- Symphony No. 5 in B flat, WAB 105
27.34 In Stock
Giussepe Sinopoli was a quirky Bruckner interpreter whose meticulous, almost fussy style sometimes seemed to go against the grain of the Austrian master's music. But this live performance, one of the conductor's last recordings, is mightily impressive. Despite a few obvious gear shifts in the tempo of the opening movement, Sinopoli holds up the symphony's grand architecture without strain. The finale is particularly well paced, with the climaxes held in check until the final, roof-rattling peroration. It is not as mystical a musical vision as those by, say, Horenstein (BBC), Jochum (Philips), Tintner (Naxos), or Wand (RCA). And thus the result is less like a Gothic cathedral in sound -- as Bruckner's symphonies are often described -- than a vast contemporary edifice of platinum and glass. Which is not to suggest that the interpretation is lacking in warmth -- listen to the depth of the string sound in the second theme of the slow movement, for example. Still, Sinopoli seems more interested in the music's forward-looking angularity than in its romantic reverberations. Gramophone magazine singled out this disc in its list of recommended recordings -- a controversial choice. Jochum, Tintner, or Wand are probably safer bets if you are looking for just one version of the Fifth. (Naxos' disc has a distinct price advantage, too.) But even if Sinopoli's is not the interpretation to live with, it is one that should be experienced by anyone with a serious interest in Bruckner's music.