Having started their Bruckner Symphony survey with a magnificent Eighth, http://www.colinscolumn.com/christian-thielemann-records-bruckner-8-with-the-vienna-philharmonic-for-sony-classical/, Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic now delve into the problematical D-minor Third, originally from 1873, and heard here in the first revision, 1877/edited Nowak, purged of Wagner quotations, except for Tristan in the slow movement and a hint of Walküre in the final one.

While no stranger to reflection and phrasal beauty, Thielemann favours a powerful thrust for the first movement – many thrills at forward-moving tempos – and he has the Philharmoniker in its fullest Brucknerian regalia (recorded November last year in the ideally resonant Golden Hall of the Musikverein, dynamics excitingly wide, and at the height of Lockdown, too, a period that seemed one of ‘carry on’ for this august ensemble, until legislation came into force).

Having rampaged, to a certain extent, through the first movement – not a criticism – Thielemann conjures an eloquent and deep account of the Andante (the conductor reads it as Adagio), followed by a Scherzo (with the coda that got expunged) that froths at the mouth and a Trio that delightfully dances a Ländler (if not quite as rhythmically ‘lifted’ as Karl Böhm, also Vienna, Decca, using the second revision), and then a Finale that takes wing from the off, but maybe the polka is a little heavy-handed, however affectionate. Thereafter Thielemann is respectful of contrasting episodes: structural problems, indulgences and diversions are the composer’s doing.

Nevertheless, the brassy coda rings out jubilantly, and whatever the Symphony’s flaws (cuts in 1889 weren’t the solution), Thielemann and the Vienna Phil have much to offer – on Sony Classical 19439861382 (reviewed from a CD although this release is download-only in the UK).