Bruckner: Symphony No 6 in A major

Reviewed on Fri 30 Oct, 2015

Paavo Järvi steers an invigoratingly purposeful and rhythmically resilient course through what Bruckner once described as “die keckste” (the cheekiest) of his symphonies.

Pieced together from concert performances held in Frankfurt's Alte Oper during May 2010, Paavo Järvi's interpretation of Bruckner's Sixth Symphony has plenty going for it. Not only does the orchestral playing evince exceptional refinement, canny blend and gorgeous tonal sheen, Järvi steers an invigoratingly purposeful and rhythmically resilient course through what Bruckner once described as “die keckste” (the cheekiest) of his cycle. Perhaps the towering slow movement (whose closing minutes are among the most profoundly moving in all symphonic literature) might have benefited from just a fraction greater spiritual awe and rapt identification, though here as elsewhere Järvi is most adept at sifting textures and clarifying inner voices (one is made more appreciative than usual of Bruckner's exquisite writing for the violas). Although my existing allegiance to assorted recordings by, say, Jochum, Blomstedt, Sawallisch, Gielen and Eschenbach remains undisturbed, this refreshing and finely engineered newcomer certainly warrants the attention of any devoted Brucknerian.
–Andrew Achenbach