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Classical 101

Anton Bruckner Sixth Symphony on Next Symphony @ 7

Anton Bruckner
Wikimedia Commons
Anton Bruckner

A single work is scheduled for the next Symphony @ 7 on Thursday evening on Classical 101: Symphony No. 6 in A by the Late-Romantic, Austrian composer Anton Bruckner.

Bruckner was known for the vast scale of his symphonies, and this one comes in a little under an hour in length.  His symphonies have been described as the sonic equivalent of walking through a great cathedral, with magnificent arches of changing size and shape.  Themes come and go one by one, and the music builds to great climaxes.  There's no rushing to get to the end, but the journey can be rewarding if one accepts the scale and the pacing of this unique composer's works.

The Sixth Symphony is from 1881 and underwent less revision than most of the others.  Bruckner himself only ever heard two movements of it performed.  That was in 1883 with the Vienna Philharmonic when they played the adagio and the scherzo..  It didn't have its first complete public performance until 1899, after the composer's death, when Gustav Mahler conducted it in Vienna.

I have a recent recording from an orchestra with a great tradition of performing Bruckner, the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam with its chief conductor, Mariss Jansons.

You can hear the entire Symphony No. 6 in A on Symphony @ 7 on Classical 101.