26 Oct 2015

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)

From Composer of the Week, 9:00 am on 26 October 2015
Anton Bruckner

Anton Bruckner Photo: Ferry Bératon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Update from Bryan Crump:

"In the time since I wrote the composer of the week on Bruckner (in 2009), I have had second thoughts on a couple of things.

First, I under-estimated his second and third symphonies. The amount of really good music in the former and great music in the latter, no matter which version you choose (of which there are quite a few).

Second, how close Bruckner came to finishing the finale of his ninth. It's quite likely he completed a rudimentary sketch, but significant chunks (especially in the coda) disappeared after his death. It's possible they went missing because Bruckner wasn't happy with what he'd written and didn't care what happened to them. If he made any request that someone care for them, even complete them, that was lost too.

But what survives contains some wonderful music, and attempts to complete it reveal a finale which casts the proceeding movements in a new light.

Turns out the ninth is not quite the elegiac end of life tome it's usually cracked up to be, although no one's managed to complete a convincing coda just yet.

Simon Rattle's attempt with the Berlin Philharmonic is worth a listen, but even more interesting (and moving in some ways) is Nikolaus Harnoncourt's run through of the finale as Bruckner left it. Which means you hear what's missing as well as what survived.

The story of Bruckner's ninth and attempts to complete it is another radio project I'd like to attempt one day."

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

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