Another Walter' s legendary achievement!
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 07/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bruno Walter was undoubtedly a musician of the XIX Century. This initial boundary mark must be underlined, due none of the two world wars appeared in the youth and musical formation of this notable conductor.
Despite the fact this record was made in the middle thirties, you may realize both recordings still own a naïve vision, loaded of grand lyrical vision, free of angst and hysteria, so typical and characteristic, specially in the approach of most of conductors who were born after the WW2 and even between both conflagrations.
The Third Symphony is simultaneously, radiant and visceral, Walter gets to convey the members of the Vienna the primordial passion of man deeply engaged with the mother nature. You should realize that this Symphony is written in F Major; precisely the same key of Beethoven's Pastoral. So there are not human feelings, but a profound sense of fondness by those dreamy landscapes that must have permeated his emotive memory. I insist on this fact due that Pantheist approach is nowadays, missed, being substituted by a vapid vision, with expected results: a bore performance, but not precisely because of composer intention. To my mind, this is the most convincing version I have ever heard until this date.
The Fourth Symphony is one of the most difficult and challenging works around the whole orchestral literature. It owns so many changes of modulation and character, variable temperament, where the autumnal vision clearly opposes to be defeated, exhibiting musculature and visible signs of clear affirmation. Just a few number of directors have been able to give us worthy performances. And Walter could made it, due he had the experience and the whole understanding of the inner process that supports that memorable Opus 98, and the most remarkable aspect to remark is the subtle approach, hovered by Mahlerian echoes, specially in the last movement . There are monumental performances about this Symphony and if it's true that Walter is not at the same level in this Symphony (considering the Third' s notable achievement), it may be included among the twenty best musical achievements ever made about it. The BBC sound is as always sublime and still remain being one of my beloved ensembles.