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Australian Hi-Fi, July 2006

In 1988 a new classical label appeared, selling CDs at one-third of the usual price. The orchestras were provincial, the conductors and soloists obscure. The flow of discs came from Hong Kong and seemed to be pitched at the Asian market. Critics ignored them. They were made to change their tune when Naxos put out a cycle of Bruckner symphonies that drew instant comparison to old masters­Klemperer, Karajan, Furtwangler. From the opening shimmer of the fifth symphony, the phrasing was immaculate, the pacing idiomatic and the passion utterly absorbing.

The conductor was a white-haired wanderer called Georg Tintner. Exiled in 1938 from Vienna, where he was on the Volksoper payroll, he had found refuge but scant reward in New Zealand, Australia and finally Canada.

Tintner approached Bruckner without condescension to the composer's peasant naivete, presenting him as a prophet of mortal agony and spiritual ecstasy. Suitably inspired, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra played like Viennese virtuosi and the symphonies sold like ice creams in summer. The 5th, which launched the cycle, changed the status of Bruckner and the state of the record industry forever.



Kjell Moe
Kulturspeilet, January 1999

Like in his other Bruckner interpretations it is the lines that are essential: the long uninterrupted line. In this symphony, too, we notice a grip which makes this conductor unique… it is equally as outstanding as the rest of the releases in this series. © 1999 Kulturspeilet



Lawrence B. Johnson
The New York Times, November 1998

Tintner… casts Bruckner’s grand, emotionally charged structures in a refreshing light of restraint and proportion. Reflected back is an aura of honest affection and with it a paradoxical exchange: a beguiling intellectual beauty where one often finds a cloistered spirituality… He has devoted himself to Bruckner for many years, and his expertise tells, not only in the originality of the present interpretations but also in his accompanying essays…

Through and through, Mr Tintner’s sure grasp of structure underpins his lyrical bent … While his reading of the Fifth may reflect his aversion to self-indulgence… his unfailing sense of line and pace and balance does not make for any kind of mathematical encounter… this version is among the most lucid and radiant to be found on disks…

What is constant, on a line from the Second to the Eighth, is the conductor’s knack for boiling away the Romantic excess of tradition and getting at the crux of Bruckner’s art. © 1998 The New York Times



Antony Hodgson
Hi-Fi News & Record Review, December 1997

His Bruckner Fifth is revelatory. I found myself making comparison with Karajan, Jochum, Wand and Furtwaengler, finding that Tintner was bringing insights to the music worthy of any of those great names. © 1997 Hi-Fi News & Record Review




Jean-Claude Hulot
Diapason, December 1997

[translation] … a recent recording of the 6th Symphony showed an interpreter gifted with an undeniable sense of the most authentic Brucknerian style. Today, this 5th … shiningly confirms these qualities. …The excellent notes written by the conductor himself confirm his true affinity with the music of Bruckner. © 1997 Diapason



Michael Dervan
The Irish Times, October 1997

…octogenarian Georg Tintner, who impressed in Bruckner in Dublin last year, triumphs over glitches and adversities with a visionary clear-sightedness that’s heart-warming. © 1997 The Irish Times



Timothy Mangan
Los Angeles Times, October 1997

Georg Tintner’s Bruckner cycle for Naxos… gets off to a convincing start with this Fifth. The 80-year-old conductor crafts a propulsive performance—never overindulgent when it comes to the composer’s grandeur, never distracted by his asides. He threads phrases with a delicacy and precision that make them sing. © 1997 Los Angeles Times



William F. Starr
The State, October 1997

BRUCKNER’s FIFTH FARES WELL ON TINTNER’s NEW RECORDING

Here’s a super-low-priced disc that offers a super performance regardless of price… the combination [of RSNO and Tintner] produces a performance of insight and authority. … He takes a long view of Bruckner’s long lines and with it imparts both gravity and grandeur to this craggy score. © 1997 The State



Gramophone, October 1997

Tintner’s Bruckner Fifth has some things in common with Hurst’s Elgar; not least, a quality of patience and integrity that younger conductors simply do not have. These are hills Tintner has spent half a lifetime walking, and he knows how to pace himself… The easy tread of Tintner’s performance, its general firmness of purpose, readily communicates the all-important sense of the reach and simple grandeur of Bruckner’s music… [Tintner’s] splendidly uncompromising booklet note… © 1997 Gramophone



COSMIKDEBRIS e-zine, October 1997

How he emerges as a major interpreter of the music of Anton Bruckner at this stage in his career is a miracle of this modern age… Somehow Naxos stumbled across him. And, owing to that good fortune, we are blessed with this magnificent recording. Karajan, Wand, Barenboim and many others have traveled this road with success, and Tintner joins them with a reading that balances the majestic with the subtle, always eschewing any tendency to go over the top, or to wallow in the score’s seductive beauties. … you hear Bruckner neither fettered by mannerism nor inflated by pomposity, but rendered judiciously yet compellingly.  …Tintner himself provides very enlightening notes to top off this most attractive release. © 1997 COSMIKDEBRIS e-zine



Andrew Ford
ABC Radio 24 Hours, October 1997

Every so often, Naxos comes up with a real gem, and this seems to be one of those occasions. Georg Tintner… knows this score intimately… he shines an interpretive light into the symphony’s darker crevices as surely as he paces its blazing climaxes… Tintner also provides his own accompanying essay which is always good to see (a conductor who can think) and I look forward to more Bruckner symphonies from him. This Naxos disc is top value. © 1997 ABC Radio 24 Hours




Christopher Fifield
BBC Music Magazine, October 1997

We must hear more Bruckner from Tintner, who, like that other authoritative Brucknerian, Guenter Wand, is part of a generation soon to be lost to us… © 1997 BBC Music Magazine




James Manishen
Winnipeg Free Press, September 1997

A natural Brucknerian, [Tintner’s] direction is deeply felt and wonderfully coherent, with vision and intellect attentively balanced and Bruckner’s seemingly endless lines tautly yet spaciously controlled. © 1997 Winnipeg Free Press



Lawrence Hansen
American Record Guide, September 1997

All of this resume stuff, of course, is meaningless if Maestro Tintner’s performance does not pass muster. It does. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, it does… Tintner turns in one of the most cogent, focussed, purposeful renderings of [the fourth] movement that I have heard. There is plenty of momentum, and the separate episodes are all linked to each other and integrated into a whole of incredible cumulative impact. The massive, thunderous coda is positively breathtaking… as a bonus, there are concise, perceptive album notes from the conductor… © 1997 American Record Guide



Robert McColley
Fanfare, September 1997

Also reminiscent of bygone days is the ease and naturalness with which Tintner knits together these vast, highly sectionalized movements, finding unity not by imposing a rigorous harness, but by reinforcing the great contrasts in the work. Each part has its own distinctive character; they fit together like the contrasting colors and shapes in a painting, or like the extraordinarily varied characters in a first-rate play or novel. In brief, Tintner’s Bruckner is akin to that of Bruno Walter and Carl Schuricht… Tintner has written the extensive program notes, demonstrating considerable literary as well as musical talent. © 1997 Fanfare



William Zagorski
Fanfare, September 1997

…this is one of the stronger performances in the current catalog, and were it offered at full price it would have easily earned my recommendation. On the budget label Naxos, it proves to be far more than a genuine bargain. © 1997 Fanfare



Anthony Harwood
Yorkshire Evening Post, August 1997

Tintner’s account on this disc is remarkably successful, overcoming the problems of maintaining momentum and direction with an instinctive flair… His attention to detail is impressive, too, even to the extent of placing the second violins to his right to give the effect that Bruckner intended to create… This is an excellent performance, beautifully balanced and well recorded and worth a place in any collection. © 1997 Yorkshire Evening Post



Repertoire

[translation] Tintner, an old master who started, as a child, singing under the direction of the venerable Schalk, has profoundly internalised this music during his career; the internal logic of this interpretation is truly remarkable. © Repertoire



Le Discophile Virtuel

The sound… does not do justice to the grand interpretation without grandiloquence… but the spirit which inspires the great unknown Bruckner interpreter Georg Tintner compensates for much. © 1997 Le Discophile Virtuel





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