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Bruckner's 4th: Don't Screw the Pooch

Bruckner’s Symphonie No. 4: Die Romantische is launching at Symphony Hall this Thursday and Saturday. Why the odd schedule? The orchestra is also playing Don Pasquale at the Civic Theater on Friday and Sunday.

I am excited yet trepidatious about Bruckner’s Fourth. As a side bar, for those of you who get off on this kind of thing, let me ensure you that trepidatious IS a word.

I’m excited for Bruckner’s Fourth because it is a tremendous piece of music. To my mind, it is the Grand Canyon of symphonies.

I’ve only heard it live once and that was in Los Angeles. I was disappointed but my expectations may have been too high.

I have trepidation because Bruckner’s music tends to expose specific sections of the orchestra and there are plenty of opportunities for players to crack under the pressure.

As an example, I’ve included the clip below of the Staatskapelle Dresden playing the third movement. At the 1:34 mark and the 1:42 mark, the brass “screw the pooch”--big time and they’re all alone.

The Staatskapelle Dresden is a tremendous orchestra and Herbert Bloomstedt is a tremendous conductor but Bruckner can do that to the best of ‘em.

I really don’t care how things turn out this weekend. I’m excited to hear a massive piece of music played live.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S6MsieXCp4

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Bruckner’s Symphonie No. 4: Die Romantische is launching at Symphony Hall this Thursday and Saturday. Why the odd schedule? The orchestra is also playing Don Pasquale at the Civic Theater on Friday and Sunday.

I am excited yet trepidatious about Bruckner’s Fourth. As a side bar, for those of you who get off on this kind of thing, let me ensure you that trepidatious IS a word.

I’m excited for Bruckner’s Fourth because it is a tremendous piece of music. To my mind, it is the Grand Canyon of symphonies.

I’ve only heard it live once and that was in Los Angeles. I was disappointed but my expectations may have been too high.

I have trepidation because Bruckner’s music tends to expose specific sections of the orchestra and there are plenty of opportunities for players to crack under the pressure.

As an example, I’ve included the clip below of the Staatskapelle Dresden playing the third movement. At the 1:34 mark and the 1:42 mark, the brass “screw the pooch”--big time and they’re all alone.

The Staatskapelle Dresden is a tremendous orchestra and Herbert Bloomstedt is a tremendous conductor but Bruckner can do that to the best of ‘em.

I really don’t care how things turn out this weekend. I’m excited to hear a massive piece of music played live.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S6MsieXCp4

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