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Dip Your Ears, No. 17 (Herreweghe's Bruckner 7th)

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A.Bruckner, Symphony #7,
P.Herreweghe / O.d.Champs-Élysées
Harmonia Mundi

Oh, boy! "Historically Informed Bruckner"—just what we needed, right? Seriously: after Roger Norrington suggesting to play Mahler without vibrato (historically correct as that may be), this seemed to be just about the next dumbest idea. But unlike the recent and highly unnecessary Bruckner recordings of Messrs. Eschenbach and Nagano, this is actually rather a delight. Smaller forces and original instruments (gut strings and all) make for a very clean, crisp sound. Clocking in at exactly an hour, this 7th—sans cymbal crash in the Adagio—has a sheen that puts it above many conventional rivals that pander too much to the clichés of Bruckner performance. Among modern versions it stands up to Rattle and Harnoncourt, and while I reserve a special place in my heart for G. Wand's and E. Jochum's recordings, this live performance is good enough even to make a first choice.

See also: Dip Your Ears, No. 60 (Herreweghe's Bruckner 4th)

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