Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-96)
Symphony No. 0 in D minor, 'Nullte'. String Quintet in F - Adagio (arr. Skrowaczewski).
Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.
Arte Nova 74321 75510-2 [DDD] [60'56]

The strength of this performance lies in the fact that Skrowaczewski sees the D minor symphony in its own terms rather than as a poor relation to the towering edifices that were to follow. No mere apologist, therefore, he refuses to take it as read that he is dealing with inferior Bruckner: the results are impressive.

Skrowaczewski is as underrated a conductor as they come. His began his stint with the Hallé Orchestra (not even mentioned in Arte Nova's biography) with a revelatory performance of Mahler's Tenth in the Deryck Cooke realisation. Here he inspires the Saarbrücken orchestra to play beyond their means: the brass chorales are appropriately warm-toned, the wind project their solos well and the strings dance beautifully in the Scherzo. Skrowaczewski makes the symphony more than the sum of its constituent parts, capturing en route the fragmentary passages of the first movement particularly well. At any price this performance would be worth acquiring, but at super-budget it is indispensable.

Tintner, his rival at this price, couples his account with the Eighth, and so spreads it over two discs (Naxos 8664215/6), effectively ruling it out of court. Haitink's 1966 recording is a solid recommendation (Philips 442 040-2), while Solti and the Chicagoans give their all on Decca 452 160-2. But whatever the competition, you will not be disappointed with Skrowaczewski.

The filler is Skrowaczewski's own arrangement of the Adagio from the F major String Quintet. This is very beautifully realised: Skrowaczeswski retains the feeling of chamber music on the larger canvas.

Well worth the small outlay.


Colin Clarke

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers : - The UK's Biggest Video Store

Concert and Show tickets


Musicians accessories

Click here to visit

Return to Index