stars in tribute to the spirit of music

By the time he turned 85 in 1961, the year before he died, Bruno Walter had reached moments of transcendene in his music-making. This Bruckner Seventh contains many of them. Walter could no longer command great stick technique, but that didn’t matter. He makes this symphony one long ardent song, and on those terms it is wonderful. All the more so since the fragile conductor took five days between March 11-27 to complete the recording.

Unlike the preceding year’s choppy, undernourished Fourth Sym., the Columbia Symphony sounds full here and is recorded in wide-spaced sonics. (I don’t know if Columbia used microphone tricks to boost the string sound.) Walter’s handling of the moving line is spellbinding, even though he eschews dramatic contrasts of loud and soft. Most of the Adagio, for example, proceeds at mezzo forte. Even so, Walter was a master at melody, and the Seventh is Bruckner’s most melodic work. Tempos are not extreme: at 64 min. Walter is four min. faster than Karajan (EMI), four min. slower than Harnoncourt (Teldec). The flowing Adagio is especially well judged.

For anyone collecting late Walter recordings, this Seventh stands at the pinnacle.

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