, January 2013
This is without question a truly great orchestral recording. In Sanderling’s hands, everything is…vivid, emphatic, and sharply contrasted. The very opening sounds far more dramatic as shaped by Sanderling, the deep brass richer, the piccolo (which announces the symphony’s “motto” theme) brighter, and those arching string phrases infinitely more yearning and passionate [than in other versions].
The heart of the symphony is its slow movement, one of the very greatest in the literature and a masterpiece of superbly sustained symphonic tension. Sanderling…really [lets] the music breathe and [builds]each paragraph inexorably to the recurring, climactic statements of the “motto” theme. But it’s the finale that really sets the seal on this magnificent performance. Just listen to the way the strings phrase the central fugue, and notice the perfect clarity of its development!
At the triumphant return of the symphony’s “motto” theme in the movement’s recapitulation…Sanderling and his band create a climax of unsurpassed radiance…And once the music has ebbed away, the final appearance of the “motto” simply perfect in its quiet poetry, we realize that Sanderling, his world class Malmö players, and BIS’ extraordinary team of sound engineers have achieved that all too rare phenomenon: a genuine classic recording. At two discs for the price of one, with the early, appealing, and by no means negligible Second Symphony tossed in as well (in a performance every bit as fine as that of the Fourth), this set belongs in the collection of, well, everyone. © 2013 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review