MDG, in association with Denon, releases this very special Bruckner Eighth Symphony, recorded on January 21, 2016, in the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. The playing and the recorded sound are both superb, and with the quietest of audiences only asserting itself at the end, greeting the performance enthusiastically albeit after appreciative silence, this could be a scrupulous studio production. Focussed from the off a sense of occasion is evident and compelling as Stanisław Skrowaczewski (1923-2017) forges a traversal of this great piece that is unerringly judged regarding tempo, direction, detailing, balances, and carefully graded textures – yet flexibility comes across as spontaneous. The first movement delivers its initial promise – at the close the ticking clock certainly stops rather than being merely hesitant. The Scherzo is a fine mix of stealth and weight (the tangibility of he sonics coming into its own) with a Trio of repose yet deep concentration, followed by an Adagio that is sublimely spacious and intensely moulded (it’s this movement that confirms the use of Nowak’s edition), and then a Finale that strides forward with sovereign clarity and is unusually well-integrated across the whole. The coda is suitably resplendent and cumulative. This magnificent eighty-three-minute account (which would have fitted comfortably on a single disc) is every bit as indispensable as Skrowaczewski’s Ravel on Vox. MDG 650 2307-2.