Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, Nagano

Bruckner: Symphonie No. 3

Kent Nagano and the Deutsches Symphonie offer the key to anyone wanting to better understand Anton Bruckner’s vast, rough-hewn symphonic canvases. Symphony No. 3, here in its original 1873 version, sings in splendid sound and with breathtaking artistry. I have not heard a better performance, even from the great German maestros who specialized in it. Bruckner still was grappling with a new expanded cosmic music, stemming from Wagner and the later, large-scaled Symphony No. 9s of Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert. The levelheaded yet romantic Brahms called Bruckner’s symphonies “symphonic boa constrictors,” but these days we can love both composers. Bruckner’s No. 3 is rich with catchy melodies and superb brass flourishes, which Nagano elicits with complete assurance, bringing out the masterful in Bruckner.