In a way, this was Zubin Mehta's debut recording for Decca and the mammoth work chosen reflects the adventurous style of this Indian conductor. This point is further emphasized by the brilliant David Gutman, who provides a masterly essay to accompany this reissue.
Zubin Mehta brings an undoubted profundity and reflective empathy to the score, which is suitably well served by Decca's awesome recording, a vintage Sofiensaal production. Mehta views this final Brucknerian testament as one of visionary magnificence and thus, takes his time in traversing the journey. The VPO make some magnificent sounds, especially in the ethereally beautiful adagio that concludes the work in just the right fashion.
This remastering has indeed put the icing on the cake, so to speak for it sounds as freshly minted as one could imagine. You may obviously want to keep Furtwängler, Karajan (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 1977) and Horenstein but Mehta is certainly amongst the front-runners in this symphony.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech