Giulini's Bruckner credentials are already firmly established with his almost legendary DG accounts of the later symphonies but it is a joy to note that this superb EMI recording has once again seen the light of day. If it is a truncated Novak edition of the Second, then everything turns into gold when touched by Giulini's almost hallowed direction.
The opening Moderato takes on a heroic pace with the VSO strings coping admirably with the shimmering parts. The movement concludes in heroic fashion with a superbly paced coda that transcends all before it. The Andante is similarly beautiful with Giulini lingering lovingly over some feliticious details that are almost always overlooked by lesser masters of the baton. Cuts reduce the Scherzo to a mere seven minutes but this movement is also rather awesome in its controlled power. The Finale is marked Mehr schnell, and you would be hard pressed to find a better account, only Jochum is perhaps close to it but the clear EMI recording certainly carries all before it.
Testament has refurbished the sound beautifully and the note by Richard Osborne confirms Giulini's incomparable stature as a Bruckner conductor. Bruckner enthusiasts will certainly was lyrical that this recording is once again in circulation.
Copyright © 2001, Gerald Fenech