, August 2012
BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 5 (Abbado) (NTSC) ACC-20243
BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 5 (Abbado) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) ACC-10243
‘Involvement’ is the keyword here, Claudio Abbado himself relaxed (or seemingly so), alert, exultant or visibly pleased as suits the moment, and always in clear command of his forces, though I doubt that such a modest man would approve of the word ‘command’. The orchestra, a superb body of players by any standards, plainly loves him: their responsiveness to virtually every bar is obvious, with everyone entering fully into the fray, especially in the Scherzo.
Abbado keeps the music on the move; textures are full rather than thick and, although fluid, tempi never bend at the mercy of awkward or sticky transitions. For the final peroration you hear woodwinds atop the brass…which helps make this most heroic of Bruckner symphonies (the 1878 version, ed Leopold Nowak) a plausible successor to Beethoven’s Third. The sound is excellent, the camerawork sensitive and technically first-rate. Abbado himself is invariably the main focus of attention and he’s wonderful to watch…What you see is clear cueing, a discernible beat and subtle facial responses. The players vary in age and appearance…well-dressed men and women totally into the business of making great music. And boy, do they deliver! © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone