Oct 26, 2016
“Saraste leads the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln in this performance for radio broadcast, and he states that it is a privilege to conduct this orchestra, which made many great Bruckner recordings under Günter Wand. If there is a little of Wand’s style in Saraste’s expansive phrasing and warm orchestral blend, it may be because he grew up listening to Wand’s recordings, so it’s fair to say that he is keeping a great tradition alive. The performance rates high marks for Saraste’s scrupulous interpretation and the orchestra’s committed playing”
AllMusic, Blair Sanderson, October 2016
Saraste’s very personal Bruckner
“The Finnish conductor has a rather relaxed, unagitated approach to Bruckner’s monumental music. His phrases are generous, he elicits a round, warm sound with a slightly dark timbre from the orchestra, takes a little edge off the effervescant sound mass and entirely refrains from a triumphant attitude.
…Bruckner’s Eighth gains a rhythmical sharpness here. This becomes most evident in the Scherzo, but no less in the three remaining movements. Saraste uncovers structures frequently buried by other conductors. Yet, he does not do this out of pure lust for dissection and never loses sight of the entirety of the work.”
Pizzicato, Guy Engels, December 2016