Bruckner: Symphony No. 6 in A (ed. Haas) - Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Heinz Bongartz; Helgoland - Men's Voices of the Ambrosian Chorus/Symphonica of London/Wyn Morris
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KHCD-2012-043DL (STEREO) - Bruckner: Symphony No. 6 in A (ed. Haas) - Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Heinz Bongartz; Helgoland - Men's Voices of the Ambrosian Chorus/Symphonica of London/Wyn Morris (High-Quality reissue of GSC003DL, which is to be deleted) - This recording is considered by some as the "Holy Grail" of Bruckner 6ths, a revelatory reading (especially the Adagio) that has been difficult to find this side of Europe. I had owned a copy of the Philips (US) World Series LP, and was captivated by the performance, my first exposure to Bruckner. This was, apparently, Heinz Bongartz's only Bruckner recording. Pity; it would be quite interesting to have heard more Bruckner with this conductor. Helgoland was composed in 1893 for the Men's Choir of Vienna to celebrate its 50th birthday. It is not known if Bruckner chose the subject of the work, or if he yielded on this point to satisfy the order. The sung text is a poem of August Silberstein (Bruckner had already put the work of this author to music with Germanenzug in 1864): the Saxon people of the island of Heligoland are threatened by the invasion of the Romans, but divine intervention saves them. The piece is full of strength and enthusiasm, and—even more than his other works—carries the mark of the influence of Wagner. It is perhaps the closest Bruckner would come to writing operatic-like music for voices. Thanks to John Proffitt for suggesting this reissue.