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Bruckner's Fourth
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Author:  Hostrauser [ Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Bruckner's Fourth

Aural Joy of the Day:

Anton Bruckner, Symphony No. 4 "Romantic"
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Director: Daniel Barenboim
Recorded: 1972 / Released: 1973

Oh. My.

With the exception of Riccardo Chailly's take on Bruckner's Symphony No. 0, most of the Bruckner recordings I've heard have left me flat. A lot of his music just sounds like a second-rate Richard Wagner. I now realize this may be due to the dreary, ultra-conservative interpretations I've heard from certain "master" conductors.

Barenboim stretches the tempos and pulls the crescendos for all they're worth, and the result is astonishing. The Wagner influence is clearly present (particularly in the finale, which reminds me of Gotterdammerung), but Bruckner's music stands as its own individual. And this is one of the best recordings I've ever heard. Chicago's brass section is, of course, legendary (and deservedly so), but this might be the best I've ever heard from them. Trumpets, horns, trombones, tuba... just acres of stabbing brass at double forte all over the place. The brass work in the last two movements in particular is just incredible.

If you are a brass player, or simply enjoy the sound of brass instruments, you are doing yourself a tremendous disservice if you do not own this recording:

http://www.amazon.ca/Syms-4-7/dp/B000007ODZ

Symphony No. 7? No idea. Could care less. This 2-CD set is worth every penny and then some just for #4. BUY IT.

(I believe this version is the same technical recording, just under a different release.)

Author:  LoyalTubist [ Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bruckner's Fourth

Anton Bruckner's Fourth Symphony ("Romantic") was his first to have a tuba part written for it. His Third Symphony was written as a tribute to Richard Wagner. Wagner was in the audience for that symphony's premiere. And he walked out before it was over. When Bruckner asked why he did that, Wagner gave a lot of excuses. But one was, "Where's the tuba part?" So after that, Bruckner wrote some of the tastiest tuba parts in all of tuba literature.

Bruckner didn't have the nicest personality, and he did like 17 year old girls, but when you play one of his symphonies, you forget about his series of mental breakdowns and just enjoy the music.

Some might be wondering why there were symphonies with the numbers 0 and 00 (and there might be more). Before he wrote what is now known as Symphony No. 1, he wrote other symphonies, which he destroyed after they were performed once. Well, two of these were found. Again, there might be more. They didn't have paper shredders in the 1860s!

Author:  Hostrauser [ Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bruckner's Fourth

LoyalTubist wrote:
Some might be wondering why there were symphonies with the numbers 0 and 00 (and there might be more). Before he wrote what is now known as Symphony No. 1, he wrote other symphonies, which he destroyed after they were performed once. Well, two of these were found. Again, there might be more. They didn't have paper shredders in the 1860s!

I consider #0 and #4 to be his two best works. Symphony No. 0 is fabulous.

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