- Symphony No. 3 in D minor, WAB 103
- Symphony No. 86 in D major, H. 1/86
In his day, Carl Schuricht was best known as a conductor of operettas by Johann Strauss II and symphonies by Bruckner, an apparently unlikely paring until one recalls that both composers were citizens of nineteenth century Vienna. This studio recording of Bruckner's "Third" with the Wiener Philharmoniker from 1965 serves as an introduction to Schuricht's approach for a new generation of listeners. For Schuricht, Bruckner is not so much a Catholic mystic as an Austrian symphonist, and in this performance, one hears not the voices of God and His angels and saints, but the voices of Beethoven and Schubert, with a touch of Haydn. This "Third" is intensely dramatic and wonderfully lyrical, with just a pinch of wit and whimsy. The whole performance, particularly the opening movement, holds together better here than in many readings because Schuricht does not dally over development or delay over pauses, but marches straight through from start to finish in one unbroken sweep. There is still plenty of lyrical beauty in the work's second themes, and particularly in its Adagio, though without any tendency to drag out the tempos. Aided by the Wiener Philharmoniker at the peak of its powers, Schuricht's performance deserves to be heard by anyone interested in the composer. The conductor's 1955 performance of Haydn's "Symphony No. 86" is, sadly, nowhere near as successful, mostly because the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart is nowhere near as polished an ensemble as its Viennese colleagues; the playing is rough and edgy, not really the qualities one looks for in Haydn. The stereo sound of the Bruckner is more than tolerable, the mono sound of the Haydn much less so.