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Encyclopedia > Symphony No. 8 (Bruckner)

Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 8 in C minor is the last Symphony the composer completed. It exists in two major versions of 1887 and 1890. It was premiered under conductor Hans Richter in 1892 in Vienna. It is dedicated to the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Anton Bruckner Anton Bruckner (4 September 1824 – 11 October 1896) was an Austrian composer who wrote the majority of his mature music near the end of the Romantic era. ... 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar). ... 1890 (MDCCCXC) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar). ... Hans Richter (1843–1916), Austrian conductor (born in what is now Hungary), studied at the Vienna Conservatory (showing a special interest in the horn) and developed his conducting career at several opera-houses in the Austro-Hungarian empire. ... 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Vienna (German: Wien [viːn]; Slovenian: Dunaj, Croatian and Serbian: Beč Romanian: Viena, Hungarian: Bécs, Czech: Vídeň, Slovak: Viedeň, Romany Vidnya, Russian: Вена) is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. ... Franz Joseph I. Francis Joseph I (in German often abbreviated Franz Joseph or Franz Josef, and in English also Francis Joseph) (August 18, 1830 – November 21, 1916) of the Habsburg Dynasty was Emperor of Austria and King of Bohemia from 1848 until 1916, and Apostolic King of Hungary from 1867...


This symphony is sometimes nicknamed The Apocalyptic.

Contents


Description

The symphony has four movements. In music, a movement is a large division of a larger composition or musical form. ...


First movement

The symphony begins in a tonally ambiguous manner with a theme that has the same rhythm as the main theme of the first movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D minor. A more song-like second subject group uses the Bruckner rhythm and the third subject group transitions smoothly to the development. Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827) was a German composer of Classical music, the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras. ... The Symphony No. ... The phrase Bruckner rhythm refers to the use of 2+3 (duplet+triplet) in Anton Bruckners symphonic music, where it occurs prevalently. ...


A great climax for the entire orchestra suddenly breaks off leaving just the trumpets and timpani, the strings and woodwinds rejoin in a very dejected mood. At this juncture the two versions differ significantly. In the 1887 version, this leads to an unconvincingly premature victory in C major. For the 1890 version, this leads to a pianissimo coda (the only instance of a first movement ending softly in Bruckner's symphonic oeuvre) for low winds and low strings in a thoroughly bleak C minor. C major (often just C) is a musical major scale based on C, consisting of the pitches C, D, E, F, G, A, B and C. Its key signature contains no flats or sharps. ...


Bruckner said the coda was inspired by the climax of the Dutchman's monologue in Wagner's Der fliegende Hollander, with the words, "Ihr welten endet euren lauf, ewige vernichtung, nimm mich auf!". The Flying Dutchman (German title: Der fliegende Holländer) is an opera, music and libretto by Richard Wagner. ...


Second movement

The main part of the Scherzo is fundamentally the same in both versions, though a tad more repetitive in the first version. The Trios are quite different: the 1890 version uses harp, the 1887 doesn't.


Third movement

The main difference between versions is at the climax, which in the 1887 version Bruckner managed to put in six cymbal clashes. He must've thought that excessive, as he pared it down to two in the 1890 version. The coda of this movement is recalled in the Adagio of the Ninth Symphony. In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time) is the speed or pace of a given piece. ... Anton Bruckners Symphony No. ...


Fourth movement

Beginning belligerently, this movement reaches a triumphant conclusion using themes (or at least rhythms) from all four movements.


Versions

1887 Version

This was Bruckner's first version of the symphony. After Hermann Levi refused to perform it, Bruckner decided to make changes. This original version was first published in an edition by Leopold Nowak in 1972. It has been recorded by Dennis Russell Davies, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Eliahu Inbal and Georg Tintner. This version has some significant differences from the more familiar later versions, including a loud ending to the first movement. Hermann Levi (born November 7, 1839 in Giessen; died May 13, 1900 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen) was a German orchestral conductor. ... Leopold Nowak (Vienna, Austria, 17 August 1904 - May 27, 1991) Musicologist, chiefly known for editing works by Anton Bruckner. ... Dennis Russell Davies (born 16 April 1944, Toledo, Ohio, USA) is an American conductor External links Biography Biography (scroll down for English translation) Categories: | ... Vladimir Fedoseyev is a Russian conductor. ... Eliahu Inbal (born February 16, 1936) is a prominent orchestral conductor. ... Georg Tintner (May 22, 1917 - October 2, 1999) was a Viennese-born conductor. ...


1888 Adagio

A fair copy of an intermediate version of the Adagio with an estimated date of 1888 exists in the Austrian National Library. It has been recorded by Akira Naito with the Tokyo New City Orchestra. A MIDI version is also available [1]. The Österreichische Nationalbibliothek is the Austrian National Library. ...


1890 Version

This version, which survives in an autograph score by Bruckner, is the most commonly heard form of the symphony.


Haas edition (published 1939)

Robert Haas included some passages from the 1887 version that were changed or omitted in the autograph score because he thought that Bruckner made these changes only under pressure from friends such as Franz Schalk. Haas may have also inserted some music that he himself wrote, based on Bruckner's sketches [2]. Despite its dubious scholarship Haas's edition has proved enduringly popular: conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Bernard Haitink and Günter Wand continued to use it even after the Nowak/1890 edition was published. Noted Bruckner conductor Georg Tintner has written that the Haas edition is "the best" version of the symphony and referred to Haas himself as "brilliant" [3]. This view is controversial, however, because the Haas version represents a composite that was never approved by Bruckner himself. Robert Maria Haas (August 15, 1886 - October 4, 1960) Austrian musicologist. ... Franz Schalk (born 27 May 1863 in Vienna, died 3 September 1931 in Edlach, Austria) was an Austrian conductor. ... Herbert von Karajan (Salzburg April 5, 1908 Anif near Salzburg – July 16, 1989) was an Austrian conductor. ... Bernard Johan Herman Haitink (born March 4, Dutch conductor. ... Günter Wand (born January 7, 1912 - February 14, 2002) - German orchestral conductor. ... Georg Tintner (May 22, 1917 - October 2, 1999) was a Viennese-born conductor. ...


Nowak edition (published 1955)

Leopold Nowak in his edition rejected Haas's approach, sticking closely to Bruckner's autograph score. Since its publication Nowak's edition has become more popular than Haas's, although Haas's is still often performed. Leopold Nowak (Vienna, Austria, 17 August 1904 - May 27, 1991) Musicologist, chiefly known for editing works by Anton Bruckner. ...


1892 first published version (edited by Lienau)

This contains some relatively minor changes from the 1890 version thought to have been influenced by Franz Schalk: it is not clear to what extent these were made or approved of by Bruckner. It is available in complete recordings by Wilhelm Furtwangler, Hans Knappertsbusch, Serge Koussevitzky, Josef Krips, William Steinberg, George Szell and Bruno Walter. Franz Schalk (born 27 May 1863 in Vienna, died 3 September 1931 in Edlach, Austria) was an Austrian conductor. ... Wilhelm Furtwängler (January 25, 1886 – November 30, 1954) was a German conductor and composer. ... Hans Knappertsbusch (March 12, 1888 - October 25, 1965) German conductor born in Elberfeld (present-day Wuppertal), best known for his performances of the music of Richard Wagner, Anton Bruckner and Richard Strauss. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Josef Alois Krips (born 8 April 1902 in Vienna, died 13 October 1974 in Geneva) was an Austrian conductor and violinist. ... William Steinberg (originally Hans Wilhelm Steinberg) (August 1, 1899 – May 16, 1978) was a German Jewish conductor. ... George Szell, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1954 György Széll, best known by his Anglicised name George Szell (June 7, 1897 – July 29, 1970) was a conductor and composer. ... Bruno Walter (September 15, 1876 - February 17, 1962) was a German-born conductor and composer. ...


Instrumentation

The 1887 version requires an instrumentation of piccolo, one pair each flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, with four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, a quartet of Wagner tubas, and a single contabass tuba, along with cymbals, timpani, harp and strings. The 1890 version deletes the piccolo part, adds one more of each of the other woodwinds, and asks for 3 harps (playing in unison for greater volume). In addition, the 1890 score calls for eight horns, four of which double as Wagner tubas at various points in the symphony. A Yamaha piccolo. ... The Flute (Ger. ... Modern Oboe The oboe is a double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family. ... Two soprano clarinets: a Bâ™­ clarinet (left) and an A clarinet (right, with no mouthpiece). ... A Fox Instruments bassoon. ... The horn is a brass instrument that consists of tubing wrapped into a coiled form. ... Trumpeter redirects to here. ... A lip-reed aerophone with a predominantly cylindrical bore, the trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. ... A Wagner tuba. ... It is also possible that you want to know about the Cymbalum instrument. ... A timpanist in the United States Air Forces in Europe Band. ... The harp is a stringed instrument which has its strings positioned perpendicular to the soundboard. ... A string instrument (or stringed instrument) is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. ...


Programme

At the insistence of his circle, Bruckner half-heartedly gave a programme to this Symphony despite his preference for absolute music. The Scherzo represents the German folk figure of German Michael, he said, and the beginning of the Finale represents a parade for the Emperor to whom the work is dedicated. Joseph Schalk elaborated Bruckner's program, adding references to Greek mythology (Aeschylus's Prometheus, Zeus or Kronos, etc.) mixed with a few Christian references such as the Archangel Michael. Absolute music, less often abstract music, is a term used within the classical music field to describe music that is not explicitly about anything, non-representational or non-objective. ... Greek mythology consists of a large collection of narratives that explain the origins of the world and detail the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, and heroines. ...


Discography

The first commercial recording of part of the symphony was made by Otto Klemperer with the Berlin State Opera Orchestra in 1924 for Polydor. It included only the slow movement, in the 1892 edition. Otto Klemperer (May 14, 1885 – July 6, 1973) was a German-born conductor and composer. ... The Staatskapelle Berlin is the orchestra of the Berlin State Opera (Berliner Staatsoper Unter den Linden). ... 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Polydor Records is a record label once headquartered in Germany. ...


The oldest performance of the complete work surviving on record is a concert by Bruno Walter with the New York Philharmonic from 1941. It also used the 1892 edition. Bruno Walter (September 15, 1876 - February 17, 1962) was a German-born conductor and composer. ... The New York Philharmonic is an American orchestra based in New York City. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film) 1941 (MCMXLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1941 calendar). ...


The first commercial recording of the complete symphony was made by Eugen Jochum with the Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra in 1949 for Deutsche Grammophon. Eugen Jochum (November 1, 1902 – March 26, 1987) was a conductor. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday. ... Logo Deutsche Grammophon is a German record label. ...


All versions considered, this work lasts about 80 minutes, with the faster performances fitting on one standard 12cm compact disk. Herbert von Karajan and the aforementioned Günter Wand each recorded the Haas hybrid version more than once. After Eliahu Inbal recorded the 1887 version for the first time, other conductors have followed, such as Georg Tintner on the Naxos label. Takashi Asahina preferred the Haas score too, but with a Japanese orchestra he did record a disc that compared snippets from the Haas and Nowak editions. CD redirects here; see Cd for other meanings of CD. Image of a compact disc (pencil included for scale) A compact disc (or CD) is an optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. ... Herbert von Karajan (Salzburg April 5, 1908 Anif near Salzburg – July 16, 1989) was an Austrian conductor. ... Eliahu Inbal (born February 16, 1936) is a prominent orchestral conductor. ... Georg Tintner (May 22, 1917 - October 2, 1999) was a Viennese-born conductor. ... Naxos Records is a record label specializing in budget-priced classical music CDs. ...


This work has also been recorded on DVD Video. The World Philharmonic Orchestra chose to perform this symphony for their inaugural concert conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini. Another DVD is with Zubin Mehta conducting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Carlo Maria Giulini (May 9, 1914 – June 14, 2005) was an Italian conductor. ... Zubin Mehta, photo by Wilfried Hösl Zubin Mehta (born April 29, 1936) is an Indian-born conductor of European classical music. ... The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) is the leading symphony orchestra in Israel, and one of the top orchestras in the world. ...


Notable Recordings

Portrait by Emil Orlik, 1928 Wilhelm Furtwängler (January 25, 1886 – November 30, 1954) was a German conductor and composer. ... The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (in German: Wiener Philharmoniker) is the best known orchestra in Austria and one of Europes major ensembles. ... George Szell, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1954 György Széll, best known by his Anglicised name George Szell (June 7, 1897 – July 29, 1970) was a conductor and composer. ... The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest in Dutch) is the best known and most respected orchestra in the Netherlands, and is generally considered to be among the worlds finest. ... Eduard van Beinum (September 1, 1901, Arnhem - April 13, 1959, Amsterdam) was a Dutch conductor. ... The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest in Dutch) is the best known and most respected orchestra in the Netherlands, and is generally considered to be among the worlds finest. ... Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Mravinsky (June 4, 1903 - January 19, 1988) was a Russian conductor. ... The St. ... Hans Knappertsbusch (March 12, 1888 - October 25, 1965) German conductor born in Elberfeld (present-day Wuppertal), best known for his performances of the music of Richard Wagner, Anton Bruckner and Richard Strauss. ... The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra is one of three great orchestras in the city of Munich, along with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Bavarian State Opera orchestra. ... Eugen Jochum (November 1, 1902 – March 26, 1987) was a conductor. ... The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the worlds leading orchestras. ... George Szell, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1954 György Széll, best known by his Anglicised name George Szell (June 7, 1897 – July 29, 1970) was a conductor and composer. ... The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the major symphony orchestras in the United States. ... Bernard Johan Herman Haitink (born March 4, Dutch conductor. ... The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest in Dutch) is the best known and most respected orchestra in the Netherlands, and is generally considered to be among the worlds finest. ... Jascha Horenstein (May 6, 1898 - April 2, 1973) was a conductor. ... The London Symphony Orchestra (frequently abbreviated to LSO) is one of the major orchestras of the United Kingdom. ... Eugen Jochum (November 1, 1902 – March 26, 1987) was a conductor. ... The Dresden Staatskapelle is an orchestra based in Dresden,Germany. ... Carlos Païta (born 1932, Buenos Aires), is an Argentinian conductor. ... Carlo Maria Giulini (May 9, 1914 – June 14, 2005) was an Italian conductor. ... The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (in German: Wiener Philharmoniker) is the best known orchestra in Austria and one of Europes major ensembles. ... Lovro von Matačić (born February 14, 1899 in SuÅ¡ak, died January 4, 1985 in Zagreb) was a Croatian conductor. ... The NHK Symphony Orchestra (NHK交響楽団) in Tokyo, Japan began as the New Symphony Orchestra on October 5, 1926 and was the countrys first professional orchestra. ... Herbert von Karajan (Salzburg April 5, 1908 Anif near Salzburg – July 16, 1989) was an Austrian conductor. ... The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (in German: Wiener Philharmoniker) is the best known orchestra in Austria and one of Europes major ensembles. ... Lorin Varencove Maazel (born March 6, 1930) is a conductor, violinist and composer. ... The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the worlds leading orchestras. ... The conductor StanisÅ‚aw Skrowaczewski (born October 3, 1923) was born in Lwow, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine) and became best known for his work with the Minnesota Orchestra. ... Sergiu Celibidache (June 28, 1912, Roman, Romania - August 14, 1996, Paris) was a Romanian conductor. ... The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra is one of three great orchestras in the city of Munich, along with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Bavarian State Opera orchestra. ... Bernard Johan Herman Haitink (born March 4, Dutch conductor. ... The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (in German: Wiener Philharmoniker) is the best known orchestra in Austria and one of Europes major ensembles. ... Pierre Boulez Pierre Boulez (IPA: /pjɛʁ.buˈlÉ›z/) (born March 26, 1925) is a conductor and composer of classical music. ... The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (in German: Wiener Philharmoniker) is the best known orchestra in Austria and one of Europes major ensembles. ... St. ... Georg Tintner (May 22, 1917 - October 2, 1999) was a Viennese-born conductor. ... Günter Wand (born January 7, 1912 - February 14, 2002) - German orchestral conductor. ... The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the worlds leading orchestras. ...

External links

References

  •   Georg Tintner, booklet notes for Naxos 8.501101 (complete Bruckner symphonies)

 
 

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