Prom 45: Thursday 18th August 2011 at 7.00 p.m.(Larcher, Bruckner)
The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor Ilan Volkov are joined by Proms featured artists, Viktoria Mullova and Matthew Barley, for the world premiere of Thomas Larcher's BBC Commission. The second half of the concert is dedicated to Bruckner's vast architectural masterpiece - his fifth symphony.
The leading Austrian composer Thomas Larcher's first double concerto is predominantly solemn and sacred but very rhythmical. It utilises a concertino group as well as the two soloists and the orchestra to bring an added dimension of colour. The cellist Matthew Barley has helped Larcher incorporate improvisation and free time in the piece, building on aspects of rhythm, but Larcher says there is still a grounding in Mozart, Bach and Beethoven.
Ilan Volkov is a renowned interpreter of Bruckner's Music. The 5th Symphony is one of his longest symphonies and, arguably, his most complex work. A huge challenge to perform, it is also a Symphony which embodies a unique atmosphere of spiritual exaltation in a dramatic struggle to overcome the pain and frustration of life.
Thomas Larcher: Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra (BBC commission; world premiere)
Bruckner: Symphony no. 5
Viktoria Mullova (violin)
Matthew Barley (cello)
Christof Dienz (electric zither)
Martin Brandlmayr (percussion)
Luka Juhart (accordian)
Thomas Larcher (prepared piano)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov (conductor)
Nowak or Haas? Not that there's much difference in this symphony. Indeed, I've followed the Nowak score while listening to the Haas and failed to find any discrepancies.
Oh PLEASE let the electric zither be in the Bruckner!
Actually, I feel bad for Mr. Barley and Ms. Mullova as I really wonder how many people are going to brave a late night prom after 1 1/4 hours of Bruckner. I fear the attendence for that one might be... sparse.
ps. Alpen, it is the Nowak edition.
But is there any difference?
Originally Posted by prokkyshosty
Alas, I can't read music but I hear a little flute passage near the very end of the symphony in the Nowak that doesn't appear in the Haas. Can anyone confirm?
Originally Posted by Eine Alpensinfonie
Well the Larcher was a right pile of poo. What a waste of a commission fee. Roll on Bruckner!
Well, reputedly, Pierre Boulez was/is unable to tell the 5th from the 8th, though thankfully he directed a very fine performance of the latter, though he did use the edition that Haas cobbled together, rather than either of the Nowaks (which offer what the composer left as performing options, rather than the mix and match approach of Haas).
Originally Posted by Eine Alpensinfonie
Just a little unfair I think, Bryn - Haas used his musical intuition and judgment to restore passages (in the 8th especially) which he felt Bruckner only excised due to pressure from his friends and colleagues, many of whom saw his structures as imperfect, overlong sonata-forms. Karajan and Gunter Wand almost always used the Haas editions on musical grounds. The 5th is one of the least controversial, neither performed nor, thankfully, much revised during Bruckner's lifetime.
Not an ideal performance tonight, was it? Rather too much accelerando and whipped-up excitement in the finale (and elsewhere), the brass a little disappointing in the great coda. Slow movement finely done though.
Klemperer with the VPO(1968) and Welser-Most with the LPO gave great, urgent, passionate performances (both live in Vienna), but they didn't undermine the weight and elemental grandeur of the finale by rushing those ascents to the climaxes during the double fugue and the approach to the coda. I always feel that if tempi relations in Bruckner are too obviously contrasted, it never quite works. It sounds like an attempt to create excitement, the music doesn't need it. Conductors like Karajan, Wand and Klemperer always tried to serve the music.
Some of the greatest Bruckner performances often seem to relate all the movements to one basic pulse, the differences felt rather than heard. But when a seemingly sober kapellmeister like Wand did the 5th with the BBCSO (mid-90s Proms) he really let the brass rip in the coda, it was overwhelming!
Originally Posted by Bryn
Thankfully there's more than one way to interpret a Bruckner symphony. Powerful, passionate performance tonight, with some superb playing.
Has anyone heard Herbert Blomstedt's recent Querstand recording of Bruckner 5? I bought it recently following a performance of the 5th he gave at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. Its a wonderfully refreshing performance of what I often think can be a rather dull symphony. This is on a par with Wand, no question.