Following his CPO recording with the Tapiola Sinfonietta of Anton Bruckner's Symphony in D minor, "Die Nullte," and the Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Mario Venzago presents the Symphony No. 2 in C minor, this time with the Northern Sinfonia. Unlike some contemporary conductors who favor the original 1872 version of this symphony, Venzago performs the more familiar 1877 version, edited by William Carragan. This is the first of Bruckner's symphonies where he expanded the form to an hour duration, and the fertile ideas it contains are appropriate to the greater time frame. Yet this work has never been accepted by audiences in the way most of the later symphonies have, such as the Fourth, Seventh, and Ninth, and the music falters over too many starts and stops, indecisive development, and repetitions. Even so, there is much attractive material here, and Venzago brings it off with a light touch, having the orchestra play delicately and sweetly, almost as if this were a Mendelssohn symphony.
López-Cobos is an excellent conductor with a wide repertory, best known for late-Romantic and the more colorful early 20th century literature. López-Cobos first led the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1970, and would serve as general musical director for that company from 1981 to 1990. López-Cobos was named principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic and served there from 1981 to 1986. In 1986, López-Cobos was named principal conductor and music director of the Cincinnati Symphony. With Cincinnati he would embark on an extensive recording schedule with Telarc, resulting in recordings of works by Respighi, Ravel, Richard Strauss, Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler, Falla, Bizet, Franck, and Dukas…
This recording gives a fascinating portrait of the approach to Bruckner’s music developed by Bernard Haitink and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra over their many years of working together.
Remy Ballot and the Altomonte Orchestra form a liaison with the extraordinary acoustics of the basilica virtually the Holy Spirit in this musical Trinity and transform the woe and sorrow of the bereaved as well as the ambiguity about what remains after one's death into heavenly spheres.