Bruckner: Symphonies 4 & 5 - Kempe

Bruckner: Symphonies 4 & 5 - Kempe

Tower Records x Altus  ATKSA1001/2 (2 discs)

Stereo Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral

Bruckner: Symphonies 4 & 5

Münchener Philharmoniker
Rudolf Kempe, conductor

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Analogue recording
Comments (1)

Comment by Athenaeus - November 17, 2021 (1 of 1)

We have to talk about the sound first... One word can best describe it: soft! Sonically, these certainly aren't benchmark recordings. I didn't already own them. I only discovered them thanks to Tower Records. Based on what little information I was able to glean here and there on the Internet, previous releases on RBCD had poor sonics. The description on the Tower Records website suggests the masters have a complicated story. Reading Google's translation of the Japanese blurb, I don't understand whether the original master tapes were used to prepare the present release. It seems not. In any case, I suspect this set presents Kempe's recordings in the best sound they've had in a long time, perhaps even the best sound they've ever had.

Now, despite the passable sonics, I would say this set is worth buying if you like Bruckner. I enjoyed the Fourth very much but I especially enjoyed the Fifth. I'm not a big Bruckner expert but to me this is among the great Fifths on disc. Kempe always keeps the music flowing in an organic and logical way. In the case of Bruckner whose symphonies seem to be built out of blocks of music and that can so often have a stop-go feel to them, to elicit such free-flowing interpretations is no mean feat. The playing of the Munich Philharmonic is also beautiful; I particularly liked the woodwinds on these recordings.