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Edward Greenfield
Gramophone, September 2012

This is the seventh disc of Bruckner symphonies that Ivor Bolton has recorded for the Oehms label.

The quality that emerges in all four movements is delicacy. Bolton has clearly achieved a remarkable rapport with the players and I have never heard this orchestra, whether live or on disc, playing better. The very opening, hushed and intense, establishes the delicacy from the start, and so it is in the lyrical second subject. The easy lyricism of the slow movement is then enhanced by the refinement of the orchestra’s strings, as are the quieter moments of the last two movements…

Though the chamber qualities of the orchestra are the result of reduced strings, there is no question of wind and above all heavy brass being reduced. That consistently makes for a performance of heightened contrasts, massive and noble. That is so even in the opening exposition of the first movement; and when it come to the Scherzo, with its stuttering chords and heavyweight brass interjections, the lilt of the music is emphasised.

In the finale, the heightened dynamic contrasts are if anything more emphatically established, rounding off the performance majestically. The Oehms recording is first-rate…Altogether an outstanding issue. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Blair Sanderson, April 2012

Bolton eschews all attention-grabbing gimmicks and delivers a Fourth that most listeners will recognize. Indeed, this is one of the most commonly performed editions…and its familiarity makes it feel soothing and comforting, especially to anyone who has agonized over which of Bruckner’s multiple versions to choose. Bolton gives the music a gentle, sympathetic interpretation, and aside from the repeated triplet fanfares and staggered hunting calls that made this piece famous as a virtuoso showcase for brass, the playing is surprisingly restrained and mellow in most sections. Yet this is also a warm performance, and despite the fairly dry acoustics of the hall, the burnished sonorities and vibrant colors of the orchestra make the music inviting. Bolton’s series of Bruckner’s symphonies on Oehms is worth looking for, and this volume is one to play repeatedly. © 2012 Read complete review

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