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José Luis Bermúdez
Classical Net, October 2017

BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 4, “Romantic” (Thielemann) (Blu-ray, HD) 732604
BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 6 (Thielemann) (Blu-ray, HD) 738304

It is hard to fault the Staatskapelle Dresden in the 4th. The playing is of the highest quality, with the solo parts in particular uniformly excellent.

This is an outstanding performance of the symphonies that Bruckner himself thought his most audacious. © 2017 Classical Net Read complete review



Gavin Dixon
Fanfare, May 2017

[Thielemann’s] sense of line is everywhere evident, and his structural thinking always clear and impeccably communicated. The Dresden orchestra plays magnificently for him, and the close working relationship between conductor and players is evident both in the unity of artistic intent and in the minimal gestures Thielemann requires to express his vision.

A classic Thielemann account, then, and a committed reading of one of Bruckner’s less loved symphonies. The sheer consistency of this cycle is one of its greatest strengths, with Thielemann giving as convincing an account here as of any of the later symphonies. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Huntley Dent
Fanfare, May 2017

…Thielemann reminds me that he can step outside the ordinary—he actually seems to feel the music, acknowledging that Bruckner has depth of meaning. Thielemann also exhibits his talent for finely tuned orchestral balances, a gift he shares with Mariss Jansons, another Brucknerian who unfortunately is allergic to depth. Balance and beauty grace the scherzo, where the Dresden woodwind choir blends magically. By recessing the brass, Thielemann gives the scherzo a more rounded tone; the pacing is quick, which is dramatically effective. With momentum uppermost in mind, there’s no slowing for the Trio. The Sixth’s scherzo is almost as much about Bruckner’s signature hunting horns as in the Fourth Symphony, and the Dresden horns are from Elysium. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Paul E. Robinson
Musical Toronto, April 2017

Staatskapelle Dresden, one of the oldest and finest orchestras in Germany, is often compared to the Berlin Philharmonic. But the Dresden sound, as Thielemann has described it, is something unique: “it is typically soft and never brutal.” I often recalled this comment as I was listening to this new recording of the Sixth Symphony, which begins with a triplet figure played by the first and second violins. In this performance, the figure is almost inaudible even though it is marked pianissimo. Obviously, Bruckner had carefully calibrated the dynamics here. The main theme, played by cellos and basses and marked piano, begins in the third bar. This means that the main theme is to be played softly, but the opening triplet figure, which precedes it, must be even softer than that.

Thielemann takes great care throughout the performance to realize these subtle distinctions in dynamics. At the other end of the spectrum, in the brassy climaxes that are so characteristic of Bruckner, especially at the ends of movements, Staatskapelle Dresden under Thielemann are never overpowering; rather, the brass is blended into the texture. The general effect is still massive and grand but never aggressive or in any sense militaristic. © 2017 Musical Toronto Read complete review



John Quinn
MusicWeb International, April 2017

I have never quite understood why the Sixth seems to be less frequently played than the rest of the last six symphonies. It ought to fit well into concert programmes because it is not as long as, say, the Fifth or Eighth. The thematic material is by no means inferior, nor is the development of that material. It is also felicitously scored, including a good deal of fine writing for the woodwind. In addition—and this point is not to be sneezed at—the vexed question of which edition to use does not really arise. A performance of the quality of this present one reminds us that the Sixth is a very fine symphony.

I found it very interesting to watch Thielemann in action. As in the other films of him that I have seen, he conducts from memory. His appearance is absolutely immaculate and remains so throughout the performance. He eschews any histrionic gestures; indeed, at times, especially in the first movement, his beat is almost imperceptible. You might almost describe him as “old school”. Notwithstanding his fairly restrained style he most certainly gets results. The playing of the Staatskapelle Dresden is glorious throughout. Every section distinguishes itself, not least the golden-toned brass and the double basses. The latter are placed to the conductor’s left, behind the first violins, from where they give the string choir and, indeed, the whole orchestra a solid foundation. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Christian Hoskins
Gramophone, April 2017

BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 6 (Thielemann) (NTSC) 738208
BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 6 (Thielemann) (Blu-ray, HD) 738304

As with previous releases in the cycle, the playing of the Staatskapelle Dresden is everything one could wish for, both on a soloistic level and as an ensemble unified in a common goal. Melodic lines and inner voices are beautifully articulated, and the blending of the brass is an art form in itself. Thielemann, conducting from memory, leads a well-paced and unmannered reading of the score, attentive as always to Bruckner’s dynamic contrasts. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone





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