Bruckner’s Eighth

Thursday 6 December 2012 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0603

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Simone Young conductor

Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 83′ Listen on Spotify

PLUS – a late-night performance
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Claire Booth – soprano
Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire 38’

It’s a cliché to call Bruckner’s symphonies “cathedrals in sound”. True, Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony is one of the grandest and greatest in all music; a mighty vision of the eternal, composed for an enormous orchestra. But it’s so much more than one man’s spiritual odyssey. It’s one of Romantic music’s most overwhelming experiences, profoundly moving and breathtakingly beautiful. With Andris Nelsons, this will be one of the high points of our season. Be sure to hear it – and stay late as our friends from BCMG perform Schoenberg’s masterpiece, premiered in Vienna just 20 years after Bruckner’s symphony.

We’re sorry to announce that Andris Nelsons has a viral infection and has had to withdraw from this week’s concerts of Bruckner’s 8th Symphony. We are extremely grateful to Simone Young who joins us at short notice for our performances in Gateshead and Birmingham on Wednesday and Thursday.

Simone Young has performed and recorded the original 1887 version of the symphony with the Hamburg Philharmonic. Please note we will be performing this version this week, rather than the Haas edition which we were due to perform.

Andris is hoping to be back in Birmingham next week to continue our Beethoven cycle and we wish him a speedy recovery.


Review by John Quinn, MusicWeb, SeenandHeard:

Click here for full review

…     “The great Adagio found Ms Young displaying the breadth and the control of line that marks out a true Brucknerian. In the first few minutes the CBSO strings, especially the first violins and cellos, excelled; indeed, it was a fine night all round for the CBSO string section. Later on there was some very fine playing from the expanded horn section, the deep Wagner tubas making a sonorously telling contribution. Simone Young’s ability to build Bruckner’s great terraced climaxes was particularly noteworthy. These climaxes and the build-ups to them, though majestic in 1887, would become even more effective when Bruckner had pruned and polished them for the 1890 score. One improvement, though a relatively minor one, was his decision to cap the last massive climax with just two cymbal clashes; in 1887 he included two series of three clashes – so six in all -, and this is less imposing. The long, gently glowing conclusion to the movement remained largely unchanged between the two versions: in this performance it was managed splendidly.  Regardless of what edition of the score was being used this was a magnificent reading of the movement.”     …


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