- Symphony No. 7 in E major (Lyric), WAB 107
Austrian composer Anton Bruckner was a devout Catholic, and his gargantuan symphonies are like cathedrals -- spacious, majestic, and suffused with light that glows like sunshine filtered through stained glass. The Seventh is the most lyrical of Bruckner's later symphonies. It opens with an ecstatic theme in the cellos that ascends slowly heavenward, like a vaulting Gothic archway. While Bruckner's symphonies unfold at a leisurely pace, they are spectacular, rewarding patient listening with a wealth of rapturous details. Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan was a devout Brucknerian who knew his way around this composer's unusually massive architecture better than most maestros. He recorded the Seventh Symphony at least three times, and this is the last -- in fact, it's the last recording Karajan completed before his death in 1989.
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Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Herbert von Karajan's last two Bruckner recordings (this one and his recording of the 8th with the same orchestra) are almost universally considered to be the best performances of the 7th and 8th symphonies among hardcore Brucknerians(like myself) and among other listeners. The Vienna Philharmonic play with their usual radiance. Karajan's tempi are always well judged, taking the Adagio at an ideal tempo, clocking in at a somewhat slower then normal 23:15. The climaxes are all very impressively built(just listen to the end of the first and last movement!). The sound quality is clear and spacious. Though not the last word on Bruckner's 7th(Skrowaczewski, Chailly, and Jochum all have something to say), if you are looking to buy just a single performance, most definately get this one. It is my favorite out of my many recordings.