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If you have run out of Bruckner...

Discussion in 'classical' started by marshanp, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    Those who love him know that Bruckner is unique... and being very self-critical, rather anxious and perpetually overworked with teaching he produced only a limited amount of music. What do you do when you have heard it all and want more?

    Well, the work of other, later composers is not infrequently described by commentators as "Brucknerian"... and nearly every time turns out to be nothing of the kind. But there are a few exceptions: composers who had something of their own to say and who happened, in at least one work, to say it in a way that Bruckner might have recognised as descending from his music.

    Rautavaara: Symphony 3 - the only work by Rautavaara which justifies the label "Brucknerian", and then only intermittently... but well worth hearing

    Scherber: Symphony 2 - a big work in a single movement which "metamorphoses". I find it completely satisfying, and believe that Anton himself would have appreciated its logic, drive and resplendence. Good luck finding this fine recording; it's the only one, was available briefly and has not been re-pressed. If (perhaps having heard excerpts on Youtube) you want to hear it complete and can't find a copy, drop me a line


    Tyberg: Symphony 3 - this magnificent work has a fascinating and tragic back story. It was almost lost when Tyberg was killed by the Nazis (he died in Auschwitz, condemned for being 1/16th Jewish) but his score was preserved by a Croatian friend, who emigrated to America. Rediscovered in 2001, it receives a performance and recording fully worthy of its considerable stature


  2. gustavm

    gustavm pfm Member

    Thank-you - I shall try those.

    Must admit I tend to ignore the earlier Bruckner symphonies and listen really only to 5,6,7 & 8.
  3. alanbeeb

    alanbeeb pfm Member

    OK I tried the Tyberg, only a fiver to download from Presto. Its quite nice.... but Bruckner? Yes, very sort of, but I was actually far more reminded of Dvorak.

    In terms of scale and trying to answer the unanswerable... here's one that puts me in mind of Bruckner -especially 5 & 9. (also very influenced by Nielsen too)
  4. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    I've tried with Bruckner, I really have. Lots of great tunes and nice ideas wandering round aimlessly with no sense of direction.

    I will dip into those suggestions though. It's always interesting to try new(to me) music.
  5. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    I had some Neilsen in mind too
  6. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    Ah, well...

    This just goes to show that (...the thing I believed when I posted it...) musical taste is entirely individual and musical "criticism" is entirely pointless. You either get it, or you don't!

    Bruckner going nowhere?? I have never found a more purposeful composer!

    Tyberg "nice"? and like Dvorak??? I just don't understand... Mahler, maybe... never mind, I will dig out my Simpson set and try #5 and #9 again. Who knows?

    ...though Simpson was in large part responsible for the wrong-headed idea that Bruckner is "architecture in music", or inevitably "monumental"... what nonsense... as performances old (Furtwangler) and new (Venzago, Norrington to name but two) amply demonstrate, that is but one way of approaching his music, and not the obvious one... nor (as far as we can tell from the ephemeral evidence available) the approach assumed by his contemporaries...
  7. alanbeeb

    alanbeeb pfm Member

    Yes when I was listening to the Tyberg 3rd, I found myself thinking much more of Dvorak 5th & 6th symphonies than Bruckner. I could hear the Mahler too, more so than Bruckner tbh. However that doesn't really surprise me because I've always thought there was a link between Dvorak's and Mahler's music, especially Mahler's early works. A piece like Klagende Lied or Wayfarer songs to me are in a very similar sound world to Dvorak's late symphonic poems - The Wood Dove, the Water Goblin, Noonday Witch, The Golden Spinning Wheel - all of which were I think composed shortly after those early Mahler pieces.

    Anyway, I've just listened to Simpson's 5th - first airing its had here this decade - and I really enjoyed it. But maybe much more Nielsen than Bruckner, also somewhat redolent in parts of post-war Soviet-style big blocky crashing chords. But its specifically Simpson's 9th that puts me in mind of Bruckner's 5th & 9th.

    I'm also thinking of Peter Maxwell-Davies 1st & 2nd symphonies - long drawn out musical processes that take their time but a great journey on the way.

    Speaking of Soviet era... Schnittke's 2nd symphony is a tribute to Bruckner, but I don't think I've ever heard it.
  8. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    I'm playing Simpson 9 and find it most impressive - but I don't hear any Bruckner in it, nor anything of central Europe.

    Simpson 5, for the time being at least, has me nonplussed. His symphonies seem reminiscent, maybe appropriately, of Havergal Brian's, in that while some are fairly accessible others are just baffling.
  9. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    Could try the Gade symphonies, I always think his symphonies go on a journey from
    Beethoven to Bruckner. A little classical maybe. Or you could try Magnard. I really love his symphonies.
  10. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    If you want 'scale' and 'grandeur' perhaps some Havergal Brian (The Gothic Symphony - although there are many others too) should keep you concentrated for a while!

    Me, I haven't managed it in one sitting yet.
  11. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    I find the shorter Brian symphonies the more rewarding. Oddly, he seemed to get it right most often with even-numbered ones. He had a real purple patch with 6, 8, 10 and 12. Number 10 in particular... it has everything that is essentially Brian, and I think it is a great work. Many of his symphonies are interesting in parts and then go rambling off having run short of ideas, but 10 is a concentrated argument of considerable power from start to finish.

    I really like Magnard's Chant Funebre, and must try his symphonies again.

    Then there's Allan Pettersson to investigate... so much music, too little time! (1st world problem... mustn't grumble)
  12. lagavullin10y

    lagavullin10y pfm Member

    More Bruckner.

    My way to protest against this world an it's governments is by listening to Bruckner. It is so beautifully out of these days. It takes over an hour to listen to a symphony. The beauty can't be understood easily but once it comes a universum gets unfolded. When Bruckner builds up a crescendo like in the second part of his seventh symphony, he turns the world upside down. He one handedly lifts a mountain, he defeats armies with a single chord.

    I'm listening years now to nr 7.

    Take your time, the answer will come.
    marshanp likes this.
  13. lagavullin10y

    lagavullin10y pfm Member

    Coming from these 4 symphonies, try nr. 2. It looks forward to the symphonies you mention. I'd say its the archtype for his following symphonies.

    Coming from post-Bruckner, or Mahler 2 & 6, listen to nr. 9.
  14. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    The performance of no. 2 by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra under Thomas Dausgaard is very fine; there is nothing ponderous or oversized about it. Bruckner picked up where Schubert left off, after all...
    lagavullin10y likes this.

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