- Symphony No. 3 in D Minor (Wagner) (First Definitive Version; Schalk version; Final version), WAB 103
- Lohengrin, opera, WWV 75: Prelude First act
- Lohengrin, opera, WWV 75: Prelude Third act
Michael Gielen's lean-textured, cleanly articulated interpretation of Bruckner's Third Symphony (recorded in 1999) is a far cry from the mystical approach espoused by Barenboim, Jochum, Karajan, Tintner, and other conductors. Yet there is something enormously appealing about Gielen's forthright, clear-headed style. The SWR Orchestra plays expressively, and Gielen holds the symphony's sprawling structure together exceptionally well. The result is warmer than Szell's classic recording, and Gielen has the advantage of using the 1877 edition -- arguably the most satisfying of the symphony's many revisions (Szell opted for the problematic 1889 version). Recorded with sonic immediacy, the sound of the Südwestfunk Radio has an almost visible shine. If you are one of those souls who finds Bruckner to be a bore, this thrilling performance might change your mind. The Finale is particularly exciting, with fast tempos and a real sense of tension, even in the quiet transitional passages. The Lohengrin excerpts (recorded in 1992), are not so special, perhaps, but provide a fine makeweight. Highly recommended.