Monday, July 17, 2017

An interesting concert overture (or "Symphonic Prelude") attributed to Anton Bruckner

Here’s curious piece: a Symphonic Prelude in C Minor, 7 minutes long, conducted by Neeme Jarvi with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, believed to be composed by Anton Bruckner as a young man in his 20s.  Already it has the daring chromaticism of his later works, and outlines his compositional output.

However brief, this piece is a complex Sonata structure with three themes (like the symphonies) anticipating motives in his symphonies.

The piece is paired on a Chandos CD with the Mahler Symphony #6 in A Minor.  I have two recordings of that work, an RCA record with Leinsdorf from the late 1960s, and a Sony CD with Maazel (paired with #7). I’ll come back to this work later, but it didn’t become respectable until Bernstein started playing it in the 1960s. When I was in the Army at Fort Eustis in 1969, one of the other guys (from Berkeley) was familiar with the work. 

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