Daniel Barenboim has long held a deep affinity for the epic symphonies of Anton Bruckner, and by recording them with the Berlin Philharmonic
, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Staatskapelle Berlin
, he has demonstrated a profound understanding of the music, comparable in importance to the interpretations of such legends as Günter Wand
, Georg Tintner
, and Eugen Jochum
. This live cycle on Deutsche Grammophon with the Staatskapelle Berlin presents only the nine numbered symphonies, unlike Barenboim's Chicago Symphony set, which included the "Symphony in D minor, Die Nullte," along with the "Te Deum," and the Berlin Philharmonic set, which offered the choral work "Helgoland." Barenboim has chosen a mix of original versions and revisions, relying for the most part on Leopold Nowak
's editions, though the seldom-heard 1878 version of the "Symphony No. 3 in D minor" appears in the 1950 edition by Fritz Oeser, and the "Symphony No. 8 in C minor" is the 1939 edition by Robert Haas
, not the 1887 original, as listed. These are the finer points which serious Bruckner fans will note, though the popular "Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, Romantic," and the "Symphony No. 7 in E major" will be quite familiar to many listeners, and the remaining symphonies present no obstacles for appreciation. Bruckner devotees will acquire this set for the sake of completeness, though newcomers to the symphonies should give these inspired readings a try.