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Penguin Guide, January 2009

There are not many versions as fine as Georg Tintner’s on Naxos, at whatever price. With extreme pianissimos magically caught, full of mystery, this is an exceptionally spacious reading, deeply reflective and poetic, which brings out the Schubertian qualities in Bruckner, sweet and songful as well as dramatic. The playing of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra is as refined as the recording with subtly terraced dynamics beautifully clear.

Edward Dorall
New Straits Times (Malaysia), October 2001

"For the most popular of the symphonies, the Fourth, Tintner, conducting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, rightly chooses the third and best version of 1880, with the original 1874 first and second movements vastly improved, a new Scherzo (these already in the second version of 1877/78), and now a new epic Finale, for Tintner 'the crowning glory of this wonderful symphony.'

At daringly slow speeds he nevertheless manages brilliantly to make this quintessential nature and Romantic Bruckner symphony glow from beginning to end, its pace, if not obviously dramatic, more satisfyingly elemental, its delight in Bruckner's breathtaking orchestral colours and contrasts of massive with delicate blocks of sound irresistible in every movement and at every moment, altogether the interpretation of this symphony I prefer to all others I've heard."

Terry Barfoot
MusicWeb International, June 2000

To record the complete Bruckner symphonies is a major undertaking, not to be taken lightly by any of those involved: conductor, orchestra, recording engineers, record company. Therefore it needs to be said at the outset that Naxos has achieved a triumph, nothing less. The only tragedy is that the conductor, Georg Tintner, is no longer alive to witness its full acknowledgement.

Tintner (born 1917), like so many musicians, fled his native Austria before the Nazi threat and made a worthwhile but largely unnoticed career in Australasia, Canada and, occasionally, Europe. These recordings, dating from 1995–98, brought him a recognition that was long overdue. For Tintner’s love and understanding of Bruckner are beyond question. Tempi, phrasing and architecture always feel right, and the structural control of each of the symphonies is never less than assured.

The final version of the Symphony no. 4, recorded in Glasgow in October 1996, is another success. At nearly 75 minutes the vision is broad once again, but it is also absolutely right. Although other recordings (Gunther Wand on RCA, for instance) generate greater intensity and richness of tone, there is no reason to hesitate at the attractive Naxos price. And in any case, Tintner brings his own insights to this wonderful score.

Michael Kennedy
Daily Telegraph (UK), December 1999

Not just this disc but all the discs so far released in the late Georg Tintner’s memorable Bruckner symphony cycle for Naxos… It is typical of the care and scholarship which Tintner brought to his work, musicology dominated at all times by musicianship. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra plays like the Vienna Philharmonic for him. © 1999 Daily Telegraph (UK)

Antony Hodgson
Hi-Fi News & Record Review, September 1999

The opening of this performance is magical... Tintner is so sturdily consistent at his slow pace that Bruckner's shadowy creation is no less effective. The recording has more resonance than the excellent Naxos Bruckner 5 although the artists and the recording venue are the same. The advantage of such spaciousness and weight in Bruckner is obvious.

David Hurwitz, September 1999

…this impressive and majestic performance… a master Brucknerian… In short, this is a very distinguished, often inspired performance. © 1999

Stereophile, July 1999

"Perhaps the most all-inclusive interpretation yet to appear"

"Tintner delivers something essential that I've never heard so consistently: a sense of musical narrative."

"[no other conductor] has such a confident grasp of the transitional passages, or of what all the thematic repetition means."

Michael Jameson
Classic CD, April 1999

…the Royal Scottish national Orchestra sounds thoroughly revitalised under Tintner’s leadership, and this recording confers upon them credentials as a Bruckner orchestra of some distinction… his handling of the pictorialist elements of the opining movement is just about as sure-footed and canny as you’ll ever hear it these days. This performance constantly recalls Wand or Klemperer—tautly controlled, deliberate, cogent, and always mindful of Bruckner’s epic time-frame and naturally evolving themes. …Tintner’s unadorned, slightly austere manner confers true dignity upon the music… © Classic CD

Robert Layton
Classic FM, March 1999

This is a fine version and … very good value for money. © 1999 Classic FM

Stephen Pettitt
The Sunday Times, London, January 1999

His much applauded cycle of Bruckner’s symphonies… Tintner gives an impression of simultaneous intensity and breadth. There’s a modest kind of majesty about the reading… © 1999 The Sunday Times, London

The Scotsman, January 1999

Hearing this searing reading of Bruckner’s “romantic” symphony… one may wonder why Georg Tintner has not been let loose on these towering works before. … the Austrian-born conductor clearly has Bruckner coursing through his veins and, much like that other octogenarian. Gunther Wand, his vision ensures that the emotional truths of this most-loved work are never sacrificed for the grandeur of its structural architecture. … Tintner’s reading is sharply focused and directly emotional. …In short, a triumph for both conductor and orchestra. © 1999 The Scotsman

Michael Kennedy
Sunday Telegraph, January 1999

He is clearly a Bruckner interpreter and champion of considerable magnitude… The interpretation and performance will come as a revelation even to devout Brucknerians who already have their preferred version… A very special Bruckner recording. © 1999 Sunday Telegraph

Ates Orga
BBC Music Magazine, January 1999

Digging deep into the fabric of the music, wringing tension out of every note, every bass line, Tintner’s style-defining grasp of Bruckner’s repetitive rhythms and long phrases—swinging like gleaning censers in dark cathedral spaces, spiralling starwards turning cadences into mighty structural pillars—is the art of romantic time supremely mastered. …Reminiscent metaphysically of Celibidache, Tintner’s is the current digital version to have. © 1999 BBC Music Magazine

Michael Kennedy (CDs of the Year)
The Daily Telegraph (Australia)

"Not just this disc but all the discs so far released in the late Georg Tintner's memorable Bruckner symphony cycle for Naxos. His death makes his performance of No 9 especially poignant, but I have chosen this No 4 because he uses the substitute finale from the Haas edition of the 1878-80 version and opts for Bruckner's scoring of the trio of the scherzo with oboe (instead of flute) and clarinet. It is typical of the care and scholarship which Tintner brought to his work, musicology dominated at all times by musicianship. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra plays like the Vienna Philharmonic for him."

What’s on in London

Record Choice: Duncan Hadfield on some outstanding albums of the last year. Tintner’s exploration is intrepid and revealing, with the overall forcefulness of his well-argued approach shining through; and again, at Naxos’s price, it’s a must-have disc any Brucknerian will want to own. © What’s on in London

Classical Net

I have not been as moved by a performance since hearing Bruno Walter’s recording… If I were to enumerate every single detail that I like about this recording this review would assume the proportions of Moby Dick. Whenever I am as overwhelmed by a listening experience, as here, I check the other recordings I have to hear if I am as overwhelmed as I think I am. This Naxos recording easily outclasses the Sawallisch/Philadelphia recording on EMI. Jochum and the BPO, on DG, come close to eliciting the excitement you will hear here, but only close… Tintner has made me hear this music anew… This is not just good for the price, it is good at any price. © Classical Net

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