- Symphony No. 7 in E Major
Recorded live at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, London, on 24 October 2012
Even though I have been surrounded by music for 75 years, I am still struggling to understand and fully appreciate the music composed by Austrian composer Anton Bruckner. I have made progress; but there’s a longer way to go. Still, Bruckner’s 7th is the one work I have found to be of greatest meaning to me.
As such, when a recording such as this one comes along, I am always interested. As is the case with other composers, some music is easier to penetrate that other works. In the case of Gustav Mahler, it was easy for me to quickly enjoy Mahler’s 4th, yet I had to spend lots of time to understand the Mahler 7th.
On this CD, we get a thoughtful performance of Bruckner’s 7th symphony, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Stanisław Skrowaczewski.
‘To me, Bruckner is one of the greatest composers,’ says conductor Stanisław Skrowaczewski. ‘He is another Mozart: his music is magical … its message speaks about the infinite, transcendental cosmos, God, timelessness, love and tragedy.’
The opening melody of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony apparently came to the composer in a dream: a friend from Bruckner’s younger days played the theme on a viola, with the words: ‘This will bring you success’. If this is true it was prophetic: the work was one of the greatest successes of the composer’s career.
Stanisław Skrowaczewski is regarded as one of today’s greatest living Bruckner conductors. Now in his 90th year, he brings a lifetime’s accumulated experience to this work.
This performance is of Skrowaczewski’s own edition, based on the Haas edition but including the triangle and cymbal clash at the climax of the Adagio.
The Financial Times, 17th August 2013, wrote:
“Older conductors have a knack of searching out the metaphysical in Bruckner…Tempi are wonderfully sustained – “old” does not always mean “slow” – and climaxes are reached patiently and lyrically, if not always with optimal intensity.”
Here is Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 7 in E major, with Sergiu Celibidache, conducting the Munich Philharmonic:
And next, here is Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, with Simon Rattle directing the Berliner Philharmoniker:
Tags: Anton Bruckner, Symphony #7, Stanisław Skrowaczewski