Following the Seventh, Paavo Järvi and the Tonhalle Orchestra continue what I assume will become a second Bruckner Symphony cycle for the conductor (following Frankfurt Radio/RCA) with the magnificent Eighth, using Leopold Nowak’s edition. It’s a very recommendable release, potent in the first movement, intensely lyrical and fastidiously detailed (especially in horns and bassoons), the big climax moved towards with surety and well-timed expansion and delivered with appropriate agony. One of the aspects for enthusing about this version is the thrillingly express tempo Järvi adopts for the Scherzo, with no loss of particulars, the players unfazed (violins flying either side of the podium), the Trio moved along persuasively yet with a welcome degree of languor introduced at just the right moment. Perhaps the sublime Adagio is a little too vibrantly resonated (and the cut that Nowak accepted as being true to Bruckner’s wishes will always grate if Robert Haas’s publication was the one that introduced the work to you, for me it was Karajan’s second Berlin recording on DG), although there’s no doubting the Tonhalle transportation the music offers here – if we’ve had the agony we now have the ecstasy – Järvi judging to a nicety a balance of something spiritual with a musical flow that is structurally inevitable, which is to a broad looking-Heavenwards pinnacle. The Finale storms in – tremendous timpani at 0:21 (it has to be like this, full-on attack) – a movement that can seem too sectional, something Järvi does little to hide, although his ‘each moment’ traversal brings many rewards, including contrapuntal clarity, even so it may be found too indulgent by some if nowhere near Celibidache’s Munich “beached whale” (Rob Cowan), although I enter a reservation the other way, a slight increase in tempo (23:45) during the awed coda that is a little disconcerting, but I’m getting used to it, and I wouldn’t want to be without Järvi’s account, alongside, say, Thielemann (Vienna/Sony; Haas) and Maazel (Berlin/Warner; Nowak). Superb Zurich sound, September 2022, on Alpha Classics 987.