* BRUCKNER: Symphonies No. 4 in E-flat, “Romantic” (1874 original version); No. 7 in E; No. 8 in c (1887 original version) – Bavarian State Orch./ Kent Nagano – Farao Classics multichannel Blu-ray Pure Audio A 108076, TT: 3:59:34 [Distr. by Naxos] *****:
This is just an addendum to a release from last year that I reviewed. I gave it four and one half stars mainly because it used the “original” versions for Symphonies 4 and 8, and was not offered in multichannel sound. The editor noted that it was indeed offered but was not sent to us. Well, lo and behold, here it is! And the results are definitely worth the extra star. Rehearing these my comments still stand; the original versions of the two symphonies are not what we are used to hearing and are certainly not illuminating in any way except to show us why the composer felt the need to change them. But the performances almost persuade me otherwise, so energetic and beautifully balanced they are. The mighty seventh is full of sweep and passion, one of the best on disc. The far-reaching and marvelous sound shows just how well Bruckner benefits from this sort of treatment.
Most of all, it’s only four bucks more than the four-CD set that I reviewed in September of 2013, and everything is on one disc—now that’s a distinct advantage that I hope other companies will embrace. Go for this one, especially if you already have favorites and wish to augment your understanding of this composer.