This taut and quite swift reading of Bruckner's monumental Eighth Symphony has Barenboim and the Berliners at the top of their form with the music sounding extremely refreshing and noble at the same time. He sets a cautions pace for the First Movement rather a la Horenstein (on Vox) which remains my favourite version but Barenboim also finds much charm and imagination in the Scherzo.
The Adagio is wonderfully done with the important central climaxes sounding as cataclysmic as one could genuinely hope for. Finally the Finale is a wondrous journey which in Barenboim's hands reaches a definite finish with the end firmly in sight. The quirky design apart, this is a highly recommendable version of one of the greatest symphonic works ever.
Copyright © 2009, Gerald Fenech