Day 83: Symphony No. 6 in A Major (Haitink)

brucknercollectioncd7frontThis morning’s conductor of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6 in A Major (WAB 106) is Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink (1929-).

The orchestra is Staatskapelle Dresden.

I first encountered Maestro Haitink on Day 5 (Symphony No. 1) of my 144-day project.

Then again on Day 21 (Symphony No. 2).

And again on Day 37 (Symphony No. 3).

And again on Day 53 (Symphony No. 4).

And, most recently, Day 69 (Symphony No. 5).

It would be no exaggeration to say that I have been deeply impressed with Maestro Haitink. Whatever “it” is that makes a recording magical, his recordings have it. In spades.

But I’ll reserve the subjective stuff for later.

antonbrucknercollectionboxToday, I’m listening to him from the Bruckner Collection, a 20-CD box set that features several different conductors. Symphony No. 6 just happens to be Bernard Haitink’s turn. Concidentally, I will listen to Mr. Haitink again in my alpha-order rotation in two days. I haven’t looked. So I don’t know if it’s the same orchestra and recording. But I doubt it. I guess I’ll find out for sure in two days.

First, the objective aspects of this recording.

Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6 in A Major (WAB 106) composed 1879-1881
Bernard Haitink conducts
Haitink used the ??? edition
Staatskapelle Dresden plays
The symphony clocks in at 57:01
This was recorded in Dresden, Germany, on November 3, 2003
Haitink was 74 when he conducted it
Bruckner was 57 when he finished composing it
This recording was released on the Profil label

Bruckner wrote his symphonies in four parts. The time breakdown of this one (Symphony No. 6 in A Major, edition unknown), from this particular conductor (Haitink) and this particular orchestra (Staatskapelle Dresden) is as follows:

I: Majestoso…………………………………………………………………………………………………….15:56
II: Adagio. Sehr feierlich (Very solemnly)……………………………………………………….17:19
III: Scherzo. Nicht schnell (Not fast) — Trio. Langsam (Slowly)………………………8:36
IV: Finale. Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell (With motion, but not too fast)……15:06

Total running time: 57:01

Now, the subjective aspects.

My Rating:
Recording quality: 3
Overall musicianship: 4
CD liner notes: 0 (there are none – totally unacceptable!)
How does this make me feel: 3

This recording is remarkably average for Haitink and Staatskapelle Dresden.

The recording sounds like what I have referred to in previous reviews as AM radio versus FM radio.

FM radio offers a wider band of sound reproduction, from nice highs to nice lows. And plenty of distinct midrange.

AM radio, on the other hand, jams everything together in the middle. No real highs. No real lows. Just a kind of fuzzy midrange.

That’s what this recording sounds like.

It would take greater clarity and depth to make this recording great, despite the skill of conductor and orchestra, both of whom are among the best in the world.

As before, I prefer Movement I (Majestoso) and Movement III (Scherzo) over II and IV. They have more clever passages to them, stuff I want to share with others.

That, plus there are no liner notes, means I am less than enamored with this morning’s listening.

I don’t really know what else to type.

Meh.

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