Lovro von Matacic looms large in the memory of older Bruckner fans as one of the last great Austrian Bruckner conductors. Active in the '50s through the early '80s, Matacic's recorded legacy is fairly slight and his Bruckner legacy slighter still. For Matacic's fans, this Naïve release of a 1979 recording with the Orchestre National de France of the Fifth will be an unexpected blessing because all the things that made a Matacic recording special are here in abundance: the stark colors, the ineluctable rhythms, the soaring lyricism, the enormous forms, the awe-inspiring climaxes. But even Matacic's biggest fans will have to acknowledge that the Orchestre National de France is the wrong orchestra to play Bruckner. The brass is harsh and clangorous. The strings are hard and strident. The winds are weak and watery. The tympani are distant and thunderous. The blend is minimal and the balance unpredictable. That Matacic is still able to pull such a compelling performance out of them is astounding. Naïve's sound is dim, gray, and fuzzy.
|Symphony No. 5 in B flat, WAB 105|
|Adagio - Allegro||Lovro von Matacic||20:32|
|Adagio||Lovro von Matacic||18:45|
|Scherzo: Molto vivace||Lovro von Matacic||12:35|
|Finale||Lovro von Matacic||25:11|