A.Bruckner, Symphony No.2 (1877 version)
C.M.Giulini / VSO
The Vienna Symphony Orchestra was aiming for—and achieving—greatness for decades after the war. Karajan, Sawallisch, Krips, and from 1973 Carlo Maria Giulini were at the helm, giving the famous Philharmonic a run for its money. Giulini resigned amidst organizational chaos, though, and the orchestra is really only just recovering now, with Philippe Jordan as the new MD. On the 100th anniversary of Giulini’s birthday, the newly founded in-house label of the Vienna Symphony is re-issuing—newly, carefully remastered—one of the crown jewels from their archive, the much neglected 2nd Symphony of Bruckner’s, recorded in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein (issued initially on EMI and later re-issued on Testament). It’s won prizes like the Grand Prix du Disque for a reason and the competition in the Second Symphony is still slight—in short: Despite the superb Skrowaczewski, in the same version, Giulini’s individual Bruckner continues to be worth every Brucknerian’s consideration. With new liner notes and fine packaging to add to the considerable attractiveness of this release, that’s true more than ever for this Second Symphony.