Album review: Anton Bruckner, 10 Symphonies

*****BR Klassik 900711, £54.99

On their own, Anton Bruckner's symphonies are powerful statements.

Taken together, as in this box set of live recordings from Lorin Maazel's 1999 performances with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, they demonstrate the composer's unbounded and continuing creativity.

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Whether looking back to Beethoven and Mozart, as in the First, Second and Fifth, or sideways to Wagner in the Third and Seventh, there is a sense, in Bruckner's writing, of any historical nods always being subservient to the urge to progress.

If the unperformed (unnumbered) symphony of 1863 consists largely of such references, by the Eighth and Ninth they entirely disappear.

Altogether, these magisterial performances – Maazel conducts Bruckner with much lushness of sound and orchestral sweep – make for fascinating listening.

Download this: Symphony No 3

This article was first published in Scotland On Sunday, 29 May, 2011