One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 8 in C minor, revised version ed. Nowak (1890)
Royal Danish Orchestra/Hartmut Haenchen
rec. 2017, Royal Danish Opera House, Copenhagen
GENUIN GEN18622 [69:20]

This is a decidedly speedy rendition of Bruckner’s greatest symphony. Nothing wrong with that, of course, if the interpretation carries sufficient gravitas, and many a hesitant, would-be Brucknerian will venture the opinion that traditional approaches render the work too ponderous and prone to longueurs. I do not share that view and like the weighty, majestic accounts by such as Karajan, Giulini and Wand, who take around eighty minutes and more, and even those from Celibidache and Ballot at well over a hundred minutes. However, I can also appreciate swifter recordings and waxed lyrical over Saraste’s first Bruckner recording in which he took seventy-five minutes. Nonetheless, I think Haenchen is definitely pushing the limits of tolerance with this, the fastest account on record at under seventy minutes. The Scherzo, for example, sounds distinctly rushed to my ears; even the Trio, which should represent a moment of repose, sounds breathless. George Szell’s Eighth with the Cleveland is urgent and dynamic as opposed to monumental yet succeeds in maintaining those qualities without undue haste, coming in at eighty-two minutes.

Unsurprisingly, Haenchen has opted to perform the tauter, more tightly structured 1890 revision. Perhaps less lingering suits more modern taste and I understand that Haenchen wishes to embrace the Zeitgeist by avoiding any unseemly indulgence but I cannot help feeling that too much which should hang in the air and generate a sense of timeless repose is harried along. Both the recorded sound and the Klang of the Danish orchestra suit Haenchen’s conception: clean and bright with little of the sumptuousness we associate with Berlin or Vienna. The Adagio suffers most from the perfunctory phrasing and the great climax, complete with cymbal clash, goes for little, just as the coda sounds negligible; there is little sense of release or afterglow. The finale emerges as being as close to a non-event as it is possible to reduce this wonderful score.
Ultimately, I cannot get excited about a recording which evinces so little cognisance of the mystery and transcendence inherent in the music of my favourite symphony.

Ralph Moore
[This review commissioned, and reproduced here, by kind permission of The Bruckner Journal]

Previous review: Terry Barfoot

We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger