Juanjo Mena (conductor)
Considered by some to be the ‘Cinderella’ of his symphonies, the Sixth Symphony of Anton Bruckner was composed in 1879 – 81. It may well demonstrate a reaction to the severe criticism of the first Viennese performance, in 1877, of his Third Symphony, which Eduard Hanslick described as ‘a vision of how Beethoven’s Ninth befriends Wagner’s Walküre and ends up being trampled under her horses’ hoofs’. Much the shortest of his mature symphonies, the Sixth also reverts to a more classical form than its predecessors.
This recording was made in 2012, during the first season of Juanjo Mena as Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, and just a month before their acclaimed performance of the work at the BBC Proms. It been selected by BBC Radio 3’s Record of the Week and Gramophone’s Essential New Classical Release.
The Classical Review notes that Juanjo Mena “proves himself a master of this difficult score.“…Program notes are erudite and engaging … sound is spectacular, and the playing of the BBC Philharmonic is impassioned – clearly Mena inspires them” […] “If pressed to recommend a single recording, Haitink’s last recording with the Bavarian RSO has a natural authority … Yet Mena, for the most part, is equally impressive, and I admire his imaginative ideas and willingness to take interpretive risks. This is an intensely musical performance and would welcome more Bruckner from this team.”
You can see the full track listings and download the audio here.